BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — The 2020 Census showed the population of West Virginia lost nearly 65,000 people since 2010. The Census is conducted every 10 years to get a better understanding of the U.S. Population. Dr. Andrea Kent, an Associate Professor of Political Science at WVU Tech, said this, in turn, determines how many representatives each state gets in the U.S. House.
“What that means is after every Census, so once a decade we go through this process of reshuffling seats to account for the population distribution across the United States,” Kent explained.
With such a large population loss in the last 10 years, West Virginia will lose one of its representatives. The state will now only have two people in the U.S. House. 59News spoke with people living in the area, like Bob Eccles and Virginia Butcher, about the loss of another seat and what this means to them.
“It’s bad and I don’t see it turning around. I mean the population in the state is going down. I don’t think our politicians, with the idea of reducing income tax, I don’t think that’s a feasible alternative to get ore people to live here,” Eccles said.
“Very disheartening cause we are losing representation. There is a lot of different facets of life in West Virginia,” Butcher said.
Kent said the West Virginia Legislature will redraw the new districts once they receive all of the data.
“They will assign a committee, a bi-partisan committee with members from both the House of Delegates and the Senate will sit on this and they will basically write up a new district map,” Kent said.
West Virginia will additionally lose one vote in the Electoral College.