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Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended December 29, 2000
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Sent on Mormon-News: 02Jan01

By Kent Larsen

Some Say Missionaries Could Have Given Utah Additional US House Seat

WASHINGTON, DC -- The US Census Bureau released its initial tally of the 2000 census and Utah missed getting an additional representative in the U.S. House of Representatives by just 856 people. Under the U.S. Constitution the 435 seats in the House are reapportioned between the states according to population every ten years. But some in Utah are claiming that if LDS missionaries serving overseas had been counted, Utah would have taken a seat away from North Carolina.

The results show North Carolina gaining a 13th seat in the House, while Utah remains at just 3 House seats. The census shows that North Carolina was helped by 18,360 residents that were living overseas, while Utah had just 3,087 people living overseas. An LDS Church spokesman says that more than 3,000 Utahns were serving LDS missions outside of Utah. Had all these missionaries been counted, Utah would have the seat.

But census spokesman Jerry O'Donnell says that missionaries, like college students, are not supposed to be counted, though it was possible some families did so. However, those serving in the military are counted as part of their home state.

The change leaves Utah relatively underrepresented in the Congress, according to John Haaga of the Population Reference Bureau. While on average, a House member represents about 625,000 people, Utah's three congressmen represent 744,389 people each.


N.C. Gains House Seat in Census
(Long Island) NY Newsday (AP) 28Dec00 T1
By John Heilprin: Associated Press Writer


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