When the US Census Bureau released 2018 county population estimates this week, the figures showed that a trend taking place over the last decade may have reversed itself.
Richland County showed a population gain for the first time since the 2010 census.
The July 1, 2018 population estimate put county population at 121,099, which is an increase of 556 from the July 1, 2017 estimate of 120,543. The 0.5% increase is the 17th largest in Ohio; Delaware County had the highest growth rate of 2.1%.
Going back to 2010, when the official census counted 124,475 residents, this is the first time a year-to-year increase was registered. This also places Richland County among the 55% of growing American counties.
Nationally, counties with the largest numeric growth are all located in the south and the west, with counties in Texas taking four out of the top 10 spots. By metropolitan area, Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas, had the largest numeric growth with a gain of 131,767 (1.8 percent) in 2018, followed by Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Ariz. with an increase of 96,268 (2.0 percent). Migration, both domestic and international, as well as natural increase contributed to the growth in each of these areas, with natural increase serving as the largest source of population growth in Dallas and domestic migration serving as the largest source in Phoenix.
Out of 3,142 counties, 1,739 (55.3 percent) gained population between 2017 and 2018. Twelve counties (0.4 percent) experienced no change in population during this time, while the remaining 1,391 (44.3 percent) lost population. Between 2010 and 2018, 1,481 (47.1 percent) counties gained population and 1,661 (52.9 percent) lost population.
Surrounding counties fared as follows:
Ashland — 53,745 — 60
Crawford — 41,550 — loss of 191
Huron — 58,504 — 42
Knox — 61,893 — 590
Morrow — 35,112 — 169
Source: US Census Bureau