For years, elected officials on both sides of the political aisle and residents have argued that New York’s free spending and...more to the point...wasteful spending, would cost the state. High taxes are driving people out, they contend.

The price is New York will lose one seat in the state’s congressional delegation, bringing the total to 26, continuing the state’s federal tailspin since the 1940s.

New York will lose one of its 27 congressmen in the U.S. House of Representatives and is one of seven states to lose representation in Congress with the 2020 census data.

But in practical terms, the state actually will see a net population gain of 4.2%, according to the U.S. census, which is conducted and finalized every 10 years. The census determines, among many other aspects of American life, how many representatives each state has in the nation’s 435-seat House of Representatives.

The ironic development in this story is both comical and sad. If New York state had counted 89 more residents, it would not have lost a seat. The last of the 435 House seats went to Minnesota. If you didn’t believe that every vote counts, consider that missing just .0005% of the state population cost New York a congressional seat.

Exactly where the state population decline occurred has not been tracked through the data. Block-by-block census data will be released in August, with user-friendly, analyzed information released to help with states’ redistricting of elective district lines by Sept. 30.

It’s too late to do a census recount, but it’s time New Yorkers took the census seriously. The tiniest of details carry tremendous weight. If not counting a mere fraction of the state population can lose New York a seat in Congress, imagine the price tag of overlooking more people.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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