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A Proposal for Apportioning the House

  • Michael G. Neubauer (a1) and Margo G. Gartner (a2)

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The year 2012 will mark a full century in which the size of the House of Representatives has held constant at 435. The 1910 census determined the population of the United States to be 92,228,496, which amounted to an average of one representative for every 212,000 persons. Following the 1910 census, Congress passed Public Law 62-5, which fixed the House size at 435. The law has never been repealed. In 2000, the census showed the population of the United States to be 298,757,310, or about 300 million. Consequently, in 2000, there was one representative for every 687,000 persons counted in the census, a more than threefold increase in district size since 1910. The average district size today is already greater than the populations of the four least populous states. According to population estimates, this average will further increase to 712,000 in 2010 and over 1 million by the middle of the twenty-first century. The 2010 census offers a great opportunity to renew debate about an increase in the size of the House.

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References

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Balinski, Michel L., and Young, H. Peyton. 2001. Fair Representation: Meeting the Ideal of One Man, One Vote. 2nd ed.Washington, DC: Brookings Institute.
Hamilton, Alexander, Madison, James, and Jay, John. 2008. The Federalist Papers. New York: Oxford University Press.

A Proposal for Apportioning the House

  • Michael G. Neubauer (a1) and Margo G. Gartner (a2)

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