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Say 'Howdy' to you 225,999,999 neighbors

What do you get when you ask a billion-dollar question of the Census Bureau about US population? Why, you find that the bouncing baby of the 1790 census (3,929,214) has turned into a giant of about 226 million and that folks today are moving around so far -- particularly from North and East to South And West -- that 14 to 17 seats in the US House of Representatives must be shifted.

These preliiminary figures show only the population of respective states. It will take another four or five years to sift and synthesize all the census answers -- what kind of plumbing do you have; are you "white" or "other" (including "Aleut"); your salary, marital status and number of cars? George Washington complained of census snooping, but social historians, industrial planners, and politicians follow today's returns avidly,

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In 1790, for example, the average life expectancy was only 35 years and there were only 4.5 people to the square mile. Things have changed a lot since then.

Preliminary population totals of states now made public by the US Census Bureau do not include New York (which is estimated), where records in a Brooklyn district were lost in a fire and required a recount. America's population is now estimated at 226 million; 1970 -- 204.3 million; indicated increase, 11 percent.

Population increases continued higher in the South and West compared with the Southeast and Midwest. California, with 23.5 million, is the most populous state, up 17.7 percent; second is New York -- figures still pending but estimated at around 19 million; third, Texas -- 14,152,339, up 26.4 percent.

Figures show astonishing growth in some states in the decade: Nevada, 63.8 percent; Arizona, 26.4 percent; Texas 26.4 percent; Florida, 41.1 percent.

The Census Bureau must report state population by Jan. 1, 1981. On April 1, 1981, it must report to each state population totals of all counties, cities, and other political subdivisions.

The Constitution requires House seats to be allocated on the census. Since the House total now remains constant at 435, this requires a reshuffle. The chief winners: Florida with an expected three seats, and California and Texas with two more each. Big losers: New York, losing four, and Illinois, Ohio, and Pennsylvania losing two each. Ten states in the South and West will gain 14 seats at the expense of eight largely Northeastern and Midwestern states, although the total change could be as high as 17 seats. The figures are subject to change when the New York count is in.

Some states barely gained population: Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania,Ohio, and Illinois. One lost population: Rhode Island (0.4 percent). The Disteict of Columbia lost 16 percent of its population, in line with some other Eastern cities.

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California still grows fastest (18 percent, or 3.5 million, since 1970), but not as fast as in past decades.

Playing politics in rearranging congressional districts, which gave birth to the word "gerrymander," has been reduced by the US Supreme Court's ruling of 1964, which ordered that "as nearly as is practicable, one man's vote in a congressional election is to be worth as much as another's."

Preliminary 1980 census results Figures based on actual count 1970 1980 Percent State pop. pop. increase ALA. 3,444,354 3,863,698 12.2 ALASKA 302,583 400,331 32.3 ARIZ. 1,775,399 2,714,013 52.9 ARK. 1,923,322 2,280,687 18.6 CALIF. 19,975,069 23,510,372 17.7 COLO. 2,209,596, 2,877,726 30.2 CONN. 3,032,217 3,096,951 2.1 DEL. 548,104 594,779 8.5 D.C. 756,668 635,233 n2 16.0 FLA. 6,791,418 9,579,495 41.1 GA. 4,587,930 5,396,425 17.6 HAWAII 769,913 964,624 25.3 IDAHO 713,015 943,629 32.3 ILL. 11,110,258 11,321,350 1.9 IND. 5,195,392 5,454,154 5.0 IOWA. 2,825,368 2,908,797 3.0 KAN. 2,249,071 2,355,536 4.7 KY. 3,220,711 3,642,143 13.1 LA. 3,644,637, 4,194,299 15.1 MAINE 993,722 1,123,560 13.1 MD. 3,923,897 4,193,378 6.9 MASS. 5,689,170 5,728,288 0.7 MICH. 8,881,826 9,236,891 4.0 MINN. 3,806,103 4,068,856 6.9 MISS. 2,216,994 2,503,250 12.9 MO. 4,677,623 4,901,678 4.8 MONT. 694,409 783,674 12.9 NEB. 1,485,333 1,564,727 5.3 NEV. 488,738 800,312 63.8 N.H. 737,681 919,114 24.6 N.J. 7,171,112 7,335,808 2.3 N.M. 1,017,055 1,290,551 26.9 N.C. 5,084,411 5,846,159 15.0 N.D. 617,792 652,437 5.6 N.Y. Not yet available OHIO 10,657,423 10,758,421 0.9 OKLA. 2,559,463 2,998,124 17.2 ORE. 2,091,533 2,617,444 25.1 PA. 11,800,766 11,824,561 0.2 R.I. 949,723 945,761 n2 0.4 S.C. 2,590,713 3,067,061 18.4 S.D. 662,257 687,643 3.8 TENN. 3,926,018 4,539,834 15.6 TEXAS 11,198,655 14,152,339 26.4 UTAH 1,059,273 1,454,630 37.3 VT. 444,732 511,299 15.0 VA. 4,651,448 5,321,521 14.4 WASH. 3,413,244 4,109,634 20.4 W.VA. 1,744,237 1,928,524 10.6 WIS. 4,417,821 4,689,055 6.1 WYO. 332,416 468,909 41.1 P.R. 2,712,033 3,187,570 17.5 TOTAL 187.8 m. 210.9 m. 12.3

*2*Excluding New York

n2 Indicates population decreased Source: Bureau of the Census