CLEVELAND — On average, large cities in the United States have seen their populations grow over the past five years. Unfortunately, that has not been the case in Northeast Ohio's biggest community.
According to a new study from the website AdvisorSmith, Cleveland is the fifth-fastest shrinking large city in the U.S., with its population currently falling at an annual rate of 0.5% since 2014 to just over 380,000. It's part of a trend that has continued since 1950, when the city peaked at more than 914,000 residents.
AdvisorSmith used U.S. Census Bureau estimates from 2014 and last year to reach its findings, which come as the country is conducting its census count as it does every 10 years. So far, Cleveland is well below the national response average, with just 47.5% of citizens completing the process as of this month.
Cleveland wasn't the only large city (those with over 250,000 people) in Ohio to crack the "bottom five," as Toledo came in at No. 4 with an annual decline of 0.6% to under 273,000 residents today. St. Louis is currently shrinking at the fastest rate (-1.1% each year, 300,576 people), while Henderson, Nevada is growing at the largest clip (3.1%, 320,189).
"The list of shrinking cities included both cities in economic decline, as well as powerhouse cities such as Chicago and New York, which suffer from housing affordability challenges," AdvisorSmith's Julius Olitan wrote.