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Apportionment Population Counts and What to Expect on Release Day

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Here at the U.S. Census Bureau, we’re excited to be nearing the important milestone of delivering the first results from the 2020 Census — the apportionment population counts that determine each state’s representation in the U.S. House of Representatives.

There are 435 memberships, or seats, in the U.S. House of Representatives. The process of distributing the seats among the 50 states is called apportionment, and Article I, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution mandates distributing the seats in the House each decade based on the state population counts from the census.

Due to circumstances out of our control, including COVID-19 and numerous severe weather events, such as wildfires and hurricanes, we delayed our 2020 Census data collection efforts. This also pushed back the data processing needed to prepare the results for release, but we’ll deliver the first results on April 26, 2021. Here’s what to expect:

  • The Census Bureau will deliver the results to the secretary of commerce.
  • The secretary of commerce will transmit the results to the president.
  • The Census Bureau will release the results to the public during a news conference.

In this blog, we’ll talk more about the apportionment population counts and other information we’ll release as part of the first 2020 Census results.

Population Counts

The first 2020 Census results will include the following population counts for each of the 50 states:

  • Apportionment population counts. These are the counts used for apportionment. They include the resident population for each of the 50 states, plus each state’s overseas population count.
  • Resident population counts. These are the counts of all the people who were living in each state as of April 1, 2020.
  • Overseas population counts. These include each state’s overseas population count. The overseas counts are only used for apportionment, and they include military and civilian employees of the U.S. government who were stationed or assigned outside the 50 states and the District of Columbia on April 1, 2020, and their dependents living with them overseas, who could be allocated to a home state based on administrative records from the employing federal agencies.

We will also publish resident population counts for the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. However, their populations are not included in the apportionment population because they do not have voting seats in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The populations of the U.S. Island Areas — American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands — will not be included in this release, but resident population counts for those areas will be released later.

More details on who was counted (and where they were counted) are available in the Residence Criteria and Residence Situations for the 2020 Census document on the Census Bureau’s website.

Data Tables

The 2020 Census apportionment data will consist of three tables, which will be similar to Tables 1 through 3 that were included in the 2010 Census apportionment data.

  • Table 1 will include the apportionment population counts for each of the 50 states, the number of representatives to which each state is entitled based on the apportionment population, and the change (if any) since the 2010 Census in the number of representatives for each state.
  • Table 2 will include the 2020 Census resident population counts for the 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
  • Table 3 will include the overseas population counts for the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Each of the three tables will also include totals for the United States.

The tables will not include population or housing counts for specific counties, cities or towns. They will also not include demographic characteristics like age, sex, race or Hispanic origin. Similar to previous censuses, population counts below the state level and demographic characteristics will be available later this year starting with the release of the redistricting data.

Maps

We will also release three maps that will show:

  • The number of seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, as well as the number of seats gained or lost, for each state based on the 2020 Census (see 2010 version of this map).
  • The 2020 Census resident population for the 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
  • The percent change in resident population from 2010 to 2020 for the 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

Other Apportionment Resources

The 2020 Census apportionment tables and maps, along with a suite of supplemental materials, will be available in the 2020 Census Apportionment press kit by the end of the news conference announcing the release of the apportionment data.

In another blog, we talk about how we calculate the apportionment of seats in the U.S. House of Representatives.

 

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