In Franklin County, Young Adults Prefer Density

I’ve seen several articles across the internet lately questioning the idea that young professionals and Millennials really prefer urban areas or not. I decided to see how this played out in Franklin County overall. I first looked at the total population aged 20-34 in the year 2000 and the year 2015 by Census Tract.
Here were the maps for those years.

After looking at the numbers for both years, I came up with this map for how that age group had changed in the 2000-2015 period.

Unfortunately, some tracts, particularly in the eastern suburban areas, did not exist in 2000, and so I was not able to figure out the change for them during the period. The rest of the map, however, shows that the strongest growth in this age group was not only inside 270, but closest to Downtown and central corridors along Broad and High Streets.
These maps don’t tell us about the relationship between those changes and the population density of the census tracts. So I went further and broke the tracts into increments of density to see where the strongest growth was occurring.

With a few exceptions, there appears to be a correlation between average 20-34 aged population growth and the density of the census tracts it occurs in. This suggests that this age group, at least in Franklin County, prefers areas with moderate to high density, which typically translates to urban living.

The Recovery of Ohio’s 3-C Downtowns: Revisit

A little more than 4 years ago, I posted numbers on how Columbus, Cincinnati and Cleveland were recovering in their urban cores. See that post here: and here: That post has proven to be one of the site’s most popular. I figured it was time to take a look at their continuing changes.

You can see by the chart for the 1950 Boundary population, the urban core of each city, that all 3-Cs suffered population losses post-1950. However, the rate of losses gradually declined, and 2 of the cities, Columbus and Cincinnati, appear to be growing in this boundary since at least 2010. Cleveland continues to lose.

This is shown further by the chart below.

As far as the actual Downtowns of each, here are the population trends.

For the most part, population declines in the 3-Cs peaked around 1980, give or take a decade. Since then, all of them have seen increases, with Cleveland seeing the most rapid increase and Cincinnati the least. Columbus has seen steady, but increasingly rapid growth with each subsequent decade since 1980.

Here is the chart for Downtown growth by decade.

Census Tract Population Density 2015

The US Census recently released population data for census tracts. I figured midway through the decade would be a good point to update where these stand because they give greater insight in smaller-scale population changes. I looked at all the census tracts in Franklin County and came up with the following map series.

First, the population in 2015.

Next, the population density of tracts in 2010, as reference.

And now 2015.

On the surface, it’s difficult to see the changes, but put side by side, you can tell there have been a lot of increases across the county. To make this more visible, I made the following maps.

You can see that some of the strongest density increases occurred around Downtown and the Short North, New Albany, parts of the Campus area, and Dublin.

The map above gives a straightforward look at where the density increased and decreased. As you can see, the increases FAR outweighed the decreases. Most of the latter were scattered except across the Far South Side and parts of the Whitehall area.

Here were the top 20 most dense census tracts in 2015.
1. 1810: 29,508.2 South Campus/Victorian Village
2. 1121: 25,287.9 Main Campus
3. 13: 21,961.4 Campus/Indianola Terrace
4. 1110: 18168.6 North Campus/Tuttle Park
5. 10: 17386.3 Campus/SoHud
6. 12: 16,981.9 Campus/Iuka Ravine
7. 20: 13,030.5 Short North/Victorian Village
8. 17: 12,872.3 Weinland Park
9. 6: 12,153.6 Old North Columbus
10. 21: 10,853.5 Short North/High Street
11. 8163: 10,255.3 Lincoln Village/Southwest Columbus
12: 4810: 9,557.4 South Central Hilltop
13. 47: 9,492.7 North Central Hilltop
14. 6352: 9,434.0 Northwest Columbus/Henderson Road
15. 57: 9,257.4 Brewery District/South German Village
16. 5: 9,177.9 Old North Columbus
17. 6933: 9,090.9 Forest Park East
18. 16: 8,980.5 Weinland Park
19. 4620: 8,928.6 North Central Hilltop
20. 1820: 8743.3 Victorian Village

It’s obvious that the High Street corridor is the most dense of the city, racking up most of the top 20.

Now here are the 20 tracts with the largest density increases 2010-2015.
1. 1121: 4,375.9
2. 6: 2,178.5
3. 21: 1,934.9
4. 22: 1,478.1
5. 40: 1,107.7 South Downtown
6. 1820: 1,044.1
7. 20: 921.7
8. 38: 904.3 Old Towne East
9. 5: 861.2
10. 210: 833.9 Clintonville
11. 32: 751.1 Arena District West/West Victorian Village
12. 730: 736.9
13. 7551: 656.0 Somerset/South Easton
14. 7951: 610.4 West Columbus
15. 6372: 574.6 Hayden Falls/Sawmill Road
16. 7209: 514 New Albany
17. 7395: 497.6 Blacklick/East Broad
18. 10: 492.8
19. 8230: 449.3 Westland
20. 710: 447.3 West-Central Linden

And finally, the top 20 largest declines 2010-2015.
1. 13: -2,964.3
2. 12: -1,625.1
3. 42: -1,620.8 Scioto Peninsula/East Franklinton
4. 920: -902.2 Northeast Linden
5. 17: -775.4
6. 50: -554.4 Franklinton
7. 61: -485.7 South High Street
8. 59: -441.9 Near South Side/Deshler Park
9. 4620: -380.4
10. 720: -380.2
11. 4610: -335.4
12. 820: -305.4 North Linden
13. 7721: -305.2 North Linden
14. 45: -258.1 North Hilltop
15. 60: -253.2 Vassor Village
16. 810: North Central Linden
17. 7532: -240.3 Morse Road/Easton
18. 2520: -240.1 Near East Side/King-Lincoln
19. 47: -206.6
20. 9333: -194.9 Linwood

So there you have it.

Cool Link of the Day: Urb-I Urban Ideas

I saw this site mentioned on the CityLab site awhile back and thought it was a very cool idea. The site highlights how cities are transforming public spaces and making car-centric areas much more pedestrian, bike and transit friendly. Since I found the site, I have been lucky enough to become a regular contributor working to help make the site even better. The great thing is that anyone can send in before and after photos from their own cities of public space transformations. Take a look: The site covers cities across the world.

Columbus has several examples that I have added, but the photos are not yet updated on the site’s map. Until they are, here is a sneak peek:

Civic Center Drive

West Town Street

Columbus Commons

Top Housing Markets of 2015

The 2015 housing market was one of the strongest since before the recession, and 2016 looks to do even better. An ongoing problem, especially within the more urban markets, is a historically low inventory of available homes for sale. This has been a problem for several years now, as construction has failed to match demand.

That lack of inventory really shows up in the yearly % change chart. Few urban markets have increased year over year, as they have a much more limited supply of housing, even as demand for urban housing has increased.

Let’s see how this impacted prices.

While urban markets were not necessarily the most expensive compared to suburban, more of them were generally towards the top half of price increases last year.