Skip Header

Constitution Day

On February 29, 1952, Congress designated September 17 as Constitution Day and Citizenship Day. This day commemorates the signing of the U.S. Constitution on September 17, 1787, and recognizes all American citizens.

The framers of the Constitution of the United States chose the population to be the basis for sharing political power, not wealth or land. Thus, they included a mandatory count of the population every 10 years (decennial census) in the Constitution. Article I, Section 2 states: “Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers….” 

Resources and Materials

Use the resources and materials below to teach students about the U.S. Census Bureau and its role in the Constitution. 

Constitution Day Fun Facts

Interact with students using this handout that shares real census data related to Constitution Day. Then, view the teaching guide for ideas on how these facts can be used in classroom activities.


Apportionment 101 Fact Sheet

This fact sheet introduces students to apportionment by discussing what it is, and the impact it has on their state's place in the House of Representatives and the redrawing of legislative boundaries.


What is Apportionment? Video

This video explains how apportionment works—the process of distributing the 435 memberships, or seats, in the U.S. House of Representatives among the 50 states based on the apportionment population counts from the 2020 Census. 


Population and Representation Warm-Up Activity

With this warm-up activity, students can use an interactive map with historic apportionment data to discover population changes and population density for their state over multiple decades.


Interactive Historical Apportionment Data Map

This interactive map enables students to view more than 10 decades of apportionment data, including population change and population density, based on all people living in the United States at the time of each census.


Apportionment Map Warm-Up Activity

This 5-Minute Challenge warm-up activity has students analyze a map to help them answer questions about states and the number of seats they have in the U.S. House of Representatives.


How Many U.S. Representatives Does Your State Have? Warm-Up Activity

With this warm-up activity, students learn about apportionment by coloring a map—identifying states with the highest and lowest number of U.S. representatives based on the 2020 Census population count. Then, they see how their state’s apportionment number compares to nearby states.


Voting Participation Warm-Up Activity

With this warm-up activity, students can discover the voting patterns of women and men in recent presidential elections.


More Resources on Apportionment

Visit our apportionment page for more resources on the topic.


State-by-State Visualizations of Key Demographic Trends From the 2020 Census

Students can explore maps and visualizations on our state profile pages to get key population characteristics for their state and county. These data on race, Hispanic origin, and the voting-age population are used by states for “redistricting” to redraw the boundaries of their congressional and legislative districts.


Top

Back to Header