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Cleveland, Ohio
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Cleveland, Ohio

Key Tower in Cleveland, OH

The city of Cleveland is the county seat of Cuyahoga County in the U.S state of Ohio. As of the 2000 census, the city proper had a total population of 478,403. Greater Cleveland, however, including the entire metropolitan area and suburbs, has as many as 2,900,000 people - if the Akron and Canton areas are included - by far the largest urban area in the state. On the southern shore of Lake Erie, Cleveland is located in the Western Reserve in northeastern Ohio on the Cuyahoga River, approximately 60 miles west of the Pennsylvania border.

Table of contents
1 History
2 Geography
3 Demographics
4 Sports and Leisure
5 Industry and Politics
6 Mass transit
7 Colleges and Universities
8 Airports
9 Additional sites of interest
10 External links


The city got its name on July 22, 1796 when surveyors of the Connecticut Land Company named an area in Ohio "Cleaveland" after Gen. Moses Cleaveland, the superintendent of the surveying party, a month after white settlers had signed a treaty with local Indians to acquire the land. Cleaveland laid out the plan for the modern Public Square area before returning home. He never visited the area again (The spelling of the city's name was changed to "Cleveland" in 1831 when an "a" was dropped so that the name would fit a newspaper's masthead.)

Though not initially apparent - the city was surrounded by swampland and the harsh winters did not encourage settlement - the location proved providential. The city began to grow rapidly after the completion of the Ohio and Erie Canal in 1832, turning the city into a key link between the Ohio River and the Great Lakes, and particularly once the city railroad links were added. In 1837, the city, then located on the eastern banks of the Cuyahoga River, nearly erupted into open warfare with neighboring Ohio City, Ohio (since annexed) over a bridge connecting the two. As a half-way point for iron ore coming from Minnesota across the Great Lakes and for coal and other raw materials coming by rail from the south, the site flourished. Cleveland also enjoyed its position as the major break-in-bulk center for Ohio.

Cleveland became one of the major manufacturing and population centers of the United States, home of numerous major steel firms. By 1920, it was the 5th largest city in the country. The city was also one of the centers of the national progressive movement, locally headed by Mayor Tom L. Johnson

The city began to suffer in the post-World War II period, however, as industries began to slump and the city suffered from serious white flight. The city's nadir is often pinpointed at its default on its loans on December 15, 1978, becoming the first major American city to enter bankruptcy since the Great Depression. It was not clear at the time that the city had actually entered bankruptcy because of the refusal of Mayor Dennis Kucinich to be blackmailed by the local banks and power company into creating a privately-held power monopoly.

The metropolitan area began to recover thereafter. The recovery in the city has been uneven, with the strongest growth in the downtown area near the Gateway complex - consisting of Jacobs Field and Gund Arena - and near the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Many of the residential neighborhoods remain troubled, however.


Cleveland is located at 41°28'56" North, 81°40'11" West (41.482301, -81.669718)1.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 213.5 km² (82.4 mi²). 200.9 km² (77.6 mi²) of it is land and 12.5 km² (4.8 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 5.87% water.


As of the census2 of 2000, there are 478,403 people, 190,638 households, and 111,904 families residing in the city. The population density is 2,380.9/km² (6,166.5/mi²). There are 215,856 housing units at an average density of 1,074.3/km² (2,782.4/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 41.49% White, 50.99% African American, 0.30% Native American, 1.35% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 3.59% from other races, and 2.24% from two or more races. 7.26% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 190,638 households out of which 29.9% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 28.5% are married couples living together, 24.8% have a female householder with no husband present, and 41.3% are non-families. 35.2% of all households are made up of individuals and 11.1% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.44 and the average family size is 3.19.

In the city the population is spread out with 28.5% under the age of 18, 9.5% from 18 to 24, 30.4% from 25 to 44, 19.0% from 45 to 64, and 12.5% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 33 years. For every 100 females there are 90.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 85.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $25,928, and the median income for a family is $30,286. Males have a median income of $30,610 versus $24,214 for females. The per capita income for the city is $14,291. 26.3% of the population and 22.9% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 37.6% are under the age of 18 and 16.8% are 65 or older.

Sports and Leisure

Cleveland's sports teams include the Cleveland Indians (Major League Baseball), Cleveland Browns (National Football League), Cleveland Barons (American Hockey League), and Cleveland Cavaliers (National Basketball Association). The Indians have a minor-league affiliate, the Lake County Captains, that plays in the suburb of Eastlake.

Cleveland is also home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which is located downtown close to Lake Erie. The museum's building was designed by I. M. Pei. In the 1970s a number of bands generally described as proto-punk or post-punk were formed in Cleveland, including the Electric Eels, Rocket From the Tombs and Pere Ubu.

The Great Lakes Science Center is located next to the Hall of Fame. Other nearby attractions include the Steamship William G. Mather Maritime Museum, a restored Great Lakes bulk freighter built in 1925, and the USS Cod, a World War II submarine.

Five miles east of downtown Cleveland is University Circle, a 500-acre concentration of cultural, educational, and medical institutions. These include the Cleveland Orchestra, one of the United States major orchestras, and the Cleveland Museum of Art. Some of the other institutions located in University Circle are the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, the Cleveland Botanical Garden, the Cleveland Institute of Art, the Cleveland Institute of Music, University Hospitals of Cleveland, the Western Reserve Historical Society, and Case Western Reserve University. The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, the Cleveland Playhouse and the Health Museum of Cleveland are located nearby.

Industry and Politics

Cleveland is the corporate headquarters of many large companies such as National City Corporation, Eaton Corporation, Parker Hannifin Corporation, Sherwin Williams Company, and KeyCorp after which the highest skyscraper in Cleveland is named (Key Tower). The headquarters of OfficeMax is located in suburban Shaker Heights, and Progressive Insurance is headquartered in suburban Mayfield Village, Ohio.

Two of the city's mayors, Dennis Kucinich, who was mayor from 1977 to 1979, and George Voinovich, who was mayor from 1979 to 1989, became nationally powerful politicans, serving in the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate, respectively.

Mass transit

Cleveland currently has a mass transit system consisting of two light rail lines and one heavy rail metro line, officially named Cleveland Rapid Transit, but better known as The Rapid. The light rail lines are all that remain of the city's once-extensive streetcar system. The metro was extended to Hopkins International Airport in 1968 -- the first airport-to-mass-transit link in North America.

The Rapid and local bus lines are owned and administered by the Greater Cleveland Regional Transportation Authority

Colleges and Universities

Two-year colleges


Additional sites of interest

External links