While Cuyahoga County saw the third highest population loss in the country, experts say to look beyond the census numbers and focus on the composition of the population rather than the total.
Census data reveals Cuyahoga County lost an estimated 4,940 residents last year. However, the percentage loss is fairly small, and other counties saw a much more dramatic drop.
There are currently 1,248,514 people who call Cuyahoga County home.
Franklin County, where Columbus is, has an estimated 1,291,981 residents — it overtook Cuyahoga as the most populous county in Ohio in 2016.
But Richey Piiparinen, director of the Center for Population Dynamics at Cleveland State University, said the population loss is a bad indicator of how a county is doing.
In fact, the average income — $50,230 — is higher than it has ever been.
The number of educated individuals is also higher than it has ever been — 31 percent of people in Cuyahoga County currently have a bachelor’s degree.
Piiparinen said that despite the population loss, those numbers show that people living in Cuyahoga County are more productive, more wealthy, and more educated.