BOSTON (WWLP) – Data from the 2020 census could cause a major shift in the congressional districts here in Massachusetts.
Every 10 years, the census takes a count of every resident in the country. Well, the 2020 census showed major shifts in population here in Massachusetts which means lawmakers will have to redraw district lines to make sure everyone’s voice is heard.
Western Massachusetts is at the center of the debate around redistricting because population levels vary pretty dramatically in the region. For instance, Springfield grew in population over the last decade adding close to 3 thousand new residents, but the cities of Holyoke, Pittsfield, North Adams, and Westfield lost hundreds of people.
“Based on the numbers alone, there’s going to be a significant displacement of people from the east to the west,” Secretary of State William Galvin said.
Now that the census data is in, lawmakers will have to even out population levels across the state. The challenge is that each congressional district will have to have 781,000 people in it and the effects of these changes could be felt at the local level.
There is some good news with this year’s census and that is that Massachusetts gets to keep all 9 of its seats in Congress because for the first time our population reached over 7 million residents.