Ohio’s Improving Economy Helping Reverse Brain Drain

Want another sure sign that Ohio’s economy is improving? More young adults recognize they don’t need to leave Ohio to find good jobs. As thisDayton Daily News story put it, “People are understanding that you don’t need to look elsewhere.”

The latest evidence that the commitment Gov. John Kasich and Ohio lawmakers have made – and continue to make – to improving Ohio’s business climate is producing results comes from new U.S. Census Bureaus population estimates.

The latest numbers (as of July 1, 2012) show that, while Ohio’s total population was up only marginally from the official 2010 Census numbers, Ohio gained more than 50,000 young adults between the ages of 20 and 34. That’s an increase of 2.3%.

This is a significant and positive trend, for at least two reasons. First, the out-migration of young adults – or “brain drain” – hurts our economy, as it robs our state of some of our best young talent. Second, between 1990 and 2010, according to the Dayton Daily News  analysis, Ohio lost more than 420,000 young adults. So these new estimates represent a reversal of this harmful trend.

As Gov. Kasich notes in the linked story, keeping people in or attracting them to Ohio is all about “creating jobs, being cool, being cutting-edge and selling our state.” There is still more to do, of course, both in terms of strengthening our economy as well as keeping our best and brightest at home and attracting others to join them here. But this latest news from the Census Bureau is another sign we’re headed in the right direction.

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