Census 2010: Lakewood Stays Young, Gets More Diverse
US Census data reveals changes in city's demographics.
Young people seem to be hanging around in Lakewood, while the older age groups leave the city.
And more and more minorities are calling Lakewood home.
That’s according to new data released Thursday by the US Census.
Earlier this year, Lakewood Patch covered some of the shifts occurring across the region — which covered population numbers and racial breakdowns.
But there are now specifics on a range of data, from age to housing.
Mayor Michael Summers said that the new information affirms what city officials had already suspected.
A young city
According to the US Census data, the median age is still about the same as it was in 2000: the median age was 34.2 in 2000, and 35.4 in 2010.
Compare that to the state of Ohio’s median age in 2010, which was 38.8.
Most people who live in the city are from 25 to 34 years old. In 2000, there were 11,278 people — or 20.7 percent of the city’s population — in that group. In 2010, it was 10,498 — or 20.2 percent.
So, it’s not that there’s a large influx of young people into the city. What affects the data the most is that there are significantly fewer people in the older age categories.
The city saw more than 1,000 people over the age of 65 leave the city between 2000 and 2010.
“We think there’s a lot more energy and vitality than we’ve seen before — certainly over the last 10 years,” Summers said. “What (the data) affirmed is that we’re trending to a younger age.”
“We consider that to be a great opportunity to us. There are probably few communities that are as young as we are in our region.”
Lakewood is getting more diverse
While white people make up for 87.5 percent of Lakewood’s population (down from 93.1 in 2000) at 45,598, the growth of minority groups is skyrocketing.
The fastest growing groups in Lakewood are blacks, Asians and Hispanics, according to the data.
• The black population in Lakewood has tripled. In 2000, there were 1,116 blacks in the city, compared with 3,340 in 2010.
• There are 988 Asians in Lakewood, up 188 from 800 in 2000.
• And the Hispanic population has nearly doubled since 2000; there were 2,147 Hispanics living in Lakewood in 2010, compared with 1,269 in 2000.
Vacant properties double
There are fewer households in Lakewood now – 25,274 compared to 26,693 in 2000 – but the number of vacant housing units has nearly doubled.
There were 1,723 vacant housing units in 2000, about 6.1 percent of all housing units. That rose to 3,224 in 2010, to 11.3 percent.
There are more single moms
In 2000, Lakewood had 2,594 households with single moms raising kids. In 2010, that number increased to 2,742.
What does all of this new data mean for the city?
Summers said, using the data, the administration will be better suited to serving the needs of the city — on issues such as biking, walkability and education.
“There’s a lot to think about,” Summers said. “Nothing is shocking, surprising or alarming.”
“I think we’re still most anxious to get the complete picture, which we don’t have yet.”