Census 2020: Why it matters

Reason #4: Census will determine Texas’ number of seats in House of Representatives

They say everything’s bigger in Texas, and that includes our population.

During the last census 10 years ago, Texas’ population was clocked at 25,145,561, and the U.S. Census Bureau projects that our state grew more than 15% between then and July 1, 2019. Of course, that’s only an estimate; the 2020 Census (now underway, as invitations have been sent out) will provide the official numbers for our state’s population size—and this count will be used to determine the amount of representation our state gets at the federal level.

In the House of Representatives, seats are divided among states according to their population sizes. That division (dubbed “apportionment” in Article One of the Constitution) is based wholly on data gathered once every 10 years during the U.S. Census.


States that experience significant growth stand to gain seats, while those that lag behind could lose seats—and if Texas responds, we could be among the winners. Projections by the political consulting firm Election Data Services found that Texas could gain two or even three seats this decade. By responding to the census and making sure that everyone in your household is counted, you can help make our state’s population growth official and determine our level of national representation for the next 10 years.

The U.S. Census Bureau began sending out invitations March 12 for citizens to respond to the 2020 Census. Follow the instructions to respond by mail, by phone or online before Aug. 12. The self-response deadline has been extended due to COVID-19. The bureau will send out multiple reminders and follow-up letters in the coming months, so if you missed your invitation or threw it out by mistake, don’t worry; just keep an eye out for future mail from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Shape your future. Start here.

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