Profile America: Congressional Representation

Friday, April 14 — The distribution of political representation under the Constitution was authorized on this date in 1792. Based on the results of the 1790 Census, the House of Representatives was to be apportioned according to population, coming as near to equal populations in the districts as could be determined.

That first census counted a resident population of over 3.9 million people in the soon to be 15 states. There were then 105 seats in the House of Representatives, and the Apportionment Act raised to 33,000 from the Constitution’s specified 30,000 as the population target for each representative’s district. In today’s House, 435 representatives serve some 323 million resident Americans, an average of over 742,000 each.

You can find more statistics on communities across the country by downloading the Census Bureau’s “dwellr” mobile application here.

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