HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – 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.

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.

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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.

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

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