HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP/KDKA) — For Pennsylvania, the official word that its population growth continues to lag behind the nation’s marks the 10th consecutive decade the Keystone State has lost clout in Congress and presidential contests.

The state has become one of the most important presidential battlegrounds but will have one fewer electoral vote to offer candidates in the next election — from 20 to 19 — and it will have one less representative in the U.S. House.

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The U.S. Census confirmed Pennsylvania’s loss of a seat Monday, but had yet to release figures on how Pennsylvania’s population changed from 2010 to last year.

Congressman Mike Doyle currently represents Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District. He said while it is not a surprise that Pennsylvania is losing a U.S. House seat, things will look different.

“The only thing that’s certain is I represent the 18th Congressional District, and that’s not the district I’ll be representing next year because there won’t be an 18th Congressional District,” said Doyle.

As for what district Doyle will be representing, that’s hard to say until redistricting takes place.

“It will be quite some time when the census data is put in such a form where they can draw maps,” said Doyle.

Even though Pennsylvania’s population grew in parts of the state, Doyle said other states are seeing an even bigger increase in people moving there.

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“A lot of people in the northeast, when they retire, are going to warmer climates,” said Doyle.

The lagging population growth relative to other states also could mean the state will see a reduced share of federal money for Medicaid, social programs and infrastructure.

That’s particularly bad news for the state’s growing transportation needs amid a deepening stalemate over financing its highways and public transit.

Political leaders like Jason Henry, the executive director with the Pennsylvania Democratic Party, said it’s something we shouldn’t worry too much about yet. He even believes the Keystone State will still be an important state regardless of the census news.

“I think voters in PA will still have a lot of attention paid to them by candidates running for president moving forward,” said Henry.

KDKA reached out to Republican Reps. Guy Reschenthaler and Mike Kelly, who both weren’t available for comment. KDKA never heard back from the Pennsylvania Republican Party.

For more information on how the redistricting process works, click here.

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