Ohio Loses One Congressional Seat After Census Results

For six states, the long-awaited Census results mean they’ll gain representation in Congress. Ohio isn't one of them.

Apr 27, 2021 at 9:12 am

click to enlarge U.S. House of Representatives - Photo: Courtesy of Martin Falbisoner
Photo: Courtesy of Martin Falbisoner
U.S. House of Representatives

Ohio’s sway in Congress ain’t what it used to be.

The Buckeye State will lose one congressional seat when the map is redrawn ahead of the 2022 elections, the U.S. Census Bureau announced Monday. Ohio will go from 16 seats to 15.

The U.S. House of Representatives has 435 total seats that are divided up among the 50 states based on population. Maps are redrawn and seats are reapportioned every 10 years to reflect the latest Census data.

For six states, the long-awaited Census results mean they’ll gain representation in Congress: Fast-growing Texas will add two seats, and five states will each add one seat: Florida (which surpassed New York to become the third-largest state), North Carolina, Colorado, Montana and Oregon.

New York, California, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia all will see their federal delegations shrink by one legislator starting in 2023.

Ohio’s population grew slightly between the 2010 census and the one conducted in 2020, but is still losing a seat because other states’ populations grew at much larger levels.

A few years ago, Ohioans voted to reform the mapmaking system with an eye on transparency: 

click to enlarge The new mapmaking system - Photo: Ohio Capital Journal
Photo: Ohio Capital Journal
The new mapmaking system

Delays in the release of detailed Census data may cause some issues with this timeline. Some of the data used toward mapping out new districts is not scheduled to come until the fall, right around when Ohio is supposed to have its proposed maps drafted and voted upon. State legislative leaders are reportedly working on a suggested solution.

Ohio once had as many as 24 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, but has slowly lost seats since the 1970s. The 15 seats that will be up for election in 2022, 2024, 2026, 2028 and 2030 cycles are the fewest Ohio has had since the 1830s.

This story was originally published by the Ohio Capital Journal and republished here with permission