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Connecticut Shows Slow Growth In Latest U.S. Census Report

Joe Amon
Connecticut Public

The United States Census Bureau released congressional apportionment numbers Monday, which show that Connecticut’s population grew slightly over a 10-year period. Those results mean the state will continue to have five representatives in the U.S. House. 

Numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau show Connecticut’s population grew by 0.9% from 2010 to 2020, bringing the total population to 3,608,298.

That makes Connecticut the slowest-growing state in the Northeast and the fourth-slowest-growing state nationwide.

The House of Representatives’ 435 seats are divided among states based on these apportionment population numbers, which means as state populations grow or shrink, their representation in Congress can change. 

The release of the apportionment numbers Monday afternoon comes almost four months later than planned because of delays caused by the pandemic.

Now that the numbers are out, each state with multiple seats will undertake the task of establishing congressional districts for the purposes of electing representatives. 

In Connecticut, state law requires congressional and legislative districts to be redrawn every 10 years. It’s work that will be spearheaded by the bipartisan Reapportionment Committee, which met for the first time on Monday and will eventually submit redistricting plans to the state legislature.

Senate Republican Minority Leader Kevin Kelly was selected as one of the co-chairs of the committee, along with Democratic state Rep. Gregg Haddad. 

“This is an important committee, we do it on a bipartisan basis,” Haddad said. “There are equal numbers of Democrats and Republicans on this committee. There are also equal numbers of House members and senators on this committee.”

A similar panel is assembled every decade, when new population data is released after the census. 

The last time a reapportionment committee met, the panel’s work ended up before the state Supreme Court. Democrats wanted to keep the shape of the border between the 1st and 3rd congressional districts to the north and west of Hartford, but Republicans wanted to redraw the districts. 

The court named a special master, who made minor changes.

Across the United States, apportionment populations released Monday consist of the resident population of the 50 states (excluding Washington, D.C.) and also include overseas military and federal civilian employees (and their cohabiting dependents), who get allocated to their home state. 

The Census Bureau said the population of the United States stands at 331,449,281. That represents a 7.4% increase over the last decade, and it’s the second-slowest population growth ever. 

This story contains information from the Associated Press. Connecticut Public Radio’s Matt Dwyer contributed to this report.

Copyright 2021 Connecticut Public

Patrick Skahill is a reporter at WNPR. He covers science and the environment. Prior to becoming a reporter, he was the founding producer of WNPR's The Colin McEnroe Show, which began in 2009. Patrick's reporting has appeared on NPR's Morning Edition, Here & Now, and All Things Considered. He has also reported for the Marketplace Morning Report. He can be reached by phone at 860-275-7297 or by email: pskahill@ctpublic.org.