Nevada Picks Up Seat in Congress

Listen to the story

Nevada Picks Up Seat in Congress

Census

US Census Bureau

A snapshot of an interactive census map shows Nevada gaining its 3rd house seat from the 2000 Census.

Apportionment data will be available from the US Census Bureau after 8am Pacific time Tuesday, 12/21/10.

Click here to see the data.

In the 2000 census, Nevada was the biggest booming state in the country. Nobody else came close to our population growth of 66%. This time we're still number one, but that growth rate slowed to 35%.

The last couple years of this waning decade have proven quite the hangover, with the population starting to shrink. But still, Nevada's a lot more populous than it was 10 years ago.

Nevada grew enough to snag a fourth seat in the US House of representatives.

Secretary of State Ross Miller says it's hard to put a price tag on the influence that buys Nevada.

Miller: "That would be a seat that in all likelihood would sit on important committees. Importantly as we approach the 2012 race, it will also mean another vote for the electoral college. So it has implications for the presidential race and certainly as a battleground state, that's going to enhance our status even further."

This spring, the census results will be used by the Nevada legislature to draw new districts at the state and federal level.

The new seat in congress will likely result in 3 congressional districts in and around the Las Vegas area and one representing everybody else in the state.

But with all the buzz over seats in congress, it's important not to lose sight of the growth rate and Nevada's raw share of the US population.

Remember all those ads urging you to fill out your census form so Nevada gets its share of federal dollars?

Miller: "You know, congress will work off those numbers for the next ten years."

Having those numbers captured now will certainly help cushion Nevada if the population continues to shrink for the next few years.