TRUMBULL CO., Ohio (WKBN) – The population in the Youngstown area has been dropping for years. Specifically, Trumbull County has seen the largest decline — and not only last year, but over the past nine years.
The drop in Trumbull County’s population is not new. It began in the 1980s with the collapse of the steel industry and has been continuing ever since.
Census figures released on Thursday show the population of Mahoning, Trumbull, Columbiana and Mercer counties combined is 640,000 — down 3,000 from last year and 32,000 from 2010.
Trumbull County’s population peaked in 1980 at 241,000. Since then, it has fallen every ten years.
In 1990, 227,000. In 2000, 225,000 and in 2010, 210,000.
The latest population numbers show the county below 200,000 for the first time since the 1950 census, with a population of 198,000. That’s down 1,600 from 2017 and 11,000 from 2010.
Why such a big drop — especially recently?
“Well, it’s certainly related to job loss,” said Michael Hripko, with YSU’s Department of Economic Development. “If you look in Trumbull County, we’ve had one shift, and then the second shift and finally the closure of Lordstown and all of that supply chain industry and related effect throughout the community. That’s one of the elements we’re seeing relative to population decline locally.”
Mahoning County remains the most populous out of the four at 229,000. It saw the least amount of people leave from 2017 to 2018 — just 368. Population has gone down 3.8% in ten years.
Columbiana County is at around 100,000 people — down 480 since last year and 5,100 since 2010.
There are 110,000 people living in Mercer County — down 860 from last year and 5.1% from 2010.
Hripko said population loss is among the preeminent problems the region faces. He said population loss is the result — the cause is job loss.