The Census and Reapportionment

May 13, 1929

Report Outline
History of the Decennial Census
The Census Dats and Reafportionment
Reapportionment Issues Now Before Congress

The Jones-Vandetiberg bill now pending in the Senate makes provision for the fifteenth decennial census and for a reapportionment, on the basis of returns from that census, of congressional representation among the states. These were “matters of emergency legislation,” President Hoover said in his message at the opening of the present special session of Congress. “I recommend their consummation as being in the public interest.”

The combined census-reapportionment bill was reported by the Senate Commerce Committee, April 23, as a substitute for the separate measures approved by the House at the last session, but blocked by a filibuster in the Senate. The pending bill does not provide a new basis for congressional reapportionment. Instead, it specifies that the President shall transmit to Congress a statement of the population of each state, as ascertained by decennial enumeration, and also a statement of the number of representatives to which each state would be entitled under the formula provided in the last preceding reapportionment act. The results of the fifteenth census would be submitted in December, 1930, at the opening of the short session of the Seventy-first Congress. Unless an act altering the present method of apportionment-which was adopted after the census of 1910 and which limits the total membership of the House to 435-had been passed before the expiration of the Seventy-first Congress on March 4, 1931, each state would be entitled to the number of representatives indicated in the President's statement, beginning with the Seventy-third Congress, which comes into being in 1933.

The fifteenth census will be taken as of November 1, 1929, if the bill is enacted into law as at present pending in the Senate. However, the House fixed May 1, 1930, as the enumeration date in the census bill passed at the last session. If a deadlock, resulting in failure of the bill, should develop upon this or any other point, the new census will be taken as of January 1, 1930, under the law which provided for the census of 1920 and subsequent censuses.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Reapportionment, Redistricting, and Representation
Mar. 04, 2022  Redistricting Battles
Aug. 25, 2017  Redistricting Showdown
Feb. 25, 2011  Redistricting Debates
Apr. 11, 2008  D.C. Voting Rights
Feb. 16, 2001  Redistricting
Aug. 12, 1994  Electing Minorities
Feb. 15, 1991  Redistricting: Drawing Power with a Map
Feb. 05, 1982  Reapportionment: Year of Decision
Sep. 30, 1964  Reapportionment Struggle
May 03, 1961  Reapportionment in the Courts
Oct. 29, 1958  Unequal Representation
Oct. 10, 1950  Representation in the United Nations
Jan. 03, 1950  Legislative Apportionment
Nov. 08, 1938  Proportional Representation
May 13, 1929  The Census and Reapportionment
Dec. 06, 1927  Apportionment of Representatives in Congress
Reapportionment and Redistricting