Outward growing population, less white
US Census: America is becoming less ‘white’ for the first time ever
The United States is an increasingly diverse and urbanized nation, according to statistics released by the US Census Bureau.
STAFF VIDEO, USA TODAY
With the exception of some areas largely in the neighborhoods of Franklinton, Hilltop and South Side, Columbus and suburban Franklin County saw nearly universal growth across the board, according to recently released 2020 census data.
In addition to the Central Ohio region’s growth from 2010 to 2020, Columbus’ suburban neighbors have seen strong growth across the board over the past decade, with region growth continuing to head generally to the west and north.
The city of Columbus, the largest city in the state, grew faster than Franklin County as a whole – 15.1% versus 13.8% – and accounted for 74% of the county’s population growth of just over 160,000 new residents. But some of its suburban neighbors have proportionally exceeded it.
Those suburban communities growing faster than Columbus included:
- New Albany (40.1%, at 10,825)
- Hilliard (30.5%, at 37,114)
- Winchester Channel (28.2% at 9,107)
- Grandview Heights (23.7% at 8,085)
- Dublin (18.1%, at 49,328)
- Grove Town (16%, 41,252)
The village of Obetz, south of Columbus, grew by 957, or 21.1%, to 5,489, pushing it above the 5,000 population mark when it will officially become a city governed by Ohio law.
Outside Franklin County: Delaware and Union Counties See Fastest Growth in Ohio
Although lagging Columbus’ population increase, other suburban neighbors showing growth included:
- Reynoldsburg (14.4%, to 41,076)
- Groveport (12%, at 6,009)
- Whitehall (11.4%, at 20127)
- Upper Arlington (9%, at 36,800)
- Worthington (8.9% at 14,786)
- Westerville (8.5% to 39,190)
- Gahanna (7.5% to 35,726)
- Bexley (6.7% to 13,928)
Franklin County ‘expands outward’ as urban sprawl continues
That kind of strong growth has been normal for Franklin County over the past few decades, said Bill LaFayette, a central Ohio economic and demographic analyst and owner of Regionomics.
“It’s grown a lot already,” LaFayette said, “and now we see the urbanized area growing outward.”
Of the several dozen areas in Franklin County that lost population between 2010 and 2020, their declines were mostly single-digit percentages, with a few exceptions.
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The Near East Side of Columbus is getting less black, more white
One of the most striking racial shifts has been the exodus of black residents from the Near East Side – the area generally north and south of Broad Street between Downtown and Bexley. Census tracts in this area are showing double-digit percentage losses of thousands of black residents, in one case down to nearly 38%.
These Near East Side residents have largely been replaced by white residents in an area that has seen intense residential redevelopment and construction over the past decade. The percentage increase of white residents in those same areas was even more dramatic, several in the triple digits.
As the Census uses widespread “differential privacy,” commonly referred to as noise injection, in lower-level data for the first time to protect the privacy of individuals from data miners, LaFayette said the changes seem too big to be created by the masking technique. .
“It’s more than noise,” he said.
For example: The population of a census tract in the King-Lincoln Bronzeville neighborhood east of Interstate 71 and north of East Broad Street increased by almost 20%. The population of white residents there more than doubled, from 307 to 746, and those of two or more races doubled from 81 to 172, while the number of black residents fell from 1,307 to 1,035, a drop by 21%.
Increasing Diversity in the Columbus Area
The black population has grown almost universally over the past decade in the rest of Franklin County by 21.3% to just under 300,000, the data shows. The county’s overall white population fell about 0.4 percent, to 802,685. The county’s Asian population increased 64.6 percent to more than 74,000 people. The Hispanic or Latino population increased by 63.6% to 91,182.
“We’re becoming more diverse,” LaFayette said.
Explore Franklin County Data: Population Growth, Racial Diversity and Housing Statistics
In Franklinton and several areas of Hilltop, the overall population decline coincides with losses – many in the double digits – of white residents, a pattern that is repeated in parts of the South Side, Whitehall, Linden and Northland. Meanwhile, several suburbs and parts of Union and Delaware counties became whiter as a percentage of their total population.
The Delaware city grew by 10.5%, to more than 38,000 residents.
Michael Wilkos, senior vice president of community impact at United Way of Central Ohio, has long studied demographics and demographic changes in the Columbus area, and analyzed the latest batch of census data.
Wilkos said he was struck by several things, including how nearly every census tract in the Linden area was showing population growth after decades of decline. He also cited strong population growth in the increasingly diverse Northland, even though the area hasn’t seen a lot of new housing.
For him, this means that more families, including extended families, occupy accommodation there. Many of these families are immigrants and refugees.
For example: A census tract north of Morse Road, between Karl Road and Cleveland Avenue, saw its population increase by 29%, from 3,650 to 4,718. The white population increased from 1,152 to 718, while the black population increased by only 3%, from 2,183 to 2,245.
But the Asian population there has grown by more than 1,000, from just 32 in 2010 to 1,268 in 2020. The region is home to a number of Bhutanese and other Nepalese refugees.
Wilkos said the vibrancy of the Morse Road corridor shows that the higher number of residents is offsetting some of the area’s economic decline.
“You don’t see that along Hamilton Road near Eastland,” he said.
Wilkos believes Linden’s growth is tied to chronic housing underconstruction in the Columbus area over the past decade, which has caused people to head to more neighborhoods in Columbus to find homes.
He is also concerned that there was an undercount of some of the University District’s population, as Ohio State students who would normally have lived there returned home when the COVID-19 pandemic 19 hit in March 2020.
The two census tracts that cover Weinland Park, where Wilkos lives, showed population increases of 48% and 43%, mainly due to new white residents as new housing increased in the area, including on the former Columbus Coated Fabrics site north of East 5th Avenue. .
But alongside those areas, north of Chittenden Avenue in an area dominated by students, a census tract east of North High Street that stretches partly to East 17th Avenue saw a decline of 15 %, going from 3,574 to 3,039.
“Normally you don’t have these (changes) next to each other,” he said.
As the confgentrification of census data occurs in some areas, particularly along the High Street Corridor, Wilkos said housing costs were rising in areas such as Northland because low- and middle-income residents were competing the same houses.