'Brain Drain' Surprise: Cleveland vs. Chicago

Comparing the demographic changes of Cleveland and Chicago, the results might surprise you: “Cleveland (Cuyahoga County) is experiencing brain gain. Chicago (Cook County) has brain drain.”
Rudy Balasko / Shutterstock

Jim Russell has an affinity for “ironic demography,” which he works at along with Richey Piiparinen. Their counter-intuitive findings about the population dynamics of Cleveland compared to Chicago have attracted a lot of attention recently. Enough so that Piiparinen was recently appointed the head of the Center for Population Dynamics in the Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University.

Russell cites February Census data to make the case for Cleveland’s success in recent years. In fact, Cleveland has proven more attractive than Chicago at attracting well-educated, high earners. “As the Great Recession churned job prospects for many, Cook County lost about 13,000 residents with six-figure household incomes to other places,” and “[between] 2007 and 2011, Chicago and its immediate suburbs also ended up with about 10,000 fewer residents with a bachelor’s degree or higher…”

Cleveland on the other hand: “The census estimates show that Cuyahoga County, where Cleveland is located, gained about 3,450 more highly educated people than it lost.”

Full Story: Demographically Speaking, Cleveland Is Outperforming Chicago

Comments

building block set

NEW! Build the world you want to see

Irresistible block set for adults when placed on a coffee table or desk, and great fun for kids.
$25

Prepare for the AICP* Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245
T-shirt with map of Chicago

Show your city pride

Men's Ultrasoft CityFabric© tees. Six cities available.
$23.00
Women's t-shirt with map of Los Angeles

City T-Shirts for the ladies!

Women's Supersoft CityFabric© Fashion Fit Tees. Now available in six different cities.
$24.00