Montana to pick up tentative 2nd seat in US House
According to U.S. Census Bureau projections released on Dec. 30, Montana’s population growth puts the Treasure State on track to pick up a 2nd U.S. House seat in 2020, a first in 30 years. The notion underscores the critical nature of obtaining an accurate census count, especially considering that Montana missed the mark by a narrow margin in 2010, yielding the seat instead to far-flung Rhode Island. Currently, Montana is among only seven states with single representatives in the U.S. House: Alaska, Delaware, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming. According to the Billings Gazette, “There are 435 House seats. After every state gets one, the next 385 are awarded according to a mathematical formula that determines the right district size based on the recent U.S. census. … Census estimates put Montana ahead of Rhode Island by 9,417 people.” What else is at stake if a state fails to conduct an accurate census? Billions of dollars in federal aid.