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New Jersey holds at 12 congressional seats

Watch for accuracy of estimates: after 2010 Census, Lakewood exceeded projection by 30%

By David Wildstein, April 26 2021 11:25 am

This story was updated at 3:29 PM and again at 3:38 PM.

With a population of 9,288,994, New Jersey will remain at 12 congressional seats for the next decade following the 2020 U.S. Census, said Dr. Ron S. Jarmin, the acting director of the U.S. Census Bureau.

There had not been any signals that New Jersey would lose a House seats.

“All this time we were actually on the bubble for an additional House seat,” said Micah Rasmussen, the director of the Rebovich Center for New Jersey Politics at Rider University, on twitter.   “Albeit on the far end of the bubble.”

The total population turned out to be 406,804 more than the U.S. Census’ 2019 estimate.

The ideal size of a congressional district will be 774,082, up from 732,658 after last census. Each district needs to add 41,424 people.

For legislative redistricting, the ideal size will be 232,225 — up 13,428 from the 217,797 ideal size. Legislative districts must be +/- 10% of that total, although a decade ago the Legislative Apportionment Commission sought to stay within the +/- 5% range.

The state stands pat at at twelve congressional seats and fourteen electoral votes after losing House seats in 1982, 1992 and 2012.

New Jersey’s population increased by 5.7%, slightly more than the 4.1% average in the North East.

Texas will gain two seats, with Colorado, Florida, Montana, North Carolina and Oregon will each pick up one seat.  New York, Pennsylvania, California, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia are losing seats.

The real number to watch is the U.S. Census’ July 2019 population estimate of New Jersey’s population: 8,882,190.   That would represent an increase of just slightly more than 1% from the 8,791,884 in the last count.

In 2009, the U.S. Census estimated Lakewood’s population at 71,359.  The final count after the 2010 census turned out to be 92,843 – 30% higher than the projection.  Lakewood’s 2019 estimate is 106,300.

Jarmin said that data to begin redistricting will be delivered to states by August 16, with all data provided by September 30.

“The Census results we received today are a testament to what we’ve known all along: that New Jersey is the best state in the nation to live, work, and raise a family. Not only did we gain nearly half a million residents, but we also ensured that our representation in Washington would be unchanged,” said Gov. Phil Murphy.  “Whether it’s having the number one public schools in the nation, investing in world-class transit and infrastructure, or building an economy that works for every family, we are making investments that will support our state and people for the next decade and beyond.”

New Jersey has gone from fifteen House seats in 1980 to twelve now.

Ten years ago, New Jersey lost a congressional seat.  That triggered a primary between two Democratic incumbents, Bill Pascrell (D-Paterson) and Steve Rothman (D-Fair Lawn).

After the state’s House delegation was reduced by one in 1992, Rep. Bernard Dwyer (D-Edison) retired rather than race Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-Long Branch) in a Democratic primary.

New Jersey lost a seat after the 1980 U.S. Census.  Rep. Millicent Fenwick (R-Bernardsville) was giving up her seat in 1982 to seek the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate, so her Somerset-Morris-Essex seat was eliminated.

This story was updated at 3:29 PM and at 9:12 PM with comment from Murphy. 

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