Calendar timing means virus deaths won’t be seen in census

The human loss from the pandemic will not be reflected in the U.S. population count used for divvying up congressional seats among the states. That could save a congressional seat for New York but cost Alabama one. The pandemic’s start and the April 1 reference date used for the nation’s head count were just weeks apart. Because of that, the loss of life from the virus won’t show up in the 2020 census numbers. New York is slotted to get the last of 435 congressional seats, based on population estimates. If the reference date were just a few months later, Alabama would get that last seat.