Region now expected to exceed three million residents by 2050
The Central Ohio region continues to grow and is on track to exceed three million residents by 2050, based on the most recent data from the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC).
The most recent modeling projections of 3.15 million for the 15-county region represents a slight uptick from previous projections. Over the next 25 years, the Central Ohio region will see a growth of 726,000 people, which equates to 272,000 additional households and 357,000 additional workers.
Births and people moving to Central Ohio (in-migration) were almost equally contributing to the region’s growth in the past; however, Central Ohio, like the nation, is showing a continued trend of increased death rates and lower birth rates, due in large part due to our aging population.
Franklin County is expected to absorb half of the regional growth and will welcome more than twice as many newcomers as the next highest county (Delaware). That said, the six surrounding counties will experience greater growth relative to their current populations ranging from a 30 percent increase in Madison and Licking counties, to 80 percent in Delaware, compared to 26 percent for Franklin County.
Recent growth places Central Ohio among the fastest-growing large metros in the country. Additionally, the region is growing faster than any other in the state. But at an estimated 0.89 percent annually, the growth is a more manageable rate than other metros, such as Austin or Boise, which have been growing at twice the rate of Central Ohio.
According to a report commissioned by the Building Industry Association (BIA) of Central Ohio, housing permitting will need to increase approximately two-fold from recent trends to meet the projected need of more than 100,000 new housing units in the next decade and to ensure a variety of attainable housing options to accommodate new residents and meet the demand for more walkable neighborhoods.
For more information about Central Ohio’s population growth projects visit the 2023 Population Forecast online.