Franklin County was the Fastest Growing County in Ohio in 2012
This article is brought to you by the Schottenstein Real Estate Group.
According to new census estimate data that was recently released, Franklin County led the state of Ohio in population growth in 2012. Additionally, the growth of Franklin County surpassed that of Delaware County, which was previously leading the state. We were curious whether we could say that there’s a renewed interest in urban living based on this fact, so we asked the experts.
Dr. Bill LaFayette is the owner of Regionomics, a Columbus-based firm focusing on community economic and workforce strategy. He believes that this new data says something very unique about Franklin County and our region.
“I checked the census counts back to 1810 – as far back as there was a Franklin County – and there has never been a decade where our population declined,” he said. “That is absolutely amazing for a big urban county, especially one in the Midwest or Northeast. Many regions are becoming doughnuts – their cores contract while their fringes expand, which increases commute times and the cost of municipal services, and promotes sprawl. That has never been true here.”
Jung Kim, the Director of Research for the Columbus Chamber agrees that the fact that Franklin County is growing fast is a good sign for the region as a whole.
“It is important that the core of a region is economically and socially healthy,” he adds. “In the 1970s and 1980s, regions around the U.S. whose core cities were in decline and were able to point to fast-growing outlying areas than more than balanced out the loss. This is no longer true today, where even the metro area populations of Detroit or Pittsburgh are stagnant.”
Both experts agree that just because Franklin County is growing, doesn’t necessarily mean that the growth is in urban and not suburban living.
“Downtown Columbus has seen its population jump in the past decade and sees a significant amount of new development on the horizon,” Kim remarks. “Certain other urban neighborhoods are continuing to grow as well, but so are many suburban areas of the county, which may make up a greater share of the county’s growth. We will have to wait a year or two for better, more detailed statistics to pinpoint how much of Franklin County’s 2011-2012 growth is attributable to trends in urban living.”
Dr. Lafayette concurs that we need to be very careful about inferring anything about urban living from this growth.
“All we know is that Franklin County grew; we don’t know where in Franklin County the growth occurred,” he said. “For all we know, it could be on the fringes or in the parts of the county that are still semi-rural. You can’t draw conclusions from anecdotal gains in the number of Downtown residents without the data to make percentage-wise comparisons.”
Whether the growth of Franklin county is due to the rise in urban living or not, what we can conclude is that either way, the growth is great news for the county now and for the future.
This article was brought to you by the Schottenstein Real Estate Group. For great apartments in Franklin County and all around Columbus, Ohio, visit www.schottensteinrealestate.com.
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