- Associated Press - Sunday, January 15, 2017

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Federal data shows that the state of Ohio’s population is growing slowly, with a population growth of less than 1 percent.

The Hamilton-Middletown Journal-News reported (http://bit.ly/2jrftYH ) the state grew by about 9,000 people from July 1, 2015 to July 1, 2016- an increase of .07 percent, according to population estimates by the U.S. Census Bureau. The newspaper reported that there were more births than deaths during the year, which accounted for the growth.

Meanwhile, about 27,500 more people left Ohio than moved in during the fiscal year of 2016.

Mark Salling, a population expert and senior fellow at the Levine College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University, said the state continues to gain international migration or immigrants from other countries. It ranked 17th in receiving immigration per capita since 2010.

The state’s population is aging and the birthrate is declining, he said. Immigrants are often in their child-bearing years, so more international migration could help spur Ohio’s declining birthrate, Salling said.

“Sooner or later, unless something drastically changes, Ohio is going to be among those that are losing population,” he said.

The U.S. grew by about the same rate as Ohio between 2015 and 2016 to 321.1 million people, down slightly from the previous year.

Salling said the difference between the states seeing gains and the states seeing losses is jobs.

“It’s going to take a lot of jobs, it’s going to take getting migration here whether it’s domestic or international for jobs that will change things,” Salling said. “Our birthrate’s not going to change very much, in fact it will probably continue to decline because of an aging population.”

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Information from: MIDDLETOWN: Hamilton-Middletown Journal News , http://www.journal-news.com

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