The numbers show it: Cleveland actually experiencing 'brain gain'

CLEVELAND -- A new study released by Cleveland State University's Center for Population Dynamics finds that the area is attracting young, educated professionals.

From 2011 to 2012 there was a big spike in the number of non-native Ohioans who are moving to the area, the study indicates.

Research shows the number of college-educated 25- to 34-year-olds in greater Cleveland increased by 23 percent from 2006 to 2012.

Many of the educated migrants are coming from big cities, including Atlanta and Detroit. Chicago, Manhattan, Brooklyn and Pittsburgh sent the most people to the area, the report indicates.

Richey Piiparinen, a senior research associate for CSU's Center for Population Dynamics and the co-author of "Globalizing Cleveland: A Path Forward," says the study went live today and is the second portion of a three-part series.

The initial part of the study laid the conceptual framework for the research, and now we're taking a look at the data -- some of which is surprising.

"The thing that surprised me the most ... everyone just assumed because we're the Rust Belt and we have post-industrial decline and we have vacant houses ... we just assume that these very simple numbers are bad," Piiparinen said. "What happened was we actually looked at the census and said 'Whoa ... we really are experiencing a brain gain.' "

Piiparinen tells Channel 3's Hilary Golston that he wants to now apply these numbers to real life by working with strategic partners such as Global Cleveland, Positively Cleveland and Cleveland neighborhood progress. Organizations that implement strategies can use the data to create economic change Piiparinen says.

The approach to data is also a new one.

"Usually there's a place-centric approach, where organizations just focus on a place and try to strategize around a place," Piiparinen says. "What we're doing is we're strategizing around people.

"We really see a broader community of what Cleveland is through migrants, through people who have passed through Cleveland or through people who are still here."

The passion to bring even more young professionals to the region is evident.

Gov. John Kasich will be in town Thursday evening to speak at the launch for the Global Cleveland Talent Attraction Campaign.

See the full study HERE.

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