NW population declining, but grads plan to return - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

NW population declining, but grads plan to return

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Keeping local grads and attracting new workers is key for growth in Northwest Ohio.  Between 2011 and 2012, Lucas County lost about 1,900 people according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Ottawa, Sandusky and Erie counties also saw their populations dip.

Hancock and Wood counties were two of only a handful of local areas to gain residents. These were surprising statistics to some parents and grads at the St. John's Jesuit graduation ceremony Thursday night.

"The economy is improving as far as I can tell," says Anthony Jackson, a parent of one graduate. "I don't see why students wouldn't want to come back."

"I think it's a great place," Stephen Carr tells 13abc. "There's a lot of opportunities and potential opportunities, I think it's a nice place to live."

Some residents say attracting new and old faces all boils down to the availability of work.

"Some of them will return because they have roots here," says another parent, Vernon Hickman. "But a lot of them will keep going because there's not a lot of jobs to come back to."

These graduating seniors remain optimistic that the place they've always called home will have something to offer, even after the college years.

"I love Ohio, so yeah I'd love to come back," says Abbas Hussein.

"I want to live in Toledo, I'm not giving up on my own city," comments Matt Riordan.

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