how 435 seats are distributed to 50 states

Apportionment or apportionment by population is a concept in United States law of allocating representatives or taxes among the US states.[1] Apportionment is based on the United States Census taken every ten years.[2] Seats in the United States House of Representatives are then apportioned among the states. Each state gets a number of seats based on its population (the minimum is one seat). Congress enacted new apportionment legislation following every census until the mid-20th century.[2] Article I, Section 2 of the United States Constitution requires that direct taxes be apportioned among the states by population.[3] Apportionment by population proved to be a nearly impossible, uneven and unfair requirement for collecting taxes since the states had different populations.[3] This was overturned by the Sixteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution which removed the apportionment requirement from Congress imposing direct taxes.[4]


  1. "apportionment". The Free Dictionary. Farlex. Retrieved 18 May 2016.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Apportionment". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 18 May 2016.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Calvin H. Johnson. "Apportionment of Direct Taxes: The Foul-Up In The Core of The Constitution" (PDF). Texas Law, The University of Texas at Austin. Retrieved 18 May 2016.
  4. "Amendment XVI, Income Tax". National Constitution Center. Retrieved 18 May 2016.