Illustrating the Alabama Paradox

After the 1880 census,C. W. Seaton (chief clerk of U. S. Census Office) computed apportionments for all House sizes between 275 and 350 members. He then wrote a letter to Congress pointing out the following:

RESULTS OF HOUSE APPORTIONMENT USING A HOUSE SIZE OF 299 SEATS

State

1880 Pop

%Pop

Std. Quota

Rounded Quotas

Final Appor

Alabama

1262505

2.56

7.646

7

8

Arkansas

802525

1.63

4.860

4

5

California

864694

1.75

5.237

5

5

Colorado

194327

0.39

1.177

1

1

Connecticut

622700

1.26

3.771

3

4

Delaware

146608

0.30

0.888

0

1

Florida

269493

0.55

1.632

1

1

Georgia

1542180

3.12

9.340

99

 
Illinois

3077871

6.23

18.640

18

18

Indiana

1978301

4.01

11.981

11

12

Iowa

1624615

3.29

9.839

9

10

Kansas

996096

2.02

6.033

6

6

Kentucky

1648690

3.34

9.985

9

10

Louisiana

939946

1.90

5.692

5

6

Maine

648936

1.31

3.930

3

4

Maryland

934943

1.89

5.662

5

6

Massachusetts

1783085

3.61

10.799

10

11

Michigan

1636937

3.32

9.914

9

10

Minnesota

780773

1.58

4.728

4

5

Mississippi

1131597

2.29

6.853

6

7

Missouri

2168380

4.39

13.132

13

13

Nebraska

452402

0.92

2.740

2

3

Nevada

62266

0.13

0.377

0

1

New Hampshire

346991

0.70

2.101

2

2

New Jersey

1131116

2.29

6.850

6

7

New York

5082871

10.30

30.783

30

31

North Carolina

1399750

2.84

8.477

8

8

Ohio

3198062

6.48

19.368

19

19

Oregon

174768

0.35

1.058

1

1

Pennsylvania

4282891

8.67

25.938

25

26

Rhode Island

276531

0.56

1.675

1

2

South Carolina

995577

2.02

6.029

6

6

Tennessee

1542359

3.12

9.341

9

9

Texas

1591749

3.22

9.640

9

9

Vermont

332286

0.67

2.012

2

2

Virginia

1512565

3.06

9.160

9

9

West Virginia

618457

1.25

3.745

3

4

Wisconsin

1315497

2.66

7.967

7

8

 

49371340

 

299

277

299

Seaton pointed out that Alabama would get 8 seats if the House size were set at 299 seats.

But, for a House size of 300 seats,

RESULTS OF HOUSE APPORTIONMENT USING A HOUSE SIZE OF 300 SEATS

State

1880 Pop

%Pop

Std. Quota

Rounded Quotas

Final Appor

Alabama

1262505

2.56

7.671

7

7

Arkansas

802525

1.63

4.876

4

5

California

864694

1.75

5.254

5

5

Colorado

194327

0.39

1.181

1

1

Connecticut

622700

1.26

3.784

3

4

Delaware

146608

0.30

0.891

0

1

Florida

269493

0.55

1.638

1

1

Georgia

1542180

3.12

9.371

9

9

Illinois

3077871

6.23

18.702

18

19

Indiana

1978301

4.01

12.021

12

12

Iowa

1624615

3.29

9.872

9

10

Kansas

996096

2.02

6.053

6

6

Kentucky

1648690

3.34

10.018

10

10

Louisiana

939946

1.90

5.711

5

6

Maine

648936

1.31

3.943

3

4

Maryland

934943

1.89

5.681

5

6

Massachusetts

1783085

3.61

10.835

10

11

Michigan

1636937

3.32

9.947

9

10

Minnesota

780773

1.58

4.744

4

5

Mississippi

1131597

2.29

6.876

6

7

Missouri

2168380

4.39

13.176

13

13

Nebraska

452402

0.92

2.749

2

3

Nevada

62266

0.13

0.378

0

1

New Hampshire

346991

0.70

2.108

2

2

New Jersey

1131116

2.29

6.873

6

7

New York

5082871

10.30

30.886

30

31

North Carolina

1399750

2.84

8.505

8

8

Ohio

3198062

6.48

19.433

19

19

Oregon

174768

0.35

1.062

1

1

Pennsylvania

4282891

8.67

26.025

26

26

Rhode Island

276531

0.56

1.680

1

2

South Carolina

995577

2.02

6.050

6

6

Tennessee

1542359

3.12

9.372

9

9

Texas

1591749

3.22

9.672

9

10

Vermont

332286

0.67

2.019

2

2

Virginia

1512565

3.06

9.191

9

9

West Virginia

618457

1.25

3.758

3

4

Wisconsin

1315497

2.66

7.993

7

8

 

49371340

 

300

 

300

Alabama would only get 7 seats.

In other words, by adding an additional seat to the House, Alabama would lose a seat!

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