Citizens who reside in two southern states, Florida and Texas, had significantly different experiences while going through the global coronavirus pandemic than those, of say, California and New York. Political leadership had a different attitude in how best to serve its citizens and inflict the least amount of mental, physical and economic pain as a result of COVID-19 plaguing the country.
As a result, we are seeing quantifiable political consequences. On Monday the 2020 census results were announced, and “Florida and Texas gained House seats while California and New York lost one seat each as a result of population shifts” reports National Review.
One census official noted New York would have not lost a House seat if they had counted only 89 more people. National Review reports “preliminary data released by the U.S. Census Bureau in December showed that roughly 126,000 people left the state between July 2019 and July 2020.
Texas gained two House seats “in the census apportionment for a new total of 38 congressional districts, while Florida gained one House seat, bringing its total number of districts to 28.” California lost one House seat, bringing their number of representatives in the House to 52 congressional districts.
National Review points out, “the population of California stopped growing several years before the coronavirus pandemic, and in 2020 the state lost more residents to outmigration than it gained. Residents have migrated to Texas as well as to neighboring states such as Arizona, Nevada, and Oregon.”
Some areas of Texas were seeing a large growth in population before the pandemic began. Austin grew from 2010 to 2019 by 30 percent, making it the fastest-growing metro area in the country. During the pandemic, things accelerated. Austin has become a “destination for tech workers leaving the San Francisco Bay Area.” Tesla’s Elon Musk is building a factory on the outskirts of Austin, as well as the headquarters of his personal foundation to downtown Austin.
National Review notes Texas and Florida saw similar trends for 2020, “with residents moving in during the pandemic.” As for the likely explanation of the growth, “both states resisted imposing sweeping school and business closures, and most of Florida’s schools have been open for in-person learning since September.”
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