United States Congressional apportionment

From Academic Kids

The membership of the United States House of Representatives changes each decade following the decennial United States Census. Each state receives a number of delegates to Congress based upon its population. This number also determines the number of electors in the presidential elections, which is two more for each state.

Contents

House size

In 1911, Public Law 62-5 set the membership of the U.S. House at 433; with the subsequent admission of Arizona and New Mexico as states, membership increased to 435, where it has remained (except for a brief period from 1959 to 1963 following the admission of Alaska and Hawaii, during which House membership was 437).

Apportionment methods

Apart from the fact that the number of delegates is at least one for each state, as required by the Constitution, this number is in principal proportional to population (equalizing the size of congressional districts nationwide). To arrive at whole numbers, the Method of Equal Proportions is used. The method first assigns one seat to each state, and then assigns each additional seat successively to the state with the highest "priority value", a value for the population per seat. For the latter the question would arise whether the current number of seats or one more should be taken. This is solved by taking an intermediate value, the geometric mean of the two. The resulting priority value is the geometric mean of the current population per seat and the population per seat in the case the state gets the extra seat.

Computing for every state and any number of seats the priority value, and sorting the list in descending order of the resulting values, the first 385 are applicable (seats 51-435) (see Census 2000 Ranking of Priority Values (http://www.census.gov/population/censusdata/apportionment/00pvalues.txt)).

The Equal Proportions method has been the fifth distinct method of determining congressional apportionment since the adoption of the United States Constitution. The size of the Congressional delegations from the thirteen original states were assigned by the Constitution for use until the completion of the first U.S. Census. Legislation admitting new states into the union has also designated the number of representatives of states until the time of the next census.

North Carolina and Utah, 2000 Apportionment

Under this method, the 435th seat in Congress granted as a result of the 2000 Census was the 13th granted to North Carolina; the state of Utah failed to obtain a 4th seat by only 857 residents. Utah officials took legal action in an attempt to have this seat reassigned; they contended that the population of Utah was undercounted and that the population of North Carolina was overcounted in several ways:

  • The relatively high number of Mormon residents in Utah included over 11,000 who were left uncounted because they were performing missionary work outside the U.S.; North Carolina's figures included a number of overseas military personnel, but they were accurately counted through military channels. Federal law, however only allows for military or government personnel stationed overseas to be counted in the census.
  • A higher number of vacation homes in North Carolina meant that census officials who could not contact a home's residents or owners "imputed" more residents than actually existed. The United States Supreme Court ruled (Utah v. Evans) in 2002 that the procedure of imputation was properly applied.
  • The Census Bureau admitted to overcounting the student population of a dormitory at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill by over 2,000 students; although this was not a large enough error to tip the seat to the Utah delegation, it meant that Utah was, according to revised figures, only about 80 residents short of earning an additional Congressional seat.

A compromise measure was introduced to Congress by Rep. Tom Davis of Virginia, but did not reach a floor vote; it would have temporarily increased the size of Congress to 437 seats until 2010, granting an additional seat to Utah and a voting seat to the District of Columbia.

State Congressional Delegation Size

1789-1910

  1789 1790 1800 1810 1820 1830 1840 1850 1860 1870 1880 1890 1900 1910
Alabama -- -- -- 1 3 5 7 7 6 8 8 9 10 10
Arizona -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- 1
Arkansas -- -- -- -- -- 1 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 7
California -- -- -- -- -- -- 2 2 3 4 6 7 8 11
Colorado -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- 1 1 2 3 4
Connecticut 5 7 7 7 6 6 6 4 4 4 4 4 5 5
Delaware 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
Florida -- -- -- -- -- -- 1 1 1 2 2 2 3 4
Georgia 3 2 4 6 7 9 8 8 7 9 10 11 11 12
Idaho -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- 1 1 1 2
Illinois -- -- -- 1 1 3 7 9 14 19 20 22 25 27
Indiana -- -- -- 1 3 7 10 11 11 13 13 13 13 13
Iowa -- -- -- -- -- -- 1 2 6 9 11 11 11 11
Kansas -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- 1 3 7 8 8 8
Kentucky -- 2 6 10 12 13 10 10 9 10 11 11 11 11
Louisiana -- -- -- 1 3 3 4 4 5 6 6 6 7 8
Maine -- -- -- 7* 7 8 7 6 5 5 4 4 4 4
Maryland 6 8 9 9 9 8 6 6 5 6 6 6 6 6
Massachusetts 8 14 17 13* 13 12 10 11 10 11 12 13 14 16
Michigan -- -- -- -- -- 1 3 4 6 9 11 12 12 13
Minnesota -- -- -- -- -- -- -- 1 2 3 5 7 9 10
Mississippi -- -- -- 1 1 2 4 5 5 6 7 7 8 8
Missouri -- -- -- -- 1 2 5 7 9 13 14 15 16 16
  1789 1790 1800 1810 1820 1830 1840 1850 1860 1870 1880 1890 1900 1910
Montana -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- 1 1 1 2
Nebraska -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- 1 1 3 6 6 6
Nevada -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- 1 1 1 1 1 1
New Hampshire 3 4 5 6 6 5 4 3 3 3 2 2 2 2
New Jersey 4 5 6 6 6 6 5 5 5 7 7 8 10 12
New Mexico -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- 1
New York 6 10 17 27 34 40 34 33 31 33 34 34 37 43
North Carolina 5 10 12 13 13 13 9 8 7 8 9 9 10 10
North Dakota -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- 1 1 2 3
Ohio -- -- 1 6 14 19 21 21 19 20 21 21 21 22
Oklahoma -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- 5 8
Oregon -- -- -- -- -- -- -- 1 1 1 1 2 2 3
Pennsylvania 8 13 18 23 26 28 24 25 24 27 28 30 32 36
Rhode Island 1 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 3
South Carolina 5 6 8 9 9 9 7 6 4 5 7 7 7 7
South Dakota -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- 2 2 2 3
Tennessee -- 1 3 6 9 13 11 10 8 10 10 10 10 10
Texas -- -- -- -- -- -- 2 2 4 6 11 13 16 18
Utah -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- 1 1 2
Vermont -- 2 4 6 5 5 4 3 3 3 2 2 2 2
Virginia 10 19 22 23 22 21 15 13 11 9** 10 10 10 10
Washington -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- 1 2 3 5
West Virginia -- -- -- - -- -- -- -- -- 3** 4 4 5 6
Wisconsin -- -- -- -- -- -- 2 3 6 8 9 10 11 11
Wyoming -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- 1 1 1 1
  1789 1790 1800 1810 1820 1830 1840 1850 1860 1870 1880 1890 1900 1910
U.S. House Total: 65 106 142 186 213 242 232 237 243 293 332 357 391 435

1920-present

See also the list of states ordered by number of electors in the presidential elections, which is two more for each state.

  1920 1930 1940 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000
Alabama 10 9 9 9 8 7 7 7 7
Alaska -- -- -- 1 1 1 1 1 1
Arizona 1 1 2 2 3 4 5 6 8
Arkansas 7 7 7 6 4 4 4 4 4
California 11 20 23 30 38 43 45 52 53
Colorado 4 4 4 4 4 5 6 6 7
Connecticut 5 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 5
Delaware 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
Florida 4 5 6 8 12 15 19 23 25
Georgia 12 10 10 10 10 10 10 11 13
Hawaii -- -- -- 1 2 2 2 2 2
Idaho 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2
Illinois 27 27 26 25 24 24 22 20 19
Indiana 13 12 11 11 11 11 10 10 9
Iowa 11 9 8 8 7 6 6 5 5
Kansas 8 7 6 6 5 5 5 4 4
Kentucky 11 9 9 8 7 7 7 6 6
Louisiana 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 7 7
Maine 4 3 3 3 2 2 2 2 2
Maryland 6 6 6 7 8 8 8 8 8
Massachusetts 16 15 14 14 12 12 11 10 10
Michigan 13 17 17 18 19 19 18 16 15
Minnesota 10 9 9 9 8 8 8 8 8
Mississippi 8 7 7 6 5 5 5 5 4
Missouri 16 13 13 11 10 10 9 9 9
  1920 1930 1940 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000
Montana 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 1 1
Nebraska 6 5 4 4 3 3 3 3 3
Nevada 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 3
New Hampshire 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2
New Jersey 12 14 14 14 15 15 14 13 13
New Mexico 1 1 2 2 2 2 3 3 3
New York 43 45 45 43 41 39 34 31 29
North Carolina 10 11 12 12 11 11 11 12 13
North Dakota 3 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 1
Ohio 22 24 23 23 24 23 21 19 18
Oklahoma 8 9 8 6 6 6 6 6 5
Oregon 3 3 4 4 4 4 5 5 5
Pennsylvania 36 34 33 30 27 25 23 21 19
Rhode Island 3 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2
South Carolina 7 6 6 6 6 6 6 6 6
South Dakota 3 2 2 2 2 2 1 1 1
Tennessee 10 9 10 9 9 8 9 9 9
Texas 18 21 21 22 23 24 27 30 32
Utah 2 2 2 2 2 2 3 3 3
Vermont 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
Virginia 10 9 9 10 10 10 10 11 11
Washington 5 6 6 7 7 7 8 9 9
West Virginia 6 6 6 6 5 4 4 3 3
Wisconsin 11 10 10 10 10 9 9 9 8
Wyoming 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
  1920 1930 1940 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000

Notes

Delegate counts in italics represent temporary counts assigned by Congress until the next decennial census or by the U.S. Constitution in 1789 until the first U.S. Census.

Elections held in the year of a census use the apportionment determined by the previous census.

* The state of Maine was formed out of portions of Massachusetts in 1820.

** The state of West Virginia was formed out of portions of Virginia in 1863.

See also

External links

Congressional Apportionment by the U.S. Census Bureau (http://www.census.gov/population/www/censusdata/apportionment.html)

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