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Pew: Ohio one of 17 states to shrink in population last year

Posted at 9:00 AM, Apr 30, 2022

The following article was originally published in the Ohio Capital Journal and published on under a content-sharing agreement.

Ohio is among the roughly one in three American states whose population shrank last year, according to research from Pew Charitable Trusts.

Between July 2020 and July 2021, Ohio’s population decreased by about 0.1% (approximately 11,800 people). The median state grew by 0.14% during this period.

Looking at the last 10 years, Ohio grew more slowly than all but five states. It beat out West Virginia, Mississippi and Illinois, which decreased in population during the decade, along with Connecticut and Michigan, which narrowly grew.

Ohio grew during the decade at an annualized rate of 0.23%, as opposed to the median state’s 0.55%, according to the research. Nationally, the Midwest and Northeast grew at the slowest rate, while states in the South and West boomed.

Population trends can create economic feedback loops. More people mean more labor and commerce, which attracts jobs, workers, and business. The reverse can also be true.

Ohio’s population grew by 2.3% — about 263,000 people — over the decade to about 11.8 million, according to the 2020 U.S. Census.