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Press Release

Seven insights that could help slow-growing cities gain population in the remote work era

Cleveland, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and other nearby metro areas have some not-so-obvious advantages that could help them gain population in the age of remote work, according to a new Regional Policy Report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.

Among the seven insights listed in the report, “Understanding Migration Trends to Prepare for the Post-Pandemic Future”:

  • High retention: Contrary to popular belief, many slow-growing metro areas in the region served by the Cleveland Fed actually do retain a high percentage of their residents, led by Cincinnati and Pittsburgh.
  • Home ownership advantage: People moving into the region are more likely to become first-time homeowners than people moving to other parts of the country. Dayton leads in that category, followed by Cincinnati and Columbus.
  • Retirement wave: The Cleveland Fed’s district has a high percentage of older residents who bring dollars to the region via their retirement plans, Social Security and Medicare. That’s especially true for smaller metros such as Youngstown and Canton, Ohio, as well as Erie, Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh, Canton and Cleveland have the largest share of workers near retirement age.

Policy economist Stephan D. Whitaker said the report is designed to inform policymakers and organizations in the Cleveland Fed’s district, which covers Ohio, western Pennsylvania, eastern Kentucky and the northern panhandle of West Virginia.

“Our challenge is finding policies that can make the most of these attributes,” Whitaker states.

Read the Regional Policy Report: Understanding Migration Trends to Prepare for the Post-Pandemic Future.

Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland

The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland is one of 12 regional Reserve Banks that along with the Board of Governors in Washington DC comprise the Federal Reserve System. Part of the US central bank, the Cleveland Fed participates in the formulation of our nation’s monetary policy, supervises banking organizations, provides payment and other services to financial institutions and to the US Treasury, and performs many activities that support Federal Reserve operations System-wide. In addition, the Bank supports the well-being of communities across the Fourth Federal Reserve District through a wide array of research, outreach, and educational activities.

The Cleveland Fed, with branches in Cincinnati and Pittsburgh, serves an area that comprises Ohio, western Pennsylvania, eastern Kentucky, and the northern panhandle of West Virginia.

Media contact

Chuck Soder,, 216.672.2798