Ohio facts for kids
|State of Ohio|
The Buckeye State;
Birthplace of Aviation; The Heart of It All
With God, all things are possible (1959)
|Anthem: Beautiful Ohio (1969)
Hang On Sloopy (1985)
Map of the United States with Ohio highlighted
|Admitted to the Union||March 1, 1803 (17th,
declared retroactively on
August 7, 1953)
(and largest city)
|Largest metro||Greater Cincinnati
|• Governor||Mike DeWine (R)|
|• Upper house||Senate|
|• Lower house||House of Representatives|
|• Total||44,825 sq mi (116,096 km2)|
|• Land||40,948 sq mi (106,156 km2)|
|• Water||3,877 sq mi (10,040 km2) 8.7%|
|• Length||220 mi (355 km)|
|• Width||220 mi (355 km)|
|Elevation||850 ft (260 m)|
|Highest elevation||1,549 ft (472 m)|
|Lowest elevation||455 ft (139 m)|
|• Density||282/sq mi (109/km2)|
|• Density rank||10th|
|• Median household income||$54,021|
|• Income rank||36th|
|Demonym(s)||Ohioan; Buckeye (colloq.)|
|• Official language||De jure: None
De facto: English
|• Spoken language||English 93.3%
|Time zone||UTC-05:00 (Eastern)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-04:00 (EDT)|
|ISO 3166 code||US-OH|
|Trad. abbreviation||O., Oh.|
|Latitude||38°24′ N to 41°59′ N|
|Longitude||80°31′ W to 84°49′ W|
Ohio is an Eastern state in the Great Lakes region of the United States.
The state takes its name from the Ohio River. The name originated from the Iroquois word ohi-yo’, meaning "great river" or "large creek". Partitioned from the Northwest Territory, the state was admitted to the Union as the 17th state (and the first under the Northwest Ordinance) on March 1, 1803. Ohio is historically known as the "Buckeye State" after its Ohio buckeye trees, and Ohioans are also known as "Buckeyes".
The government of Ohio is composed of the executive branch, led by the Governor; the legislative branch, which comprises the Ohio General Assembly; and the judicial branch, which is led by the state Supreme Court. Ohio occupies 16 seats in the United States House of Representatives.
Ohio's geographic location has proven to be an asset for economic growth and expansion. Because Ohio links the Northeast to the Midwest, much cargo and business traffic passes through its borders along its well-developed highways. Ohio has the nation's 10th largest highway network, and is within a one-day drive of 50% of North America's population and 70% of North America's manufacturing capacity. To the north, Lake Erie gives Ohio 312 miles (502 km) of coastline, which allows for numerous cargo ports. Ohio's southern border is defined by the Ohio River (with the border being at the 1792 low-water mark on the north side of the river), and much of the northern border is defined by Lake Erie. Ohio's neighbors are Pennsylvania to the east, Michigan to the northwest, Ontario Canada, to the north, Indiana to the west, Kentucky on the south, and West Virginia on the southeast. Ohio's borders were defined by metes and bounds in the Enabling Act of 1802.
Ohio is bounded by the Ohio River, but nearly all of the river itself belongs to Kentucky and West Virginia. In 1980, the U.S. Supreme Court held that, based on the wording of the cessation of territory by Virginia (which at that time included what is now Kentucky and West Virginia), the boundary between Ohio and Kentucky (and, by implication, West Virginia) is the northern low-water mark of the river as it existed in 1792. Ohio has only that portion of the river between the river's 1792 low-water mark and the present high-water mark.
The border with Michigan has also changed, as a result of the Toledo War, to angle slightly northeast to the north shore of the mouth of the Maumee River.
Much of Ohio features glaciated plains, with an exceptionally flat area in the northwest being known as the Great Black Swamp. This glaciated region in the northwest and central state is bordered to the east and southeast first by a belt known as the glaciated Allegheny Plateau, and then by another belt known as the unglaciated Allegheny Plateau. Most of Ohio is of low relief, but the unglaciated Allegheny Plateau features rugged hills and forests.
The rugged southeastern quadrant of Ohio, stretching in an outward bow-like arc along the Ohio River from the West Virginia Panhandle to the outskirts of Cincinnati, forms a distinct socio-economic unit. Geologically similar to parts of West Virginia and southwestern Pennsylvania, this area's coal mining legacy, dependence on small pockets of old manufacturing establishments, and distinctive regional dialect set this section off from the rest of the state. In 1965 the United States Congress passed the Appalachian Regional Development Act, at attempt to "address the persistent poverty and growing economic despair of the Appalachian Region." This act defines 29 Ohio counties as part of Appalachia. While 1/3 of Ohio's land mass is part of the federally defined Appalachian region, only 12.8% of Ohioans live there (1.476 million people.)
Significant rivers within the state include the Cuyahoga River, Great Miami River, Maumee River, Muskingum River, and Scioto River. The rivers in the northern part of the state drain into the northern Atlantic Ocean via Lake Erie and the St. Lawrence River, and the rivers in the southern part of the state drain into the Gulf of Mexico via the Ohio River and then the Mississippi.
The worst weather disaster in Ohio history occurred along the Great Miami River in 1913. Known as the Great Dayton Flood, the entire Miami River watershed flooded, including the downtown business district of Dayton. As a result, the Miami Conservancy District was created as the first major flood plain engineering project in Ohio and the United States.
Grand Lake St. Marys in the west central part of the state was constructed as a supply of water for canals in the canal-building era of 1820–1850. For many years this body of water, over 20 square miles (52 km2), was the largest artificial lake in the world. It should be noted that Ohio's canal-building projects were not the economic fiasco that similar efforts were in other states. Some cities, such as Dayton, owe their industrial emergence to location on canals, and as late as 1910 interior canals carried much of the bulk freight of the state.
The climate of Ohio is a humid continental climate throughout most of the state except in the extreme southern counties of Ohio's Bluegrass region section which are located on the northern periphery of the humid subtropical climate and Upland South region of the United States.
Summers are typically hot and humid throughout the state, while winters generally range from cool to cold. Precipitation in Ohio is moderate year-round. Severe weather is not uncommon in the state, although there are typically fewer tornado reports in Ohio than in states located in what is known as the Tornado Alley. Severe lake effect snowstorms are also not uncommon on the southeast shore of Lake Erie, which is located in an area designated as the Snowbelt.
Although predominantly not in a subtropical climate, some warmer-climate flora and fauna does reach well into Ohio. For instance, a number of trees with more southern ranges, such as the blackjack oak, Quercus marilandica, are found at their northernmost in Ohio just north of the Ohio River. Also evidencing this climatic transition from a subtropical to continental climate, several plants such as the Southern magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora), Albizia julibrissin (mimosa), Crape Myrtle, and even the occasional Needle Palm are hardy landscape materials regularly used as street, yard, and garden plantings in the Bluegrass region of Ohio; but these same plants will simply not thrive in much of the rest of the State. This interesting change may be observed while traveling through Ohio on Interstate 75 from Cincinnati to Toledo; the observant traveler of this diverse state may even catch a glimpse of Cincinnati's common wall lizard, one of the few examples of permanent "subtropical" fauna in Ohio.
- See also: List of cities in Ohio
Ohio's largest cities
- Columbus - population 835,957
- Cleveland - population 389,521
- Cincinnati - population 298,165
- Toledo - population 281,031
- Akron - population 141,003
- Dayton - population 201,963
- Parma - population 80,015
- Canton - population 72,297
- Youngstown - population 65,062
- Lorain - population 63,776
Other Ohio cities functioning as centers of United States metropolitan areas include:
- Akron (home of University of Akron and Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company)
- Canton (home of Pro Football Hall of Fame, Malone University, and The Timken Company)
- Cincinnati (home of University of Cincinnati, Xavier University, Cincinnati Museum Center, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Procter & Gamble, Kroger, Macy's Inc., and Fifth Third Bank)
- Cleveland (home of Cleveland State University, Playhouse Square Center, The Cleveland Museum of Art, The Cleveland Orchestra, Case Western Reserve University, The Cleveland Clinic, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Forest City Enterprises, and University Hospitals)
- Dayton (home of University of Dayton, Dayton Ballet, Wright State University, Premier Health Partners, and National Museum of the United States Air Force)
- Lima (home of University of Northwestern Ohio)
- Mansfield (home of North Central State College and Mansfield Motorsports Park)
- Sandusky (home of Cedar Point, and Kalahari Resort and Convention Center)
- Springfield (home of Wittenberg University)
- Steubenville (home of Franciscan University of Steubenville)
- Toledo (home of The University of Toledo, The Toledo Museum of Art, Owens Corning, and Owens-Illinois)
- Youngstown (home of Youngstown State University and Butler Institute of American Art).
Note: The Cincinnati metropolitan area extends into Kentucky and Indiana, the Steubenville metropolitan area extends into West Virginia, and the Youngstown metropolitan area extends into Pennsylvania.
Ohio cities that function as centers of United States micropolitan areas include:
- Ashland (home of Ashland University)
- Athens (home of Ohio University)
- Chillicothe (home of Ohio University-Chillicothe)
- Defiance (home of Defiance College)
- Findlay (home of The University of Findlay)
- Marion (home of Marion Popcorn Festival)
- Mount Vernon (home of Mount Vernon Nazarene University)
- New Philadelphia-Dover
- Norwalk (home of the NHRA venue Summit Motorsports Park, headquarters of the International Hot Rod Association, and pioneer automobile company Fisher Body)
- Oxford (home of Miami University)
- Portsmouth (home of Shawnee State University)
- Tiffin (home of Heidelberg College and Tiffin University)
- Urbana (home of Urbana University)
- Van Wert
- Wapakoneta (birthplace of Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong)
- Washington Court House
- Wilmington (home of Wilmington College)
- Wooster (home of The College of Wooster)
- Zanesville (home of Zane State College).
Archeological evidence suggests that the Ohio Valley was inhabited by nomadic people as early as 13,000 BC.
Around 100 BC, they were joined in Ohio Country by the Hopewell people, who were named for the farm owned by Captain M. C. Hopewell, where evidence of their unique culture was discovered. Like the Adena, the Hopewell people participated in a mound-building culture. Their complex, large and technologically sophisticated earthworks can be found in modern-day Marietta, Newark, and Circleville.
The Hopewell, however, disappeared from the Ohio Valley in about 600 AD. Little is known about the people who replaced them.
American Indians in the Ohio Valley were greatly affected by the aggressive tactics of the Iroquois Confederation, based in central and western New York. After the Beaver Wars in the mid-17th century, the Iroquois claimed much of the Ohio country as hunting and, more importantly, beaver-trapping ground.
The indigenous nations to inhabit Ohio in the historical period included the Miamis (a large confederation); Wyandots (made up of refugees, especially from the fractured Huron confederacy); Delawares (pushed west from their historic homeland in New Jersey); Shawnees (also pushed west, although they may have been descended from the Fort Ancient people of Ohio); Ottawas (more commonly associated with the upper Great Lakes region); Mingos (like the Wyandot, a group recently formed of refugees from Iroquois); Eries (gradually absorbed into the new, multi-ethnic "republics," namely the Wyandot) Ohio country was also the site of Indian massacres, such as the Yellow Creek Massacre, Gnadenhutten and Pontiac's Rebellion school massacre.
Colonial and Revolutionary eras
During the 18th century, the French set up a system of trading posts to control the fur trade in the region. Beginning in 1754, France and Great Britain fought a war that was known in North America as the French and Indian War and in Europe as the Seven Years' War. As a result of the Treaty of Paris, the French ceded control of Ohio and the remainder of the Old Northwest to Great Britain.
Pontiac's Rebellion in the 1760s, however, posed a challenge to British military control. This came to an end with the colonists' victory in the American Revolution. In the Treaty of Paris in 1783, Britain ceded all claims to Ohio country to the United States.
Northwest Territory: 1787–1803
The United States created the Northwest Territory under the Northwest Ordinance of 1787. Slavery was not permitted in the new territory. Settlement began with the founding of Marietta by the Ohio Company of Associates, which had been formed by a group of American Revolutionary War veterans. Following the Ohio Company, the Miami Company (also referred to as the "Symmes Purchase") claimed the southwestern section, and the Connecticut Land Company surveyed and settled the Connecticut Western Reserve in present-day Northeast Ohio.
The old Northwest Territory originally included areas previously known as Ohio Country and Illinois Country. As Ohio prepared for statehood, the Indiana Territory was created, reducing the Northwest Territory to approximately the size of present-day Ohio plus the eastern half of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan and the eastern tip of the Upper Peninsula.
Under the Northwest Ordinance, areas of the territory could be defined and admitted as states once their population reached 60,000. Although Ohio's population numbered only 45,000 in December 1801, Congress determined that the population was growing rapidly and Ohio could begin the path to statehood. The assumption was that it would exceed 60,000 residents by the time it was admitted as a state. Furthermore, in regards to the Leni Lenape Native Americans living in the region, Congress decided that 10,000 acres on the Muskingum River in the present state of Ohio would "be set apart and the property thereof be vested in the Moravian Brethren ... or a society of the said Brethren for civilizing the Indians and promoting Christianity".
On February 19, 1803, U.S. President Thomas Jefferson signed an act of Congress that approved Ohio's boundaries and constitution. However, Congress had never passed a resolution formally admitting Ohio as the 17th state. The current custom of Congress declaring an official date of statehood did not begin until 1812, with Louisiana's admission as the 18th state. Although no formal resolution of admission was required, when the oversight was discovered in 1953, Ohio congressman George H. Bender introduced a bill in Congress to admit Ohio to the Union retroactive to March 1, 1803, the date on which the Ohio General Assembly first convened. At a special session at the old state capital in Chillicothe, the Ohio state legislature approved a new petition for statehood that was delivered to Washington, D.C. on horseback. On August 7, 1953 (the year of Ohio's 150th anniversary), President Eisenhower signed a congressional joint resolution that officially declared March 1, 1803, the date of Ohio's admittance into the Union.
Ohio has had three capital cities: Chillicothe, Zanesville, and Columbus. Chillicothe was the capital from 1803 to 1810. The capital was then moved to Zanesville for two years, as part of a state legislative compromise, in order to get a bill passed. The capital was then moved back to Chillicothe, which was the capital from 1812 to 1816. Finally, the capital was moved to Columbus, in order to have it near the geographic center of the state, where it would be more accessible to most citizens.
Although many Native Americans had migrated west to evade American encroachment, others remained settled in the state, sometimes assimilating in part. Shawnee leader Tecumseh led an American Indian confederacy in Tecumseh's Rebellion, from 1811 to 1813. In 1830 under President Andrew Jackson, the US government forced Indian Removal of most tribes to the Indian Territory west of the Mississippi River.
In 1835, Ohio fought with Michigan in the Toledo War, a mostly bloodless boundary war over the Toledo Strip. Congress intervened, making Michigan's admittance as a state conditional on ending the conflict. In exchange for giving up its claim to the Toledo Strip, Michigan was given the western two-thirds of the Upper Peninsula, in addition to the eastern third that was already considered part of the state.
Ohio's central position and its population gave it an important place during the Civil War. The Ohio River was a vital artery for troop and supply movements, as were Ohio's railroads. Ohio contributed more soldiers per-capita than any other state in the Union. Almost 35,000 Ohioans died in the conflict, and thirty thousand were physically wounded. By the end of the Civil War, the Union's top three generals–Ulysses S. Grant, William Tecumseh Sherman, and Philip Sheridan–were all from Ohio.
Eight US Presidents hailed from Ohio at the time of their elections, giving rise to its nickname "Mother of Presidents", a sobriquet it shares with Virginia. It is also termed "Modern Mother of Presidents", in contrast to Virginia's status as the origin of presidents earlier in American history. Seven Presidents were born in Ohio, making it second to Virginia's eight. Virginia-born William Henry Harrison lived most of his life in Ohio and is also buried there. Harrison conducted his political career while living on the family compound, founded by his father-in-law, John Cleves Symmes, in North Bend, Ohio. The seven presidents born in Ohio were Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, James A. Garfield, Benjamin Harrison (grandson of William Henry Harrison), William McKinley, William Howard Taft and Warren G. Harding.
Racial and ancestry groups
According to the 2010 United States Census, the racial composition of Ohio was the following:
- White American: 82.7% (Non-Hispanic Whites: 81.1%)
- Black or African American: 12.2%
- Native American: 0.2%
- Asian: 1.7% (0.6% Indian, 0.4% Chinese, 0.1% Filipino, 0.1% Korean, 0.1% Vietnamese, 0.1% Japanese)
- Pacific Islander: 0.03%
- Two or more races: 2.1%
- Some other race: 1.1%
- Hispanic or Latinos (of any race) make up 3.1% (1.5% Mexican, 0.8% Puerto Rican, 0.1% Guatemalan, 0.1% Cuban)
The largest ancestry groups (which the Census defines as not including racial terms) in the state are:
- 26.5% German
- 14.1% Irish
- 9.0% English
- 6.4% Italian
- 3.8% Polish
- 2.5% French
- 1.9% Scottish
- 1.7% Hungarian
- 1.6% Dutch
- 1.5% Mexican
- 1.2% Slovak
- 1.1% Welsh
- 1.1% Scotch-Irish
About 6.7% of the population age 5 years and over reported speaking a language other than English, with 2.2% of the population speaking Spanish, 2.6% speaking other Indo-European languages, 1.1% speaking Asian and Austronesian languages, and 0.8% speaking other languages. Numerically: 10,100,586 spoke English, 239,229 Spanish, 55,970 German, 38,990 Chinese, 33,125 Arabic, and 32,019 French. In addition 59,881 spoke a Slavic language and 42,673 spoke another West Germanic language according to the 2010 Census. Ohio also had the nation's largest population of Slovene speakers, second largest of Slovak speakers, second largest of Pennsylvania Dutch (German) speakers, and the third largest of Serbian speakers.
Ohio's population identies as Evangelical Protestant, 22% as Mainline Protestant, and 21% as Roman Catholic. 17% of the population is unaffiliated with any religious body. 1.3% (148,380) were Jewish. There are also small minorities of Jehovah's Witnesses (1%), Muslims (1%), Hindus (<0.5%), Buddhists (<0.5%), Mormons (<0.5%), and other faiths (1-1.5%).
With about 70,000 people in 2015 Ohio had the largest Amish population of all states of the US.
Ohio is commonly noted as the Nation's Industrial Capital, dating to its roots in the Rust Belt and Ohio's present-day intelligence and scientific dominance.
Ohio is considered a center of science and industry, with museums dedicated to such in Columbus, COSI, the Great Lakes Science Center in Cleveland, the Imagination Station in Toledo, and the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery in Dayton.
The state includes many historically strong industries, such as banking and insurance, which accounts for 8% of the gross state product, motor vehicle manufacturing, research and development, and steel production, accounting for 14-17% of the nation's raw output.
Ohio is the biggest manufacturer of plastics and rubber in the country, has the largest bioscience sector in the Midwest, and ranked fourth in the country for green economic growth through 2007.
The state is recognized internationally as the "Fuel Cell Corridor", while Toledo is recognized as a national solar center, Cleveland a regenerative medicine research hub, Dayton an aerospace and defense hub, Akron the rubber capital of the world, Columbus a technological research and development hub, and Cincinnati a mercantile hub.
Wal-Mart is the largest private sector employer in Ohio with approximately 49,700 employees as of April 2014. The largest Ohio employer with headquarters in Ohio is the Cleveland Clinic, with approximately 41,400 employees and headquarters in Cleveland. The largest employer at a single location in Ohio is Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton. 70% of the nation's electrometallurgical ferroalloy manufacturing employees are located in Ohio.
Many major east-west transportation corridors go through Ohio. One of those pioneer routes, known in the early 20th century as "Main Market Route 3", was chosen in 1913 to become part of the historic Lincoln Highway which was the first road across America, connecting New York City to San Francisco. In Ohio, the Lincoln Highway linked many towns and cities together, including Canton, Mansfield, Wooster, Lima, and Van Wert. The arrival of the Lincoln Highway to Ohio was a major influence on the development of the state. Upon the advent of the federal numbered highway system in 1926, the Lincoln Highway through Ohio became U.S. Route 30.
Ohio also is home to 228 miles (367 km) of the Historic National Road, now U.S. Route 40.
Ohio also has a highly developed network of signed state bicycle routes.
Ohio has 5 international airports, 4 commercial and 2 military.
Ohio's state symbols:
Images for kids
The Ohio State Capitol located in Columbus, Ohio.
Ohio Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.