Latest population figures from the U.S. Census Bureau show certain communities may be leveling off when it comes to a decline in residents

The United States is growing at a historically slow rate. Between 2017 and 2018, the country grew 0.6 percent in population. The timeframe prior saw a 0.7 percent increase. That doesn’t sound like a whole lot of growth…And you would be correct. The U.S. is experiencing its slowest rate of annual growth since 1937, when the nation was in the midst of the Great Depression.

Ohio’s population by the numbers

Ohio is a microcosm of the U.S., and so when the country’s population ticked up a little over half a percentage, it was only fitting the state’s growth would almost be identical, increasing nearly a quarter percent to 11,689,442. Closer to home, it’s no secret the Mahoning Valley has struggled to attract and retain residents, especially since the collapse of the steel industry more than 40 years ago. However, it’s not all doom and gloom, as population levels across the area may finally be leveling off.

The Youngstown-Warren, OH-PA Combined Statistical Area (CSA), which includes Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties in Ohio and Mercer County in western Pennsylvania, is estimated to have a little more than 641,000 people. That’s down 3,400 from 2017 and 32,000 from 2010. Of the 176 CSAs in the U.S., the Youngstown-Warren region dropped from 71st to 76th in the past decade.

County-by-County Breakdown

County 2018 Population 2010 Population Percent Change
Mahoning 229,642


238,788 -3.8%
Trumbull 198,627


210,325 -5.6%
Columbiana 102,665


107,852 -4.8%
Mercer 110,683


116,668 -5.1%

*Data courtesy of U.S. Census Bureau

The U.S. Census Bureau estimated Mahoning County’s population, including Youngstown and surrounding communities of Austintown, Boardman, Canfield and Poland at 229,642, which is down slightly from 2017 at 0.2 percent, revealing we may be nearing the end of an exodus that traces back to the 1970s. Meanwhile, on the other end of the spectrum, Trumbull County experienced the region’s largest population loss from 2017 to 2018, falling 0.8 percent to 198,627. Only Cuyahoga County (Cleveland, Ohio) had a greater population decline, losing 4,514 during the same one-year period. For comparison, Delaware County, which is located just north of Columbus, Ohio, saw a staggering 14.5 percent growth in population from 2010 through 2017.

Could this be the end of decades of population decline across the Mahoning Valley? The most recent population figures show the loss of residents in the area is becoming less. Affordable cost of living, quality education and new opportunities in business, entertainment and redevelopment make the area attractive to prospective residents, especially to the millennial group looking to become homeowners in the market.

According to NAR, the average cost of a house in Youngstown in 2018 was $97,600, lowest in the country yet again, with monthly payments often cheaper than renting. And with a variety of different lending and grant and assistance programs available for homebuyers, getting that dream house is easier than ever before. This is key for a younger population new to the home buying process, looking to relocate and call the Mahoning Valley home.

*Not intended as accounting or investment advice. Contact your financial representative for more information.