Louisiana population grows enough to keep 6 US House seats


FILE – This March 19, 2020, file photo, shows an envelope containing a 2020 census letter mailed to a U.S. resident. On Wednesday, March 24, 2021, a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by the state of Ohio that tried to get the U.S. Census Bureau to provide data used for drawing congressional and legislative districts ahead of its planned release. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana’s population grew enough over the past decade that it won’t lose a congressional seat, but that growth still fell well below the increases seen in many other states and across the nation.

The latest U.S. census data released Monday showed Louisiana had more than 4.6 million people in the latest 2020 tally, about 124,000 more people than in 2010. The 2.7% growth rate was far short of the 7.4% population increase seen across the United States.

But it was enough for Louisiana to keep six seats in the U.S. House.

The state lost a congressional seat after the 2010 census because of anemic population growth at the time, and state lawmakers had to redraw the districts to shrink the U.S. House delegation from seven to six members.

More detailed census data will be released later in the year. After receiving that data, the Louisiana Legislature will call a special session to redraw the congressional, state Senate, state House and other district seats to account for any population shifts across the state.

State Senate President Page Cortez, a Lafayette Republican, said he expects that redistricting special session to be held early next year.

Louisiana remains ranked 25th among states in size of population, the same place it occupied 10 years earlier, according to the data.

California was the nation’s most populous state, while Wyoming had the fewest people. Utah was the fastest-growing state by percentage over the decade, but Texas had the largest population boom in sheer number of people, according to the census data.

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