Summit County's population remains stagnant.

The U.S. Census Bureau released updated county and metropolitan population estimates Thursday showing Summit has gained only 140 residents from 2010 to 2018. Summit, the fourth-largest county in Ohio, has 541,918 residents.

It's a good news, bad news situation for Summit. It's lagging behind growing urban counties in Ohio such as Franklin, Hamilton and Lorain, but it's faring much better than Cuyahoga, Lucas, Mahoning, Montgomery and Stark, which have been losing thousands of people.

Summit owes its meager increase to two main factors: international immigration and people moving from Cuyahoga County. Summit has gained 8,869 immigrants and refugees since 2010. County leaders have promoted the community as immigrant-friendly and joined the Welcoming Cities and Counties effort.

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But Summit also has been aided simply because of its proximity to its neighbor to the north, which has seen the largest numeric decline in population in the state over that time period. More than 36,200 people have moved out of Cuyahoga, with many of them settling in northern Summit.

“We know that Summit County has benefited from people moving out of Cuyahoga,” said Mark Salling, senior fellow at the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University.

Meanwhile, the Akron metropolitan area — which covers Summit and Portage counties — has grown by 1,642 people over the same time period and stands at 704,845. The metro area now ranks as the 82nd largest in the United States, down from 74th in 2010.

The census estimates are a mixed bag for Summit's neighbors.

Medina County continues to add population, also benefiting from outmigration from Cuyahoga. The county grew by 6,813 people or 4 percent since 2010. The county gained 906 people from 2017 to 2018. The population now is 179,146.

Portage County also has seen its population climb by 1,502 people, or 0.9 percent, to 162,927. It grew by 302 people from 2017 to 2018.

Wayne County saw a one-year decline of 280 people. Despite that drop, its population has grown 1.3 percent — or by 1,451 people — since 2010. Wayne's population is 115,967.

Meanwhile, Stark County is experiencing a steady decline. Stark lost 4,016 people and posted the sixth-highest numeric decline in Ohio from 2010 to 2018. The county lost 503 people from 2017 to 2018.

Stark's population is now 371,574.

The five Ohio counties with the biggest population gains since 2010 are centered around Columbus, Cincinnati and Dayton: Franklin (146,768), Delaware (30,654), Warren (19,353), Hamilton (14,312) and Butler (14,243).

Following Cuyahoga, the Ohio counties with the largest population declines were: Lucas (11,916), Trumbull (11,698), Mahoning (9,146) and Columbiana (5,187). Stark was sixth.

Ohio's population also has remained relatively flat since 2010. The Buckeye State gained 152,685 people, or a 1.3 percent increase. The state population is 11.6 million.

 

Rick Armon can be reached at 330-996-3569 or rarmon@thebeaconjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter at @armonrickABJ.