2000 to 2013 - A Clarion Signal for Change
Using data from the US Census Bureau for the period of 2000 to 2013, Stark County area has three apparent trends that go beyond troublesome. These are trends that must be addressed or the quality of life in this community will be futher impacted to point of marginization and community institutions as we know them will be diminished in capacity, reach and aspiration.
In the period between 2000 and 2013, the percentage of the population of Stark County residents (over the age of 65) rose from 15.1% to 16.6% a rise of nearly 10%. In comparison, Summit County to our north has only 14% of their population over the age of 65.
This is not to indicate that our seniors are bad, but rather we have been unable to retain the approximate 2000 high school seniors that graduate each year.
9.9% Rise in Population over Age 65
65% Rise in Poverty Population
Poverty levels during the same time period rose dramatically. Between 2000 and 2013, the percentage of those living in Stark County rose by 63% to a new high of 15% of our population.
This trend has put unprecedented strains on our assistance networks. Social agencies, institutions and faith-centered groups are all doing more with less. Stark County has been unable to attract additional population to offset this breathtaking rise of need.
Last, our population growth in this time period was negative. While a drop from 378,000 to 374,000 might seem flat for this period, the United States grew by 13% in the same time period. In comparison to the average growth in the United States, we lost ground by 14%.