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Answers: 2010 Census and Apportionment

February 11, 2011

 With the first release of data from the 2010 Decennial Census last November, the discussion of reapportionment has taken center stage among the new state legislatures. To get a better idea of the population changes, densities, and corresponding apportionment decisions over the last century, visit the Census Reapportionment page.  Now to answer the questions posed earlier this week….

  1. Which is the only state that saw a decline in population in the last 10?
  2. Michigan lost 54,804 (-0.6%) residents between 2000 and 2010. Michigan will only lose one seat (while Ohio and New York which had increases in population will each lose two seats). The territory of Puerto Rico also had a decline of 2.2% of its population (-82,821 residents) during the same period. As a territory, it will retain its one non-voting representative.

  3. Will Kansas gain, lose, or maintain its current number of seats in the House of Representatives for the 113th congress?
  4. While Kansas saw a population increase of 6.1%, its seat count will remain the same in the 113th congress. The four seats Kansas will retain is half of the most representatives the state has had in House (from 1891 to 1930).  However, the state legislature has the ability to redraw the four congressional districts, to reflect changes of population across the state (and the whims of the political party in control of the legislature). 

  5. If the average population density in the U.S. is 87.4 people per square mile, what do you think the average population density is for Kansas?
  6. On average there are 34.9 people per square mile in Kansas. This makes Kansas the 41st most densely populated state (with Utah, Nevada, Nebraska, Idaho, New Mexico, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, and Alaska being less densely populated (in descending order)).

  7. Which state saw the largest percentage increase in population?

Nevada’s population increased by 35.1% (or 702,294 new residents). Yet, Nevada only picked up one seat in the House. 

How many seats will be added in the House of Representatives?

The House of Representatives has neither gained nor lost seats since 1911 (with the brief exception of the admission of Hawaii and Alaska into the Union).  Public Law 62-5 set the seat limit at 433 and allowed for two additional seats for Arizona and New Mexico (when and if they became states).  After not apportioning in 1921, Congress passed the Reapportionment Act of 1929 that capped the number of seats in the House at 435.  Upon admission in 1959, Alaska and Hawaii were each permitted one seat in the House until the next apportionment was put into effect (1963). 

As was the case in 2000, the 2010 census showed a change of twelve seats, increasing the delegations of Texas (+4), Florida (+2), Nevada (+1), Utah (+1), Washington (+1), Georgia (+1), South Carolina (+1), and Arizona (+1).  The states that lost seats include Ohio (-2), New York (-2), Missouri (-1), Pennsylvania (-1), Illinois (-1) Iowa (-1), Louisiana (-1), New Jersey (-1), Massachusetts (-1), and Michigan (-1).

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One Comment leave one →
  1. February 11, 2011 8:19 am

    Speaking of the population density of Kansas, Kay and I were out at Studley, KS (west central) a few years ago talking to a local guy, and he mentioned that nearby was an area of eight square miles in which no one lived. Kind of startling.

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