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The first attempt to make provision for automatic reapportionment was included in the act for the taking of the Seventh and subsequent censuses (approved May 23, 1850). By specifying the number of Representatives to be assigned and the method to be used, it was hoped to eliminate the need for a new act of Congress every decade and assure an equitable distribution of Representatives. When this Census Act was superseded in 1879, the automatic feature was discontinued, and the method of computing the apportionment was determined by Congress on each occasion up to 1910.
No apportionment was made after the Census of 1920, the apportionment of 1910 remaining in effect. In 1929, when the act for the taking of the Fifteenth and subsequent censuses was under consideration, it seemed desirable to incorporate some provision which might prevent the repetition of the 1920 expenence. A section was, therefore, included in the act which provider, for the 1930 and subsequent censuses, that unless Congress within a specified time enacted legislation providing for apportionment on a different basis, the apportionment should be made automatically by the method last used. In accordance with this act, a report was submitted by the President to Congress on December 4, 1930, showing the apportionment computations both by the method of major fractions (which was the one used in 1910) and by the method of equal proportions. In 1931, in the absence of additional legislation, the automatically effective apportionment followed the method of major fractions.
The Censuses of 1940 and 1950 were taken under the same law as the Census of 1930, but in 1941 this law was amended to the effect that apportionments based on the 1940 and subsequent cen suses should be made by the method of equal proportions. In
that the average population per Representative has the least possible relative variation between one State and any other.
Changes in Number of Representatives, 1940 to 1950 As a result of the apportionment based on the 1950 Census, seven States gained Representatives and nine States lost Representatives. The largest gain was made by California, which gained seven Representatives. Florida gained two; and Maryland, Michigan, Texas, Virginia, and Washington each gained one. The nine States losing Representatives were: Pennsylvania, three; Missouri, New York, and Oklahoma, two each; and Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Tennessee, one each.
REGIONS, DIVISIONS, AND STATES
Trends in Population, 1940 to 1950
For purposes of providing summary figures at levels intermediate between those for the United States and those for an individual State, regions and geographic divisions have been used in recent censuses. The latter type of area represents a grouping of contiguous States, and regions in turn are composed of groups of divisions. The component States of each division are indicated on the map which appears on p. xi.
As in earlier periods, the West led the four regions of the United States in rate of population growth during the last 10 years. Between 1940 and 1950 the West had a 40.9 percent increase in population, whereas no other region increased by more than 13.3 percent (table 7). Throughout the last 100 years, census returns consistently have pointed to the West as the region outstripping all others in rate of population gain. Now, for the first time, the numerical intercensal increase in the population of the West, 5,678,260, has also exceeded the numerical increase in any other region. Most of the increase in the West, 4,753,265, took place in the Pacific Division. In the Mountain Division the increase was only 924,995, or somewhat less than one-sixth of the gain for the region. The Pacific and Mountain Divisions surpassed all other divisions with respect to rate of population increase in the last 10 years, the former having an increase of 48.8 percent, and the latter an increase of 22.3 percent.
Second among the regions with respect to both amount and rate of population increase was the South, which had a gain of 5,531,187, or 13.3 percent. Much of this gain took place in the South Atlantic Division, which increased by 3,359,184, or 18.8 percent, and in the West South Central Division, which gained 1,473,047, or 11.3 percent. In the East South Central Division there was only a relatively small increase, 698,956, or 6.5 percent. The South had a number of States with population losses; three of the four States which had population losses were in this region.
The remaining two regions, the North Central and Northeast, had moderate rates of increase. The population of the North Central Region increased by 4,317,430, or 10.8 percent, and the Northeast by 3,501,209, or 9.7 percent. In the North Central Region the large increase occurred in the East North Central Division, which gained 3,773,026, or 14.2 percent. The West North Central Division increased, but by only 544,404, or 4.0 percent. In the Northeast the bulk of the population increase took place in the already heavily populated Middle Atlantic Division, which gained 2,624,046, or 9.5 percent.
The population counts from the 1950 Census show New York to be the most populous, and Nevada to be the least populous, State, just as has been the case since 1890. In between these extremes, however, there has been a considerable rearrangement of the rank of the States with respect to total population (table 11). Thirteen States and the District of Columbia now rank higher than in 1940, whereas 22 other States have dropped in rank during the last 10 years. California had the most conspicuous change in rank, progressing from fifth place in 1940 to second place in 1950. Florida and Washington each moved seven posi
land and Virginia each four positions upward. On the other hand, Arkansas had a sharp drop in rank with respect to total population, falling from twenty-fourth to thirtieth place, and West Virginia dropped from twenty-fifth to twenty-ninth place.
California surpassed all other States with respect to both amount and rate of population increase (table 12). Between 1940 and 1950, California had a population increase of 3,678,836 or 53.3 percent; Oregon and Washington had increases of 39.6 percent and 37.0 percent, respectively. Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah formed a second area of rapid population increase, with recorded gains ranging from 25.2 percent for Utah to 50.1 percent for Arizona. A third center of heavy population increase is located in and near the seat of the United States Government. The District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia each had increases of more than 20 percent. Florida, Michigan, and Texas, with rates of increase of 46.1, 21.2, and 20.2 percent, respectively, were the only other States which had population increases of one-fifth or more. The rate of increase in the population of Florida was in marked contrast to the rates in the neighboring States of Georgia and Alabama, which had increases of 10.3 and 8.1 percent, respectively.
Only four States, Arkansas, Mississippi, North Dakota, and Oklahoma, had population losses. Three of these States were in the South and one in the North Central Region; all four States were predominantly rural.
Area and Density
Among the regions, the West contained approximately 40 percent of the total land area of the country and 13.0 of the total population in 1950, whereas the Northeast with about 5 percent of the land area contained approximately 26 percent of the population. The South accounted for about 30 percent of the land area of the country and also about 30 percent of the population. The corresponding figures for the North Central States were 25 and 30 percent, respectively. In 1950 there were 241.2 persons per square mile in the Northeast; 58.8 in the North Central States; 53.7 in the South; and 16.6 in the West (table 9).
The Middle Atlantic Division led the other divisions with a density of 300.1 persons per square mile of land area, followed by New England with a density of 147.5 and the East North Central Division with a density of 124.1. The figures on density for the remaining divisions were all less than 100; and the figure for the Mountain Division, 5.9, was the lowest among all divisions.
The District of Columbia, which is also the city of Washington, had a density of 13,150.5 persons per square mile in 1950. Among the States, there were three-Rhode Island, New Jersey, and Massachusetts-with population densities ranging from 596.2 to 748.5. For Connecticut, New York, Maryland, and Pennsylvania, densities ranged from 233.1 to 409.7; and densities of from 108.7 to 193.8 occurred in the following States: Ohio, Delaware, Illinois, Michigan, and Indiana. The population per square mile was less than 10.0 in North and South Dakota and in each of the Mountain States except Colorado.
Shifts in the ranking of States with respect to density in the period between 1900 and 1950 have not, in general, been very marked. The District of Columbia, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Connecticut have occupied one or another of the first five places at each of the six decennial censuses in the 50-year period under consideration. Likewise, during the same period Arizona, New Mexico, Montana, Wyoming, and Nevada occupied the last five places. There were, however, some exceptions. Between 1900 and 1950 California rose from thirty-seventh to twentieth place, and Florida, from thirty-sixth to twentyseventh place. On the other hand, Missouri dropped from seventeenth to twenty-sixth place.
Among the larger Territories and possessions, Alaska with only 0.2 persons per square mile in 1950 was less densely settled than
as densely settled as Tennessee; and Puerto Rico, although predominantly rural, was as densely settled as New Jersey.
Urban and Rural Population Under New Definition
The Northeast, with an urban population amounting to nearly 80 percent of the total population of the region, led all other regions in the percentage of the population classified as urban under the new definition (table 15). The percentages of the total population classified as urban in the West and in the North Central Regions were about 69.8 and 64.1, respectively; and slightly less than onehalf (48.6 percent) of the population of the South was urban. In the Middle Atlantic, New England, and Pacific Divisions, the urban population comprised 75 percent or more of the total population, whereas in the South Atlantic and East South Central Divisions the corresponding percentages were 49.1 and 39.1, respectively. In the remaining divisions, the percentage urban ranged from 52.0 in the West North Central Division to 69.7 in the East North Central Division.
There were four States-New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island-among which the percentage of the population classified as urban varied from 84.3 to 86.6 (table G). This group of States was followed by three States-California, Connecticut, and Illinois-in which this percentage varied from 77.6 to 80.7. At the lower end of the distribution, the percentage urban for North Dakota was 26.6 and for Mississippi, 27.9. For an additional group of States-Arkansas, South Dakota, North Carolina, West Virginia, Vermont, South Carolina, and Kentucky-this percentage varied from 33.0 to 36.8. The range in the remaining 32 States was from 42.9 percent for Idaho to 70.7 percent in Michigan. The District of Columbia is completely urban.
Effects of Change in Urban Definition
The net number of persons shifted to the urban population by the change in the urban-rural definition amounted to 5.0 percent of the total population of the United States (table 14). Among the regions, it ranged from 10.6 percent in the West to 3.4 in the North Central Region. For both the Northeast and the South, this percentage was 4.6-slightly less than the national figure.
Among the divisions, the net transfer of population from rural to urban effected by the change in the urban-rural definition was least in New England, where it amounted to 1.9 percent of the total population. This low figure reflects the fact that, although the change in definition in this division had the effect of including in the urban classification territory which was rural under the old definition, considerable portions of the towns which had been urban under special rules according to the old definition were shifted into the rural category. As a result, the net gain by reclassification in urban population was small. The greatest net effect of the change in urban definition occurred in the Pacific Division in which 12.1 percent of the total population was transferred from rural to urban.
In three States-North Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming-the change in the urban-rural definition had no effect on the distribution of the population by urban and rural residence.
Massachusetts and Rhode Island stand in marked contrast to the other States in which the urban and rural distribution of the population was affected by the change in definition. In these States the net effect of this change was to transfer 3.5 percent and 4.2 percent of the total population, respectively, from the urban to the rural classification. Among all the remaining States, however, the change in urban definition resulted in net shifts of population in the opposite direction, that is, from the rural to the urban category. These shifts ranged from 19.0 percent of the total population of Arizona to 0.1 percent of South Dakota.
A comparison of those States in which 10 percent or more of the total population was transferred to the urban category by the change in definition-Arizona, Delaware, Maryland, California,
Figure 7.-POPULATION OF THE UNITED STATES AND REGIONS: 1790 TO 1950
sponding figure was less than 1 percent or in which there was no change -Montana, Iowa, Minnesota, Arkansas, Mississippi, South Dakota, North Dakota, Wyoming, and Vermont-suggests that, in general, the effects of the change were large in those States in which population growth had been relatively great between 1940 and 1950 and in which the percent urban under the old definition was relatively high. Since the change in definition involved the shift of thickly settled areas from the rural to the urban classification, these relationships are to be expected. A relatively high concentration of urban population increases the potential size of the "suburban" population which may be converted to urban under the new definition; and, in a period, such as the decade 1940 to 1950, when population growth is concentrated in suburban areas, this potentiality is realized in those
The situation is complicated, of course, by variations in State practices with respect to incorporation and annexation. If these two processes have followed closely on the heels of concentrated settlement, then little difference between the urban and rural distribution of the population of a State under the old and new definitions is to be expected. If, however, the development of new areas of concentrated settlement is not recognized by annexation or incorporation, the difference created by the change in definition will be large. A further complication arises in connection with the minor civil divisions which were urban under special rules according to the old definition. The use of whole minor civil divisions as units required the inclusion of their sparsely settled areas. Under the greater refinement of the new definition, these sparsely settled areas reverted to rural territory with the result that in Rhode Island and Massachusetts the change in definition
Rank of States Under New and Old
In 1950 under the old urban-rural definition, the District of Columbia, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New York, and New Jersey occupied, in that order, the first five ranks in the array of States according to percentage of urban population (table G). Arrayed in the order of percent urban under the new definition, these same States still occupied the first five places, but Rhode Island and Massachusetts, which ranked second and third under the old definition, dropped to fifth and fourth place under the new, and New York and New Jersey rose to third and second place, respectively. This shift reflects the fact that Rhode Island and Massachusetts were the only States in which the change in urban definition resulted in a net decrease in the urban population, whereas in New Jersey and New York it resulted in the usual net increase in urban population.
The greatest increases in rank brought about by the change in definition occurred in Arizona, which rose from fortieth to twentyfourth place; Delaware, which rose from thirtieth to eighteenth place; and Maryland, which rose from twentieth to twelfth place.
Trends in Urban and Rural Population, 1940 to 1950 Trends in the urban and rural population can be examined only on the basis of the old urban-rural definition. Among the regions, the patterns of urban and rural increase were quite diverse (table 15). In the West, the urban and rural percentages of increase were fairly similar, 42.5 and 38.6, respectively; whereas in the South the corresponding percentages were 35.9 and 0.2. The figures for the North Central Region indicate an intermediate position with a rate of increase for the urban population of 15.2
percent and a rate of increase for the rural population of 4.5 percent. In the Northeast, however, the rural rate of increase, 17.9 percent, was more than twice as large as the urban rate, 7.2 percent.
The geographic divisions fall into several fairly distinct types with respect to patterns of change in the urban and rural popula tion during the decade. The West North Central, East South Central, and West South Central Divisions were characterized by substantial rates of growth in urban areas and by actual losses in rural areas. In the South Atlantic and Mountain Divisions, both the urban and rural populations increased but the urban rate of growth was considerably greater than the rural rate. In the East North Central Division, the urban and rural rates of growth were of about the same magnitude and not appreciably different from the rate of growth of the total population of the country as a whole. The figures for the component divisions of the Northeast (the New England and Middle Atlantic Divisions) showed rural rates of increase in excess of urban rates, as did the figures for the Pacific Division.
The rates of urban and rural increase among the States (exclusive of the District of Columbia) show a similar type of variability. There were 17 States in which there were substantial rates of increase in the urban population but decreases in the rural population. This group of States includes the four States-Arkansas, Mississippi, North Dakota, and Oklahoma-in which the total population decreased during the decade; and, even in these States, the rates of urban increase ranged from 24.9 percent in North Dakota to 42.9 percent in Arkansas. There were 18 States in which both the urban and the rural population increased and in which the urban rate of growth exceeded the rural rate of growth.
Figure 8. PERCENT URBAN BY STATES: 1950 [Based on classification in accordance with new urban-rural definition]