Fewer residents, more diversity in Heights cities
The recently released results of Census 2010 revealed population losses over the preceding 10 years in both Cleveland Heights and University Heights, as well as in every bordering community. Cleveland Heights’s population dropped 7.7 percent to 46,121. University Heights's was down 4.3 percent to 13,539.
Both communities remain diverse by Greater Cleveland standards, and for the first time, no racial group is in a majority in the city of Cleveland Heights. The city’s African-American population dropped for the first time on record—a 6.2 percent drop to 19,587, or 42.5 percent of the total population. The white population fell 12.4 percent to 22,984, or 49.8 percent.
Gains were registered among Asians, who numbered 1,900 at the time of the census, a 48.4 percent increase, and among Hispanics, who grew in number from 791 to 903.
In University Heights, the black population ticked up to 3,133, a 7.4 percent increase, and the white population dropped below 10,000 for the first time in decades, an 8.9 percent drop to 9,726. The city’s Asian population jumped by a third to 326, and its Hispanic population grew by nearly 70 percent to 374.
Population losses were much more significant in neighboring communities, with Cleveland losing more than 80,000 residents and East Cleveland’s population dropping by more than a third. Cleveland registered a significant gain in its Asian population, though, and its Hispanic population reached nearly 40,000. East Cleveland didn’t register population gains in any ethnic group and, of the 12,523 housing units in the city, 4,237, or 33.8 percent, were vacant.
Not surprisingly, a dramatic increase in the number of vacant houses was part of the story in nearly every municipality, with even relatively stable Beachwood showing a 12 percent increase in the number of vacant units. In Cleveland Heights, the number of housing units increased overall, from 21,798 in 2000 to 22.465 in 2010, but the number of vacant units nearly tripled, from 885 to 2,508. In University Heights, the total number of units dropped by about 100, and the number of vacant units more than doubled, to 438.
Looking at Cuyahoga County in its entirety, population losses continued, in keeping with a decades-long pattern. Overall, the county’s population dropped by more than 100,000 to 1,280,122, with a 13.3 percent drop in the white population as the main reason.
The county’s African-American population remained almost unchanged, at 380,198, and both the Asian and Hispanic populations showed gains of more than 30 percent. A small increase in the number of housing units in the county was offset by the 68.8 percent increase in the number of vacant units, - which numbered 76,707 out of 621,763 -in April 2010.
Vince Reddy, a 14-year resident of Cleveland Heights, is a FutureHeights board member.