Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club. Because No News is Bad News.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

In 2019 U.S. Census Estimate, Cleveland Loses Population Yet Again, Still Extremely Poor

Posted By on Thu, Sep 17, 2020 at 10:25 AM

click to enlarge 09.17.20_population.png

The U.S. Census released its 2019 estimates Thursday, and Cleveland has once again lost population.

The current estimate places Cleveland at 381,009 people, down about 2,800 total and 0.7 percent from the 2018 estimate. Cleveland's population is declining at a slower rate than in decades past, but the downward trend has continued unabated since the official 1950 census, when Cleveland reached its zenith at more than 900,000 people.

Cleveland remains Ohio's second-largest (and most culturally significant) city, but both Columbus and Cincinnati made small gains in 2019, according to the census survey.

Poverty is on the rise as well in Cleveland, a statistic destined to get increasingly grim as the economic fallout of the global pandemic persists. Cleveland now has an estimated 30.8 percent of its residents living in poverty, making it the poorest large city in the country, taking the dubious honor from Detroit, which had held the mark since 2010. (Perhaps Clevelanders should put the "At least we're not Detroit" line back in their pockets for now.)

Nationwide, 10.5 percent of citizens live in poverty. Cleveland remains among the most destitute cities in the country. Its median household income, ($29,008) is less than half the national median household income ($60,293).

As of the last official census count, in 2010, Cleveland's population was 396,815. And as of Tuesday, Cleveland had reached only a 50 percent response rate for the 2020 census, with less than two weeks left. Ohio's total response rate is now up to 69.9 percent.

Sign up for Scene's weekly newsletters to get the latest on Cleveland news, things to do and places to eat delivered right to your inbox.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

October 21, 2020

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.