Metro Population Density Comparison- 2016 Update




I originally posted some data on this subject back in March 2013, which included this information for 2011 and 2012. I have updated to include new information.

The Columbus Metropolitan Area resides within a group of metros between 1.5 and 2.5 million people. I wanted to take a look at population densities between that group of metros to see how different they really are and where Columbus might fall within them.

Metro Area Size in Square Miles (Land Only) in 2016
1. Las Vegas, NV: 7,891
2. San Antonio, TX: 7,340
3. Kansas City, MO: 7,255
4. Portland, OR: 6,683
5. Nashville, TN: 6,300
6. Pittsburgh, PA: 5,282
7. Sacramento, CA: 5,096
8. Charlotte, NC: 5,068
9. Columbus: 4,796
10. Cincinnati: 4,391
11. Indianapolis, IN: 4,306
12. Austin, TX: 4,219
13. Orlando, FL: 3,477
14. San Jose, CA: 2,679
15. Virginia Beach, VA: 2,089
16. Cleveland: 1,996
17. Providence, RI: 1,587
18. Milwaukee, WI: 1,455

Metro Area Population Census 2010 and July 1, 2016 (using 2013 updated boundaries)
2010———————————————————-2016
1. Pittsburgh: 2,356,285————————–1. Charlotte: 2,474,314
2. Portland: 2,226,009—————————-2. Orlando: 2,441,257
3. Charlotte: 2,217,012—————————3. San Antonio: 2,429,609
4. Sacramento: 2,149,127———————–4. Portland: 2,424,955
5. San Antonio: 2,142,508———————–5. Pittsburgh: 2,342,299
6. Orlando: 2,134,411—————————–6. Sacramento: 2,296,418
7. Cincinnati: 2,114,580————————–7. Cincinnati: 2,165,139
8. Cleveland: 2,077,240————————–8. Las Vegas: 2,155,664
9. Kansas City: 2,009,342———————–9. Kansas City: 2,104,509
10. Las Vegas: 1,951,269———————–10. Austin: 2,056,405
11. Columbus: 1,901,974————————11. Cleveland: 2,055,612
12. Indianapolis: 1,887,877———————-12. Columbus: 2,041,520
13. San Jose: 1,836,911————————-13. Indianapolis: 2,004,230
14. Austin: 1,716,289—————————–14. San Jose: 1,978,816
15. Virginia Beach: 1,676,822——————15. Nashville: 1,865,298
16. Nashville: 1,670,890————————-16. Virginia Beach: 1,726,907
17. Providence: 1,600,852———————-17. Providence: 1,614,750
18. Milwaukee: 1,555,908———————–18. Milwaukee: 1,572,482

Metro Area Population Density by Square Mile Census 2010 and July 1, 2016
2010—————————————–2016
1. Milwaukee: 1069.4—————1. Milwaukee: 1080.7
2. Cleveland: 1040.5—————-2. Cleveland: 1029.7
3. Providence: 1008.7—————3. Providence: 1017.5
4. Virginia Beach: 802.7———–4. Virginia Beach: 826.7
5. San Jose: 685.7——————5. San Jose: 738.6
6. Orlando: 613.9——————–6. Orlando: 702.1
7. Cincinnati: 481.6—————–7. Cincinnati: 493.1
8. Pittsburgh: 446.1—————–8. Charlotte: 488.2
9. Indianapolis: 438.4—————9. Austin: 487.4
10. Charlotte: 437.5—————-10. Indianapolis: 465.4
11. Sacramento: 421.7————11. Sacramento: 450.6
12. Austin: 406.8——————–12. Pittsburgh: 443.4
13. Columbus: 396.6—————13. Columbus: 425.7
14. Portland: 333.1—————–14. Portland: 362.9
15. San Antonio: 291.9————15. San Antonio: 331.0
16. Kansas City: 277.0————16. Nashville: 296.1
17. Nashville: 265.2—————-17. Kansas City: 290.1
18. Las Vegas: 247.3————–18. Las Vegas: 273.2

Density Change Rank 2010-2016
1. Orlando: 88.3
2. Austin: 80.6
3. San Jose: 53.0
4. Charlotte: 50.8
5. San Antonio: 39.1
6. Nashville: 30.9
7. Portland: 29.8
8. Columbus: 29.1
9. Sacramento: 28.9
10. Indianapolis: 27.0
11. Las Vegas: 25.9
12. Virginia Beach: 24.0
13. Kansas City: 13.1
14. Cincinnati: 11.5
15. Milwaukee: 11.4
16. Providence: 8.8
17. Pittsburgh: -2.6
18. Cleveland: -10.8

Core County Population Census 2010 and July 1, 2016 by Rank
2010————————————————————-2016
1. Clark (Las Vegas): 1,951,269———————1. Clark: 2,155,664
2. Santa Clara (San Jose): 1,781,642————–2. Bexar: 1,928,680
3. Bexar (San Antonio): 1,714,773——————3. Santa Clara: 1,919,402
4. Sacramento (Sacramento): 1,418,788———-4. Sacramento: 1,514,460
5. Cuyahoga: 1,280,122——————————-5. Orange: 1,314,367
6. Allegheny (Pittsburgh): 1,223,348—————6. Franklin: 1,264,518
7. Franklin: 1,163,414———————————-7. Cuyahoga: 1,249,352
8. Orange (Orlando): 1,145,956———————8. Allegheny: 1,225,365
9. Travis: (Austin): 1,024,266————————9. Travis: 1,199,323
10. Milwaukee (Milwaukee): 947,735————–10. Mecklenburg: 1,054,835
11. Mecklenburg (Charlotte): 919,628————-11. Milwaukee: 951,448
12. Marion (Indianapolis): 903,393—————–12. Marion: 941,229
13. Hamilton: 802,374———————————13. Hamilton: 809,099
14. Multnomah (Portland): 735,334—————-14. Multnomah: 799,766
15. Jackson (Kansas City): 674,158—————15. Jackson: 691,801
16. Davidson (Nashville): 626,681——————16. Davidson: 684,410
17. Providence (Providence): 626,667————17. Providence: 633,473
18. Virginia Beach (Virginia Beach): 437,994—18. Virginia Beach: 452,602

Core County Population Density Per Square Mile Census 2010 and July 1, 2016 by Rank
2010———————————————————————— 2016
1. Milwaukee: 3932.5————————–1. Milwaukee: 3947.9
2. Cuyahoga: 2801.1————————–2. Franklin: 2376.9
3. Marion: 2279.6——————————3. Marion: 2375.0
4. Franklin: 2186.9—————————–4. Cuyahoga: 2733.8
5. Hamilton: 1976.3—————————-5. Mecklenburg: 2013.0
6. Virginia Beach: 1759.0——————–6. Hamilton: 1992.9
7. Mecklenburg: 1755.0———————–7. Multnomah: 1855.6
8. Multnomah: 1706.1————————8. Virginia Beach: 1817.7
9. Allegheny: 1675.8————————–9. Allegheny: 1678.6
10. Providence: 1528.5———————-10. Sacramento: 1569.4
11. Sacramento: 1470.2———————11. Bexar: 1555.4
12. Bexar: 1382.9—————————–12. Providence: 1545.1
13. Santa Clara: 1381.1———————13. Santa Clara: 1487.9
14. Orange: 1269.1—————————14. Orange: 1455.6
15. Davidson: 1243.4————————15. Davidson: 1358.0
16. Jackson: 1116.2————————–16. Travis: 1211.4
17. Travis: 1034.6—————————–17. Jackson: 1145.4
18. Clark: 247.3——————————–18. Clark: 273.2

The core counties of metros within the Midwest are clearly the most dense, with most hovering between 1500-2500 people per square mile. Columbus’ Franklin County moved up to 2nd most dense in 2016.

Core County Population Density Change 2010-2016
1. Mecklenburg: 258.0
2. Franklin: 190.0
3. Orange: 186.5
4. Travis: 176.8
5. Bexar: 172.5
6. Multnomah: 149.5
7. Davidson: 114.5
8. Santa Clara: 106.8
9. Sacramento: 99.1
10. Marion: 95.5
11. Virginia Beach: 58.7
12. Jackson: 29.2
13. Clark: 25.9
14. Providence: 16.6
15. Hamilton: 16.6
16. Milwaukee: 15.4
17. Allegheny: 2.8
18. Cuyahoga: -67.3

Columbus’ Franklin County densified at the 2nd fastest rate 2010-2016 of any of its metro peers, indicating that it’s receiving a large portion of the total metro population growth.

To see other metro population data, go to http://allcolumbusdata.com/?p=6139




2016 County and Metro Area Population Estimates

The numbers for July 1, 2016 population estimates came out this morning. Nationally, it seems that overall growth rates slowed down from where they were the year prior, and there were some surprising results in a few cases.

First, let’s take a look at the core counties for Columbus and its peer/Midwest counterparts nationally. The core city is in parenthesis.

2010—————————————————2015———————————2016
1. Cook (Chicago): 5,194,675————-1. Cook: 5,224,823————-1. Cook: 5,203,499
2. Clark (Las Vegas): 1,951,269———-2. Clark: 2,109,289————-2. Clark: 2,155,664
3. Wayne (Detroit): 1,820,584————-3. Santa Clara: 1,910,105—-3. Bexar: 1,928,680
4. Santa Clara (San Jose): 1,781,642—4. Bexar: 1,895,482—4. Santa Clara: 1,919,402
5. Bexar (San Antonio): 1,714,773——-5. Wayne: 1,757,062———5. Wayne: 1,749,366
6. Sacramento (Sac.): 1,418,788–6. Sacramento: 1,496,664–6. Sacramento: 1,414,460
7. Cuyahoga (Cleveland): 1,280,122—7. Orange: 1,284,864——–7. Orange: 1,314,367
8. Allegheny (Pittsburgh): 1,223,348—8. Cuyahoga: 1,255,025—-8. Franklin: 1,264,518
9. Franklin (Columbus): 1,163,414—–9. Franklin: 1,250,269—–9. Cuyahoga: 1,249,352
10. Hennepin (Minn.): 1,152,425—10. Allegheny: 1,229,298—-10. Hennepin: 1,232,483
11. Orange (Orlando): 1,145,951—11. Hennepin: 1,220,459—-11. Allegheny: 1,225,365
12. Travis (Austin): 1,024,266——12. Travis: 1,174,818——12. Travis: 1,199,323
13. Milwaukee (Mil): 947,735–13. Mecklenburg: 1,033,466–13. Mecklenburg: 1,054,835
14. Mecklenburg (Charl.): 919,628–14. Milwaukee: 956,314—14. Milwaukee: 951,448
15. Marion (Indianapolis): 903,393—15. Marion: 938,058———–15. Marion: 941,229
16. Hamilton (Cincinnati): 802,374—16. Hamilton: 807,748——–16. Hamilton: 809,099
17. Multnomah (Portland): 735,334–17. Multnomah: 789,125—17. Multnomah: 799,766
18. Jackson (Kansas City): 674,158–18. Jackson: 686,373——-18. Jackson: 691,801
19. Davidson (Nashville): 626,667—19. Davidson: 678,323——-19. Davidson: 684,410
20. Providence (Providence): 626,671–20. Kent: 636,095———20. Kent: 642,173
21. Kent (Grand Rapids): 602,622–21. Providence: 632,488—-21. Providence: 633,673
22. Summit (Akron): 541,781———22. Douglas: 549,168——–22. Douglas: 554,995
23. Montgomery (Dayton): 535,153–23. Summit: 541,316——–23. Summit: 540,300
24. Douglas (Omaha): 517,110–24. Montgomery: 531,567——24. Dane: 531,273
25. Sedgwick (Wichita): 498,365–25. Dane: 522,878———–25. Montgomery: 531,239
26. Dane (Madison): 488,073——-26. Sedgwick: 510,360——26. Sedgwick: 511,995
27. Lucas (Toledo): 441,815——–27. Polk: 466,688————–27. Polk: 474,045
28. Virginia Beach (VB): 437,994–28. Virginia Beach: 451,854–28. Vir. Beach: 452,602
29. Polk (Des Moines): 430,640—-29. Lucas: 433,496————-29. Lucas: 432,488
30. Allen (Fort Wayne): 355,359—30. Allen: 368,040————-30. Allen: 370,404
31. St. Louis (St. Louis): 319,294–31. St. Louis: 314,875———31. St. Louis: 311,404
32. Lancaster (Lincoln): 285,407—32. Lancaster: 305,705——-32. Lancaster: 309,637
33. Mahoning (Youngstown): 238,823–33. Mahoning: 231,767–33. Mahoning: 230,008

Franklin County moved up one spot to 8th most populated core county of the group.

Total Core County Growth of the 33 Cities Census July 1, 2015 to July 1, 2016
1. Clark-Las Vegas: +46,375
2. Bexar-San Antonio: +33,198
3. Orange-Orlando: +29,503
4. Travis-Austin: +24,505
5. Mecklenburg-Charlotte: +21,369
6. Sacramento-Sacramento: +17,816
7. Franklin-Columbus: +14,249
8. Hennepin-Minneapolis: +12,024
9. Multnomah-Portland: +10,641
10. Santa Clara-San Jose: +9,297
11. Dane-Madison: +8,395
12. Polk-Des Moines: +7,357
13. Davidson-Nashville: +6,087
14. Kent-Grand Rapids: +6,078
15. Douglas-Omaha: +5,827
16. Jackson-Kansas City: +5,428
17. Lancaster-Lincoln: +3,932
18. Marion-Indianapolis: +3,171
19. Allen-Fort Wayne: +2,364
20. Sedgwick-Wichita: +1,635
21. Hamilton-Cincinnati: +1,351
22. Providence-Providence: +1,185
23. Virginia Beach-Virginia Beach: +748
24. Montgomery-Dayton: -328
25. Lucas-Toledo: -1,008
26. Summit-Akron: -1,016
27. Mahoning-Youngstown: -1,759
28. St. Louis-St. Louis: -3,471
29. Allegheny-Pittsburgh: -3,933
30. Milwaukee-Milwaukee: -4,866
31. Cuyahoga-Cleveland: -5,673
32. Wayne-Detroit: -7,696
33. Cook-Chicago: -21,324

And Total Core County Population Change Census 2010 to July 1, 2016 for the 33
1. Bexar: +213,907
2. Clark: +204,395
3. Travis: +175,057
4. Orange: +168,416
5. Santa Clara: +137,760
6. Mecklenburg: +135,207
7. Franklin: +101,104
8. Sacramento: +95,672
9. Hennepin: +80,058
10. Multnomah: +64,432
11. Davidson: +57,729
12. Polk: +43,405
13. Dane: +43,200
14. Kent: +39,551
15. Douglas: +37,885
16. Marion: +37,836
17. Lancaster: +24,230
18. Jackson: +17,643
19. Allen: +15,075
20. Virginia Beach: +14,608
21. Sedgwick: +13,630
22. Cook: +8,824
23. Providence: +7,006
24. Hamilton: +6,725
25. Milwaukee: +3,713
26. Allegheny: +2,017
27. Summit: -1,481
28. Montgomery: 3,914
29. St. Louis: -7,890
30. Mahoning: -8,815
31. Lucas: -9,327
32. Cuyahoga: -30,770
33. Wayne: -71,218

Here are the metro populations for the above 33 cities.

2010—————————————————————————–2016
1. Chicago: 9,461,105———————————————–1. Chicago: 9,512,999
2. Detroit: 4,296,250————————————————-2. Detroit: 4,297,617
3. Minneapolis: 3,348,859——————————————3. Minneapolis: 3,551,036
4. St. Louis: 2,787,701———————————————-4. St. Louis: 2,807,002
5. Pittsburgh: 2,356,285——————————————–5. Charlotte: 2,474,314
6. Portland: 2,226,009———————————————–6. Orlando: 2,441,257
7. Charlotte: 2,217,012———————————————-7. San Antonio: 2,429,609
8. Sacramento: 2,149,127——————————————8. Portland: 2,424,955
9. San Antonio: 2,142,508——————————————9. Pittsburgh: 2,342,299
10. Orlando: 2,134,411———————————————-10. Sacramento: 2,296,418
11. Cincinnati: 2,114,580——————————————–11. Cincinnati: 2,165,139
12. Cleveland: 2,077,240——————————————–12. Las Vegas: 2,155,664
13. Kansas City: 2,009,342——————————————13. Kansas City: 2,104,509
14. Las Vegas: 1,951,269——————————————-14. Austin: 2,056,405
15. Columbus: 1,901,974——————————————–15. Cleveland: 2,055,612
16. Indianapolis: 1,887,877——————————————16. Columbus: 2,041,520
17. San Jose: 1,836,911———————————————-17. Indianapolis: 2,004,230
18. Austin: 1,716,289————————————————–18. San Jose: 1,978,816
19. Virginia Beach: 1,676,822—————————————19. Nashville: 1,865,298
20. Nashville: 1,670,890———————————————20. Virginia Beach: 1,726,907
21. Providence: 1,600,852——————————————21. Providence: 1,614,750
22. Milwaukee: 1,555,908——————————————-22. Milwaukee: 1,572,482
23. Grand Rapids: 988,938—————————————–23. Grand Rapids: 1,047,099
24. Omaha: 865,350————————————————-24. Omaha: 924,129
25. Dayton: 799,232————————————————-25. Dayton: 800,683
26. Akron: 703,200—————————————————26. Akron: 702,221
27. Wichita: 630,919————————————————-27. Madison: 648,929
28. Toledo: 610,001————————————————–28. Wichita: 644,672
29. Madison: 605,435————————————————29. Des Moines: 634,725
30. Des Moines: 569,633——————————————-30. Toledo: 605,221
31. Youngstown: 565,773——————————————31. Youngstown: 544,746
32. Fort Wayne: 416,257——————————————-32. Fort Wayne: 431,802
33. Lincoln: 302,157————————————————-33. Lincoln: 326,921

The Columbus metro fell one spot in this list, but should recover it next year.

Total Metro Area Population Change July 1,2015 to July 1, 2016 for the 33
1. Orlando: +59,125
2. Austin: +58,301
3. Charlotte: +49,671
4. San Antonio: +47,906
5. Las Vegas: +46,375
6. Portland: +40,148
7. Nashville: +36,337
8. Minneapolis: +32,784
9. Sacramento: +28,830
10. Columbus: +21,376
11. Kansas City: +20,045
12. Indianapolis: +17,688
13. Des Moines: +12,145
14. San Jose: +10,238
15. Omaha: +9,861
16. Cincinnati: +9,747
17. Grand Rapids: +8,762
18. Madison: +8,315
19. Lincoln: +4,094
20. Virginia Beach: +3,439
21. Fort Wayne: +2,430
22. Providence: +2,176
23. Wichita: +1,656
24. Dayton: +883
25. Detroit: +79
26. Toledo: -358
27. Akron: -1,137
28. St. Louis: -1,328
29. Milwaukee: -1,867
32. Cleveland: -4,317
31. Youngstown: -4,644
32. Pittsburgh: -8,972
33. Chicago: -19,570

And the Total Metro Area Population Change Census 2010 to July 1, 2016
1. Austin: +340,085
2. Orlando: +306,858
3. San Antonio: +287,093
4. Charlotte: +257,340
5. Las Vegas: +204,395
6. Minneapolis: +202,177
7. Portland: +198,943
8. Nashville: +194,415
9. Sacramento: +147,274
10. San Jose: +141,875
11. Columbus: +139,517
12. Indianapolis: +116,148
13. Kansas City: +95,171
14. Des Moines: +65,092
15. Omaha: +58,773
16. Grand Rapids: +58,159
17. Chicago: +51,449
18. Cincinnati: +50,388
19. Virginia Beach: +50,090
20. Madison: +43,492
21. Lincoln: +24,764
22. St. Louis: +19,243
23. Milwaukee: +16,528
24. Fort Wayne: +15,548
25. Wichita: +13,753
26. Providence: +13,550
27. Dayton: +1,464
28. Detroit: +1,304
29. Akron: -982
30. Toledo: -4,780
31. Pittsburgh: -13,992
32. Youngstown: -21,053
33. Cleveland: -21,646

Now let’s take a closer look at Ohio only.

Top 20 Most-Populated Ohio Counties

2010————————————————-2016
1. Cuyahoga: 1,280,122—————-1. Franklin: 1,264,518
2. Franklin: 1,163,414——————-2. Cuyahoga: 1,249,352
3. Hamilton: 802,374——————–3. Hamilton: 809,099
4. Summit: 541,781———————-4. Summit: 540,300
5. Montgomery: 535,153—————5. Montgomery: 531,239
6. Lucas: 441,815————————6. Lucas:  432,488
7. Stark: 375,586————————-7. Butler: 377,537
8. Butler: 368,130————————8. Stark: 373,612
9. Lorain: 301,356———————–9. Lorain: 306,365
10. Mahoning: 238,823—————-10. Mahoning: 230,008
11. Lake: 230,041———————–11. Lake: 228,614
12. Warren: 212,693——————–12. Warren: 227,063
13. Trumbull: 210,312——————13. Clermont: 203,022
14. Clermont: 197,363——————14. Trumbull: 201,825
15. Delaware: 174,214—————–15. Delaware: 196,463
16. Medina: 172,332——————–16. Medina: 177,221
17. Licking: 166,492———————17. Licking: 172,198
18. Greene: 161,573———————18. Greene: 164,765
19. Portage: 161,419——————–19. Portage: 161,921
20. Fairfield: 146,156——————–20. Fairfield: 152,597

Top 10 Fastest-Growing Counties July 1, 2015 to July 1, 2016
1. Franklin: +14,249
2. Delaware: +3,579
3. Warren: +2,624
4. Butler: +2,078
5. Licking: +1,439
6. Hamilton: +1,351
7. Fairfield: +1,271
8. Clermont: +1,231
9. Lorain: +1,152
10. Union: +1,142

Top 10 Fastest-Declining Counties July 1, 2015 to July 1, 2016
1. Cuyahoga: -5,673
2. Trumbull: -1,806
3. Mahoning: -1,759
4. Stark: -1,253
5. Clark: -1,029
6. Summit: -1,016
7. Lucas: -1,008
8. Columbiana: -998
9. Madison: -684
10. Scioto: -664

Top 10 Fastest-Growing Counties Census 2010 to July 1, 2016
1. Franklin: +100,989
2. Delaware: +22,274
3. Warren: +14,195
4. Butler: +9,402
5. Hamilton: +6,731
6. Fairfield: +6,420
7. Licking: +5,706
8. Clermont: +5,659
9. Lorain: +5,009
10. Medina: +4,888

Top 10 Fastest-Declining Counties Census 2010 to July 1, 2016
1. Cuyahoga: -30,757
2. Lucas: -9,327
3. Mahoning: -8,799
4. Trumbull: -8,493
5. Columbiana: -4,156
6. Montgomery: -3,897
7. Clark: -3,547
8. Scioto: -3,411
9. Richland: -3,368
10. Ashtabula: -3,257

Columbus Metro’s GDP vs. the Midwest and National Peers

**Originally posted on 7/22/2014, updated 9/20/2016.

Rank of Major Midwest Metros and Columbus National Peers by GDP, 2001, 2010 and 2015
In Millions
2001——————————————–2010————————————-2015
1. Chicago, IL: $416,444————-1. Chicago: $533,825————–1. Chicago: $640,656
2. Detroit, MI: $190,921———–2. Minneapolis: $199,606——-2. Minneapolis: $248,779
3. Minneapolis, MN: $148,192—–3. Detroit: $197,973—————–3. Detroit: $245,607
4. San Jose, CA: $125,037———4. San Jose: $163,836———–4. San Jose: $235,222
5. St. Louis, MO: $102,385———5. Portland: $141,233————5. Portland: $158,770
6. Pittsburgh, PA: $88,769———-6. St. Louis: $133,888———6. St. Louis: $155,077
7. Cleveland: $87,796————-7. Pittsburgh: $117,895———-7. Charlotte: $152,447
8. Portland, OR: $80,753———8. Charlotte: $114,500————8. Pittsburgh: $138,873
9. Cincinnati: $79,638————-9. Indianapolis: $111,084——-9. Indianapolis: $134,081
10. Kansas City, MO: $79,544—-10. Cleveland: $109,365—–10. Cleveland: $128,448
11. Charlotte, NC $78,675———11. Kansas City: $107,265—11. Cincinnati: $127,057
12. Indianapolis, IN: $78,009——-12. Cincinnati: $104,314—-12. Kansas City: $125,618
13. Columbus: $74,172————-13. Orlando: $101,307——–13. Columbus: $124,381
14. Sacramento, CA: $66,696—–14. Columbus: $96,475——14. Orlando: $121,329
15. Orlando, FL: $66,644———–15. Sacramento: $96,015—-15. Austin: $119,949
16. Milwaukee, WI: $65,033——–16. Austin: $87,473———-16. Sacramento: $118,822
17. Nashville, TN: $58,245———17. Milwaukee: $86,569—–17. Nashville: $113,680
18. Las Vegas, NV: $57,035——-18. Las Vegas: $85,020—–18. San Antonio: $108,879
19. Virginia Beach, VA: $54,040—-19. Nashville: $84,804—19. Las Vegas: $103,343
20. Austin, TX: $53,915——20. Virginia Beach: $82,685—–20. Milwaukee: $102,209
21. San Antonio, TX: $53,248—21. San Antonio: $81,722—21. Virginia Beach: $95,680
22. Providence, RI: $49,997——-22. Providence: $67,754—-22. Providence: $78,694
23. Grand Rapids, MI: $35,248—-23. Omaha: $47,711——-23. Omaha: $59,090
24. Omaha, NE: $32,044——–24. Grand Rapids: $41,221–24. Grand Rapids: $53,949
25. Dayton: $29,658————–25. Dayton: $34,226————25. Dayton: $39,206
26. Toledo: $22,216————–26. Akron: $28,628————–26. Akron: $34,419
27. Akron: $21,684—————27. Toledo: $27,158————-27. Toledo: $34,019
28. Youngstown: $15,314——28. Youngstown: $17,293——28. Youngstown: $21,417

Rank by Total Change in Millions 2001-2015
1. Chicago: +$224,212
2. San Jose: +$110,185
3. Minneapolis: +$100,587
4. Portland: +$78,017
5. Charlotte: +$73,772
6. Austin: +$66,034
7. Indianapolis: +$56,072
8. San Antonio: +$55,631
9. Nashville: +$55,435
10. Detroit: +$54,686
11. Orlando: +$54,685
12. St. Louis: +$52,692
13. Sacramento: +$52,126
14. Columbus: +$50,209
15. Pittsburgh: +$50,104
16. Cincinnati: +$47,419
17. Las Vegas: +$46,308
18. Kansas City: +$46,074
19. Virginia Beach: +$41,640
20. Cleveland: +$40,652
21. Milwaukee: +$37,176
22. Providence: +$28,697
23. Omaha: +$27,046
24. Grand Rapids: +$18,701
25. Akron: +$12,735
26. Toledo: +$11,803
27. Dayton: +$9,548
28. Youngstown: +$6,103

Rank by Total Change in Millions 2010-2015
1. Chicago: +$106,831
2. San Jose: +$71,386
3. Minneapolis: +$49,173
4. Detroit: +$47,634
5. Charlotte: +$37,947
6. Austin: +$32,476
7. Nashville: $28,876
8. Columbus: +$27,906
9. San Antonio: +$27,157
10. Indianapolis +$22,997
11. Sacramento: +$22,807
12. Cincinnati: +$22,743
13. St. Louis: +$21,189
14. Pittsburgh: +$20,978
15. Orlando: +$20,022
16. Cleveland: +$19,083
17. Kansas City: +$18,353
18. Las Vegas: +$18,323
19. Portland: +$17,537
20. Milwaukee: +$15,640
21. Virginia Beach: +$12,995
22. Grand Rapids: +$12,728
23. Omaha: +$11,379
24. Providence: +$10,940
25. Toledo: +$6,861
26. Akron: +$5,791
27. Dayton: +$4,980
28. Youngstown: +$4,124

Total Rank by % Change 2001-2015
1. Austin: +122.48%
2. San Antonio: +104.48%
3. Portland: +96.61%
4. Nashville: +95.18%
5. Charlotte: +93.77%
6. San Jose: +88.12%
7. Omaha: +84.40%
8. Orlando: +82.06%
9. Las Vegas: +81.19%
10. Sacramento: +78.15%
11. Virginia Beach: +77.05%
12. Indianapolis: +71.88%
13. Minneapolis: +67.88%
14. Columbus: +67.69%
15. Cincinnati: +59.54%
16. Akron: +58.73%
17. Kansas City: +57.92%
18. Providence: +57.40%
19. Milwaukee: +57.16%
20. Pittsburgh: +56.44%
21. Chicago: +53.84%
22. Toledo: +53.13%
23. Grand Rapids: +53.06%
24. St. Louis: +51.46%
25. Cleveland: +46.30%
26. Youngstown: +39.85%
27. Dayton: +32.19%
28. Detroit: +28.64%

Total Rank by % Change 2010-2015
1. San Jose: +43.57%
2. Austin: +37.13%
3. Nashville: +34.05%
4. San Antonio: +33.23%
5. Charlotte: +33.14%
6. Grand Rapids: +30.88%
7. Columbus: +28.93%
8. Toledo: +25.26%
9. Minneapolis: +24.64%
10. Detroit: +24.06%
11. Omaha: +23.85%
12. Youngstown: +23.85%
13. Sacramento: +23.75%
14. Cincinnati: +21.80%
15. Las Vegas: +21.55%
16. Indianapolis: +20.70%
17. Akron: +20.23%
18. Chicago: +20.01%
19. Orlando: +19.76%
20. Milwaukee: +18.07%
21. Pittsburgh: +17.79%
22. Cleveland: +17.45%
23. Kansas City: +17.11%
24. Providence: +16.15%
25. St. Louis: +15.83%
26. Virginia Beach: +15.72%
27. Dayton: +14.55%
28. Portland: +12.42%

Finally, let’s take a look at per-capita GDP and income.

Rank of Metros by Per-Capita GDP in Dollars, 2015
1. San Jose: $112,851
2. Minneapolis: $63,474
3. Portland: $62,229
4. Chicago: $59,688
5. Indianapolis: $59,479
6. Milwaukee: $58,219
7. Omaha: $57,334
8. Cleveland: $56,013
9. Nashville: $55,841
10. Charlotte: $55,610
11. Pittsburgh: $55,335
12. Austin: $55,323
13. Columbus: $55,005
14. Kansas City: $54,097
15. Cincinnati: $52,649
16. Detroit: $51,428
17. Virginia Beach: $49,606
18. Toledo: $49,428
19. St. Louis: $49,258
20. Sacramento: $46,697
21. Grand Rapids: $46,677
22. Orlando: $45,756
23. Akron: $44,246
24. Dayton: $43,748
25. Providence: $43,744
26. Las Vegas: $43,476
27. San Antonio: $42,169
28. Youngstown: $34,960

Total Growth 2001-2015 by Rank, in Dollars
1. San Jose: +$40,677
2. Portland: +$18,225
3. Pittsburgh: +$10,064
4. Austin: +$9,925
5. Toledo: +$7,414
6. Virginia Beach: +$7,256
7. Nashville: +$7,071
8. Cleveland: +$6,767
9. Milwaukee: +$6,744
10. Omaha: +$6,581
11. Akron: +$6,167
12. Minneapolis: +$5,900
13. Providence: +$5,560
14. Chicago: +4,663
15. San Antonio: +$4,652
16. Cincinnati: +$4,426
17. Youngstown: +$4,391
18. Sacramento: +$3,210
19. Columbus: +$3,182
20. Indianapolis: +$2,984
21. Grand Rapids: +$2,971
22. Charlotte: +$2,880
23. Kansas City: +$2,770
24. St. Louis: +$2,699
25. Detroit: +$2,011
26. Dayton: +$162
27. Orlando: -$1,630
28. Las Vegas: -$5,041

Total Per-Capita GDP Growth 2010-2015, in Dollars
1. San Jose: +$23,814
2. Toledo: +$6,242
3. Pittsburgh: +$6,172
4. Nashville: +$5,643
5. Detroit: +$5,459
6. Austin: +$5,307
7. Grand Rapids: +$5,158
8. Youngstown: +$4,987
9. San Antonio: +$4,878
10. Columbus: +$4,864
11. Minneapolis: +$4,644
12. Charlotte: +$4,578
13. Chicago: +$4,004
14. Cleveland: +$3,992
15. Cincinnati: +$3,986
16. Akron: +$3,774
17. Milwaukee: +$2,913
18. Omaha: +$2,863
19. Sacramento: +$2,680
20. Providence: +$1,902
21. St. Louis: +$1,884
22. Dayton: +$1,439
23. Kansas City: +$1,270
24. Indianapolis: +$1,186
25. Virginia Beach: +$998
26. Las Vegas: +$206
27. Portland: -$992
28. Orlando: -$1,345

What the numbers suggest is that Columbus was performing at a middle-mediocre level in the first half of the 2001-2015 period, and has generally been performing significantly better in the latter half. In Ohio, Columbus is poised to become Ohio’s largest metro economy over the next few years.

The Real Makeup of the Columbus Economy

Over the years, there have been endless claims about how the Columbus economy is dominated by jobs related to state government and OSU. These claims are usually made from other Ohioans complaining that Columbus has an unfair advantage and is mooching public dollars from the rest of the state to prop up the economy.

Let’s first address two points made: 1. That the number of government jobs is far above what they are in all other major Ohio cities, and 2. That overall, government jobs are becoming a larger slice of the metro economy.

The first claim is easy to look into. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, or BLS, produces numbers every single month on job industry numbers by metro area. The most recent numbers are from June 2016.
Here are the total government jobs for Ohio’s largest cities.

Columbus: 162,600
Cleveland: 138,800
Cincinnati: 124,200
Dayton: 62,300
Toledo: 44,800
Akron: 40,600

So as to the first claim, that the total of government jobs in Columbus is higher than the other cities, that is true. As the state capital, this is no surprise. However, how dependent on government jobs is Columbus really versus those other cities? To find out, you have to divide government jobs by all total jobs within the metro. In June 2016, here was the percentage of the total.

Dayton: 16.17%
Columbus: 15.30%
Toledo: 14.21%
Cleveland: 12.90%
Akron: 11.84%
Cincinnati: 11.43%

Interestingly enough, Columbus is not the top government-dependent city. That spot goes to Dayton.

Now onto the 2nd claim- that Columbus is increasingly reliant on those government jobs. Let’s look at the % of total jobs that government jobs made up going back to 1990. The figures are for June of each year given.

1990: 17.97%
1995: 17.25%
2000: 15.97%
2005: 17.18%
2010: 17.81%
2015: 15.34%
2016: 15.30%

So it does not appear that Columbus has become more or less dependent on government jobs over the last 26 years. Indeed, if there is any pattern at all, it appears that during economic downturns, the number of government jobs increase, and during periods of stability/recovery, government jobs decline. The early 1990s and late 2000s had high levels of governments jobs, both periods of recession. In June 2016, nearly 85% of the local economy was not government-related, not statistically much different than other Ohio cities.

Finally, let’s look at how total government jobs have changed since the beginning of this decade, 2010, by Ohio city. The figures are for June 2010 and June 2016.

Toledo: +2.75%
Columbus: -0.91%
Cleveland: -1.56%
Cincinnati: -3.72%
Dayton: -4.30%
Akron: -10.38%

All cities except Toledo have seen declines.

So that brings us to the actual makeup of the Columbus metro economy. What are the industries that most people work for? What are the industries that have the greatest % of the total jobs? Let’s compare June 1990 and June 2016.

1990
Trade/Transportation/Utilities: 20.51%
Government: 17.97%
Manufacturing: 13.49%
Professional and Business Services: 11.46%
Health and Education: 9.41%
Leisure and Hospitality: 8.63%
Financial Activities: 8.26%
Mining/Logging/Construction: 4.30%
Other Services: 3.46%
Information: 2.51%

2016
Trade/Transportation/Utilities: 18.37%
Professional and Business Services: 17.11%
Government: 15.30%
Health and Education: 14.43%
Leisure and Hospitality: 10.89%
Financial Activities: 7.63%
Manufacturing: 6.84%
Other Services: 4.10%
Mining/Logging/Construction: 3.75%
Information: 1.57%

If anything, Columbus’ economy is actually more diverse in 2016 than it was in 1990, not less.