New census numbers out Wednesday document a continuing pattern of population loss across Northeast Ohio over the past decade. ideastream's David C. Barnett reports that Cleveland took the biggest hit.
The 2010 Census reports that Cleveland's current population is 396, 815. It's the first time in a hundred years the city has dropped below the 400,000 mark. Mark Salling heads the Northern Ohio Data and Information Service, and he says the pain is being felt beyond the urban core.
SALLING: We also see losses making their way into the inner ring suburbs around central cities like Cleveland. But also, in Cuyahoga County in particular, in some of the suburbs that never were considered "inner ring suburbs", but they are now starting to lose population.
Regionally, Cuyahoga County was down 8%, while Summit County stayed fairly even. It appears that not a lot of people are actually leaving the region, but just moving further out into the adjacent suburbs. Medina County continues to see substantial growth. The eastern part of Lorain County continues to grow as the cities of Lorain and Cleveland continue to shrink. Demographer Mark Salling, who crunches the census numbers for area policy planners through the Center for Community Solutions, says there's also a bottom line consideration.
SALLING: The overall loss of population in the region is really significant for anybody who lives in the region, because it affects business.
And it also affects how much federal funding comes to each community. The Cleveland Planning Dept has said that the city loses about $12,000 for every person it loses. The new numbers also chart changes in ethnicity across the region. Cuyahoga County has experienced a slight loss of it's African American population, but it's gained about 8,000 Asians and 14,000 Hispanics.
Outside of Northeast Ohio, the inner city of Columbus has also lost population, but thanks to annexation of surrounding communities, the state capital has actually grown to nearly 790,000 over the past ten years.
All of these new numbers will be used by Ohio lawmakers to redraw federal, state and local legislative districts sometime over the summer or into the fall.