5 seats in U.S. House of Representatives is ‘better’ for Oregon

Sun shines on the U.S. Capitol dome Tuesday, March 2, 2021, in Washington, D.C.

ONTARIO

It has not occurred since 1980, when Oregon gained a fifth seat in the U.S House of Representatives. However, based on the data released by the U.S. Census Bureau, the state will received a sixth congressional seat with the redistricting taking place as a result of the 2020 census. 

That was confirmed by Ben Williams, policy specialist with the National Conference of State Legislatures, during a joint meeting of the House and Senate Special Committees on redistricting conducted online.

“It will give Oregon better representation,” said District 15 Rep. Shelly Boshart Davis, co-chairwoman of the House committee

According to Census figures, the U.S. population grew by 7.4% over the 2010 census, and was put at 331,449,281. One of closely watched results of the census is the shifting of U.S. House seats among states. And, of the last three census results, 2020 produced the smallest shift of seats, at seven. After the 2000 census there was a shift of 18 seats and after 2010 there was a shift of 21 seats. 

Oregon grew by 10.6%, and is the 11th-fastest growing state in the nation. According to the Oregon redistricting website, the state Congressional district’s may have an estimated 825,961 in population, state Senate District may average 137,660 people, and House districts may average about 68,830. These were based on 2019 population estimates.

However, the census data to be used on drawing the lines for state House and Senate districts is not expected to be available until sometime in August, so the committee will not be able to finish its work until late summer or fall.

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