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May 01, 2021

The U.S. Census Bureau released the first population counts from the 2020 Census.

At the same time, Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo delivered to the President population counts used for apportionment, along with the number of seats in the U.S. House of Representatives that will be allocated to each state based on the 2020 Census.

The population counts used for apportionment include the total resident population for each of the 50 states, plus a count of U.S. military and federal civilian employees living overseas (and their dependents living with them) who could be allocated to a home state.

The 2020 Census shows that the resident population of the United States, including the 50 states and the District of Columbia, was 331,449,281 as of April 1, 2020, an increase of 7.4% since the 2010 Census.

Apportionment calculations based on the 2020 Census show that Texas, Colorado, Florida, Montana, North Carolina, and Oregon will gain seats, while California, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia will lose seats.

What is Apportionment?

Apportionment is the process of distributing the 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives among the 50 states. Article 1, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution requires that apportionment happen every 10 years based on population counts from the decennial census.

The populations of the U.S. Island Areas — American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands—will not be included in this release, but resident population counts for those areas will be released later.

Calculating Apportionment

The population counts used for apportionment include the total resident population for each of the 50 states, plus a count of U.S. military and federal civilian employees living overseas (and their dependents living with them) who could be allocated to a home state.

For more information about who is included in the apportionment population counts, visit our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

When calculating apportionment, each of the 50 states gets one seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. The rest of the seats are distributed based on each state’s apportionment population.

Following the 1940 Census, Congress adopted the Method of Equal Proportions for calculating how the rest of the seats are distributed. It has been used every decade since.

The method first calculates values based on each state’s total population and the number of potential seats each state could receive. It then ranks those values to determine how many additional seats each state gets.

The video below describes the purpose and importance of apportionment. It also explains the apportionment process and how it’s calculated to ensure equal representation for all.

 

 

A recently published blog describes the calculation process in more detail.

The video below describes the purpose and importance of apportionment. It also explains the apportionment process and how it’s calculated to ensure equal representation for all.

2020 Census Apportionment Results

The 2020 Census apportionment population for the 50 states is 331,108,434. The apportionment population is the sum of the resident population for the 50 states (330,759,736) and the overseas population for the 50 states (348,698).

Apportionment Population = Resident Population + Overseas Population

331,108,434                       330,759,736                     348,698

Based on the 2020 Census apportionment population counts, 7 House seats will shift among 13 states. One state will gain two seats (Texas), and 5 states will gain one seat (Colorado, Florida, Montana, North Carolina, and Oregon). Seven states will lose one seat (California, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia).

California, Texas, Florida, and New York are the four states that will have the largest number of representatives, and Alaska, Delaware, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming are the states that will have only one representative each.

The average congressional district population size will increase. Each member of the House of Representatives will represent an average of 761,169 people based on the 2020 Census. This will be an increase of 50,402 (7.1% increase) compared with the average of 710,767 people per representative based on the 2010 Census.

Delaware will have the largest average district size (990,837), while Montana will have the smallest average district size (542,704).

2020 Census Resident Population

The 2020 Census resident population of 331,449,281 includes all people living in the 50 states and the District of Columbia as of April 1, 2020.

Of the U.S. resident population, 37.2% (123,425,864) lived in the five most populous states in 2020 and over a quarter (27.2%) were in the three largest states: California, Texas, and Florida (Table 1).

The five least-populous states had a combined resident population of 3,619,080. Those five states – Wyoming, Vermont, Alaska, North Dakota, and South Dakota – made up 1.0% of the U.S. resident population.

Utah was the fastest-growing state, followed by Idaho, Texas, North Dakota, Nevada (Table 2). The five states with the slowest population growth, all under 2.5%, were: Connecticut, Michigan, Ohio, Wyoming, and Pennsylvania. North Dakota, with one of the smallest resident populations (779,094), had one of the largest percent increases in population size (15.8%). Illinois, Mississippi, and West Virginia were the states that lost population.

2020 Census Overseas Population

The 2020 Census overseas population for the United States, including the 50 states and the District of Columbia, was 350,686. This included military or civilian employees of the U.S. government who were stationed or assigned outside the United States on April 1, 2020, as well as their dependents living with them outside the United States.

U.S. government agencies and departments provided the Census Bureau with counts of their employees and their dependents living overseas by the employees’ home state listed in agency administrative records.

The five states with the largest overseas populations had a combined 41.7% (146,368) of the total overseas population. Three of the states with the largest overseas population were also the states with the largest resident population: California, Texas, and Florida (Table 3).

The five states with the smallest overseas population had a combined overseas population of 3,575, or 1.0% of the total overseas population. Three of the states with the smallest overseas population, Vermont, North Dakota, and Wyoming, were also some of the states with the smallest resident population.

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