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Cleveland Population Growth Focuses On 2-Mile Radius From Downtown


Cleveland is slowly repopulating from its urban core outward, with almost all of the city's population growth for more than 45 years occurring within a two-mile radius of Downtown, according to a new study released by Cleveland State University's Center for Population Dynamics.

The number of housing units within a two-mile radius of Public Square increased 38.4% during that period, pointing to strong demand for residential product in the area. 

By contrast, the zone between two and six miles out from the urban core has thinned out the most in recent decades, resulting in a large net decrease in the city's overall population, the report said. Thus, that is where the city also has plenty of room for new residential development. 

The report suggests such neighborhoods as Fairfax and Hough be examined at a granular level to determine areas there that might benefit from "intervention." Such intervention would include "demolition and land holding, subsidized new construction and/or rehab, and market-rate new construction and/or rehab."

Overall, Cleveland’s peak housing stock was in 1960, with an estimated 283,000 housing units, and the occupancy rate was 95.4%. By 2015 the city had lost 70,760 housing units, largely due to demolition. 

The city's occupancy rate was 78.8% as of 2015. The decline in occupancy coupled with the removal of housing units has coincided with a population decline from 876,050 to 390,584.