Dayton is a city located in Montgomery County, Ohio. With a 2020 population of 139,756, it is the 6th largest city in Ohio and the 197th largest city in the United States. Dayton is currently declining at a rate of -0.32% annually and its population has decreased by -1.25% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 141,527 in 2010. Dayton reached it's highest population of 262,332 in 1960. Spanning over 57 miles, Dayton has a population density of 2,523 people per square mile.
The average household income in Dayton is $44,396 with a poverty rate of 32.08%. The median rental costs in recent years comes to $681 per month, and the median house value is $66,500. The median age in Dayton is 33.1 years, 31.6 years for males, and 34.5 years for females. For every 100 females there are 95.4 males.
Part of Dayton is located in neighboring Greene County. The city is the sixth most populous in the state, and its metro area is the fourth largest in Ohio.
Dayton Population, Age, and Labor Statistics
The top employer of Dayton is Premier Health Partners, which employs over 14,000 people. Other top employers are Montgomery County, Sinclair Community College, Dayton Public Schools and the University of Dayton.
Dayton Population Growth
Through the 1960s, Dayton experienced significant growth, exceeding 116,000 residents in 1910 and then surpassing 200,000 in 1930. The population peaked at the time of the 1960 census, which showed that there were 262,332 residents. However, the population began to drop after, falling to 141,759 at the time of the 2010 census. Recent estimates show that the population has fallen 0.9% since the last census, indicating that the loss in population may be slowing down and efforts to revitalize the city may be successful.
The city of Dayton was founded in 1796 by the Thompson Party. Other groups arrived shortly after that to the area. Just one year later, the “Mad River Country” was open to settlers, and an overland connection was created between the city and Cincinnati. Dayton was incorporated as a city in 1805 and was named in honor of the Revolutionary War captain Jonathan Dayton.
In the 1820s, the Dayton-Cincinnati canal was constructed. This provided means for transporting goods and helped boost the city’s economy throughout the 19th century. It was during this time that many essential items were invented in Dayton, including the first mechanical cash register and the hydraulic jump.
It was the invention of the cash register that led to the formation of the National Cash Register Company in the late 1800s. This began Dayton’s journey into manufacturing, which would only continue to bolster the economy in the years ahead. A manufacturing boom occurred during World War II, and the population grew so rapidly that emergency housing was constructed.
The city continued to grow through the 1970s as veterans came to the area for the industrial and manufacturing opportunities that were available. There was also a suburban boom as the city expanded and over 127,000 homes were constructed in the 1950s.
However, this population boom didn’t last. Beginning in the 1980s, the population began to decline because of the national housing crisis of 2008 and the loss of manufacturing jobs. The city has taken steps to boost its growth, including diversifying the workforce and expanding the downtown area.