New Apportionment Methods – Winners and Losers

Three Apportionment Methods

This post exhibits three (3) apportionment methods and points out the differences between these apportionments:

  1. The Jefferson Method
  2. The Hamilton Vinton Method
  3. The Huntington Hill Method

The Apportionment Problems

Each state would – in the ideal – get representation in The House of Representatives in proportion to that state’s portion of the United States population. The problem is that this ideal number of representatives may not be a whole number.

If the ideal number of representatives for a given state is, say, 6.43, then should that state get 6 or 7 representatives? This is the apportionment problem! Each of the different apportionment methods is a different approach to this problem.

The corresponding EXCEL tutorial at Data Driving School gives all the details for implementing these apportionment method in EXCEL as well as explaining one more method not included in this post – The Webster Method. This can be found at this link:
Apportionment Tutorial at Data Driving School

The Resulting Apportionments

“J” stands for Jefferson, “HV” stands for Hamilton Vinton, and HH stands for Huntington Hill.

Note there is an “*” by MN: This is because this analyst’s calculation shows seven (7) representatives for the Huntington Hill apportionment; Yet, it appears that MN was only a hair’s breadth from having eight (8) representatives by these calculations.

In fact, the current apportionment method is the Huntington Hill Method and, indeed, MN has eight (8) representatives. The calculations are fully explicated and demonstrated by the tutorial at Data Driving School:
Apportionment Tutorial at Data Driving School

Apportionment Winners and Losers

Here are the 15 states for which these apportionments give different distributions of representatives:

These are listed in ascending order by population. It is no accident that the smaller states gain a representative and the larger states lose: The smaller states had the largest risk in the apportionment problem.

Here is a map of this information:

Learn to Apply EXCEL and Implement Apportionment Methods

You can order a full EXCEL tutorial so you can apply EXCEL formulas to implement apportionment methods. See this video for details.

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