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Government & Politics

Census: Most Ohio Cities Lose Residents, but Rural Counties Shedding Population Too

A photo of downtown Columbus
Statehouse News Bureau
Columbus remains Ohio's largest city, according to the 2020 US Census. Cincinnati also grew, but Ohio's other cities lost population.

Columbus continues to be the largest city in Ohio, with Cincinnati growing but Cleveland, Akron, Canton, Dayton, Toledo and Youngstown all getting smaller. Those are just some of the factoids from Thursday’s release of 2020 US Census data.

Ohio's population grew by just 2.3%, making it one of seven states to lose a Congressional seat. California, New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Michigan and West Virginia also each lost a seat.

33 of Ohio’s 88 counties gained population, while 55 lost residents. Of the top 10 counties to gain population, half are in central Ohio and four are in southwest Ohio. The 15 counties with the biggest percentage drops are all in rural Ohio.

Five Congressional districts lost population. They include three of the four districts drawn to be Democratic: those represented by Marcy Kaptur (D-OH 9) and Tim Ryan (D-OH 13) and the vacant 11th Congressional district previously held by Marcia Fudge, along with districts represented by Republicans Bill Johnson (R-OH 6) and Jim Jordan (R-OH 4).

Ohio is among the least diverse states, with 77% of its population being White, 12.5% Black and 4.4% Latino. The White population in the rest of the country dropped almost six points in the last decade to 57.8%.

Census data is essential to drawing new maps for state and Congressional districts. The data goes to Ohio University for processing and verification before it will go to lawmakers to use to draw the state's new Congressional map and the ones for the Ohio House and Senate.

Copyright 2021 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.