There’s no doubt Tennessee is growing. But the growth is not enough to add a new House district this decade, according to U.S. Census data released this week.
Six out of the top 10 states in numeric growth from 2018 to 2019 are in the South. Tennessee is one of them.
“The population of this country is leaving the Northeast and the Upper Midwest and heading south and heading west,” said Kimball Brace, the president of Election Data Services, a Virginia-based political consulting firm that specializes in redistricting.
He said that southward migration has been going on since the 1930s.
As the U.S. Census prepares to survey millions of homes this year, newly released estimates show that over the last year, Tennessee’s population grew by about 58,000 people.
That’s significant, but Brace said the current estimates show that’s not enough to create a new congressional seat. In fact, Tennessee seems to be falling short by about 336,000 people.
“That’s a long way to go,” Brace said.
By comparison, Alabama seems to be at risk of losing a congressional seat but is only about 10,000 people away from keeping it, Brace said. California, Michigan, Illinois, New York, Minnesota, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island are running with the same luck.
Meanwhile, Arizona, Montana, Colorado, Florida, Oregon and North Carolina are expected to gain a seat, while Texas could gain two seats.
Last time Tennessee had a 10th Congressional District was in the 1950s. Brace says that Tennessee appears to be is safe from losing a congressional seat, but it could happen if not enough people complete this year’s census.