Among Ohio’s largest graying cities, Centerville has the oldest population in the state and Springboro has one of the fastest-growing senior populations, according to a Journal-News analysis of newly released Decennial Census data.
All of Ohio’s 100 largest cities has seen their senior populations increase — some far more than others.
The median age in cities across the region and state are on the rise, and local municipalities say they are taking steps to make sure that their residents can age in place and remain in their communities.
“An older population means our residents have a richness of life experience and they truly care about the community where they have chosen to make a home for decades,” said Kate Bostdorff, Centerville’s communications director. “We have so many dedicated residents who have devoted their time to volunteering and making our pocket of the Miami Valley an even better place to live.”
About 30% of Centerville residents are 65 and older, and the city’s median age increased to 48.8 in 2020, according to an analysis of recently released data from the 2020 Decennial Census.
For this story, the Journal-News analyzed new demographic data from the Decennial Census for Ohio’s 100 largest cities, which range in size from Columbus (905,750 residents) to Niles City (pop. 18,440). The Decennial Census is a once-a-decade count of the entire U.S. population.
Centerville (pop. 24,240) had a larger share of senior residents than any of Ohio’s other 99 largest cities in 2020, and the median age of its residents increased by about 2 years from 2010.
The median age means that half of the population is older and half is younger.
Centerville continued to have the largest share of seniors even though many other cities saw faster growth in this segment of their populations.
About 24.4% of Centerville residents were 65 and older in 2010.
Centerville is home to a few of the largest senior living communities in the region.
Bethany Village boasts a 100-acre campus along Far Hills Avenue where more than 600 people reside. About 400 residents live in independent living cottages, villas and apartments.
St. Leonard on Clyo Road is a retirement community with a 240-acre campus. The campus has independent living and assisted living options, plus skilled nursing, dementia care and rehab services.
St. Leonard is home to nearly 650 seniors. The campus added 82 units offering assisted living and memory care services in 2011.
Last year, Centerville joined the AARP Age-Friendly Network, which means the city has made a commitment to work toward ensuring the community is a great place to live for people of all ages.
City Council regularly hears from families in Centerville who say they want to stay in the community as they age, said Bostdorff.
A recent influx of luxury rental housing has been successful and popular partly because they are attracting older couples who no longer want to deal with the hassles of maintaining and owning a home but who want do not want to move out of the city, she said.
Centerville is an attractive place to live because of an excellent school system, an award-wining public library and the city has many parks and attractions like a well-liked golf course and many retail and dining options, Bostdorff said.
“We believe amenities in Centerville are second to none in the region,” she said.
Other senior gains
Springboro’s senior population increased by about 75% between 2010 and 2020 — which was faster growth than all but three other cities (Dublin, Pickerington, Hilliard).
However, only about 15% of Springboro residents are now 65 and older. About 9% of city residents were seniors in 2010.
The city’s median age has increased to 39.1 years, up 2.7 years from a decade earlier.
Huber Heights, Lebanon and Beavercreek also saw solid growth in their senior populations (+50%, +48% and +44%, respectively).
One in five Beavercreek residents are seniors, and so are about one in six Huber Heights residents and about one in seven Lebanon residents.
The entire country is aging and more Springboro residents seem to be aging in place, which means they move to the city, plant roots with their families and they decide to remain in the community once their children are fully grown, said Springboro City Manager Chris Pozzuto.
Springboro has amenities for people of all ages, he said, and the city in recent years has focused on quality-of-life issues, such as an increased promotion of the arts, grant programs for neighborhoods and housing, plus additional bike and pedestrian trails and a larger summer concert series.
Springboro also has the third-lowest municipal property tax rate in the entire state, he said, and the city’s location between Dayton and Cincinnati makes it an appealing place to live.
“We are trying to ultimately position ourselves as a community that appeals to young professionals, working families with young children and retirees,” Pozzuto said.
The Ohio cities with the youngest populations are college towns, such as Athens, Oxford, Kent and Columbus.
Only a dozen of Ohio’s 100 largest cities saw a decrease in their median ages from 2010 to 2020.
Kettering was one one of those communities: The city’s median age dipped by one year, falling to about 40 years old.
BY THE NUMBERS
Median age, share of residents 65 and older
Centerville: 48.8 years, 29.5%
Beavercreek: 40.6 years, 20%
Dayton: 34.9 years,13.8%
Fairborn: 39.4 years, 15.1%
Hamilton: 37.2 years, 15.6%
Huber Heights: 38.2 years , 16.9%
Kettering: 39.9 years, 20%
Lebanon: 37.6 years, 14.4%
Miamisburg: 42.2 years , 20.3%
Middletown: 38 years, 16.7%
Oxford: 21.2 years, 6.6%
Piqua: 39.4 years, 17.9%
Springboro: 39.1 years, 14.9%
Springfield: 38.6 years, 18.8%
Trotwood: 41.9 years, 20.6%
Troy: 38.6 years, 16.8%
Xenia: 38.6 years, 19%
Source: 2020 Decennial Census