2023 State of the Region report: Cincinnati’s future hinges on present policy changes
Cincinnati’s hard-won gains over the last two decades – its cultural vibrancy, revived urbanism and manufacturing comeback – could all be at risk if the city doesn’t act now to address an inevitable period of slowing population growth.
The document compares Greater Cincinnati against 21 other cities: regional peers – Columbus, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh and others – and more aspirational ones, including Texas cities Houston, San Jose and Austin.
Against its 21 peers, the region wins or fares as expected in gross domestic product, total regional exports, jobs growth, unemployment rate, number of large companies and median household income.
The Cincinnati region by the numbers
2.265 million: Total population in 2023 (11th of 21 cities)
862,989: Working-age population in 2022 (18th)
$172 billion: Real gross domestic product in 2021 (11th)
$35.4 billion: Regional exports in 2021 (4th)
25,092: Net job growth 2017-2022 (12th)
$70,818: Median household income in 2021 (13th)
15.9%: Childhood poverty rate in 2021 (15th)
2.03: Violent crime rate in 2022 (2nd)
76.5: Life expectancy in 2022 (14th)
6,160: New housing units permitted in 2022 (16th)
$1,526: Typical monthly rent in May 2023 (14th)
24.2%: Office vacancy rate in Q1 2023 (17th)
2.4% Industrial vacancy rate in Q1 2023 (2nd)
$74.20: Hotel revenue per available room in 2023 (4th among 10 regional peers)
120,115: Total manufacturing jobs (7th)
Successes with Blink, Taylor Swift, Oktoberfest and other events embellish the region’s strong base of arts, culture and urban-focused economic development. The Chamber is fully on board with a new arena downtown (but agnostic on the location), and referenced a number of transformative developments coming in the pipeline.
“It takes a while after good things start happening for the city’s brand to get out,” Rudd said. “We weren’t on people’s radars before, so there is a lag. But Cincinnati is now increasingly known as a destination.”
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