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Northeast Ohio's Two Largest Cities Continue Losing Population

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U.S. Census

  Northeast Ohio’s two biggest cities have continued to lose residents over the last decade. That’s one trend evident from the latest Census numbers released last week. For Ohio Public Radio,  WCPN's, Nick Castele has more.

This release allows us to compare two periods of time: the years leading up to the recession, and the years coming out of it. From 2005 to 2014, Cleveland lost 10 percent of its population. The decline in Akron was more modest, at 5 percent.

Both white and black residents have been leaving Cleveland, but the city held steady among people who identify as Hispanic or Latino. Meanwhile, the suburbs in Cuyahoga and Summit counties are home to more black, Hispanic and Asian residents than before.

But the numbers that really stand out to Cleveland State University researcher Richey Piiparinen have to do with poverty and education.

“Almost half the people without a high school degree in Cleveland are at the poverty level.”

The number: 47 percent. That’s up from about 37 percent of people who no high school diploma living in poverty before the recession. While a slightly bigger portion of people in Cleveland have college educations, Piiparinen says another part of the community has been left out of that change.

“The country, the city, the region, we’re all moving into this new economy. And if you’re not prepared—and being prepared is educational attainment…then you’re really going to be dislocated from the workforce.”

And in Cleveland now, more than half of the city’s children live below the poverty line. The child poverty rate has also grown in Akron, to around 39 percent.