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Contact: Decennial Media Relations
Edwin Byerly & Karen Mills (apportionment)
Marc Perry & Campbell Gibson (resident population)
The Commerce Department's Census Bureau released today the first results from Census 2000, showing the resident population of the United States on April 1, 2000, was 281,421,906, an increase of 13.2 percent over the 248,709,873 persons counted during the 1990 census.
"The participation by the people of this country in Census 2000 not only reversed a three decade decline in response rates, but also played a key role in helping produce a quality census," said Commerce Secretary Norman Mineta. Robert Shapiro, under secretary for economic affairs, echoed Mineta. "Consistently on time and under budget, Census 2000 has been the largest and one of the most professional operations run by government," he said, adding that its conduct had "set a standard for future censuses in the 21st century."
The U.S. resident population includes the total number of people in the 50 states and the District of Columbia.
The most populous state in the country was California (33,871,648); the least populous was Wyoming (493,782). The state that gained the most numerically since the 1990 census was California, up 4,111,627. Nevada had the highest percentage growth in population, climbing 66.3 percent (796,424 people) since the last census.
Regionally, the South and West picked up the bulk of the nation's population increase, 14,790,890 and 10,411,850, respectively. The Northeast and Midwest also grew: 2,785,149 and 4,724,144.
Additionally, the resident population of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico was 3,808,610, an 8.1 percent increase over the number counted a decade earlier.
Prior to this announcement, Mineta, Shapiro and Census Bureau Director Kenneth Prewitt transmitted the Census 2000 apportionment counts to President Clinton three days before the Dec. 31 statutory deadline required by Title 13 of the U.S. Code. (See tables 1-3.)
The apportionment totals transmitted to the President were calculated by a congressionally-defined formula, in accordance with Title 2 of the U.S. Code, to reapportion among the states the 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. The apportionment population consists of the resident population of the 50 states, plus the overseas military and federal civilian employees and their dependents living with them who could be allocated to a state. Each member of the House represents a population of about 647,000. The populations of the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico are excluded from the apportionment population because they do not have voting seats in the U. S. House of Representatives.
Prewitt noted that since 1790, the first census, "the decennial count has been the basis for our representative form of government. At that time, each member of the House represented about 34,000 residents," Prewitt said. "Since then, the House has more than quadrupled in size, and each member represents about 19 times as many constituents."
President Clinton is scheduled to transmit the apportionment counts to the 107th Congress during the first week of its regular session in January. The reapportioned Congress, which will be the 108th, convenes in January 2003.