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