Written by: Chase Agin
Chase Agin is a student at Ohio Wesleyan University studying Finance Economics with a minor in Accounting. He interned with Colliers | Columbus this summer on the Research team, helping with special projects. Keep reading to get Chase’s take on how Columbus has been able to sustain growth compared to other Midwestern cities.
The growth of cities along both the east and west coast over the past few decades has been substantial and often causes for some major growth of cities in the Midwest to fly under the radar. One of these cities is Columbus, Ohio. Columbus is the 14th largest city in the United States and has long been an epicenter of growth in the Midwest. Columbus has continued to experience considerable growth while a lot of the Midwest has struggled. These struggles have occurred amidst the attractiveness of locations along the east coast and out west that are more enticing not only for individuals, but also companies. Columbus possesses certain characteristics that continue to make it a center of high growth in the Midwest.
So why has Columbus been an outlier in the demise of a lot of Midwestern cities? For one, their geographical location gives them a distinct advantage over other cities. Columbus resides within a six-hour drive of other major markets such as D.C., Chicago, Toronto, Detroit, Indianapolis, and Pittsburgh. This makes Columbus appealing as a headquarters for companies who do business regionally, nationally, and even internationally. These companies are generally accompanied by jobs which is really what drives the growth of a city. Columbus population grew 10.5% from 2010 until 2018—almost double the national average during the same time.
However, Columbus’ location is not the only thing that sets it apart from other Midwestern markets. Columbus also excels because it is the capital of the 7th most populous state in the United States that houses two other major markets with Cleveland and Cincinnati. Columbus being the state capital is another major source of jobs that pushes the overall development of the city. In a model with ten of the fastest growing Midwestern cities, it is shown that if a city is a state capital, its expected GDP per capita is 13,000 more than if a city is not a state capital.