I have often wondered what happened with the size of the American Congress over time.
When the First Congress convened, in 1789, it had 65 members, each one representing an average of approximately 60,000 people. (Many of those people—700,000 overall—were enslaved, which is to say they weren’t represented in any meaningful sense.)
Up until 1910, when Congress conducted its constitutionally required reapportionment of the House after each census, it also adjusted the size of the chamber, in all but one case increasing the total number of seats. As a result, while the number of Americans-per-representative went up in the 120 years
But in 1920, Americans were flocking to cities, and rural lawmakers from both parties, unwilling to cede more seats to fast-growing urban centers, refused to do their constitutional duty and reapportion House seats among states. As a side effect of their intransigence, the House remained stuck at 435 members. In 1929, as the next census approached, representatives had gone 19 years without expanding the lower chamber, and were no longer interested in diluting their own power. Rather than expand the House, they passed a law permanently capping the number of seats at 435, which would be reapportioned among the states after each census.
District populations have doubled since my parents were born, in the late 1950s. In my own 33-year lifetime, the number of Americans per lawmaker has increased by about 200,000—the equivalent of adding a Salt Lake City to every district in the United States.
No less distressing, the staff of each member’s office has been capped at the same number—just 18—since the 1970s.
https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archi ... er/611068/
In fact, even a triple-size Congress would still have more constituents per representative than any other country’s lower house except for India and Japan.