New York State's slow population growth in the past 10 years means it will lose two seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, according to new census data, and some analysts believe one of those seats could come from Long Island.
The first data from the 2010 Census, released Tuesday, shows New York's population at 19,378,102, a 2.1 percent increase over the 2000 Census. That growth lagged behind faster-growing areas in the South and West.
New York's delegation will sink to its lowest number of congressional representatives in 200 years. The current 29-member delegation will shrink to 27 - the same number as in 1813, when there were only 181 total congressional seats compared with today's 435.
Congressional districts are reapportioned every 10 years based on new census population data. Fewer seats mean New York will have less clout in Washington, analysts said.
"It doesn't mean you have no influence. It just means you have less influence," said Larry Sabato, a political scientist at the University of Virginia.
He added that New York, while still among the top five states in electoral votes, has seen that number drop from 45 in 1960 to the 27 it will have in the 2012 presidential election.
Analysts were divided Tuesday on where New York would eliminate seats, though most agreed one would likely be Republican and one Democratic.
But others said the Democratic seat could come from Long Island - with most focusing on the seat held by Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-Mineola). Republican consultant Michael Dawidziak of Bohemia said one way to resolve the problem would be McCarthy retiring.
Democratic consultant Hank Sheinkopf of Manhattan said he expects one of the seats to come from Nassau County. "Somebody's got to go, and it will probably be in Nassau County," he said.
McCarthy, in her eighth two-year term, has denied she will retire and has already started fundraising for the 2012 campaign.
"The population on Long Island has risen significantly in the past nine years," she said. "I will fight to ensure that Long Island has the appropriate representation based on the most recent data that is available."
Census five-year survey data released last week showed Long Island's population at 2.9 million compared with 2.7 million in the 2000 Census.
The other Democratic congressman whose district includes part of Nassau, Gary Ackerman, (D-Roslyn Heights), said he has no intention of stepping aside and is already raising funds for the next congressional race - his 16th. "I'm armed and ready to go," he said.