New U.S. Census Bureau figures show Ohio’s population continues to hold steady.
M.L. Schultze of member station WKSU in Kent reports.
11.5 million people live in Ohio, and that hasn’t changed much over the last two years. Neither have the patterns of who is living where. African-Americans in Ohio continue to be concentrated overwhelmingly in a handful of counties, led by Cuyahoga. And much of the Northeastern part of the state saw a population drop, albeit a slight one. Exceptions include Medina, Geauga and Stark. And Mark Salling, a demographer at Cleveland State University, says their gain often came at the expense of adjacent counties – especially Cuyahoga.
“It’s a chain reaction. When you build … housing developments in the outer fringes of a metropolitan area, you end up draining population from the center. The only question is whether or not you’re replacing that population, those households, those families in the center, which we used to be able to do when we were attracting migration from the rural South or from Europe, etc.”
The answer to that question these days, Salling says, is “no.”
Harder hit even than Cuyahoga were areas along the eastern border, including Youngstown and Steubenville. And the population boom projected for the parts of Ohio’s Applachian region-- linked to oil and gas drilling—are not showing up in the numbers yet.