SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (NEXSTAR) — The U.S. Census Bureau officially confirmed Illinois will lose one seat in Congress for the next ten years in a press conference on Monday afternoon.
Illinois has 18 seats in Congress now, down from 19 in the 2010s. Democrats in the state legislature, who hold a supermajority in both the House and Senate, are already in the process of drawing the new maps that will divide voters into 17 congressional districts.
A total of 13 states saw their apportionment change, altering which states gained or lost seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. Texas saw the largest gain with two new seats on The Hill.
Federal officials said the data state legislatures use for redistricting should be released by September 30th, which delays Illinois’ efforts to draw the new political maps before one of the deadlines in the state constitution.
At a separate press conference in Aurora on Monday morning, Governor Pritzker blamed the state’s long-running population decline on college students moving out of state.
“Actually, the largest portion of the population that was moving out were young people who were choosing to go to college out of state, because they couldn’t afford to go to college,” Pritzker said.
Illinois is one of just three states to lose population.
“I’m concerned about it,” the governor said. “I will say that, you know, over a decade, we’ve lost population. We’ve got to turn that around.”