Population: 250 Million And Counting

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The numbers are finally in, but now come the words. The Census Bureau announced last week that on April 1, the U.S. population was 249,632,692 — about 10% higher than the 1980 count. The tally's completeness was challenged by Ohio Representative Thomas Sawyer, whose subcommittee oversees the Census. "The question is not whether they counted everyone — they haven't — but how close they came to an accurate count," he said. Other squawks came, quite predictably, from Northeastern and Midwestern Governors whose states will lose federal funds and congressional seats because of population shifts to the West and the South. The government will decide by July whether revisions are justified. Last week's biggest winner was California (which will gain seven House seats, for a record total of 52), because its population leaped 26.1%. Next were Florida (four more seats) and Texas (three more). The biggest losers were New York (minus three), Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Illinois (each minus two).