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By MARTIGA LOHN, Associated Press, Published December 23 2009

Minnesota could lose congressional seats, despite slight population growth

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Minnesota's population grew slightly in 2009 - but maybe not enough to keep all eight of its seats in Congress.

The U.S. Census Bureau released population estimates Wednesday that showed 35,000 more Minnesotans than a year ago. That was overshadowed by growth in western and southern states including Texas and North Carolina.

Reapportionment expert Kimball Brace says his projections show Minnesota among 10 or 11 states likely to lose congressional seats after the census. Brace says Minnesota is on the cusp, along with Missouri and Illinois. He says Ohio could lose two seats.

Those that could gain include Washington and South Carolina.

The projections from Virginia-based Election Data Services don't count military troops.

An analysis from the state demographer is expected later Wednesday.