By Anne Trubek
Detroit is gaining white people! CityLab has announced the “March of the Young White People” featuring Detroit’s spike in caucasians, and the Detroit News reported that the white population of Detroit is up 8,000 people since last year (and 14,000 since 2010). Sounds like data that would be similar in Cleveland, another ailing Rust Belt city that has seen population decline followed by a purported millennial “renaissance.”
But I did not see any such headlines in the local media. So I went to look at the census figures myself. The raw numbers tell me that not only is Cleveland not gaining white people, it is losing them.
In 2014, the white population in the city of Cleveland was 146,208. In 2013, it was 159,295; in 2012, it was 161,646; in 2011, 165,270; 2010, 164,605. Percentage-wise, Cleveland’s white population in 2014 was 37.5%; in 2010 it was 39.9%.
The change in the white population in Cleveland since 2010 is a loss of 18,397, or -2.5%
Now, numbers are not black and white, and there are many, many ways to parse these. For instance, some argue that the population may be shrinking, but getting smarter. So I checked educational levels. Cleveland became even less educated in the past year. In 2013, 8.8% of residents under 25 and 16.5% of people over 25 had B.A. or higher. In 2014, those numbers went down to 7.9% of residents under 25 and 15.1% of residents aged 25.
And of course Cleveland is still losing total population: in 2014, it was 389,924; in 2013, 390,106; in 2012, 390,923; in 2011, 393,804; in 2010, 396,240.
There is so much more to say about these numbers — and different angles from which to view and analyze them. For those who like pretty data visualizations and want to see where Cleveland was in 2010, there is a fantastic resource here. For now, we have raw data that seem to confirm that, well, Cleveland is still not Detroit.
Anne Trubek is founder and publisher of Belt.