2020 Census: Ohio to lose seat in Congress

Ohio will lose a seat in the U.S. House after the first set of 2020 Census results were announced this afternoon, dropping from 16 seats currently to 15 in future years.

The country saw a 7.4% population increase between 2010 and 2020, the second slowest in U.S. history. The south grew the fastest. The Midwest grew 3.1% this decade.

Local government leaders say every census is important because the numbers shape how much federal money comes back to local programs and how much representation the area gets in Washington, D.C.

The 2020 Census, however, is taking on more significance for the Miami Valley, experts say.

The count comes every 10 years, and this one will show how the region changed in the aftermath of the Great Recession and what happened to people displaced by the Memorial Day tornadoes.

According to a study from the George Washington University, each person not counted in Ohio is a loss of $1,800 per year for the state.

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State population counts are used to determine how many seats each state gets in the U.S. House of Representatives. There are 435 seats in the U.S. House based on the changing populations in each state.

The method for dividing up congressional seats has changed repeatedly since the first census in 1790. The current formula, known as “the method of equal proportions,” has been in place for 80 years, according to the Associated Press. Using that method, all 50 states are automatically assigned at least one seat. Numbers called multipliers are calculated and then multiplied against a state’s population. The resulting series of numbers are called “priority values,” which are then ranked. From there, the rest of the congressional seats are assigned to states based on the ranking of their state’s priority values.

The count also helps draw boundaries for congressional, state and local districts.

The data released today will only be state population totals and the number of congressional seats each state gets. More detailed data about race, Hispanic origin and housing at smaller geographic levels will be released no later than Sept. 30, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo said.

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