from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Nickname : Rubber Capital of the World
West skyline
West skyline
Location in Ohio
Akron (Ohio)
Basic data
Foundation : 1825
State : United States
State : Ohio
County : Summit County
Coordinates : 41 ° 5 ′  N , 81 ° 31 ′  W Coordinates: 41 ° 5 ′  N , 81 ° 31 ′  W
Time zone : Eastern ( UTC − 5 / −4 )
Inhabitants :
Metropolitan Area :
197,633 (as of 2016)
702,221 (as of 2016)
Population density : 1,229.9 inhabitants per km 2
Area : 161.57 km 2  (approx. 62 mi 2 ) of
which 160.69 km 2  (approx. 62 mi 2 ) is land
Height : 293 m
Postcodes : 44301-44399
Area code : +1 330
FIPS : 39-01000
GNIS ID : 1064305
Website : www.ci.akron.oh.us
Mayor : Dan Horrigan

Akron [ ˈækrən ] is a city in the northeast of the US state Ohio . It is located on the Ohio-Erie Canal , 50 km south of Cleveland and 85 km from the Pennsylvania border. With an area of ​​62.41 square miles (161.57 km²) and nearly 200,000 inhabitants (2016 estimate, US Census Bureau ), it is the fifth largest city in Ohio. Akron is the seat of Summit County and the geographical and economic center of a metropolitan area with nearly 700,000 people, the Akron Metropolitan Statistical Area.

The name Akron is derived from the Greek word ἄκρος and, with its meaning "highest point", refers to the nearby apex of the Ohio-Erie Canal, during the construction of which the city began as a small settlement. After the turn of the century Akron grew with four large plants ( Firestone , General Tire , B. F. Goodrich and Goodyear ) to the largest location in the US tire industry and grew between 1880 and 1930 from 16,500 to 255,000 inhabitants. Airships were also manufactured by Goodyear (including USS Akron ), kerosene lamps and oatmeal .

As a result of economic structural change , an industrial decline that is still noticeable today began in the second half of the 20th century. The city is fighting against it quite successfully with investments in the remediation of contaminated sites , new business settlements, school education and industrial research. Akron has significant research facilities in the polymer and plastics industry and is the capital of the Polymer Valley, which is where almost half of Ohio 's plastics industry is concentrated. The resident university, the University of Akron , has 23,400 students.

Alcoholics Anonymous self-help organization was founded in Akron in 1935 .


Position and extent

Akron is located in the northeast of the state of Ohio, about 50 km south of Cleveland on Lake Erie and about 85 km west of the border with Pennsylvania . The urban area is 62.41 square miles (161.57 km²) in size (160.69 km² of which is land area) and is located in the center of the associated county, Summit County . It has an approximately square basic shape with two bulges in the east and northwest and several smaller "fringes" on all four sides.

From an economic geographical point of view, Akron is located in the middle of the Rust Belt and former Manufacturing Belt, the first densely populated industrial area in the USA, the former centers of which are today often marked by the decline of heavy industry . The city is the capital of the associated metropolitan area Akron Metropolitan Statistical Area with almost 700,000 inhabitants. In the vicinity there are three other metropolitan areas, Cleveland in the north with 2.1 million inhabitants, Youngstown in the east with 587,000 inhabitants and Canton in the south with 410,000 inhabitants. The city triangle Akron – Canton – Youngstown together forms the industrial region Polymer Valley , in which a large number of plastics processing companies are concentrated.


The city is located in the middle of the Allegheny Plateau , a moraine hilly landscape formed by Ice Age glaciers , which extends in a north-east-south-west direction between the Great Lakes Plain and the Appalachian Mountains . Through the city runs the watershed between the Great Lakes in the north and the Ohio River / Mississippi in the southeast, which is overcome at this point by the Ohio-Erie Canal .

View of downtown Akron from the north; in the foreground the valley of the Little Cuyahoga River

The Little Cuyahoga River , a left tributary of the Cuyahoga , crosses the urban area north of downtown from southeast to northwest in a pronounced valley. The canal branches off about a kilometer below the city center to the south, ascends the embankment, crosses the city center and Lake Summit and leads south of the city limits back down into the valley of the Tuscarawas River , which drains into the Ohio.

Outline and cityscape

The city is divided into a total of 21 districts, the so-called neighborhoods . These do not completely cover the urban area; In some peripheral locations there are areas that do not belong to any district. The individual districts differ considerably in terms of population density, prosperity, level of education and their ethnic and demographic composition. Many of the city districts delimit each other naturally or by infrastructure such as motorways or rail systems.

The closed development extends within a radius of four to eight kilometers around the city center and in most places breaks off roughly with the city limits. Notable, densely built-up suburbs beyond it are Cuyahoga Falls (49,000 inhabitants) in the north and behind them Stow and Kent and in the southwest Barberton , all with around 30,000 inhabitants each.

The industrial facilities are concentrated in a few large, demarcated locations spread across the city. The factories and port facilities in the center and on the canal bank, which shaped the city center for a long time, have largely disappeared and have been replaced by administrative buildings and leisure facilities. Immediately to the east of the city center is the extensive campus of the university with its teaching and research facilities, which almost completely fills the associated district of University Park . The rest of the urban area is largely built up with single houses.


Akron is located in the boreal climate zone and has a cold temperate climate ( effective climate classification : Dfa). The seasons are typical of the continents, with warm, humid summers and cold, snowy winters. The annual average temperature is 9.7 degrees Celsius.

By far the coldest months are December, January and February with average temperatures between −0.7 and −4.0 ° C. On the other hand, the warmest summer months are June, July and August with mean values ​​between 19.9 and 22.2 ° C. The lowest values ​​in the winter months are on average at −6.6 ° C, the maximum daily temperatures in summer reach an average of 26.9 ° C; on some days the temperature can rise to over 30 ° C. The coldest days of the year are at the end of January with temperatures as low as −15 ° C. The lowest temperature on site to date was measured on January 19, 1994 at −32.0 ° C; the warmest day so far was August 6, 1918 with 40.0 ° C.

The precipitation falls as rain in summer and as snow in the winter months. Winter has on average around a third less rainfall than summer. The average annual rainfall is a moderate 979 mm.

The regional climate of Lake Effect Snow in the Great Lakes area, in which cold winds absorb water vapor over the warm lake surfaces, which then falls as snow on the lee bank of the lake, is only slightly closed in Akron due to the distance to the lake shore feel.

Climate diagram
J F. M. A. M. J J A. S. O N D.
Temperature in ° Cprecipitation in mm
Source: Temperatures and rainfall: Cleveland National Weather Service Akron-Canton Climate Page ,
number of rainy days and humidity: climate-zone.com
Average monthly temperatures and rainfall for Akron
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max. Temperature ( ° C ) 0.5 2.6 8.6 15th 21st 25.7 27.9 26.8 22.7 16.2 9.3 3.2 O 15th
Min. Temperature (° C) −8.1 −6.8 −2.3 2.9 8.8 13.8 16.3 15.7 11.7 5.6 0.8 −4.7 O 4.5
Temperature (° C) −3.8 −2.0 3.2 8.9 14.9 19.7 22.1 21.3 17.2 10.9 5.1 −0.7 O 9.8
Precipitation ( mm ) 63.2 57.9 79.5 86.4 100.3 91.9 101.9 93.2 86.9 64.3 78 75.7 Σ 979.2
Rainy days ( d ) 16 14th 16 14th 13 11 11 10 10 10 14th 15th Σ 154
Humidity ( % ) 57.0 74.5 71.5 68.0 66.0 68.0 70.0 71.5 73.5 71.5 68.5 72.5 O 69.3
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Source: Temperatures and rainfall: Cleveland National Weather Service Akron-Canton Climate Page ,
number of rainy days and humidity: climate-zone.com


Foundation and early years

Akrons was founded when the Ohio-Erie Canal was built . It should enable goods to be transported by water between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi and also help to better develop the then sparsely populated and economically backward Ohio.

City map of Akrons at the time of its foundation in 1825.

The settler Paul Williams, who owned the canal, and Simon Perkins, the canal's builder, founded a settlement called Akron at its apex in 1825, two years before the canal was completed. The name is derived from the Greek word ἄκρος , which means something like the highest point and refers to the same apex of that canal.

In 1833, a little further north, above the mouth of the canal in the Little Cuyahoga River, another settlement called Cascade was founded . This is soon called North Akron , and the original settlement is appropriately named South Akron . Finally, in 1836, the two places are combined to form today's Akron. However, the founding date of the city is the founding year of the first settlement, 1825.

In the following years the city grew into a small inland port . Many farmers from the area had grain loaded here. With the construction of the railways in the middle of the 19th century, however, Akron initially fell behind, because the railroad offered significantly faster travel speeds than canal shipping. Although the city also received a rail connection in 1852, economic development practically came to a standstill for a decade. The actual industrialization of Akron did not begin until the Civil War of 1861–65; Mainly agricultural machinery, stoneware , matches (Barber, later Diamond Match ), kerosene lamps (Akron Lamp) and oatmeal (Schumacher, later Quaker Oats ) were produced. Many companies made use of the supply of large quantities of fresh water through the canal.

In the 1890s, however, things began to decline again. Fires, epidemics and social unrest left the industrial base increasingly eroding. And after the focus on agriculture had shifted further west, the local dealers and agricultural machinery manufacturers lost their orders. Unemployment grew and numerous factories stood empty.

Rise, Great Depression, and World War II

Tire production in Akron (1941).

With the start of the automotive age around the turn of the century, Akron rose to become the most important location for the US tire industry . With B. F. Goodrich , Firestone , General Tire and Goodyear four of the five major US tire manufacturers were located with their factories. This fact earned the city the nickname “Rubber Capital of the World”, in German “World Capital of Rubber”. During this time Akron experienced rapid population growth; the population rose from (1880) 16,500 to (1930) 255,000 inhabitants. In 1929, over 58,000 people were employed in the tire factories. In 1917, Goodyear also began building airships .

The origin of this development goes back to Benjamin Franklin Goodrich, who moved his small rubber factory here from New York in 1870, far away from his previous competitors. After rubber production had proven to be a highly profitable business due to the car boom after the turn of the century, other business people from the area also set up their own tire factories, in the direct vicinity of Goodrich and in the already existing, vacant Akrons factories.

The city ​​was particularly hard hit by the Great Depression . In the 1930s the unemployment rate temporarily reached 60%. Only when the USA entered the Second World War did the demand for tires and airships grow again. In the war years, production also included rubber boots and raincoats for soldiers as well as components for aircraft.

During the Prohibition Period (1919–33), Akron was ruled by organized crime . Illegal gambling and alcohol production flourished. In addition, the Ku Klux Klan found numerous followers at that time; Politics and administration were largely infiltrated by this organization.

Post-war period and structural change

Despite the general boom in the post-war years, Akron's industry ran into increasing difficulties after the war. Some products like the kerosene lamps were no longer in demand. The factory workers were also increasingly unionized and paralyzed production with strikes .

The global changeover of production from the old diagonal to the more modern radial tires caused major technical and financial problems for the tire manufacturers . That conversion would have required the complete retrofitting of the existing factories, which would have placed an enormous financial burden on the companies. The US tire industry reacted only with considerable delay to the new technology, which had been on the advance in Europe since the 1950s.

Former Firestone tire factory.

But the oil crisis of 1973 and the associated stricter consumption standards ultimately forced the US auto industry to convert to the new type of tire as quickly as possible. The associated sudden pressure to innovate also meant the end of tire production in Akron. Since the conversion of production already required the complete new construction of the associated factories, the companies immediately moved to other regions in which workers were cheaper and less strongly unionized. In this way, almost all production capacity in Akron was shut down by 1982, i.e. within ten years. The last remaining factory now produces small-scale racing tires for Goodyear.

In addition, a short time later a strong consolidation process began in the US tire industry , to the detriment of the Akron companies. In 1987, General Tire sold its tire division to Continental AG . Two years later, Firestone was bought by its Japanese competitor Bridgestone . And BF Goodrich merged with Uniroyal in 1986 and finally merged with the Michelin group in 1990 . As a result, the associated head offices were also eliminated, so that Akron lost its importance for the tire industry for good.

Goodyear Research and Development Center.

The decline of the tire industry is offset by efforts to at least keep administrative and research facilities of the manufacturers concerned and, in addition, to establish new companies. Akron has grown into a center for polymer and plastics research and now has over 400 plastics processing companies in the area. The local schools and the university have also specialized in this area. In addition, the city center has seen a noticeable revival in the past two decades. Old factories have been converted into office buildings, a number of fallow industrial areas have been recultivated and converted into parks; several museums, a theater, a convention center and several large sports facilities attract visitors. In recent years, wholesaling and healthcare have also grown in importance.


Ethnic structure

At the last census in 2000, Akron had 217,074 residents. The largest ethnic group are whites with a share of 67.2% of the total population. The second largest group are blacks with 28.5% of the population. Indians, mixed race and members of other ethnic groups form only small statistical groups. As Hispanics to consider 1.2% of the total population, which is much less than the US average (12.5%), but significantly less than in Cleveland (7.3%). At 28.5%, the proportion of blacks is much higher than in Ohio (11.5%) or the US average (12.3%). This is typical of industrial cities in the northern United States.

Among the white population, families with German ancestors have the largest share at 18.1%, followed by Irish (11.5%), British (7.2%) and Italians (6.8%). The high proportion of German-born population is a typical feature of the population of Ohio (21.42%), the comparatively low proportion of English is characteristic of the northeast of the state.

The urban area is partly clearly segregated between the ethnic groups . In addition, the population is significantly characterized by the white flight , the emigration of comparatively wealthy, white sections of the population to the outer districts and the surrounding communities. The black resident population is mainly concentrated in the west, north and some south-eastern districts. The white population groups are pushing outwards and primarily inhabit the districts that are further away from the city center.

Population development

Population development
Census Residents ± in%
1850 3266 -
1860 3477 6.5%
1870 10,006 187.8%
1880 16,512 65%
1890 27.601 67.2%
1900 42,728 54.8%
1910 69,067 61.6%
1920 208,435 201.8%
1930 255.040 22.4%
1940 244,791 -4%
1950 274605 12.2%
1960 290.351 5.7%
1970 275,425 -5.1%
1980 237.177 -13.9%
1990 223.019 -6%
2000 217,074 -2.7%
2010 199.110 -8.3%

Although Akron was an important place for the loading of agricultural products soon after the Ohio-Erie Canal opened, the population remained small for the first decades after it was founded. When the canal opened in 1827, 200 inhabitants were counted. When the canal reached its economic peak a good two decades later, there were just under 3,500 inhabitants. Only with the onset of industrialization after the construction of the railway was a noticeable increase in the population from (1860) 3477 to (1900) 42.728 inhabitants. With the subsequent boom in the tire industry in the following 30 years, the population quintupled to over 255,000 people, until the city's growth came to a standstill with the Great Depression.

After the war, the population rose again slightly and reached its peak in 1960 with 290,351 people. The unfavorable economic development of the tire industry caused the population to fall markedly in the following two decades to (1980) 237,177 inhabitants. After that, the process slowed down; Nevertheless, the city is still losing around 750 inhabitants per year. The latest estimates (2009) assume around 208,800 inhabitants.

Migration and social problems

In the first few decades, the immigrants came mainly from Britain and Central Europe . With the First World War , immigration from most European countries ended suddenly due to the changed legal situation. At the same time, increasing numbers of blacks from the poor southeastern United States moved to the cities of the region in the hope of work and social advancement. However, this hope was largely denied to them, at least in the first half of the 20th century.

Instead, black immigration sparked fear and suspicion among the white population. This resulted in more or less open discrimination, which heightened tensions. In Akron, for example, a racially motivated uprising began in 1900, when the proportion of the black population groups was still very low at 1.2% or 525 people.

Although legal improvements had taken place at the beginning of the 1960s at the instigation of the US civil rights movement and the labor market situation for blacks had relaxed, there was another six-day uprising in the black neighborhoods in 1968. Tensions between the population groups do not seem to have been resolved to this day, as incidents from the recent past show.

The crime rate is in the US-wide comparison in the upper midfield, comparable to other, similarly sized cities in the Rust Belt. However, the black residential areas in the north and west of the city are represented above average in the crime statistics, while the affluent areas in the outer area have significantly lower crime rates.


There is no precise information about the religious affiliation of the inhabitants of Akrons. In relation to the entire county, the Roman Catholic Church forms the largest single religious group with a 22.4% share. The responsible diocese is Cleveland . Another 22.2% describe themselves as Protestant , although the proportion of Protestants in Akron itself is probably higher due to the high proportion of Baptists among the Afro-American population groups. Almost 1% of the population professes the Orthodox faith, 0.7% are Jews. Muslims and Far Eastern religions form small marginalized groups.


City council

The city ​​council is organized according to the Mayor Council principle. In addition to the City Council, the mayor is also directly elected by the population. In addition, the strong mayor principle is applied, according to which the city council only forms the legislature , while the mayor, as the sole head of the executive, has extensive powers (strong mayor). This form of city government is typical of major US cities.

The city council consists of a total of 13 members. Ten of them are elected by majority vote in a corresponding number of constituencies (Wards) , the remaining three by the general population (At Large). The chairman of the city council is the black African Marco S. Sommerville, who comes from the black majority of the west of the city. Currently (2011) all city councils belong to the Democratic Party .

Mayor Don Plusquellic (2011).

The mayor has been the Democrat Don Plusquellic since 1987 . (* 1949). He was elected for the sixth time in a row in 2007, making him the city's longest-serving mayor. In 2004–05 he was also President of the United States Conference of Mayors .

Plusquellic is considered to be the most capable mayor of any major Ohio city, especially in terms of its economic and educational policies. In 1995, he introduced the first cross-community business parks in Ohio in Akron and initiated corresponding legislative changes, which made him nationally known. He also pushed through high loans and tax increases to expand schools in the poorer parts of the city. The costly redevelopment of the brownfield sites in the city center can also be traced back to his initiative. In contrast, his plan to free up funds for college scholarships by leasing the municipal sewer system failed.


The city's 2010 budget included revenues of $ 462.7 million and expenditures of $ 414.6 million. By far the most important source of income is income tax with 118.5 million. The largest expenditure item is the police force with 50.1 million.

Akron is relatively heavily indebted with (2009) 778 million US dollars or 3,583 dollars per capita. Nevertheless, the city's rating agencies have given the city a very high rating. The agencies point to the relatively high tax revenues and the fact that a large part of the loan amount is profitable debt, the repayment of which is secured directly through taxes and fees. For example, the loan of $ 200 million for the expansion of the schools is financed by a surcharge of 0.25% on income tax. According to experts, it is also positive that Akron is shouldering its expenses on its own and not just by incorporating affluent suburbs, as is the case in other large cities. However, the city has had to cope with significant declines in tax revenue in recent years.

Town twinning

A town partnership with the German city of Chemnitz has existed since 1997 . In this context, an Erzgebirge Christmas market was held in Akron every December from 2004-08. There is also a city partnership with Kiryat Ekron in Israel.

Culture and sights

Buildings, art and museums

The Goodyear / Lockheed Martin airship hangar on the southern edge of the city.

The redevelopment of the brownfield sites in the city center has produced some new commercial facilities. For example, the former grain silos of Quaker Oats were converted into a hotel, which has round rooms due to the structural structure. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places . On the southern edge of the city, at Akron Fulton Airport, is the airship hangar that Goodyear had built in 1929 for its zeppelin shipyard. It is 1175 feet (358.1 m) long, 325 feet (99.1 m) wide and 211 feet (64.3 m) high, has spherical ends and a black shell. The hall belongs to the local Lockheed Martin office and still serves its original purpose today.

The Akron Art Museum.

The Akron Art Museum exhibits numerous paintings from the period after 1850, including works of impressionism, realism, modernism, postmodernism and photorealism. It emerged from a painting school and is housed in the former city library and in an adjoining, avant-garde new building. In addition, Goodyear maintained a company museum, the World of Rubber, on a disused factory floor until the end of 2009. It was closed due to a lack of visitors, and its most important exhibits were distributed to other museums. The National Inventors Hall of Fame also has a branch in Akron, the Invent Now Museum. The associated middle school serves as an experimental school for STEM training, which roughly corresponds to the German MINT subjects.

Two other significant facilities in the city center are the multifunctional John S. Knight Center, built in 1995, and the Akron Civic Theater, which was refurbished in 2004.

Parks and recreation

Lock 2 Park, one of the parks along the canal on the northern edge of downtown.

Akron has a variety of green spaces covering more than 2,200  acres . The most important of these are Akron Zoological Park west of downtown and the parks along the canal. This is completely below the city center all the way down to the Cuyahoga, about half of it to the south is publicly accessible and, as part of the city center renovation, has been embedded in a narrow, park-like landscape. The lower part of the canal has been added to the National Register of Historic Places as the Cascade Locks Historic District.

North of the city, about a third of the way to Cleveland, is Cuyahoga Valley National Park . The 134 km 2 area stretches on both sides of the Cuyahoga and the parallel Ohio-Erie Canal and attracts millions of visitors each year with its scenic floodplains. The main attraction is the hiking trail on the former towpath along with the remains of the hydraulic structures.

Immediately south of the city limits are the Portage Lakes , a chain of five reservoirs and original tongue basin lakes , which are embedded in a gently rolling landscape and were originally created to feed the Ohio-Erie Canal and to supply water to Akrons Industrie. Large parts of them are freely accessible and are used as a local recreation area.


Canal Park baseball stadium in downtown.

There are three professional league teams based in Akron. The Akron Eros men's baseball team plays in a minor league and is based in downtown Canal Park. The stadium was opened in 1997 and holds 9,000 spectators. The Akron Racers, founded in 1999, are a women's softball team and have been playing in the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF), the only US softball professional league , since 2004 . They play their home games at Firestone Stadium from 1925, the city's oldest surviving major sports facility. The third team, the Rubber City Rollergirls, are a women's roller derby team. Their home is the John S. Knight Center.

The Akron Pros won the first season of the NFL in 1920 . The largest stadium in the city is the Rubber Bowl, a football stadium in the city center, which dates from 1941 and holds 31,000 spectators, but currently (2011) has no permanent home team.

In addition, the local university provides several sports teams, all of which appear under the name Akron Zips and play in the associated university leagues. The most important and successful of these are the men's football , basketball and soccer teams .

The university teams also have their own sports facilities on campus. The most important are the James A. Rhodes Arena for volleyball and basketball and the InfoCision Stadium - Summa Field, opened in 2008, which is only slightly smaller than the city's Rubber Bowl with a capacity of 30,000 spectators.

Economy and Infrastructure


The FirstMerit Tower, seat of the bank of the same name.

As the largest city in the Polymer Valley , Akron is the capital of an industrial region that spans Summit County and several neighboring counties and is a major center of US polymer research and processing. 45% of the plastics industry in Ohio is concentrated in the region with (2001) over 400 companies and a total of 30,000 employees. This can largely be traced back to the traditional tire and automotive supply industry, whose factories have disappeared, but whose associated research infrastructure has largely been preserved to this day and has repeatedly produced new products over the decades. The innovative strength of this branch comes largely from the local university. The local schools have also focused on this branch of the economy.

The Goodyear Group is the last tire manufacturer to have a presence in Akron with its company headquarters and small series production of racing tires. In addition, the Japanese competitor Bridgestone is building a research and development center that is scheduled to go into operation at the end of 2011. Other important resident companies are the energy company FirstEnergy , the financial service provider FirstMerit , the call center operator InfoCision Management, the cleaning agent manufacturer GOJO and the regional supermarket chain Fred W. Albrecht Grocery ("Acme Fresh Market"). The defense group Lockheed Martin with the Mission Systems & Sensors (MS2) division and the logistics group YRC Worldwide , formerly Roadway Express , are also represented with branches .

The largest local employer (2005) is the public sector with its polyclinics and hospitals with a total of around 8,000 employees and the city administration with 3,000 employees. The largest private employer is Goodyear with (2009) 3,000 employees. Most of the other companies mentioned each employ between 1,000 and 2,000 people.

The long-term unemployment rate in Akron is around 0.5% in summer and around 1% in winter above the US average. During the most recent economic crisis, the rate peaked in January 2010 at 11.8%. With an average per capita income of $ 17,596 (1999) and a poverty rate of (2000) 17.5%, Akron does significantly worse compared to the US average ($ 21,587 and 12.4%), but always even better than many of the old industrial towns in the Rust Belt (approx. $ 15,000 median income and 25% poverty rate).

To acquire new tax revenues were called since 1995 in four neighboring municipalities Joint Economic Development Districts (JEDDs) set up inter-municipal business parks . The city thus secured access to new commercial areas outside its borders without the associated land from its neighbors incorporate and have to risk related political conflicts. Akron is building the necessary infrastructure in this context and is allowed to withhold the water fees and part of the tax revenue. The income from the JEDDs now accounts for around 3% of the city's budget.



Two highways cross in Akron, each leading from the Cleveland region via the Appalachian Mountains to the US east coast. The Interstate 76 runs east to Philadelphia that Interstate 77 runs in a southerly direction as far as Columbia in the US state of South Carolina . There is also an expressway to Interstate 80 San Francisco - New York , which runs approximately 20 km north of the city. Only the western section of the inner-city ring road that was once planned has been completed; it is to be dismantled again due to insufficient utilization.

air traffic

The closest major domestic airport for scheduled flights is Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, around 45 km away as the crow flies, on the southwestern edge of Cleveland. However, the Akron-Canton Regional Airport , which is about 20 kilometers south, about halfway between Akron and Canton on Interstate 77, is of increasing importance . Delta Air Lines and the low-cost airline AirTran in particular offer scheduled flights from there to the eastern United States, for example to Chicago, Atlanta , New York and Philadelphia. The urban Akron Fulton International Airport, on the other hand, is much smaller and only serves general aviation .


Bahn stop Akron Northside .

Akron is a rail hub for freight traffic. Quite a few railroad lines go in a star shape from the city to Lorain , Cleveland, Youngstown , Pittsburgh and Canton. In addition, the city has several depots ; numerous industrial companies have sidings.

There is no regular passenger train service in Akron. In the summer months, the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad , a museum railway, runs into the Cuyahoga Valley National Park . She uses a small breakpoint called Akron Northside on the north edge of downtown. The former Union Depot central station in the city center, once an intermediate stop for long-distance passenger trains on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad between Chicago / Detroit and Washington, DC / New York, is out of order.

Bus transport

The central bus station on the southern edge of the city center.

The local transport authority Metro Regional Transit Authority (METRO RTA) operates a relatively dense network of bus routes in the city. It also serves a number of suburbs in Summit County, Akron-Canton Airport and two express bus routes on the Akron-Cleveland route. In 2009 a modern bus station opened in the city center , which is also used by the Greyhound long-distance bus routes and regional bus routes from neighboring counties. More than three quarters of the local transport budget is financed by a surcharge of 0.5% on sales tax in Summit County.


The local Akron Public Schools school district has 36 elementary , ten middle and seven high schools with 23,000 students and over 1,700 faculty. It is the fifth largest school district in Ohio. As is usual in Ohio, an elected local school board is responsible for the administration. There are also a number of private schools in the city, many of which are Catholic.

Since 2003, Akrons mostly outdated public schools have been successively modernized for a total of 800 million dollars. This is being done as part of a multi-billion dollar government program to modernize Ohio's schools. The state pays 59% of the costs, the remaining 41% is borne by the city. For this purpose, Akron has levied a surcharge of 0.25% on income tax since 2003.

The resident state university, the University of Akron , has 29,250 students (2010). It was founded in 1870 as Buchtel College and is best known for its teaching and research activities in the field of polymer technology, both in terms of industrial applications and in medical technology. Your campus occupies a large area immediately east of the city center and has been significantly enlarged in recent years. The university has an important archive on the history of psychology in the United States, including numerous unique manuscripts and film recordings.


Akron Beacon Journal editorial building.

The only local daily newspaper is the Akron Beacon Journal. It belongs to the Canadian media group Black Press and appears in the Counties Summit, Medina, Portage, Stark and Wayne with a circulation of around 103,000 copies and as an electronic newspaper . The editorial team also provides the reports for the regional news website ohio.com. The weekly papers South Side Leader and West Side Leader come from Leader Publications with a circulation of 65,000 copies, including the website akron.com.

The lifestyle magazine Akron Life & Leisure of the Baker Media Group appears monthly , which, in contrast to the other newspapers, is also distributed in Cleveland and Canton. Crain Communications Plastics News is also a weekly plastics technology magazine published in Akron that is distributed throughout North America.

In addition to the national broadcasters, some local television companies are also represented on the local television market . They belong to the media companies ( networks ) RTV , Ion Television and The CW and broadcast their cover programs . The non-commercial Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) is represented by the Western Reserve PBS station.

In addition, around a dozen regional radio stations of various genres can be received, most of them on FM . These include two branches of National Public Radio (NPR). The local university also has its own radio station.


A well-known personality from Akron was the doctor Robert Holbrook Smith (1879–1950) alias Dr. Bob, who here on June 10, 1935 together with the New York stockbroker William Griffith Wilson ("Bill W.", 1895–1971) published the so-called Blue Book and in the course of this launched the self-help organization Alcoholics Anonymous . His private house, which is located in a residential area in the northeast of the city, served as a meeting place for the members of the group at the time and is now a museum.

Stanford R. Ovshinsky (2005).

The chemist Richard E. Smalley (1943–2005), who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1996 for his discovery of fullerenes , and the self-taught inventor Stanford R. Ovshinsky (1922–2012), more than 400 patents , were born in Akron in the field of energy, storage media and electrical engineering, including NiMH batteries , CD-RWs and thin-film solar cells .

Astronaut Judith Resnik (1949–1986), a member of the spaceship crew who perished in the Challenger disaster , and the inventor of the cordless telephone, George Sweigert (1920–1999) , also came from Akron .

Well-known athletes from Akron are the basketball players LeBron James (* 1984) and Stephen Curry (* 1988) as well as Gus Johnson (1938–1987) and Nate Thurmond (1941–2016) from earlier days . The baseball catcher Thurman Munson (1947–1979) of the New York Yankees was the only athlete in the United States who was voted both rookie of the year and most valuable player by sports journalists . He died in a plane crash at the age of 32.

Two well-known music groups were founded in Akron, the blues rock band and multiple Grammy award winner The Black Keys and the new wave music band Devo . Also important are Chrissie Hynde , lead singer of the British rock band Pretenders , the soul singer , songwriter and producer James Ingram . The Pretenders released the song My City Was Gone , referring to the declining Akron of the 1980s.

The actress Melina Kanakaredes starred in the television series CSI: NY .

Sons and daughters of the town:

Additional information


  • Mark D. Bowles: Chains of Opportunity . the University of Akron and the emergence of the polymer age; 1909-2007. The University of Akron Press, Akron (Ohio) 2008, ISBN 978-1-931968-53-9 .
  • Henry J. Inman: Rubber mirror . reflections of the rubber division's first 100 years. The University of Akron Press, Akron (Ohio) 2009, ISBN 978-1-931968-60-7 .
  • Steve Love, David Giffels: Wheels of fortune. The story of rubber in Akron . Ed .: Debbie Van Tassel. University of Akron Press, Akron (Ohio) 1999, ISBN 978-1-884836-37-4 .
  • McClain, Shirla Robinson: The Contributions of Blacks in Akron: 1825-1975 . Akron, Ohio June 1975 ( akronlibrary.org [PDF; accessed October 28, 2010] Dissertation).
  • Summit County Historical Society [Ohio], Historical Committee [Akron, Ohio] (Ed.): A Centennial history of Akron, 1825-1925 . 1925.
  • Larry Ledebur, Jill Tailor: AKRON, OHIO . In: Greater Ohio Policy Center and The Brookings Institution (Eds.): Metropolitan Policy Program: A Restoring Prosperity Case Study . September 3, 2008 ( greaterohio.org [PDF; accessed April 13, 2011] case study).

Web links

Commons : Akron  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Ohio by Place - GCT-PH1. Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2000. (No longer available online.) In: Census 2000 Summary File 1 (SF 1). US Census Bureau, 2000, archived from the original on February 12, 2020 ; Retrieved January 17, 2011 .
  2. ^ Physiogeographic Regions of Ohio. (PDF; 247 kB) (No longer available online.) State of Ohio: Department of Natural Resources: Division of Geological Survey, archived from the original on March 26, 2009 ; Retrieved September 18, 2009 .
  3. ^ Akron: Department of Planning & Urban Development: CP: Neighborhood Profiles. (No longer available online.) City of Akron, Ohio January 4, 2010, archived from the original on December 1, 2005 ; Retrieved January 17, 2011 .
  4. ^ A b c Cleveland National Weather Service Akron-Canton Climate Page. (No longer available online.) United States Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Weather Service Forecast Office, Jan 6, 2008, archived from the original on June 11, 2011 ; Retrieved January 17, 2011 .
  5. a b c d e f g Akron Ohio Historical Timeline. (No longer available online.) City of Akron January 4, 2010, archived from the original October 9, 2010 ; Retrieved January 4, 2011 .
  6. ^ A b c d Akron, Ohio - Ohio History Central. Ohio Historical Society, July 1, 2005, accessed January 17, 2011 .
  7. a b c d e f g h Ledebur, Larry and Tailor, Jill: AKRON, OHIO. (PDF; 4.2 MB) (No longer available online.) In: Metropolitan Policy Program: A Restoring Prosperity Case Study. Greater Ohio Policy Center and The Brookings Institution, September 3, 2008, archived from the original on May 11, 2013 ; Retrieved April 13, 2011 .
  8. ^ A b Mandel, Peter: Bouncing Around Akron, Rubber Capital of the World. The Washington Post, April 25, 2004, accessed January 17, 2011 .
  9. ^ Goodyear Blimps - Ohio History Central. Ohio Historical Society, July 1, 2005, accessed January 17, 2011 .
  10. a b Summit County Historical Society: Akron: History. Advameg Inc., city-data.com, 2009, accessed January 17, 2011 .
  11. THE HISTORY OF THE TIRE INDUSTRY. (No longer available online.) In: Rubber & Plastics News. Crain Communications Inc., August 1988, archived from the original on November 25, 2010 ; Retrieved April 9, 2011 .
  12. see also: Darwin H. Stapleton (Rockefeller Archive Center): INDUSTRY. In: Encyclopedia of Cleveland History. Case Western Reserve University, July 17, 1997, accessed September 17, 2009 .
  13. ^ A b Polymer Valley - Ohio History Central. Ohio Historical Society, July 1, 2005, accessed January 17, 2011 .
  14. a b c d e Akron city, Ohio - Fact Sheet - American FactFinder. (No longer available online.) American FactFinder, United States Census Bureau, 2000, archived from the original February 12, 2020 ; Retrieved on June 16, 2020 (results of the 2000 US census, in some cases also associated map material. In places supplemented by own calculations).
  15. John J. Grabowski: IMMIGRATION AND MIGRATION. In: Encyclopedia of Cleveland History. Case Western Reserve University, March 2, 1998, accessed March 30, 2010 .
  16. ^ A b African Americans - Ohio History Central. Ohio Historical Society, July 1, 2005, accessed January 17, 2011 .
  17. Akron: Akron's Black History Timeline. (No longer available online.) City of Akron, March 2, 1998, archived from the original on November 4, 2010 ; Retrieved January 18, 2011 .
  18. ^ Doyle, William B .: The Riot Of 1900 - The Darkest Night In Akron's History . In: Centennial History of Summit County, Ohio and Representative Citizens . Biographical Publishing Company, Chicago 1908 (on- line ).
  19. The Report of The AKRON COMMISSION ON CIVIL DISORDERS. (PDF) (No longer available online.) Akron Commission on Civil Disorders, April 16, 1969, archived from the original February 6, 2009 ; accessed on January 18, 2011 (report of the commission of inquiry established at the time).
  20. ATTACK IN FIRESTONE PARK, AMID THE UNSETTLED FACTS, A FEW CERTAINTIES . In: Beacon Journal Publishing Co. (Ed.): Akron Beacon Journal . July 23, 2009, p. A 10 A .
  21. ^ Offenses Known - Crime in the United States 2009. (No longer available online.) US Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Criminal Justice Information Services Division, 2009, archived from the original on October 18, 2013 ; Retrieved January 18, 2011 (various tables).
  22. Crime Statistics. Akron Police Department, 2008, accessed January 18, 2011 .
  23. ^ County Membership Report: Summit County, Ohio. (No longer available online.) In: Maps & Reports. The Association of Religion Data Archives, The Pennsylvania State University, 2000, archived from the original on December 6, 2010 ; Retrieved January 18, 2011 .
  24. a b c d e f 2010 Budget Plan: City of Akron, Ohio. (PDF; 128 MB) Donald L. Plusquellic, Mayor, 2010, accessed June 30, 2020 .
  25. ^ Akron City Council. Akron City Council, 2009, accessed January 22, 2011 .
  26. a b City Mayors: Mayor of Akron (Ohio). City Mayors Foundation, November 8, 2009, accessed January 19, 2011 .
  27. Larkin, Brent: Akron should hope Mayor Don Plusquellic runs again. cleveland.com, August 29, 2010, accessed January 18, 2011 .
  28. a b Warsmith, Stephanie: CSU researcher says mayor has helped rebuild Akron. ohio.com, June 7, 2009, accessed January 19, 2011 .
  29. Debt level not hurting city at all, analyst says. June 7, 2009, accessed January 19, 2011 .
  30. Contacts with US-American twin city Akron deepened Mayor Donald Plusquellic's guest in Chemnitz. (No longer available online.) Chemnitz City Administration, April 20, 2004, formerly in the original ; Retrieved January 22, 2011 .  ( Page no longer available , search in web archives )@1@ 2Template: Toter Link / www.chemnitz.de
  31. Chemnitz brings the Ore Mountains Christmas flair to Tampere. (No longer available online.) Deutsche Telekom AG (t-online.de), December 3, 2010, archived from the original on December 9, 2010 ; Retrieved January 22, 2011 .
  32. Quaker Oats Cereal Factory, Southeast corner of Broadway & Mill Streets, Akron, Summit County, OH. In: Historic American Engineering Record. United States Department of the Interior, National Park Service, August 1979, accessed February 26, 2014 .
  33. ^ Lighter-than-Air Programs Lifting Off in Akron. (No longer available online.) Lockheed Martin, 2011, archived from the original on April 14, 2011 ; Retrieved April 12, 2011 .
  34. ^ High Altitude Airship (HAA). (No longer available online.) Lockheed Martin, 2011, archived from the original on November 14, 2010 ; Retrieved April 12, 2011 .
  35. ^ Akron Art Museum. Akron Art Museum, 2011, accessed April 12, 2011 .
  36. ^ Mackinnon, Jim: Goodyear to close World of Rubber museum. In: ohio.com. The Akron Beacon Journal, August 18, 2009, accessed April 12, 2011 .
  37. HALL OF FAME / NIHF school. (No longer available online.) Invent Now, Inc., 2011, archived from the original on April 18, 2011 ; Retrieved April 12, 2011 .
  38. PARK SITES. (No longer available online.) City of Akron, Department of Planning & Urban Development, 2011, archived from the original July 22, 2011 ; Retrieved April 12, 2011 .
  39. ^ Portage Lakes State Park. (No longer available online.) Ohio Department of Natural Resources, 2011, archived from the original on February 17, 2012 ; accessed on April 12, 2022 .
  40. ^ A New Brand Of Tech Cities. The Newsweek / Daily Beast Company LLC, April 30, 2001, accessed April 8, 2011 .
  41. ^ Paula Schleis: Bridgestone Americas holds groundbreaking event for tech center. (No longer available online.) In: Ohio.com. The Akron Beacon Journal, February 18, 2010, archived from the original February 22, 2010 ; Retrieved April 9, 2011 .
  42. Akron. In: city-data.com. Advameg, Inc., 2009, accessed April 9, 2011 .
  43. ^ Ohio Major Employers: April 2009. (PDF) (No longer available online.) Policy Research and Strategic Planning Office, Ohio Department of Development, April 2009, archived from the original on December 31, 2008 ; Retrieved April 9, 2011 .
  44. ^ Akron, OH: Economy at a Glance. United States Department of Labor, US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2011, accessed April 9, 2011 (US labor market data).
  45. DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES. (No longer available online.) Akron Ohio: Mayor's Office of Economic Development, Jan. 4, 2010, archived from the original on May 1, 2011 ; Retrieved April 9, 2011 .
  46. ^ Korte, Gregory: Akron, Ohio, Mayor Favors Elimination of Highway for Redevelopment . In: Knight Ridder / Tribune Business News . December 17, 1999.
  47. ^ Akron-Canton Airport. Akron-Canton Airport, 2020, accessed June 30, 2020 .
  48. akron, Ohio: Akron Fulton Airport. (No longer available online.) City of Akron, MIS Division, July 16, 2010, archived from the original on November 5, 2011 ; Retrieved January 22, 2011 .
  49. ^ Akron Railroad History. Akron Railroad Club, 2009, accessed January 21, 2011 .
  50. ^ University Plans to Raze Akron Union Depot. Akron Railroad Club, December 24, 2009; accessed January 21, 2011 .
  51. ^ Akron METRO Bus, METRO RTA, Akron METRO Bus Schedule. Metro Regional Transit Authority, 2011, accessed on January 22, 2011 (see also under “About METRO, History” and “About METRO, Facts”).
  52. 2010 FACTS. (PDF; 158 kB) (No longer available online.) In: Imagine Akron Community Learning Centers. Akron Public Schools April 7, 2010, archived from the original November 23, 2010 ; Retrieved April 9, 2011 .
  53. ^ Imagine Akron Community Learning Centers - What is Imagine CLCs? (No longer available online.) In: Imagine Akron Community Learning Centers. Akron Public Schools, 2011, archived from the original on April 20, 2011 ; Retrieved April 9, 2011 .
  54. About UA. The University of Akron, 2011, accessed April 9, 2011 (search for "quick facts" and "history").
  55. ^ Archives of the History of American Psychology. The University of Akron, 2004, accessed April 21, 2011 .
  56. 2010 Top Media Outlets. (PDF) (No longer available online.) BurrellesLuce, May 20, 2010, archived from the original on December 30, 2010 ; Retrieved April 9, 2011 .
  57. ^ Welcome to the Akron Beacon Journal. Retrieved March 3, 2010 .
  58. About Akron.com. (No longer available online.) Leader Communications Inc., 2011, archived from the original on July 9, 2011 ; Retrieved April 9, 2011 .
  59. Akron Life Magazine. Baker Media Group, 2011, accessed April 9, 2011 (see About the Magazine and Where to Find Us ).
  60. ^ Plastics News. (No longer available online.) Crain Communications Inc., 2011, archived from the original on August 9, 2011 ; Retrieved April 9, 2011 .
  61. a b Akron, Ohio in the English language Wikipedia
  62. Dr. Bob's Home - The Birthplace of Alcoholics Anonymous. Dr. Bob's Home, 2011, accessed April 12, 2011 .


  1. The results of the last last US census are considered to be decisive in this context . Newer, verified censuses will not be published until the next US census in early 2011. Although additional extrapolations are carried out every decade for places with more than 20,000 inhabitants (the last time for the period 2006–2008), these are subject to a certain degree of inaccuracy and cannot always be fully evaluated.
  2. The US Census Bureau is legally prohibited from collecting data on religious affiliation. Instead, other statistics (surveys or the number of houses of prayer in the phone book) are often used. By their very nature, these numbers are imprecise and only relate to the county in which they belong. Since the population structure in a large US city usually differs considerably from that of the surrounding county or state, the statistics quoted should be treated with a certain degree of caution.
  3. The rating is AA- (second highest rating ) from Standard & Poor's and Fitch and A1 (third highest rating ) from Moody's, see source.