Central Ohio is young, diverse, and growing. Today, with a population of over 2 million, more people live in the 12-county region of Central Ohio than in the entire state of West Virginia. Cultural diversity ranges from Amish rural to international cosmopolitan, and the economy encompasses everything from world-class horse breeding to repair of missile guidance systems.
The metrics of Central Ohio illustrate trends in population growth, economic strength, and patterns of development. Predictions include more—and more diverse—people in Central Ohio by 2050. To remain competitive, the region must plan to meet the needs of this growing and changing population. Forty years ago, Dublin, Ohio, had fewer than 700 people and Delaware County had a population of 45,000—approximately the same size of Dublin today.2 The Interstate-270 outer belt was under construction, and State Route 315 was not yet completed as a freeway between downtown and the northern suburbs. Rickenbacker was an active Air Force base, American Honda Motor Co. Inc. was 15 years from locating in Marysville, and prisoners lived in the Ohio Penitentiary near where the Nationwide Arena now sits. Forty years from now, as we look back on the Central Ohio of 2012, undoubtedly we will be amazed at how much has changed.