Filed under Global Concerns
The 2010 United States Census results have been released for the state of Ohio, which provides a detailed estimate of population change. Ohio has increased slowly at 1.6% for ten years; adding 183,364 people. This is a continuation of slow growth that Ohio has experienced for 40 years, as the state grew from 10.7 million in 1970 to 11.5 million in 2010. This slow growth is consistent with many of the developed nations of Europe and East Asia. Ohio's share of the national population has decreased from 5.2% in 1970 to 3.7% in 2010.
Map Figure 1: USA Population Change 2000-2010; Relative
Map Figure 1 shows that Ohio had one of the slowest growth rates in the USA, compared with 9.7% growth for the nation as a whole. The USA itself experienced a slowdown in population from 1990-2000, but a number of states still are relatively fast growing, including North Carolina, Georgia, Idaho and Utah.
Map Figure 2: USA Population Change 2000-2010: Absolute
Map Figure 2 shows that a few states added over a million people in ten years, including California and Florida. The biggest gainer was Texas, which added over four million people and is now a trillion dollar economic powerhouse with over 25 million persons. Overall, the natural growth rate (births minus deaths) has been slowing in the USA, but Texas combined both international and domestic (moving in from other states) migration to boost its overall gain in population.
Map Figure 3: Ohio Population Change by County, 2000-2010
Map Figure 3 shows population change for the 88 counties of Ohio. There are a variety of different ways to show population change via maps, and this one shows that 35 counties lost population, and 33 grew at or below the national rate. Only ten counties experienced significant population increase, with six of those in Central Ohio. Fast growing counties (growing 25% or more) include Union, Delaware and Warren. The map of relative change masks that Franklin County added the most people, with an increase of almost 95,000 persons.
The top three counties with absolute population gain, Franklin, Delaware and Warren, added a combined 208,000 people. The other 85 counties as a group lost population. Most population growth is occurring in a small area of the State.
Map Figure 4: Ohio Population Change by Township, 2000-2010
Population data can reveal different spatial patterns when viewed in different scales. If we go from 88 counties to 1,600 minor civil divisions (townships and major cities), the pattern is more nuanced. Counties that lost population might have had gains in one or two townships, and counties that gained population might have had losses in one or several townships. Some townships in Northwest and Northeast Ohio experienced rapid population growth, and would be places where significant landscape change should be observed. Parts of Southeast Ohio were also growth centers.
Overall, Central Ohio is shown to have a story of rapid population growth in many townships. Exceptions to this include some older suburbs, including Bexley, Whitehall, Grandview Heights and Worthington. Also a review of the city of Columbus, which overall gained 75,000 persons, shows that there was strong growth in the undeveloped annexed lands, especially those in proximity to Dublin and New Albany, and moderate growth in the corridor from Short North to Downtown. Much of the older core of Columbus lost significant population, and the data shows that had the city of Columbus not annexed land to grow from 52 to 211 square miles in the last fifty years, the population story would be very similar to the heavy losses experienced by the major cities of Cincinnati, Dayton, Toledo, Cleveland, Akron and Youngstown.
Map Figure 5: Ohio Population Density by Township, 2000
Map Figure 6: Ohio Population Density by Township, 2010
Finally, we can review population density maps to detect shifts in population settlement patterns. In 2000, Map Figure 5 shows that about 7 percent of the state (red) was densely settled in urbanized areas, while 31.5 percent (orange) was an exurban mix of rural with low density residential housing on lots generally several acres in size. Sixty-one percent of the state was rural, while areas that might be wildlands (less than ten persons per square mile), only occurred in a few townships, and turn out to be the effect of almost uninhabited former and active strip mining areas.
In 2010, we can see urbanized areas expanded a bit into Delaware County, including Orange township (which contains the Polaris retail/office complex). Urbanized areas appear to have added 191 square miles of territory, increasing from 6.9 to 7.4 percent of the state. Exurban settlement increased somewhat, from 31.5 to 31.9 percent of the state. The combined urbanized and exurban footprint , or metropolitan area, remains at about 40 percent of the state, with the remaining 60 percent rural or non-metropolitan.
Overall, a comparison of density patterns suggests that most of the landscape in 2010 is similar to the year 2000, which provides evidence that Ohio's basic settlement pattern, once established over a hundred years ago, has large elements that are persistent and slow changing. Most of the population change happened in a relatively small part of the state, about half a percent that experienced urbanization.