Today the U.S. Census Bureau announced that Arizona would retain its 9 Congressional seats, bucking widespread expectations of Arizona receiving a 10th Congressional district.
Up until this decision, it was a common expectation among journalists, politicians, business leaders, activists, and politicos that Arizona would be apportioned a 10th Congressional district. After all, Arizona gained around 700,000 residents since the 2010 census, going from a state of 6.4 million to 7.1 million.
Arizona will now average roughly 795,000 constituents per Congressional district, bucking the 2010 national average of 710,767 constituents per Congressional district.
This reapportionment will impact the federal distribution of aid over the course of the next ten years. Programs ranging from the School Breakfast Program to the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women,
Infants, and Children which rely on federal funding have their funds distributed to every state according to U.S. Census data.
The state had been projected to have 7.2 million residents by 2019 and 7.3 million by 2020, but it missed the mark according to the final Census numbers.
In short, Arizona is growing rapidly but not as fast as the Census had predicted. At least according to Census numbers, which can undercount the real population of states, particularly among minority communities.