Sixty-eight legislative districts in five states were either renamed or eliminated after the 2020 census

As state legislatures nationwide convene for their first sessions after the 2022 elections, 68 legislative districts in five states were either renamed or eliminated and no longer exist.

Forty-six of the 68 renamed or eliminated districts are in Vermont, one of three New England states—along with Massachusetts and New Hampshire—that include the town as part of the legislative district name. Those three states use district names that refer to both the town and a number, such as “New Hampshire House of Representatives Rockingham 17.” Population shifts in these states may result in one town or area needing more or fewer districts than after the last census, resulting in renamed or eliminated districts.

Here is a list of states and the number of renamed or eliminated legislative districts in each:

  1. Maryland (11)
  2. Massachusetts (1)
  3. North Dakota (2)
  4. New Hampshire (8)
  5. Vermont (46)

Maryland, New Hampshire, North Dakota, and Vermont are among nine states that use multi-member districts in their legislatures. This may also result in renaming during redistricting if legislators change a district from single member to multi-member, or vice versa. For example, when North Dakota redistricted after the 2020 census, it converted North Dakota House of Representatives District 4 from a multi-member district that elected two members into a District 4A and 4B that elected one member each. The same thing happened with House of Representatives District 9. The state’s other 45 multi-member House districts remained the same.

The total number of state legislators nationwide changed slightly, from 7,383 before the 2022 elections to 7,386, and the overall number of legislators remained the same in 49 states. Wyoming was the only state to change the size of its legislature after the 2020 census, creating one new Senate seat and two new House seats during redistricting. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Wyoming changed its number of legislators five times between 1964 and 1992.

It is relatively uncommon for states to change their numbers of legislators during redistricting. New York increased its number of state Senators by one after both the 2010 and 2000 censuses. Also, after 2000, two states—North Dakota and Rhode Island—reduced their number of legislators in both chambers.

After the 2020 census, West Virginia adopted a redistricting plan that changed the state House from having 47 single-member and 20 multi-member districts to having, instead, 100 single-member districts. While the number of districts changed, the number of seats remained the same at 100.