Ohio’s Improving Growth Outlook

Back in November, I wrote about Ohio’s improving domestic growth picture. In that post, I examined domestic out-migration and domestic in-migration 2005-2012, and discovered that the net change had been improving. The state was losing fewer people over time domestically, and the difference had declined to under 2,000 people by 2012, a HUGE improvement from the start of the period.

Recently, the US Census released 2013 state population estimates, along with components of population change for the July 1st, 2012-July 1st, 2013 period. More positive news was to be found in those estimates.

First, Ohio’s population increased to 11,570,808, representing an annual increase of 17,777. While the increase is not particularly great, especially in comparison to states nationally, there are some positive nuggets with that number. The state held on to its position as the 7th most populous state, and the increase was the highest since pre-recession. The state moved up 18 spots in the total annual growth rankings 2012-2013 vs. 2011-2012. This was the best increase of all 50 states. It was also the best growth for the state since 2007.

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Did the state bottom out in 2012? Perhaps, but way too early to tell. Still, a very good improvement that halted a general decline.

The components of change are also interesting.

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The migration patterns show a few things. First, 2013 had the 2nd highest rate since 2000 of in-international migration. It was also one of the best years (since 1996) for domestic in-migration.

The question is, can Ohio keep improving or is this just a temporary blip? Time will tell.

Ohio Domestic Migration 2005-2012

Ohio has been growing fairly slowly for several decades now. In fact, if it was not for Columbus’ population growth and international migration, the state would’ve been losing population in recent years. But is the picture really that bad? Are things changing? I decided to find out.

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The first chart above shows the total population that moved to Ohio from all other 49 states plus Puerto Rico and DC by year. The drop during the recession is pretty obvious, as mobility greatly decreased during that time. 2012 had the 2nd highest total of the period, only slightly behind 2006.

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What the out-migration chart shows is that the total is gradually going down, meaning fewer people, on average, are leaving Ohio each year. So what is the overall difference of in vs. out migration to Ohio?

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As the chart shows, the trend has been improving over time, and 2012 barely registered a loss at all. Will the state begin seeing positive domestic in-migration in the very near future? Based on this chart, the answer seems to be yes. A lot can still happen, but it does appear that Ohio is finally shaking off its long-term population issues.

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