07 May 2010

Ratio of U.S. Congress to Population Compared to the British Parliament

I have long advocated for an increase in the size of Congress, as the current Congressional districts are too large for any practical purpose, except maybe for keeping the citizens at a safe distance. The sizes of the state legislature should be increased as well.

Reading the news stories about the British House of Commons made me wonder about their ratio of elected members to population. The British Parliament is made up of 649 members, representing a population of 62,041,708. That produces a ratio of one member of Parliament for every 95,596 citizens.

The U.S. House of Representatives of 435 members represents a population of 309,212,000, for a ratio of one representative for every 710,832 citizens.

If we were to increase our House of Representatives to the same size as the House of Commons in proportion, we would have 3,235 Representatives!

Now, I'm not saying we should go that far. But along with a demonstration of a functioning legislative chamber of 649 members, it goes to show that there is plenty of room for an increase in the size of Congress.


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