Columbus Area Murders by Zip Code 2008-2015

*Originally posted in 2013, reposted on 3/4/2015 and again on 1/28/2016, with updated maps.

I have been wanting to do these maps for awhile now, as there have been several searches on the site for them and they weren’t available. It took a lot of work, but here they are!


In 2008, almost all murders were contained within the I-270 boundaries. The East and South Sides were the worst areas.


In 2009, there began to be a bit of diffusion on where murder was taking place. While parts of the urban core remained the worst areas, suburban areas also saw the occasional murder.


The diffusion continued in 2010.


And in 2011.


2012 was the most diffuse of all the years, with no heavily concentrated areas, even in the urban core as much. Meanwhile, most of the suburban zip codes within Franklin County saw at least 1 murder.



2015 saw most activity on the eastern side of the city, particular South Linden and the Far East Side around Whitehall and Reynoldsburg, but all areas along the 270 area on the Far East Side had the highest levels of murder in the county. The central core generally stayed a lot lower.

Millennials and the City: A Comparison Part 2

The first part of this comparison, seen here: seemed to be well-received, so I wanted to expand the examination of the 25-34 age group. In the first post, I just compared growth of this population by Columbus’ peers, but let’s take a closer look at this group through educational attainment. I will use the same 33 cities I used in the first post.

Educational Attainment 2014 Rank by City of Bachelors Degree or Higher within 25-34 Population
1. Chicago: 268,470
2. Austin: 97,721
3. Columbus: 75,305
4. San Jose: 68,392
5. Charlotte: 63,132
6. San Antonio: 62,572
7. Portland: 60,259
8. Minneapolis: 51,043
9. Indianapolis: 48,188
10. Pittsburgh: 35,860
11. Kansas City: 32,101
12. Madison: 30,039
13. Milwaukee: 29,661
14. Omaha: 28,984
15. St. Louis: 28,946
16. Sacramento: 27,304
17. Cincinnati: 25,496
18. St. Paul: 22,929
19. Virginia Beach: 22,134
20. Orlando: 20,181
21. Wichita: 19,659
22. Las Vegas: 17,817
23. Lincoln: 16,429
24. Grand Rapids: 15,724
25. Detroit: 14,285
26. Fort Wayne: 12,228
27. Cleveland: 12,013
28. Des Moines: 10,089
29. Providence: 10,432
30. Toledo: 8,514
31. Akron: 6,600
32. Dayton: 4,029
33. Youngstown: 1,084

Columbus has the 3rd highest total of 25-34 year olds with at least a bachelor’s degree, even compared to some cities with larger populations in the city or metro area. This is likely due to the high number of colleges and universities in the area, not least of which includes Ohio State.

2014 % of Total 25-34 Age Group with Bachelors or Higher
1. Madison: 67.0%
2. Pittsburgh: 57.4%
3. Minneapolis: 56.3%
4. Portland: 51.5%
5. Chicago: 51.1%
6. Austin: 48.9%
7. Cincinnati: 47.0%
8. St. Louis: 46.9%
9. Charlotte: 44.5%
10. San Jose: 44.5%
11. Columbus: 44.1%
12. St. Paul: 42.1%
13. Lincoln: 41.0%
14. Omaha: 40.8%
15. Grand Rapids: 40.5%
16. Kansas City: 40.5%
17. Orlando: 37.1%
18. Indianapolis: 34.3%
19. Wichita: 33.7%
20. Providence: 32.7%
21. Sacramento: 32.5%
22. Fort Wayne: 32.4%
23. Des Moines: 29.8%
24. Milwaukee: 29.6%
25. Virginia Beach: 29.3%
26. San Antonio: 27.6%
27. Akron: 23.4%
28. Cleveland: 21.4%
29. Las Vegas: 19.7%
30. Toledo: 19.5%
31. Dayton: 19.1%
32. Detroit: 15.9%
33. Youngstown: 12.8%

While just outside of the top 10 in the peer group, Columbus still performs in the top 1/3rd when it comes to the % of 25-34 year olds that have at least a bachelor’s degree.

2000-2014 Total Change in Age 25-34 with a Bachelor’s Degree or Higher
1. Chicago: +78,514
2. Austin: +38,348
3. Portland: +26,042
4. San Antonio: +23,504
5. Columbus: +21,601
6. Charlotte: +19,149
7. Pittsburgh: +19,060
8. Minneapolis: +15,629
9. St. Louis: +14,538
10. San Jose: +13,372
11. Sacramento: +11,530
12. Kansas City: +10,499
13. Madison: +8,774
14. Orlando: +8,600
15. Omaha: +8,521
16. Indianapolis: +8,369
17. Milwaukee: +7,031
18. Grand Rapids: +6,275
19. Wichita: +6,049
20. Fort Wayne: +5,350
21. Cincinnati: +5,083
22. Las Vegas: +4,433
23. St. Paul: +4,316
24. Virginia Beach: +4,167
25. Lincoln: +3,450
26. Providence: +2,488
27. Des Moines: +806
28. Dayton: +59
29. Youngstown: -108
30. Cleveland: -522
31. Akron: -628
32. Detroit: -1,471
33. Toledo: -1,639

Another great showing is in the total growth of 25-34 year olds with at least a bachelor’s degree. Again, Columbus is outperforming several larger cities/metros on the list.

2000-2014 Total % Change in Age 25-34 with a Bachelor’s Degree or Higher
1. Pittsburgh: +113.45%
2. St. Louis: +100.90%
3. Fort Wayne: +77.78%
4. Portland: +76.11%
5. Orlando: +74.26%
6. Sacramento: +73.09%
7. Grand Rapids: +66.41%
8. Austin: +64.59%
9. San Antonio: +60.16%
10. Kansas City: +48.60%
11. Wichita: +44.45%
12. Minneapolis: +44.13%
13. Charlotte: +43.54%
14. Omaha: +41.64%
15. Chicago: +41.33%
16. Madison: +41.26%
17. Columbus: +40.22%
18. Las Vegas: +33.12%
19. Providence: +31.32%
20. Milwaukee: +31.07%
21. Lincoln: +26.58%
22. Cincinnati: +24.90%
23. San Jose: +24.30%
24. St. Paul: +23.19%
25. Virginia Beach: +23.19%
26. Indianapolis: +21.02%
27. Des Moines: +8.68%
28. Dayton: +1.49%
29. Cleveland: -4.16%
30. Akron: -8.69%
31. Youngstown: -9.06%
32. Detroit: -9.34%
33. Toledo: -16.14%

So in Part 1, it was shown that Columbus had one of the fastest growing 25-34 populations. These numbers show that it also has one of the largest age 25-34 populations with a Bachelor’s degree or higher in terms of totals, and one of the fastest growing in terms of totals. By %, however, it performs a bit worse, but part of the reason for that is because so many of these cities started with relatively low educated populations to begin with. Overall, Columbus seems to be very attractive, not only to this age group, but also for those within the group that are highly educated.

Economic Segregation in Columbus

Luckily, I saved all of my maps that I did for this report, so not all was lost. Instead of making it a 2-part post, I’m just reposting it all in one this time.

In any case, economic segregation is basically where people living in the same city are segregated in terms of financial characteristics, such as housing prices or income. This is considered negative as the more economically segregated an area is, the harder it is for people, especially in lower income brackets, to move up financially. My report focuses on household income within census tracts in Franklin County and where those household incomes are changing the most.

First of all, let’s look at the household income levels around the county, both in 2000 and 2014.

In 2000, the median household income for the county was highest in the Upper Arlington and Grandview, Dublin, Bexley, Hilliard and the New Albany area. Downtown and adjacent areas had the lowest, as well as the general urban core and East Side.

By 2014, household income remained the highest in the same areas it was in 2000, but there were major improvements in many parts of the urban core, especially around Downtown, the Near East Side, Near South, Clintonville and the Short North. To illustrate this change better, take a look at the next map.

Unfortunately, because not all of 2014’s census tracts existed in 2000, I don’t have data for the entire county for comparison. But the trend is very clear. The areas that saw the biggest improvements in median household incomes were in the dead center of the county- Downtown, Near South and East Sides, as well as the Short North and Grandview. Only parts of Hilliard, Clintonville and Worthington really saw anything remotely as close. This indicates, at least to me, that the beating heart of revitalization and growth in the county is along the High Street corridor.

So now that we’ve established what the incomes look like across the county, let’s break it down further into income level brackets. This will help determine where economic segregation is a problem and where it isn’t.

The lowest household income I looked at was Below $25K a year. In 2000, this income level was most heavily concentrated in the Downtown area and adjacent neighborhoods. The Near East Side, as well as Linden down through the east side of I-71 had the county’s highest % of households that earned this level of income. Hilltop and the West Broad Corridor were also fairly high.

By 2014, the lowest household income level looked largely the same. However, there were also some noticeable difference. Downtown, the Near East Side, the Near South Side and parts of the North High Corridor saw obvious declines in this population, while it seemed to spread further east outside of 270 into suburban areas.

In the map above, we can see how Below $25K household incomes had changed in the tracts between 2000 and 2014 by % point change. Ironically, the urban core, especially along High and Broad streets saw the most consistent declines in this population while areas around and outside of 270 saw the most consistent increases. The good news is that more tracts saw declines than increases, but the map does indicate that poverty is perhaps moving further out from the core.

Next up is the household income level change that would be considered closest to middle class- $50K-$99K.

The urban core areas clearly saw the most consistent increases in middle class household income levels, while the outer suburbs almost universally declined in this metric. One explanation for this is that the lowest incomes in the core moved up into the middle class, while in the suburbs, middle class incomes moved into the upper class incomes. That would explain both the rise in the core, but the decline in the suburbs. But to prove if this is true or not, we have to look at the highest income levels- those of $100K and above.

In 2000 the highest incomes were almost entirely outside of 270 except for Bexley and the Northwest Side communities like Dublin and Upper Arlington. It is likely that the New Albany area also had high incomes, but again, those tracts didn’t exist in 2000, so it is difficult to give that information.

By 2014, while the Northern areas of Franklin County continued to have the highest incomes in general, gains were made in many parts of the county, including several within the urban core area.

Between 2000 and 2014, there was almost universal growth of $100K+ incomes in Franklin County, with only small areas seeing declines. The Northwest communities, as well as areas in and around Downtown seemed to do the best.

Okay, so incomes levels are clearly improving in most of the county, but especially in urban core areas. But what is the difference between the highest and lowest incomes within each census tract? To find out, I took the % of households in each tract earning less than $25K a year vs. the % of households earning $100K or more. The % point difference between these two groups is a good indication of how much economic segregation exists. The closer this number is to 0, the more economically integrated a tract is. Negative numbers indicate that Below $25K household incomes outweigh those making $100K or more, while positive numbers are the reverse.

The 2000 map shows that Below $25K household incomes dominate inside I-270, particularly around Downtown and the East Side. Many tracts contain at least 40 % points more $25K incomes than $100K incomes. This shows that poverty was deeply concentrated around the center of the county. Suburban areas were more dominated by the reverse, where middle and upper class households were concentrated.

In 2014, the severely concentrated levels of the lowest incomes have eased in most locations. There are fewer tracts of 40+ point differences, especially around Downtown and the general High Street Corridor. Only the Campus area, for obvious reasons, and parts of Linden, largely remain unchanged.

So what does all this ultimately mean about economic segregation in Frankly County? To get a simplified sense of that picture, considering the final set of maps.

In the coloring, the blue tracts are tracts that have income point differences that are between -15 and +15. These are the tracts that are most economically integrated. Green tracts are those with differences of +/- 15 to 29 points, while orange represent those with +/- 30 points or more. Orange tracts are the most economically segregated. In 2000, most of the orange tracts were within I-270. In fact, they very closely represent the most urban part of Columbus- the 1950 city boundary. They are amazingly similar. Meanwhile, almost all the outer suburbs in 2000 were well integrated.

Fast forward to 2014 and the picture becomes significantly more convoluted. Being in the urban core vs. the suburbs does not automatically guarantee economic integration. Many suburbs are now as severely segregated as some of the urban core is, while parts of the urban core are as integrated as some suburbs.

Overall, it appears that Franklin County has improved its economic integration in the last decade or so, but there is still more than can be done. Economic incentives for providing more mixed-income housing and bringing more jobs to urban areas would likely help achieve a more integrated city and county.

How I Would Redevelop Westland Mall

*Republished 1/21/2016.

Next up on the easy reposts is this Google Map I made about redeveloping the Westland Mall site. It was recently announced that Westland Mall will very likely be torn down sometime later this year, but the current owners have not yet given any details on a potential redevelopment plan. Here is the article about Westland’s imminent doom:

What I would like to see go into this huge site is a new neighborhood that employs a lot of urban-style characteristics. That means low to mid-rise mixed-use buildings that surround a large urban park. The buildings would contain ground floor retail with residential above. Offices, markets and hotel space would also be included in the new neighborhood. The buildings would front both West Broad and Georgesville Road. New multi-use paths would connect this development to existing paths on Georgesville and to the miles-long Camp Chase Trail along the railroad tracks near Sullivant and Georgesville. The main central park would have playground space, a ball field or two, and perhaps even a small pond. Bike lanes would go throughout, along with wide sidewalks for potential restaurant and retail patio space. Basically, this would be like the West Side’s version of the Bridge Park development in Dublin. Read more about that project here: This would end up being a hugely transformative project for the West Side in a way that the new casino never could be. I suspect, however, that the developer will go with some kind of single-story, single-use big box retail concept like a Walmart, along with fast food outlets near West Broad. Hopefully, that is not the case and they are more forward thinking.

So here is the map I made on the general idea of what I think should happen:

In the past, I have made similar redevelopment maps for other areas. Check them out too!
Arena District West:
Southeast Downtown:

Columbus Metro Biking/Pedestrian Infrastructure Map

So first up to repost from the data loss will be one of the easiest. As mentioned the first time, I wanted to create a map that included the 10-county metro area highlighting every bit of existing, planned and under construction infrastructure involving biking and pedestrian activities. There are some existing maps that show this, but they are not regularly updated and they lack significant detail in what type of infrastructure exists.

Here is the link to the map:

The map is still very much a work in progress. I have neither finished the existing infrastructure level or the planned infrastructure level. I update it a bit more almost every day, so keep checking back!