Population May Affect House Representatives - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Population May Affect House Representatives

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We've reported on the state's rapidly growth, but it will take a long time before that could ever mean changes in Washington. We still only have one representative in the U.S. House.

Each year more people are settling down and calling North Dakota home. The Census Bureau shows that in 2013 the state's population is around 723,000. That is up 22,000 from the year before.

But even with the states growth already it still might not be enough to get another representative.

"We would probably have to grow to a million 165,000-170,000 individuals in the state in order to qualify for a second representative," says Kevin Inveson, Census Office.

North Dakota is one of only seven states that is represented in the house by a sole member, but that wasn't always the case.

"From 1910-1930, between those two censuses the state of North Dakota had three representatives in the state," says Iverson.

Since then, we have grown in population, but so has the rest of the country. Which is why we went down to just two members in 1930 and one in 1970.

But being the lone member in the House doesn't bother Representative Kevin Cramer, in fact he says it's been an advantage.

"Because when people realize I represent an entire state, while it's roughly the same population as an urban congressional district, they understand the diversity of my constituency. I'm not a gerrymandered bright red district or a gerrymandered bright blue district. In other words, I represent the diversity of an entire state," says Representative Kevin Cramer.

And it will stay that way for a while. Iverson says it's unlikely we will grow enough by the 2020 census so our next shot at an additional member would be in 2030.

Other states with just one member are Montana, Wyoming, Vermont, South Dakota, Alaska and Delaware.

 

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