Census Data Shows Oregon Closing in on Sixth Congressional Seat

Oregon remains on track for netting a sixth congressional seat, according to data from the US Census Bureau.  

Estimates released December 31 place Oregon’s population at 4,217,737, representing a growth of 0.9 percent since 2018, and 10.1 percent over the past decade.  

According to Christian Kaylor, an economist at the Oregon Employment Department, this makes Oregon the twelfth fastest growing state in the U.S. He tweeted “This is ten times faster growth than states like: Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania & New Jersey.”  

President Kimball Brace of Election Data Services told OPB that his firm had run multiple simulations, all of which resulted in a sixth seat for Oregon.   

“It looks like you’re safe [for another congressional seat] with about 100,000 people to spare,” he said.  

The likelihood of a new seat in congress has renewed concerns over potential gerrymandering by the Oregon Legislature. In particular, it has drawn the attention of groups such as the League of Women Voters, who are sponsoring an initiative for an independent, nonpartisan redistricting board.  

“It makes the proposal we want to put on the ballot even more urgent because all of the congressional districts will have to change,” said LWV official Norman Turrill.   

Other states up for an additional seat in congress include Arizona, Colorado, Montana and North Carolina. Florida and Texas are projected to earn multiple new seats, two and three respectively. On the flipside, Alabama, California, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and West Virginia are all expected to lose a seat.   

By Brandon Urey