Data + Design Project

The U.S. Census and the Amazing Apportionment Machine

Wednesday 12.22.2010 , Posted by

With the Census now complete and the counts for each state finalized, now is the time to divide the seats in the House of Representatives among the 50 states. In a process called apportionment, the seats are divided based on the population figures from each state. Through the animation below, the U.S. Census Bureau explains how apportionment works and how the apportionment formula is applied to ensure equal representation for all, just as the constitution originally dictated.

Growing alongside the US population, which currently sits at 308,745,538 people, the number of seats in the House has increased from 65 Representatives in 1787 to it’s current number of 435, set in 1913.

To view the history of apportionment and population through the last century, be sure to check out the highly detailed interactive map widget after the video.

Be sure to click full screen in the top right corner to view the interactive map below in full detail.


Paul Caridad

Written by Paul Caridad

Bicycled the perimeter of USA, hitch hiked across the States dressed as monk. Nomadic for the next few years. Would love to connect, so check out my links below! email:

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