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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A political consulting firm says an ongoing decline in West Virginia's population could eventually threaten one of its three U.S. House seats.
The Charleston Gazette-Mail reported Election Data Services says the latest dip in population supports speculation that West Virginia could lose a congressional seat by 2022 — after the 2020 census.
U.S. Census Bureau data show the state's population as of July 1 was 1.81 million, down from a revised estimate of 1.82 million the same time a year ago. It's the fifth straight drop in West Virginia's population.
The reports says West Virginia would need to attract about 19,500 new residents before the 2020 census to keep the seat, assuming the population in all other states remains steady.
There are 435 voting members in the House of Representatives.
Information from: The Charleston Gazette-Mail, http://wvgazettemail.com.