The U.S. House of Representatives has been frozen at 435 members for almost a century, and in that time the nation’s population has grown by more than 200 percent. With the number of citizens represented by each House member now dramatically larger, is a major consequence of this historical disparity a diminished quality of representation?

Brian Frederick uses empirical data to scrutinize whether representation has been undermined by keeping a ceiling on the number of seats available in the House. He examines the influence of constituency size on several metrics of representation—including estimating the effects on electoral competition, policy responsiveness, and citizen contact with and approval of their representatives—and argues that now is the time for the House to be increased in order to better represent a rapidly growing country.

chapter 1|12 pages

Why Study the Size of the House?

chapter 2|25 pages

Debating the Size of the House

chapter 4|21 pages


How Many is Too Many?

chapter 6|25 pages

Public Opinion on the Size of the House

chapter 7|12 pages

The Size of the House

Does it Really Matter?