Cuyahoga County had the third largest population loss nationwide in sheer numbers between 2016 and 2017 and the second largest percentage population loss among the 100 most populous counties, according to newly released Census data.
Estimates show Cuyahoga County lost 4,940 residents, trailing only Cook County (20,093 drop) and the city of Baltimore (5,310 drop). The six counties surrounding Cuyahoga County all experienced growth, albeit nominal in each case.
The Cleveland-Elyria metro area also fell in the bottom 10 for population growth
among metro areas with more than 500,000 residents, coming in with a 0.1% drop.
The Columbus metro area
passed the Cleveland metro area in population. Cincinnati remained the most populous but some experts predict Columbus will surpass it by the early to mid-2020s as the city continues to attract jobs.
What does it mean? Well, the numbers are the numbers, and it's hard to paint a rosy picture when Cleveland is faced with repeated population loss stats. And, as data cruncher extraordinaire Rich Exner reminds us
, Cuyahoga County is already almost completely built out (for no good reason), as you might have noticed from the 2003 county land use map (aka: the Map de Sprawl) that was widely shared in recent weeks
. It shows the unabated development of Cuyahoga from county line to county line from 1948 to 2002 despite the fact that the county's population was identical in both years.