Definition of Congressional Apportionment
What is the definition of "Congressional apportionment"? Why does Congressional apportionment take place?
According to the US Census Bureau, apportionment is:
"...the process of dividing the 435 memberships, or seats, in the House of Representatives among the 50 states based on the population figures collected during the decennial census."
The primary reason that the United States conducts the decennial census is for the purposes of Congressional apportionment. After all, the populations of different states will fluctuate over time, and the distribution of seats in the House of Representatives needs to reflect these population changes.
For instance, Texas saw its population increase 20.6% from 2000 to 2010, which was far above the 9.7% population increase that the United States as a country posted over the same time.
As a result, Texas gained four House seats.
Michigan, which saw its population actually decline, lost a seat due to apportionment.
A state's apportionment population is derived from adding a state's resident population (those who live and sleep in the state most of the time) with overseas US military and federal civilian employees that have been allocated to the state.
You can read more about the actual math behind Congressional apportionment here.
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