Akron's population is still slipping.

The U.S. Census Bureau released new estimates Thursday that show the Rubber City lost 86 people from July 2017 to July 2018 — and more than 1,100 since the 2010 census. The population stands at 198,006.

The decrease comes at the same time that Akron is trying to boost its population.

City planning director Jason Segedy set an ambitious goal several years ago to have the population climb back over 200,000 by 2020 and hit 250,000 by 2050.

Segedy, however, is far from ready to sound an alarm over the latest estimates.

Given the small decline and the margin of error in the estimates, he said, "we're probably holding steady" in population.

"Small changes are not something to get too excited or disappointed about," he said. "I think it's a positive that we're not — according to the estimates — down a lot."

Is the goal of an Akron population above 200,000 by 2020 realistic?

Yes, Segedy said, noting the estimates released Thursday are just that — estimates. 

"We want to have goals that are somewhat difficult to reach," he said. "There's no point in having a goal otherwise."

Concerning the goal of reaching a population of 250,000 by 2050, he said, "it's definitely a long ball strategy, but we're shooting" for it.

The city is laying the groundwork with its efforts to attract and retain residents, including encouraging new housing construction, boosting neighborhood business districts through the Great Streets initiative and improving city parks through the Akron Parks Challenge, he said.

Despite the 2018 estimate showing a population decline in Akron, the city has fared better than several other big cities in Ohio.

Canton, Cleveland, Toledo and Youngstown have all seen their populations fall more than 3% since 2010.

Dayton has dropped 0.6% — the same percentage decline as Akron.

Meanwhile, the populations in Columbus and Cincinnati have risen 13.4% and 1.9%, respectively.

Reminderville has been Summit County's boom town over the last decade, with the village seeing not only the largest percentage increase in the county at 29%, but also the largest numerical increase with 986 new residents since 2010.

The population now stands at 4,390.

The only other community in the five-county Akron area that experienced a double-digit increase since 2010 is Wadsworth. The Medina County community has seen its population grow 10.3% to 23,781.

The increase doesn't surprise Adrianne Krauss, executive director of Main Street Wadsworth. She is able to rattle off a host of reasons why, everything ranging from a strong school district to a revitalized downtown to municipal-owned utilities to its proximity to stores and larger cities such as Akron and Cleveland.

"We value community," she said. "People love living here. … People just have fun here. People love raising families in our town."

Elsewhere in Ohio, Columbus had the 11th-largest numerical increase nationwide between July 2017 and July 2018. The state capital added 10,770 people and is now the 14th-largest city in the United States with a population of 892,533.

The city has added 105,500 people since the 2010 census.

Meanwhile, Cleveland continued to shed people. Its population now stands at 383,793, down from 396,815 in the 2010 census.

 

Beacon Journal/Ohio.com staff writer Katie Byard contributed to this report. Beacon Journal reporter Rick Armon can be reached at 330-996-3569 or rarmon@thebeaconjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter at @armonrickABJ.