SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — South Dakota has more people but the population is still too low to gain another seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.
While South Dakota won’t gain a seat, Montana and Arizona are among the states likely to each gain one seat. Rhode Island is preparing to lose one. Minnesota appears to be on pace to lose one.
The latest population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau show that South Dakota’s estimated population is 884,659, an increase of 5,961 from 2018.
The seat-gaining state of Montana has a population of 1,068,778 while Arizona’s population grew to more than 7.2 million.
South Dakota’s population is still lower than Rhode Island’s population of 1,059,361, a state that is expected to lose a U.S. House seat.
By law, each state has at least one U.S. Representative.
The U.S. has reapportioned the House districts 21 times since 1790. It was reapportioned after the 2010 census. Another reapportionment is set for after the 2020 census.
Although population is a factor in the addition or subtraction of U.S. House seats, the determination is based on a process. State Legislatures have a large role as they draw district maps for congressional seats.
It’s possible that a Legislature controlled by one political party would draw congressional maps in favor of that party.
The U.S. has had 435 federal House seats since a law was enacted in 1929.
A May 31, 2018, story from Pew Research said the U.S. did temporarily add two seats from 1959 to 1963 to account for the new states of Alaska and Hawaii.
There have been proposals to increase the size of the U.S. House based on population growth. One proposal is called the “Wyoming Rule”and is based on the 2000 or 2010 census. It adds the population of all 50 states and divides it by the population of Wyoming, the least populated state. It would increase the number of U.S. Representatives to at least 535, depending on the census year, according to various political websites and blogs.
It’s not just Minnesota and Rhode Island that could lose a congressional seat. The states of California, Michigan and several others are expected to lose a seat in the U.S. House. All of those states have more than one representative.
KELOLAND Data Reporter is going through South Dakota’s latest population data and will have more breakdowns and reports on what she finds. Stay with KELOLAND.com for more coverage.