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Washington likely to gain 10th Congressional seat

The Washington State Secretary of State has announced that the Evergreen State is apparently in line for a 10th congressional district, according to analysts at Election Data Services, the firm hired to look at the pattern of population growth. The analysis, reflecting population estimates from the Census Bureau, says if the numbers hold up in the 2010 Census, as expected, Washington will take the 435th of 435 House seats.

The report also says six other states — Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, South Carolina and Utah — would also pick up a seat, and Texas would gain three. Eight states would lose single seats: Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. Ohio is projected to lose two seats.

The analysis indicates that Washington’s gain may be Oregon’s loss. Oregon was expected to get a new seat. But Washington will gain that seat by just a hair — by a margin of less than 25,000 citizens.

“The additional seat appears to have gone to its northern neighbor, the state of Washington,” the report says.

The Secretary of State’s office reminds Washingtonians that the result is not yet official and could change in the final census numbers next year, but for now, it looks like Washington will pick up a new congressional district.

The 8th District was acquired after the 1980 census, and the new 9th District after the 1990 census. Mercer Island has gained 700 people since the 2000 Census.

“This is very good news for Washington — a greater voice in the other Washington,” said Secretary of State Sam Reed.

The population increase — nearly 100,000 in the last year alone — shows that the state’s economy is diversified and is seen as a place of opportunity, he said.

2010 Census to begin in March

The official 2010 Census will begin in 60 days when survey forms are mailed out to all U.S. addresses.

In its promotional pitch, the U.S. Census Bureau characterizes the census as ‘a portrait of America’ and reminds residents that key funding allocations depend on an accurate count and picture of all who live here.

The agency has set April 1, 2010, as its target date for residents to mail in their surveys. After that and until July, census workers will visit households in person that have not returned their census forms. The agency is to deliver their final report to the president by December.

For more information, including sample surveys, history and data, go to 2010.census.gov/2010census.

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