HELENA — Starting in 2023, Montana will once again have two representatives in the U.S. House, according to results from the U.S. Census Bureau.
The Census Bureau made the announcement Monday afternoon during a virtual news conference to release the first results from last year’s census.
Every 10 years, the Census Bureau is tasked with counting the country and states’ populations. States are then awarded seats in the House based on their proportion of the national population.
Montana previously had two U.S. House members between 1913 and 1993. It will be the first state in U.S. history that had two seats in the House, lost one, and then got it back.
The Census Bureau also announced Texas will gain two seats, and that Colorado, Florida, North Carolina and Oregon will gain one each. California, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia will each lose one seat.
For the last 30 years, Montana has been the most underrepresented state in the House, with by far the largest population in any single congressional district in the country. The state is currently estimated to have more than 1 million residents.
The Montana Districting and Apportionment Commission will now be tasked with dividing the state into two congressional districts. The first elections for the new seats would be held in 2022.
However, this may not be the final word. Some states that lost seats in this apportionment may file legal challenges over the census data.