The Constitutional basis for conducting the decennial census of population is to reapportion the U.S. House of Representatives. Apportionment is the process of dividing the 435 memberships, or seats, in the U.S. House of Representatives among the 50 states. With the exception of the 1920 Census, an apportionment has been made by the Congress on the basis of each decennial census from 1790 to 2010.
The apportionment population for 2010 consists of the resident population of the 50 states plus overseas federal employees (military and civilian) and their dependents living with them, who were included in their home states. The population of the District of Columbia is excluded from the apportionment population because it does not have any voting seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. The 2010 Census apportionment population was 309,183,463.
This report examines trends in congressional apportionment and discusses the apportionment population—what it is, who is included, and what method is used to calculate it. The report is part of a series that analyzes population and housing data collected by the 2010 Census.