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« Trivia Tidbit Of The Day: Part 272 -- Undocumented Migrants. | WILLisms.com | Pundit Roundtable »

Trivia Tidbit Of The Day: Part 273 -- Our Burgeoning Congressional Districts.

Less Representative Representation-

Our House of Representatives is less representative than it was at the birth of our nation. And because the House is capped at 435 seats, we'll continue to have larger and larger Congressional districts with each passing Census.

The average congressional district in the next decade will have almost 715,000 people, up from 647,000 after the 2000 census. Compare this to 37,000 per district after the 1790 census and 210,000 per district after 1910 census, when the number of House members was fixed at 435.

This isn't necessarily a terrible thing, however. Do we really want to double or triple the number of Congressmen just to make the average Congressional district a bit smaller?

Meanwhile, with technology, our world is getting smaller. Thirty-seven thousand people in 1790 might have felt about like 647 thousand people does today.

Still, if this trend holds, we'll likely see a shift in the way Americans view their own members of Congress. Right now, Congress is viewed negatively, but people today usually like their own local Representatives. If America's population expands to 435 million people, and each district grows to roughly 1 million folks, we may see a bit more alienation. Which, again, might not necessarily be such a terrible thing.



Previous Trivia Tidbit: Illegal Immigration.

Posted by Will Franklin · 19 February 2006 11:12 AM


You have a good point there. I think it would take a constitutional amendment to increase the size if the seat total is specified in the Constitution.

I don't know why, but the first thing that came to my mind would be that it would make gerry-mandering less goegraphically obvious. And could you imagine trying to redraw the lines to say triple the size. For instance, there would be people pushing for the aligninment of these districts strictly say along purple, yellow, brown, or white lines. It would make for an interesting situation.

Posted by: Eneils Bailey at February 19, 2006 12:55 PM