COLUMBUS — The state of Ohio likely will lose one U.S. House seat based on the population numbers released in recent U.S. Census Bureau estimates.
Ohio has lost House seats every decade for the last 60 years, dropping from 24 seats in 1962 down to only 15 if it does lose another seat after the biennial census is completed this year. Ohio has slower than average population growth compared with the rest of the country, which is primarily caused by more people leaving the state.
“Over half of the people who leave Ohio [do] so because of a new job,” Andrew Kidd, an economist at The Buckeye Institute, told The Center Square in an email.
“Better opportunities draw workers away from Ohio, stunting population and job growth,” Kidd said.
Kidd noted competing states lure workers and businesses away via lower taxes, fewer regulations and better-paying jobs.
For Ohio to increase population growth, Kidd said reducing the commercial activity tax, reducing occupational licensing burdens and controlling spending to prioritize tax dollars would help.
Three of Ohio’s neighbors likely also will be losing one House seat: Michigan, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Kentucky and Indiana likely will be unchanged.
Rhode Island, Illinois, Minnesota and California also will likely lose seats. New York could lose up to two. North Carolina, Colorado, Arizona, Montana and Oregon are projected to gain seats. Florida could gain two and Texas could gain up to three.