The Decennial Census is mandated in the Constitution for a single purpose – to apportion Congressional Representation according to population. It’s important to Montana – and looking at just Montana, Wyoming, and California shows the math – Wyoming has the lowest population (547,637 in 2010), California the largest (37,253,956 in 2010) and Montana’s 2010 population was 989,415. Montana and Wyoming each have a single Representative in Congress, so in Montana one Congresscritter represents almost a million people, while Wyoming’s 547,637 inhabitants each have nearly twice the personal congressional clout of a Montanan.
California’s 37 million people are represented by 53 congresscritters – roughly one per 703,000 Californians. So each Californian has a little less than a third more congressional clout than a Montanan.
We don’t know what population will get Montana 2 members of Congress. We do know that Rhode Island has 2 – and we know the 2010 population of Rhode Island was 1,052,567. And that is just 63,000 more than Montana showed at the last Census.
Filling out the form is a good idea.