With the overall trend of population decline in southeastern Ohio, I thought it would be interesting to look at the largest cities (and in some cases former cities) in southeastern Ohio to see what areas have been hit the hardest with population decline.
Here are the 12 I looked at: Portsmouth, Ironton, Chillicothe, Gallipolis, Pomeroy, Athens, Nelsonville, Logan, New Lexington, Belpre, Marietta, and Zanesville.
Here is what I found from census information listed on Wikipedia:
Portsmouth - 42,560 in 1930 down to 20,226 in 2010 (47% of its all time high)
Zanesville - 40,517 in 1950 down to 25,487 in 2010 (63% of its all time high)
Chillicothe - 24,957 in 1960 down to 21,901 in 2010 (88% of its all time high)
Athens - 23,832 in 2010 (currently at its all time high)
Marietta - 16,861 in 1970 down to 14,085 in 2010 (84% of its all time high)
Ironton - 16,333 in 1950 down to 11,129 in 2010 (68% of its all time high)
Gallipolis - 8,775 in 1960 down to 3,641 in 2010 (41% of its all time high - no longer a city)
Belpre - 7,193 in 1990 down to 6,441 in 2010 (90% of its all time high)
Logan - 7,152 in 2010 (currently at its all time high)
Pomeroy - 6,480 in 1860 down to 1,852 in 2010 (29% of its all time high - no longer a city)
Nelsonville - 6,440 in 1920 down to 5,392 in 2010 (84% of its all time high)
New Lexington - 5,179 in 1980 down to 4,731 in 2010 (91% of its all time high - no longer a city)
In terms of largest number of people lost, Portsmouth is first followed by Zanesville. As the largest two cities, they had the most to lose.
In terms of largest % decrease of population, Pomeroy suffered the most, only having 29% of it's all time high population. I had no idea Pomeroy was so large in the 1800s. Gallipolis is second with only 41% of its all time high population.
Chillicothe, for its size, has held its own pretty well. This could be because of annexations over time.
Athens and Logan are the only cities that are currently at their peak population. I know both have had annexations over time to help with that. Plus, Athens has the benefit of OU's growth over time. I think the non-student population of Athens is around 5,000.
While Nelsonville is holding at 84% of its all time high population totals, the composition would be different today, as Hocking College did not exist in 1920. The student population of Hocking College is included in Nelsonville's totals today.
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