March 25, 2006

Weekend Question 1: Why Isn’t This Population Decline Getting More Attention?

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government,TWUQs — Tom @ 1:48 pm

The Hamilton County “Voting with Feet” Trend Continues

The latest Census Bureau population estimates reveal the following for Hamilton County’s population (link is to a page containing spreadsheets by state containing each individual county):

845,303 — April 1, 2000 Census
838,663 — July 1, 2001 Estimate
830,036 — July 1, 2002 Estimate
822,318 — July 1, 2003 Estimate
813,639 — July 1, 2004 Estimate
806,652 — July 1, 2005 Estimate

The easy answer would be to claim that all of the reduction is due to the population decline in the City of Cincinnati. That would be wrong — Here are city figures for 2000 through 2004 (link is to a page containing spreadsheets for major cities; 2005 is apparently not available yet):

331,285 — April 1, 2000 Census
327,356 — July 1, 2001 Estimate
322,278 — July 1, 2002 Estimate
318,185 — July 1, 2003 Estimate
314,154 — July 1, 2004 Estimate

So in fact, the city’s population loss during the comparable period of 2000-2004 (17,131) is only a bit more than half of the total countywide loss (31, 664).

Meanwhile, 5-year population increases in three counties surrounding Hamilton County in Southwest Ohio are:

Warren — + 38,239
Clermont — + 12,612
Butler — + 17,605

Warren County’s population now exceeds Clermont’s.

So the region as a whole is growing, just not Hamilton County, and for four primary reasons (we can debate the order, but not the existence): Crime, Schools, Taxes, and Open Space. It’s all too easy to place the blame on Open Space. The fact is that Hamilton County’s (and Cincinnati’s) taxes are worse than ever, most of the school systems are poor performers, and crime (even in some areas outside the City of Cincinnati) is an oppressive presence.

When are Cincinnati city and Hamilton County leaders going to take the ongoing “voting with their feet” effect seriously?

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1 Comment

  1. Add the Interstates – now some want an outer-outer-belt.

    I’m visiting here for a year and the crime is crazy – good grief.

    Comment by save_the_rustbelt — March 25, 2006 @ 7:54 pm

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