Population growth in Massachusetts is outpacing that of other New England states, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, and Secretary of State William Galvin is now predicting that the state should be able to hold on to all nine seats in Congress with an accurate head count in 2020.
New data released on Wednesday showed that the population in Massachusetts grew by 38,903 people to 6.9 million between July 1, 2017 and July 1, 2018. The 0.6 percent growth rate equaled the population growth in the country, and ranked Massachusetts 22nd among all other states and first in New England.
Galvin said that while the state continues to lose residents to other states, those loses are more than offset by international immigration. "These numbers show how important it is that we ensure every person in Massachusetts is counted in the 2020 Census, whether or not they are United States citizens," Galvin said.
After the 2010 Census, Massachusetts lost one seat in Congress. Galvin said the state should be able to avoid a repeat of that with an accurate population count.
"The population numbers make it clear that Massachusetts should retain all of our congressional representation, as long as we have a fair and accurate count," Galvin said. "I will continue to pursue all legal options to prevent the current administration from inserting questions about citizenship status into the 2020 Census, in their effort to shortchange states like ours by dissuading our immigrant population from being counted."
The U.S. Census Bureau reported that Nevada and Idaho were the fastest growing states at 2.1 percent, while nine states lost population, including New York, Illinois, West Virginia, Louisiana, Hawaii, Mississippi, Alaska, Connecticut, and Wyoming.
In New England, New Hampshire grew at a 0.5 percent clip, followed by Maine and Vermont at 0.3 percent and Rhode Island at 0.1 percent. Connecticut lost 1,215 people, essentially stagnant from the previous year.