Wood County one of few to add population in NW Ohio PDF Print E-mail
Written by JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN Sentinel County Editor   
Thursday, 14 March 2013 10:19
While several other counties in Northwest Ohio are watching their population numbers drop, Wood County is continuing to grow.
U.S. Census population estimates show a gain of 1,291 residents in Wood County — bumping the county’s population up to 128,200. The increase estimate was the largest in the Northwest Ohio region.
In fact, of 12 counties in the region, only three saw population growth. Wood’s was the greatest, followed by Hancock County adding 560 residents and Fulton County growing by just 16.
The biggest loss was seen in Lucas County, where the estimated population went from 439,914 to 437,988 — a loss of 1,926.
According to Wood County Administrator Andrew Kalmar, this county is attractive to business and residential growth for several reasons.
First, is the access to major transportation, such as Interstate 75, the Ohio Turnpike and the new CSX rail hub in southern end of the county.
“From a business standpoint, they are terrific,” Kalmar said.
Next is the expansion of existing businesses and the attracting of new companies to the county.
“Those provide jobs that people need,” he said.
Unlike some neighboring counties, Wood is seeing an economic rebound.
“We’re coming out of the recession,” Kalmar said.
The county also benefits from having several thriving towns and good educational opportunities, he added.
“We do have a good place to live. We do have good communities here.”
While the housing construction industry is still in a slump, the sale of existing homes in the county has experienced improvement.
“That has seen a rebound,” Kalmar said.
That rebound can be seen in the increase in the conveyance fee collected by the county with each real estate transaction. A portion of those fees is then used to promote economic development locally.
The same good news cannot be found in the latest census estimates for many neighboring counties.
Following is a list of other Northwest Ohio counties with their 2011 population estimates, then 2012 estimates:
• Defiance County: 38,885 to 38,677, loss of 208.
• Fulton County: 42,497 to 42,513, increase of 16.
• Hancock County: 75,111 to 75,671, increase of 560.
• Henry County: 28,230 to 28,045, loss of 185.
• Lucas County: 439,914 to 437,988, loss of 1,926.
• Ottawa County: 41,435 to 41,339, loss of 96.
• Paulding County: 19,402 to 19,295, loss of 107.
• Putnam County: 34,348 to 34,198, loss of 150.
• Sandusky County: 60,606 to 60,510, loss of 96.
• Seneca County: 56,403 to 56,018, loss of 385.
• Williams County: 37,599 to 37,513, loss of 86.
• Wood County: 126,909 to 128,200, increase of 1,291.

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