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Miami researchers find Ohio counties aging rapidly

03/13/2012

The number of residents age 65 and older in Ohio's Delaware County has increased by 83 percent from the year 2000 to 2010, according to information released this week by Miami University's Scripps Gerontology Center. This change is part of a broader dramatic aging story taking place across all of Ohio's 88 counties.

Delaware County represents the most substantial aging over this period; Ohio’s total population age 65 and older grew by 7.6 percent. Washington County is also in a unique situation; it got smaller and older. The county underwent significant growth in the number of residents age 65+ (a 15 percent increase) but unlike Delaware County, Washington County shrunk in overall population from 2000 to 2010.

This research is part of a series of forthcoming releases from Scripps Gerontology Center as it seeks to shed light on age-related issues and to provide a wealth of information telling the story of Ohio’s aging counties. Many counties like Delaware and Washington face significant challenges in serving an increasing older population who need various long-term care services.

The Ohio Department of Aging values this demographic research done by Scripps Gerontology Center. It is a “dramatic visual to help people embrace the idea that we must make bold, sweeping changes now to prepare to serve our growing and changing population,” says Bonnie Kantor-Burman, director of the Ohio Department of Aging. “Aging is everybody’s business.”

One way many counties meet the demand for long-term care services is through senior-service tax levies. Scripps Gerontology Center released additional research that reveals in 2009, more than $166 million in property tax funds were raised to help older Ohioans live in their own homes. This was the highest revenue generated by any of the 15 states using tax levies for seniors. According to the report, Franklin and Hamilton counties are the largest levies in the state, but the county with the highest levy amount per capita is Butler with $14.3 million for an average of $231 per person. In addition, Scripps researchers discovered that senior-service levies in Ohio continue to succeed well over 90 percent of the time at the polls, with an average in 2009 of 67 percent voting yes.

The full report of county-by-county population change is available prior to publication online.

The county levy research brief and full report are available prior to publication online.

This research was conducted by a team of researchers at Scripps Gerontology Center including: Robert Applebaum, Suzanne Kunkel, Shahla Mehdizadeh, Jane Straker, and Takashi Yamashita.

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