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Census reveals Cleveland's population declines, but America and Ohio are becoming more diverse

The city of Cleveland lost about 24,000 residents over the last decade.

CLEVELAND — On Thursday, we got our first look at the numbers collected in last year's census. It shows who we are and where we live, down to the city block.

Census 2020 revealed that America and Ohio are becoming more diverse, thanks in part to better questions on that census form. 

While Columbus was one of 14 cities showing explosive growth, Cleveland is still shrinking. The city lost about 24,000 residents in the last decade from 396,815 people in 2010 -- to 372,624 in 2020. The result will have Cleveland City Council go from 17 to 15 seats in 2025.

Cuyahoga County's population saw a slight dip from 1,280,122 million people in 2010 to 1,264,817 in 2020. The state of Ohio's population increased from 11,536,751 to 11,799,448 during the decade. 

Ohio will also lose a seat in the U.S. House next year as the data shapes voting districts for the next decade.

Global Cleveland was one of hundreds of organizations targeting hard to reach communities across Northeast Ohio. "If you're counted, you count. And our whole message to people was let's not be invisible anymore," explains Joe Cimperman, who serves as president. "What I say to people who were born in the U.S., people who are native born is to thank an immigrant for having a bigger voice in Congress for the state of Ohio."

The pandemic impacted how the count was collected and delayed the results for months. Now Daniel Ortiz with Policy Matters Ohio will do a deep dive to be sure these numbers reflect our neighborhoods.

"For Ohio, you know, billions of dollars every year are coming here based on the data that's gathered in the census," Ortiz explains.

Representation matters. And you can still speak up as the redistricting process begins.

"Contact your local elected leaders and share your concerns because these maps, they have to represent all of us," Ortiz advises. "And that means you and making sure that your voice is heard in this process is critical.'

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