Constitutional FAQ Answer #35 – The U.S. Constitution Online – USConstitution.net

Constitutional FAQ Answer #35

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Q35. “Article I section 2 clause 3, states that
each state will have one representative for every thirty thousand. This is
obviously no longer true and the house is limited to 435. I can not find an
amendment that changed this. What gives?”

A. See Amendment 14, section 2:
“Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to
their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State,
excluding Indians not taxed.”
The total number of Representatives is set by
statute, not in the Constitution. The detail concerning 30,000 means that the
ratio would never be lower than 1:30,000 (like 1:20,000). This was done to
prevent the House from getting too large and to prevent larger states from
having an overwhelming number of representatives. The average ratio today is
about 1:640,000.

Last Modified: 16 Aug 2010

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