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Local Matters

For the Love of Cleveland: From White Flight to the Fifth Migration

Tuesday, June 13, 2017
11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

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"Our neighborhood is different in that it encompasses so many sub-neighborhoods." – Jamar Doyle

At one time, Cleveland was America’s fifth largest city. We seemed poised to stand alongside such stalwarts as Philadelphia, New York, Chicago, and Boston as thriving, dense, and iconic metropolitan areas. And then we lost population. Spurred by the loss of industry and deterred by the desegregation of Cleveland public schools, white families fled Cleveland for the suburbs. From 1970 to 2013, Cleveland lost about half of its population, dropping from the tenth largest city to barely grazing the top 50, in effect, losing 23 people every day for 43 years.

But then, things started to change. Millennials, those born between 1982 and 2000, are leading a rapid “fifth migration,” the term for the re-urbanization of metro areas. According to a recent study, Cleveland is eighth in the nation in the growth rate of college-educated millennials.

Goodrich-Kirtland Park, which includes the East Side's Asia Town, had a reported 99.5 percent increase in college educated residents in 2015. Hough, bordering on University Circle and Fairfax, has also witnessed a “nascent” brain gain. How did they do it? What can all neighborhoods do to continue to attract young, highly educated people to the city? And how do we prevent their outmigration into the suburbs once they age?

Join us for a free discussion in Cleveland Public Square.

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