Home House of Representatives Article 1 House of Representatives Apportionment At A Glance

Article 1 House of Representatives Apportionment At A Glance

Article 1 House of Representatives Apportionment At A Glance

Article 1 House of Representatives Apportionment At A Glance

Article 1, Section 2 of the United States Constitution establishes the House of Representatives and lays out the rules for apportionment—the process by which the number of members in the House is determined. Here is a breakdown of the apportionment process, in order to better understand the role it plays in our government.

What is Apportionment?

Apportionment is the process by which seats in the House of Representatives are allotted to the states based on population. According to the Constitution, the total number of Representatives cannot exceed one for every 30,000 people. However, Congress has since set the limit at 435 members.

The Census

The Census, which is conducted every 10 years, counts the number of residents in each state and determines the number of Representatives each state will have in the House. The Census is used to determine the apportionment process, along with other important demographic data.


After each Census, the number of seats each state is entitled to in the House of Representatives may be adjusted to reflect changes in population. This process is known as reapportionment.

The formula for determining reapportionment is fairly simple. The total population of the United States is divided by the number of seats in the House of Representatives. The resulting figure is the “ideal” number of people per congressional district. Each state is then assigned a number of seats based on its population. The states with larger populations receive more seats, while the states with smaller populations receive fewer seats.


While apportionment determines the number of Representatives each state is entitled to, redistricting sets the boundaries for each congressional district within a state. This process is typically carried out by state legislatures, with new boundaries drawn to reflect changes in population and demographics.


Apportionment plays a key role in the structure of our government and the balance of power in Congress. It ensures that each state is fairly represented in the House of Representatives, giving all citizens a voice in the political process. The apportionment process, which is tied to the Census and subject to reapportionment and redistricting, is a complex but crucial element of our democracy.


The process by which the seats of the House of Representatives are delegated is known as apportionment. The United States Constitution provided that the House of Representatives would be represented in direct proportion to a State’s population size.

Therefore, a certain process would have to be established in order to provide for representation reflecting that prerequisite. Initially, the Constitution called for the proportion of one member for every 30,000 people of the country’s total population, which was to be determined by the United States Census.

However, the Constitution never actually set a limit on the number of seats to comprise the House. Due to increases in population and the introduction of new states into the Union, certain provisions would be implemented in order to provide for a more uniform and adequate representation of the states in the House. Currently, there are 435 seats apportioned among the states, with each state guaranteed at least one seat by the statutes of the Constitution.