The shift of population from Cuyahoga County has been a familiar story in recent years as area highways send people further from the urban core. But, recent census figures show that this outward sprawl takes a slightly different path once it gets to Lake County. ideastream®'s David C. Barnett has more.
The western part of Lake County has traditionally seen an increase in population due to the influx of people coming across the Cuyahoga border, along Route 2 and I-90. But, that trend has started to reverse since 2000, as the region has built-up. Cleveland State housing researcher Tom Bier says that this is just an example of a trend that has been occurring for many years and has now caught up to western Lake County.
TOM BIER: The pattern of movement all across Northeast Ohio is away from the older places to the newer places, that's the dominant pattern.
Towns such as Wickliffe, Willoughby, and Willowick experienced steady growth when they were relatively new. Now, they are considered older cities, and less attractive than more recent growth hotspots, such as Medina and Geauga counties. Some Western Lake communities, like Willoughby, are using the appeal of downtown development as a way to reverse the trend and bring people back.