Nov 30, 2021 - News

Ohio's population is shifting toward Columbus

Ohio demographic center of gravity
Data: U.S. Census Bureau; Map: Jacque Schrag/Axios

Columbus and its burgeoning suburbs are shifting the state's population center of gravity closer to the middle of Ohio.

  • The measurement is the average of where the state's 11.8 million people live, as calculated by the U.S. Census Bureau.

How it works: If every Ohioan weighed equally, the point marks where a flat map of Ohio would balance perfectly.

Why it matters: The drastic shift since 1950 is an illustration of the capital city's rapid growth combined with population decline in rural areas and Cleveland, the state's next-largest city.

  • The 11-county central Ohio region is now home to 2.2 million people.
  • Franklin County surpassed Cuyahoga County's population for the first time in 2017.

What's next: The Columbus region is expected to reach 3 million people by 2050.

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