A U.S. Census Bureau report is due out today that may hold good and bad news for Iowa. The state’s population is expected to break three-million for the first time, but, our comparably slow rate of growth will likely cost Iowa one of its five seats in the U.S. House. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley calls it “distressing news.”
Grassley says, “It means that Iowa’s not growing as fast as the rest of the country, so Iowa and Illinois and Ohio and New York and Michigan will lose seats and Texas and California and Arizona and Florida will pick up seats.” The Census Bureau report is expected to show that Iowa finally topped the three-million mark during 2010, up from 2.9 million residents in the 2000 count.
Still, Grassley says, while Iowa’s growing, it’s not growing rapidly enough. Grassley says, “It is distressing, probably most distressing for the legislature that has to figure out how to reapportion, probably stressing for the fact that one of the five congressmen won’t be here two years from now.”
Iowa also lost a seat in congress following the 1990 census. While Iowa will likely be reduced to just four Representatives in the House in 2012, Grassley notes we’ll still have two senators. “The make-up of the Senate is always the same, two senators from every state,” Grassley says. “That does protect rural America but the extent to which it gives more power in the House of Representatives to urban states, then obviously, it’s a net loss for rural America.”
Iowa has a one-of-a-kind process to redraw its congressional districts. The proposed new map would be created be members of a non-partisan panel who use a formula that’s only based on the populations in each of the state’s 99 counties.