How the 2020 U.S. Census Shifted Congressional Seats

| |

Every ten years, the U.S. Census Bureau launches a country-wide census that attempts to count everyone living in the country, regardless of residency. In addition to use those populations numbers to understanding the changing population geography of the United States and local funding, those populations numbers (which also includes military living overseas) are also used by the U.S. Census Bureau to determine the number of House of Representatives seats each state gets.

How does the U.S. Census Decide How Many Seats Each State Gets?

Since 1941, the U.S. Census Bureau uses a calculation known as the Equal Proportions Method. This calculation assigns a “priority” value to seats in the House of Representatives and then uses a multiplier to determine the number of seats a particular state gets based on its population.

What is the Minimum Number of Seats a State Gets?

Every state is guaranteed a minimum of one seat each. There are a total of 485 seats in the House of Representative. The first 50 are assigned, one to each state. The remaining 385 seats are then delegated based on the Equal Proportions Method.

Based on the 2020 U.S. Census, there are six states that have only one House of Representative each:

  • Alaska
  • Delaware
  • North Dakota
  • South Dakota
  • Vermont
  • Wyoming

How did the Number of Seats Per State Change with the 2020 Census?

There were seven states that lost a seat and seven states that gained a seat with the 2020 Census.

The states that lost a seat each were:

  • California
  • New York
  • Illinois
  • Pennsylvania
  • Ohio
  • Michigan
  • West Virginia

There were five states that gained a seat with the 2020 Census:

  • Florida
  • North Carolina
  • Colorado
  • Oregon
  • Montana

Texas gained two seats with the 2020 Census.

Interactive Map: House of Representatives Apportionments

You can also head over the the U.S. Census site to view its interactive map that lets you see how the number of seats for the House of Representative has changed for each state since 1910. Click on each decennial census year to see which states won and lost seats and how the population represented by each state has changed over the years.

Screenshot from the U.S. Census Historical Apportionment Data Map

Table: Apportionment Population and Number of Representatives by State: 2020 U.S. Census

STATEAPPORTIONMENT POPULATION, (APRIL 1, 2020)NUMBER OF APPORTIONED REPRESENTATIVES BASED ON 2020 CENSUSCHANGE FROM 2010 CENSUS APPORTIONMENT
Alabama5,030,05370
Alaska736,08110
Arizona7,158,92390
Arkansas3,013,75640
California39,576,75752-1
Colorado5,782,17181
Connecticut3,608,29850
Delaware990,83710
Florida21,570,527281
Georgia10,725,274140
Hawaii1,460,13720
Idaho1,841,37720
Illinois12,822,73917-1
Indiana6,790,28090
Iowa3,192,40640
Kansas2,940,86540
Kentucky4,509,34260
Louisiana4,661,46860
Maine1,363,58220
Maryland6,185,27880
Massachusetts7,033,46990
Michigan10,084,44213-1
Minnesota5,709,75280
Mississippi2,963,91440
Missouri6,160,28180
Montana1,085,40721
Nebraska1,963,33330
Nevada3,108,46240
New Hampshire1,379,08920
New Jersey9,294,493120
New Mexico2,120,22030
New York20,215,75126-1
North Carolina10,453,948141
North Dakota779,70210
Ohio11,808,84815-1
Oklahoma3,963,51650
Oregon4,241,50061
Pennsylvania13,011,84417-1
Rhode Island1,098,16320
South Carolina5,124,71270
South Dakota887,77010
Tennessee6,916,89790
Texas29,183,290382
Utah3,275,25240
Vermont643,50310
Virginia8,654,542110
Washington7,715,946100
West Virginia1,795,0452-1
Wisconsin5,897,47380
Wyoming577,71910
TOTAL APPORTIONMENT POPULATION331,108,434435

How Apportionment Has Changed by State With Each Census: 1910-2020

State20202010200019901980197019601195019401930192021910
Alabama77777789991010
Alaska1111111XXXXX
Arizona99865432211X
Arkansas444444467777
California525353524543383023201111
Colorado877665444444
Connecticut555666666655
Delaware111111111111
Florida2827252319151286544
Georgia141413111010101010101212
Hawaii2222222XXXXX
Idaho222222222222
Illinois171819202224242526272727
Indiana999101011111111121313
Iowa44556678891111
Kansas444455566788
Kentucky66667778991111
Louisiana667788888888
Maine222222233344
Maryland888888876666
Massachusetts9910101112121414151616
Michigan131415161819191817171313
Minnesota88888889991010
Mississippi444555567788
Missouri8899910101113131616
Montana211122222222
Nebraska333333344566
Nevada443221111111
New Hampshire222222222222
New Jersey121213131415151414141212
New Mexico33333222211X
New York262729313439414345454343
North Carolina141313121111111212111010
North Dakota111111222233
Ohio151618192123242323242222
Oklahoma555666668988
Oregon655554444333
Pennsylvania171819212325273033343636
Rhode Island222222222233
South Carolina776666666677
South Dakota111112222233
Tennessee999998991091010
Texas383632302724232221211818
Utah443332222222
Vermont111111111122
Virginia1111111110101010991010
Washington10109987776655
West Virginia233344566666
Wisconsin888999101010101111
Wyoming111111111111
Total435435435435435435435435435435435433
Notes from the U.S. Census: X Not applicable. Represents date prior to becoming a state. 1 In 1959, Alaska and Hawaii became states and were each granted a seat—temporarily increasing the size of the House to 437. The size of the House for the 1960 apportionment reverted back to the fixed size of 435 seats. 2 In 1912, Arizona and New Mexico became states and each were granted a seat—temporarily increasing the size of the House to 435. In 1920 the Census Bureau did transmit apportionment counts to Congress, but Congress did not reapportion. The size of the House during the next apportionment, in 1930, was fixed at 435.

Related

Share:


Enter your email to receive the Geography Realm newsletter:
Previous

Climate Change and the Expansion of Ghost Forests

80% of Plastic in the Ocean Comes From 1,656 Rivers

Next