COLUMBUS (WCMH) — New census numbers released Thursday show the Columbus metropolitan area has now more people living and working in it than the Cleveland metro.
Columbus has become the state’s fastest-growing city, pushing its metro area into the number two spot when it comes to the state’s overall growing population.
“I love living in Columbus there is a lot of stuff to do,” said new Columbus resident David Arnold Jr.
Arnold says he lives in Columbus’ Short North neighborhood after moving here from Georgia for work. He grew up in the Cleveland-Akron area.
“Cleveland has a couple of different areas that people tend to move towards. Here, I feel like there is a lot more diversity. You have more options,” says Arnold.
According to the new U.S. census report, the Columbus region added more than 176,000 residents between 2010 and 2017.
“Our growth is far greater than the national average,” says Regionomics founder Bill LaFayette.
LaFayette has been studying the Columbus metro area since 1999 when the city had 1.5 million people.
According to the newly released census report,s the Columbus metro area has jumped to 2.078-million people, surpassing the Cleveland metro by about 20,000 people.
LaFayette says the growth is due to the increase of jobs to the area.
“We have added well over 100,000 jobs over the past few years,” said LaFayette.
But that doesn’t put the Columbus metro at number one in Ohio. Cincinnati’s metro area still has 100,000 more people, but Columbus is gaining steadily.
Central Ohio is home to five of the state’s fastest-growing counties. In 2017, Franklin County gained more than 5,000 people who moved to the county from another state.
“The core county is pulling the metro up, rather than the other way around and I see that as one of the most important take away from these numbers,” says LaFayette.
LaFayette predicts that the Columbus metro area will catch up to Cincinnati’s metro area by 2024.