Overlooked in yesterday’s news about the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ordering a new Congressional district map was the fact that—regardless of the outcome of that case—Pennsylvania will likely lose a congressional seat after the next census.
Although the latest census population estimates show Pennsylvania passed Illinois and become the fifth largest state—because Illinois lost population again last year—Pennsylvania remains a slow growth state.
Indeed, Pennsylvania lost 25,793 residents in net state-to-state migration last year. That’s 500 residents lost every week to other states.
As a result, Pennsylvania is expected to lose yet another seat after then next census (in contrast, Texas is expected to gain three). Pennsylvania would have 17 seats in the US House; less than half its peak of 36 members of Congress.
Changing the redistricting map does nothing to address this trend of stagnant growth, and of families leaving Pennsylvania for other states.
Where are Pennsylvanians moving? The map below of IRS data shows inbound and outbound moves. In short, Pennsylvania gains residents leaving high-tax New York and New Jersey, and loses residents to almost every other state.
If lawmakers want to stop our congressional districts from moving to Texas, they should tackle our tax and regulatory burden and get our economy back on track.