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Population Stagnation Could Lose Ohio 2 House Seats

Wednesday, December 23, 2009 at 5:17 PM

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Ohio could come out the biggest loser in the next round of reapportionment, when many states will gain or lose congressional house seats based on the 10-year census. Ideastream's Bill Rice reports.

Census estimates released Wednesday show Ohio’s population gained slightly over the last decade, but only by 1.7 percent, while the nation as a whole grew nine percent.  If the 2010 census numbers are close to those estimates, Ohio will likely lose two congressional seats, and be the only state to lose that many. 

The census estimates show that many Ohioans continue to leave the state.  Births outnumbered deaths by nearly 400 thousand, but nearly three times as many people moved out of Ohio - about 368 thousand -as moved in.

Mark Salling, a demographer at Cleveland State University, says a lack of jobs is the primary culprit keeping population growth in check. 

A lack of jobs will keep your population low, people will go to where the jobs are.  So Ohio’s slow population growth and, more importantly, our loss in migration to other states is due to the fact that the jobs are leaving Ohio and going elsewhere, so people are leaving. 

Wyoming showed the largest percentage population growth over the decade, followed by Utah and Texas.  The only three states to lose population were Michigan, Maine and Rhode Island.

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