Majority of Columbus Residents Live in Multifamily Homes
Geographically speaking, Columbus is a very large city. With over 220 square miles within city boundaries, it dwarves cities like Cleveland (82 square miles) and Cincinnati (79 square miles) even though both of our Ohio neighbors are located in larger metropolitan regions. The reason for this discrepancy lies in the heavy-handed local annexation policies of the mid-20th century, which gobbled up a lot of suburban land in Franklin County, bringing it under Columbus control. While those policies have served the city well in some regards, it has gained Columbus the reputation of being largely composed of low-density suburban-style development.
The logical conclusion from that would indicate that the majority of Columbus residents live in single family homes tucked away on cul-de-sacs hidden behind strip malls without a sidewalk in sight. But even though a new study from the US Census Bureau shows that single family housing is still the most popular form of residence in the United States as a whole, Columbus has just under half of its population living in those types of homes. The rest of the local population lives in multi-family buildings or attached rowhouses that range from two units to over 20 units.
That’s still a far cry from cities like New York, where less than ten percent of the population lives in single family homes, but Columbus does have fewer single family dwellers than other oft-compared cities like Portland, Charlotte, Indianapolis and Louisville.
While housing types do not directly correlate with the urban-suburban divide, they do play one factor in determining density and showcasing the way that people live. AllColumbusData revealed last year that Columbus also ranks in the middle of the pack when comparing exurban population growth (the furthest flung suburbs) to the city’s urban population growth, indicating by a different set of metrics that Columbus is not quite as suburban as we collectively imagine it to be.
Local planning experts are also projecting that our city’s layout will continue to grow even denser over the next several decades, highlighting the ways in which land uses can be optimized to create more walkable neighborhoods where residents can have closer access to jobs, shops and other daily amenities.
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