Ohio

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Ohio

Ohio is a state in the Midwestern region of the United States. Of the fifty U.S. states, it is the 34th-largest by area, and with a population of nearly 11.8 million, is the seventh-most populous and tenth-most densely populated. The state’s capital and largest city is Columbus, with the Columbus metro area, Greater Cincinnati, and Greater Cleveland being the largest metropolitan areas. Ohio is bordered by Lake Erie to the north, Pennsylvania to the east, West Virginia to the southeast, Kentucky to the southwest, Indiana to the west, and Michigan to the northwest. Ohio is historically known as the “Buckeye State” after its Ohio buckeye trees, and Ohioans are also known as “Buckeyes”. Its state flag is the only non-rectangular flag of all the U.S. states.

Geography

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, Ohio has 312 miles (502 km) of coastline with Lake Erie, which allows for numerous cargo ports such as Cleveland and Toledo. Ohio’s southern border is defined by the Ohio River. Ohio’s neighbors are Pennsylvania to the east, Michigan to the northwest, Lake Erie 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 as follows:

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 the 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.

Climate

The climate of Ohio is a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dfa/Dfb) 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 (Cfa) 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 do reach well into Ohio. For instance, some 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.

Major cities

Ohio’s three largest cities are Columbus, Cleveland, and Cincinnati, all three of which anchor major metropolitan areas. Columbus is the capital of state, located near its geographic center and is well known for Ohio State University. In 2019, the city had six corporations named to the U.S. Fortune 500 list: Alliance Data, Nationwide Mutual

Insurance Company, American Electric Power, L Brands, Huntington Bancshares, and Cardinal Health in suburban Dublin. Other major employers include hospitals (among others, Wexner Medical Center and Nationwide Children’s Hospital), high tech research and development including the Battelle Memorial Institute, information-based companies such as OCLC and Chemical Abstracts Service, manufacturer Worthington Industries, and financial institutions such as JPMorgan Chase and Huntington Bancshares. Fast food chains Wendy’s and White Castle are also headquartered in Columbus.

Located in Northeast Ohio along the Lake Erie shore, Cleveland is characterized by its New England heritage, ethnic immigrant cultures, and history as a major American manufacturing and healthcare center. It anchors the Cleveland–Akron–Canton Combined Statistical Area, of which the cities of Akron and Canton are constituent parts. Mansfield and Youngstown are also major cities in the region. Northeast Ohio is known for major industrial companies Goodyear Tire and Rubber and Timken, top-ranked colleges Case Western Reserve University, Oberlin College, and Kent State University, the Cleveland Clinic, and cultural attractions including the Cleveland Museum of Art, Big Five member Cleveland Orchestra, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Playhouse Square, the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame..

Metropolitan Areas

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.

Demographics

Population

From just over 45,000 residents in 1800, Ohio's population grew faster than 10% per decade (except for the 1940 census) until the 1970 census, which recorded just over 10.65 million Ohioans. Growth then slowed for the next four decades. The United States Census Bureau counted 11,808,848 in the 2020 census, a 2.4% increase since the 2010 United States census. Ohio's population growth lags that of the entire United States, and whites are found in a greater density than the US average. As of 2000, Ohio's center of population is located in Morrow County, in the county seat of Mount Gilead. This is approximately 6,346 feet (1,934 m) south and west of Ohio's population center in 1990. 6.2% of Ohio's population is under five years of age, 23.7 percent under 18 years of age, and 14.1 percent were 65 or older. Females made up approximately 51.2 percent of the population.

Languages

About 6.7% of the population age 5 years and older 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.

Religion

According to a Pew Forum poll, as of 2014, 73% of Ohioans identified as Christian. Specifically, 29% of Ohio's population identified as Evangelical Protestant, 17% as Mainline Protestant, 7% as Historically Black Protestant, and 18% as Catholic. 22% of the population is unaffiliated with any religious body. Small minorities of Jews (1%), Jehovah's Witnesses (1%), Muslims (1%), Hindus (<1%), Buddhists (1%), Mormons (1%), and other faiths (1-1.5%) exist.

According to the Association of Religion Data Archives (ARDA), in 2010 the largest denominations by adherents were the Catholic Church with 1,992,567; the United Methodist Church with 496,232; the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America with 223,253, the Southern Baptist Convention with 171,000, the Christian Churches and Churches of Christ with 141,311, the United Church of Christ with 118,000, and the Presbyterian Church (USA) with 110,000. With about 80,000 adherents in 2020, Ohio has the second largest Amish population of all U.S. states, only behind neighboring Pennsylvania.

Economy

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the total number for employment in 2016 was 4,790,178. The total number of unique employer establishments was 252,201, while the total number of non-employer establishments was 785,833. In 2010, Ohio was ranked second in the country for best business climate by Site Selection magazine, based on a business-activity database. The state has also won three consecutive Governor’s Cup awards from the magazine, based on business growth and developments. As of 2016, Ohio’s gross domestic product (GDP) was $626 billion. This ranks Ohio’s economy as the seventh-largest of all fifty states and the District of Columbia.

The Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council ranked the state No. 10 for best business-friendly tax systems in their Business Tax Index 2009, including a top corporate tax and capital gains rate that were both ranked No. 6 at 1.9%. Ohio was ranked No. 11 by the council for best friendly-policy states according to their Small Business Survival Index 2009. The Directorship’s Boardroom Guide ranked the state No. 13 overall for best business climate, including No. 7 for best litigation climate. Forbes ranked the state No. 8 for best regulatory environment in 2009. Ohio has five of the top 115 colleges in the nation, according to U.S. News and World Report’s 2010 rankings, and was ranked No. 8 by the same magazine in 2008 for best high schools.

Transportation

Ground travel

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 has a highly developed network of roads and interstate highways. Major east-west through routes include the Ohio Turnpike (I-80/I-90) in the north, I-76 through Akron to Pennsylvania, I-70 through Columbus and Dayton, and the Appalachian Highway (State Route 32) running from West Virginia to Cincinnati. Major north–south routes include I-75 in the west through Toledo, Dayton, and Cincinnati, I-71 through the middle of the state from Cleveland through Columbus and Cincinnati into Kentucky, and I-77 in the eastern part of the state from Cleveland through Akron, Canton, New Philadelphia and Marietta south into West Virginia. Interstate 75 between Cincinnati and Dayton is one of the heaviest traveled sections of interstate in Ohio.

Transit

Ohio has extensive railroads, though today most are only utilized by freight companies. Major cities in the north and south of Ohio lie on Amtrak intercity rail lines. The Capitol Limited and the Lake Shore Limited serve Toledo, Cleveland and other northern Ohio cities. The Cardinal serves Cincinnati. Columbus is the largest city in the United States without any form of passenger rail. Its Union Station last had an inter-city train in 1979 with the National Limited. Mass transit exists in many forms in Ohio cities, primarily through bus systems, though Cleveland has both light and heavy rail through the GCRTA, and Cincinnati reestablished a streetcar line in 2016.

Air travel

Ohio has four international airports, four commercial, and two military. The four international include Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, John Glenn Columbus International Airport, Dayton International Airport, and Rickenbacker International Airport (one of two military airfields). The other military airfield is Wright Patterson Air Force Base which is one of the largest Air Force bases in the United States. Other major airports are located in Toledo and Akron. Cincinnati's primary airport, Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, is in Hebron, Kentucky, and therefore is not included in Ohio airport lists.

Education

Ohio’s system of public education is outlined in Article VI of the state constitution, and in Title XXXIII of the Ohio Revised Code. Ohio University, the first university in the Northwest Territory, was also the first public institution in Ohio. Substantively, Ohio’s system is similar to those found in other states. At the State level, the Ohio Department of Education, which is overseen by the Ohio State Board of Education, governs primary and secondary educational institutions. At the municipal level, there are approximately 700 school districts statewide. The Ohio Board of Regents coordinates and assists with Ohio’s institutions of higher education which have recently been reorganized into the University System of Ohio under Governor Strickland. The system averages an annual enrollment of more than 400,000 students, making it one of the five largest state university systems in the U.S.

Colleges and Universities

Ohio schools consistently ranking in the top 50 nationally of the U.S. News & World Report of liberal arts colleges are Ohio Big Three; Denison University, Oberlin College, and Kenyon College. Ranking in the top 100 of national research universities typically includes Case Western Reserve University, Ohio State University and Miami University.

Libraries

Ohio is home to some of the nation's highest-ranked public libraries. The 2008 study by Thomas J. Hennen Jr. ranked Ohio as number one in a state-by-state comparison. For 2008, 31 of Ohio's library systems were all ranked in the top ten for American cities of their population category.

The Ohio Public Library Information Network (OPLIN) is an organization that provides Ohio residents with internet access to their 251 public libraries. OPLIN also provides Ohioans with free home access to high-quality, subscription research databases.

Culture

Music

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Rhythm and Blues Music Hall of Fame are both located in Cleveland. Cleveland disc jockey Alan Freed is credited with coining the term and promoting rock and roll in the early 1950s. Cincinnati is home to the American Classical Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

Popular musicians from Ohio include Mamie Smith, Dean Martin, Dave Grohl, Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun of Twenty One Pilots, Frankie Yankovic, Doris Day, The McGuire Sisters, The Isley Brothers, Bobby Womack, Howard Hewett, Shirley Murdock, Boz Scaggs, John Legend, Marilyn Manson, Nine Inch Nails, Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney of The Black Keys, Griffin Layne, Joe Dolce, Kid Cudi, Benjamin Orr of The Cars, Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders, William "Bootsy" Collins, Stephanie Eulinberg of Kid Rock's Twisted Brown Trucker Band, and Devo. Five Ohio musiciansare Rock and Roll Hall of Fame members.

Performing arts

Playhouse Square in downtown Cleveland is the second-largest performing arts center in the United States, home to ten theaters. The Cleveland Orchestra is one of the historic Big Five orchestras in the U.S., and is considered one of the best worldwide.

Many other Ohio cities are home to their own orchestras, including Akron, Blue Ash, Canton, Cincinnati, Columbus, Dayton, Toledo, and Youngstown. Cincinnati is home to its own ballet, symphony orchestra, pops orchestra, and opera, all housed at the Cincinnati Music Hall. Dayton is also home to a ballet, orchestra, and opera, collectively known as the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance. The Columbus Association for the Performing Arts manages seven historic Columbus area theaters.

Visual arts

The Cincinnati Art Museum holds over 100,000 works spanning 6,000 years of human history, being among the most comprehensive collections in the Midwest. Among its notable collections are works by Master of San Baudelio, Jorge Ingles, Sandro Botticelli (Judith with Head of Holofernes), Matteo di Giovanni, Domenico Tintoretto (Portrait of Venetian dux Marino Grimani), Mattia Preti, Bernardo Strozzi, Frans Hals, Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (St. Thomas of Villanueva), Peter Paul Rubens (Samson and Delilah) and Aert van der Neer. The collection also includes works by Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Camille Pissarro, Claude Monet (Rocks At Belle Isle), and Pablo Picasso. The museum also has a large collection of paintings by American painter Frank Duveneck (Elizabeth B. Duveneck).

Sports

Ohio is home to eight professional sports teams across the five different major leagues in the United States. Current teams include the Cincinnati Reds and Cleveland Guardians of Major League Baseball, the Columbus Crew SC and FC Cincinnati of Major League Soccer, the Cleveland Cavaliers of the National Basketball Association, the Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns of the National Football League, and the Columbus Blue Jackets of the National Hockey League.

Ohio has brought home seven World Series titles (Reds 1919, 1940, 1975, 1976, 1990; Indians 1920, 1948), two MLS Cups (Crew 2008, 2020), one NBA Championship (Cavaliers 2016), and nine NFL Championships (Pros 1920; Bulldogs 1922, 1923, 1924; Rams 1945; Browns 1950, 1954, 1955, 1964). Despite this success in the NFL in the first half of the 20th century, no Ohio team has won the Super Bowl since its inception in 1967. No Ohio team has made an appearance in the Stanley Cup Finals.

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