Tops for growth: Butler County outpaces state, region

Butler County continues to outpace state and regional growth, adding 2,078 residents to reach a total of 377,537 residents during a 12-month period ending July 1, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

While Butler County’s population continued to boom, Ohio’s growth barely registered for another year, inching up just 0.67 percent from July 1, 2015, to July 1, 2016, to 11.6 million, according to the census estimates.

County Commissioner T.C. Rogers said the area’s continual growth is the product of a variety of factors.

“When you pick out a place that you want to call home, it’s going to be a combination of employment, transportation to and from work, entertainment options,” Rogers said. “Also, more and more people want nature-based amenities where they can walk and hike and swim, all that stuff.”

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Butler County and its cities and townships, he said, have done a good job at adding and improving all those areas. It helps also that the county has one of the two lowest sales taxes in all of Ohio and that it is situated “right in the center” of the Cincinnati and Dayton metropolitan areas.

“Along with that, I don’t think we can forget the safety,” Rogers said. “There’s still things that happen in Butler County, but by-and-large people feel safe in their neighborhoods.”

In addition, Butler County, Ohio’s seventh largest county, is unlike other counties.

“All the other counties have a large city (as their main population draw),” he said. “We’re the only one where the economy is more diverse geographically.”

Helping to build on population growth is Liberty Twp., which welcomed mega-retail project Liberty Center in late 2015 and continued to top new home construction in the region.

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Job opportunities also abounded via new businesses or company expansions in Hamilton, Middletown, Fairfield, Monroe and West Chester Twp., plus the expansion of Cincinnati Children’s Liberty Campus and its opening of a Proton Therapy Center in Liberty Twp.

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Between July 1, 2016 and July 1, 2016, there were 4,434 births in Butler County and 3,405 deaths, a natural increase of 1,029, census data shows.

Butler County has grown by 9,407 residents since 2010, a population increase of 2.56 percent, while the Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN Metropolitan Statistical Area increased 50,559 from 2010 to 2016, a 2.39 percent increase to 2,165,139 residents, according to estimates for last year.

Warren County remained the region’s engine for population growth in 2016, adding 2,624 residents between 2015 and 2016 to reach a total of 227,063 during the 12 months ending July 1, a growth rate of 1.17 percent. Since 2010, that count has grown 6.76 percent in population.

Neighboring Hamilton County continued to rebound from population declines earlier in the decade, adding 1,351 residents during the 12-month period to reach 809,099 residents and growing 0.8 percent since 2010.

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