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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.


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