Large-scale population shifts can have all sorts of effects including the loss of seats in Congress:
The Census Bureau reports that population growth has shifted to the South and the result is that the 11 states that make up the Northeast are being bled dry of representation in Washington…
Deep in a recent report, for example, the American Legislative Exchange Council tabulated how the drop in population relative to the rest of the nation cut the region’s power in Washington. While the states from Pennsylvania to Maine had 141 House members in 1950, they are down to 85 today, a drop of some 40 percent.
California and Texas combined have more House representatives..
“This result is one of the most dramatic demographic shifts in American history. This migration is shifting the power center of America right before our very eyes. The movement isn’t random or even about weather or resources. Economic freedom is the magnet and states ignore this force at their own peril,” said the report.
The last quote is particularly interesting as the population center of the United States has indeed kept moving further and further west (and a little south). Yet, even with the loss of seats from Northeastern states, New York City is still the #1 global city. Additionally, this region is close to the city of Washington D.C. which seems to be doing just fine in terms of wealthy counties and communities and a growing presence among large cities. Does having less seats in Congress necessarily mean the Northeast has lost 40% of its influence in American life? How many lobbyists are located in the Northeast compared to other places? Where are the institutions of higher learning from which many politicians and other elites come from? Where are the large media organizations?
It would also be interesting to see where these Northeast house seats have been lost. Is it primarily from large cities or more from mid-sized cities and more rural areas that have had steady population losses? Is this more of a Rust Belt phenomenon that affects cities like Buffalo, Rochester, and Worcester more than Boston, New York, and Philadelphia?