City of Lakewood Beats Census Estimates, Population Remains Over 50,000August 13, 2021
The US Census Bureau released its official population count for the 2020 census, and the City of Lakewood, Ohio once again topped 50,000 in total population, remaining the densest city in Ohio. With a total population of 50,942, Lakewood actually beat the Census’ own estimates, and remained the third largest city in Cuyahoga County, and one of the top 20 in the entire state.
“We know Lakewood is a highly desirable place to live, and that interest in calling our city home continues to grow, so I’m not surprised we hit these population totals and beat the estimates,” said Mayor Meghan George. For the past two years, the Census Bureau had estimated Lakewood below the key threshold of 50,000, which allows cities to qualify for key federal dollars. Lakewood will remain an “entitlement” community and thus continue to qualify for critical Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) dollars from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
HUD’s formula for allocating those block grant dollars allocates 70 percent, after set-asides, to “entitlement” communities. These include larger cities with populations over 50,000, central cities and urban counties and 30 percent to states which are distributed to smaller communities. These CDBG funds can be used to renovate housing; construct or improve public facilities; purchase real estate; and invest in our infrastructure.
George sees the city likely to have growth over the next decade. “We have added a number of housing units along our major commercial corridors, and there are plans to add hundreds more in the near future,” she said. “We have strategically cultivated new housing that is both high quality and also serves a diverse socio-economic market, so I expect our population to continue to trend upward.”
George explained her thinking on why the city was able to exceed the estimates and pass the 50,000 number. “We would not have gotten a fair representation without the dedicated work of our city staff, Lakewood City Council and our entire community,” said George. “It was all hands on deck, and we communicated the importance of the census count, kept on it, and encouraged our residents to complete the census questionnaire.”
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