Paul Edelman discusses the reapportionment of Congressional seats on Top of Mind radio program

May 6, 2021

In a 20-minute interview with BYUradio host Julie Rose, Professor of Mathematics and Law Paul Edelman offers a brief history of how the number of seats in the House of Representatives was permanently set at 435 in 1911 and how the Hill Method became the sole formula used to reapportion House seats among states based on national census results every 10 years in 1940.

According to 2020 census data, America grew by more than 22 million people over the last decade. Seven house seats shifted among states as a result of their higher-than-average growth. Texas gained two seats and the states of Colorado, Florida, Montana, North Carolina and Oregon each gained one seat, while the states of California, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia each lost a seat.

The interview addresses how the state of California lost a House seat even though its population increased by 2.2 million people and New York’s losing a seat rather than Minnesota by what Edelman describes as the “knife edge” margin of 89 people.

Census Apportionment

Census 2020 Winners and Losers: America Grows, US House Stays Put at 435 Members

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