New York was one of seven states to lose a House seat and Electoral College vote after the 2020 census count, and, boy, was it a close call.
The Empire State was neck-in-neck with Minnesota in the race to avoid a seat loss, but New York needed 89 more people and Minnesota ultimately kept its delegation intact (if 26 fewer Minnesotans sent in their information, the story would have been different, as well). That's the narrowest population margin by which the last seat in Congress was decided since at least 1940, surpassing a difference of 231 in 1970.
The news prompted many people to point out the importance of filling out census forms, though others grimly noted that the census is a count of the population as of April 1, 2020. At that point, New York, and especially New York City, was the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States and had already reported 447 COVID-19 deaths.
So here’s a morbid thought: the Census is a count of population as of April 1, 2020.
By that date, New York had reported 447 #COVID19 deaths in the U.S.’s first big wave.
As of then, Minnesota had 17 #COVID19 deaths.
Minnesota got a congressional seat over NY by 89 people.
— David H. Montgomery (@dhmontgomery) April 26, 2021