Dublin May Surpass Newark as Largest Suburb in Central Ohio by 2020
Every year, the City of Newark grows by 83 new residents while the City of Dublin adds 670 new residents. If these growth rates continue, Dublin's population will surpass Newark's by 2020.
The City of Newark has long been the second largest city in the Central Ohio region. With an estimated population of 47,986 in 2015, the seat of Licking County has held the title of the biggest Columbus suburb for a very long time — but that’s very likely to change sometime within the next several years. While new census estimates show that Newark is still growing in overall population, it’s not growing as fast as the City of Dublin, which is expected to become the largest suburb by 2020 if growth rates continue as currently projected.
“We are humbled, but not surprised, said Dublin Development Director Donna Goss. “Dublin has long been recognized as a premier community and has an established history as a progressive, well-educated and innovative city.”
While Newark is a much older city, the majority of Dublin’s growth has occurred in recent decades. The city was home to fewer than 700 people in 1970, and will likely surpass the 50,000 mark within the next decade. Goss contributes that rapid growth to the city’s high quality schools and public services, as well as future development plans including the Bridge Street Corridor.
“Residents are satisfied with how City officials maintain streets, roads, and architectural standards, as well as management of the City’s finances and planning for the future,” said Goss. “And they appreciate their efforts to keep residents informed, seek community input, and listen to concerns.”
Jon Seymour, founder of local information analysis site AllColumbusData.com, said that the title of “largest suburb” doesn’t mean a whole lot outside of bragging rights, but explained that the news does serve to illuminate a story about regional development patterns.
“Back in the first half of the 20th century, a lot more people lived in small to mid-sized cities that were widely scattered,” he explained. “Now, more and more people are moving to urban areas — not necessarily the core city, but at least nearby, connected communities. Dublin, as well as other surrounding suburbs in Franklin County, benefitted by both proximity to Columbus and the post-war sprawl era, something that Newark was too far away to take advantage of. Newark will likely continue to grow into the future, as 86 percent of the 10-county metro communities are, but probably not very quickly.”
Mark Mauter, Development Director for the City of Newark, says that Newark is not going to be resting on its laurels and expects a wave of growth in the coming years. Newark recently opened its $5 million Canal Market District facility, representing a large investment in the historic Downtown Newark area.
“Newark celebrated its bicentennial in 2002, so we’re 214 years old, and that means that we have a Downtown with numerous beautiful old buildings,” explained Mauter. “Those buildings are now attracting retail and office space tenants on their first floors, with residential on the second and third floors. There’s been quite a bit of interest in that, especially on the residential living side. Keeping our Downtown vital will continue to be an economic development driver.”
Seymour added that if Newark can take notes from Dublin’s Bridge Park or Evans Farm development plans, it could position itself well for future growth.
“Promoting smart growth and walkable development will make Newark more competitive in attracting some of the tens of thousands of new metro residents that arrive every year,” he stated. “I would also like to eventually see some form of a collaborative commuter rail project that connects Columbus with its major suburbs, which I think Newark qualifies as. That would certainly help with connectivity.”