Beavercreek and Springboro had the highest population growth of suburbs in the Dayton region, according to the latest 2017 population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau.
Since 2010 — the year of the last nationwide census — to July 1, 2017, the bureau estimates the local cities seeing the most growth are:
• Beavercreek: +1,744 residents,
• Springboro: +1,208,
• Xenia: +882,
• Troy: +656.
“The city of Beavercreek is still a highly desirable place to work and live,” said Beavercreek City Manager Pete Landrum. “We knew from the 2010 census that there would be an uptick.”
Leaders in the communities seeing declining numbers said that while the numbers are negative, the populations are actually stable in the context of overall population.
Last week the Dayton Daily News reported population in Dayton fell by an estimated 372 people between July 1, 2016, and July 1, 2017, the data show. The slight drop gives the city an estimated population of 140,371 people.
Mayor Nan Whaley told the newspaper she believes the numbers show Dayton’s population is leveling compared to the dramatic drops of past decades.
As another example, Kettering’s population dropped an estimated 43 people to 55,175 from 2016 to 2017.
“The most recent census estimates reflect a shift of less than one-tenth of one percent of our population,” said Kettering City Manager Mark Schwieterman in a statement. “We have seen a reversal of the population loss trend since 2014, with the shift getting smaller and smaller each year.”
“We are confident that our population shift will continue heading in this direction,” Schwieterman said.
2020 Census awaits
Several leaders said they believe the 2020 census will actually show population growth. Trotwood census estimates, for instance, show a growth of 57 residents from 2016 to 2017.
“We really believe it’s going to be higher than that,” said Trotwood Mayor Mary McDonald. “We’ve been able to rebuild and re-purpose the housing stock we have.”
“We think a lot of the downturn that happened in our community was part of the jobs that were lost in GM and Delphi, and now we are actively looking at jobs that pay a living wage and are making a difference in the community,” she said.
For years, Oakwood officials have watched as census estimates show declines, only to find the population bounce back during the actual decennial census count, said Oakwood City Manager Norbert Klopsch.
Census estimates report that Oakwood’s population has dropped by about 205 people to 8,993 in 2017, down from a population of 9,202 in the 2010 census.
“It’s a function of the formulas they’re using,” Klopsch said. “As I sit here today, I fully expect with the utmost confidence that when the 2020 census is done we’re going to be around the 9,200 that we were for the last two census counts.”
The estimates are created using county-level counts from birth, death and migration records; the Census then distributes county-level estimates down to cities and towns based on the number of occupied housing units, average persons per household and other factors.
Butler County’s biggest cities saw level populations. Hamilton saw a 0.1 percent decrease, giving the city an estimated population of 62,092. Middletown saw a 0.08 percent increase from last year, giving the city an estimated population of to 48,823.
“In this particular instance, the change that the census projects is so small it is difficult to determine what, if any, impact it would have,” said Hamilton Economic Development Director Judy Gunderson.
In Clark County, Springfield added about 300 people between 2016 and 2017 a 0.5-percent increase, according to the latest census estimates, though the city’s population is still down more than 1,300 people compared to 2010. Urbana’s population is estimated as essentially flat between 2016 and 2017 with about 11,250 residents.
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Staff Writers Matt Sanctis, Eric Schwartzberg and Katie Wedell contributed reporting.