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List of states
Capital: Columbus
State motto: With God, all things are possible
( Eng. "With God all things are possible")
Surface: 116,096 km²
Residents: 11,614,373 (2016 estimated) (99 U / km²)
Member since: March 1, 1803
Time zone: Eastern: UTC − 5 / −4
The highest point: 472 m (Campbell Hill)
Average Height: 260 m
Deepest point: 139 m Ohio River
Governor : Mike DeWine ( R )
Post  / Office /  ISO OH / / US-OH
Map of ohio
Map of ohio

Ohio ( English pronunciation  [ oʊ̯ˈhaɪ̯oʊ̯ ] ) is a state in the American Midwest . In the north it is bordered by Lake Erie , which forms the border with neighboring Canada , and in the south by the Ohio River , which gave Ohio its name. The name comes from the Iroquois language and means "great river". Please click to listen!Play

The capital of Ohio is Columbus ; other major cities are Cleveland , Cincinnati , Toledo , Akron and Dayton . The state has an area of ​​116,096 km² (34th place in a comparison of the states) and has around 11.5 million inhabitants. In 1803 Ohio was incorporated into the United States as the 17th state in the Union.

The nickname of Ohio's Buckeye State ( Buckeye tree = Aesculus glabra ).


Geographical location

Ohio is located in the American Midwest between Pennsylvania in the east, West Virginia in the southeast, Kentucky in the southwest, Indiana in the west and Michigan and Lake Erie in the north. In Lake Erie, Ohio borders the Canadian province of Ontario . The borders with West Virginia and Kentucky form the north bank of the Ohio River after its course from 1792, the borders with Indiana and Pennsylvania run exactly north-south. The border with Michigan was originally supposed to run exactly west-east on the geographical latitude of the southern tip of Lake Michigan. Since its location was not known exactly and it was feared that the border might miss the southern shore of Lake Erie, the constitution of 1803 defined the northern border as a direct line running from the southern extremity of Lake Michigan to the most northerly cape of the Miami Bay (a straight line from the southern tip of Lake Michigan to the northernmost cape of Maumee Bay [at the mouth of the Maumee River ]). Since the Michigan Territory had determined its southern border according to the original definition, a border dispute arose between the two, which intensified until 1835 in the so-called Toledo War (in which, however, no one was killed).

The east of the state belongs to the Allegheny Plateau (part of the Appalachian Plateau ). The south of the plateau is hilly, the north, which was ice-covered in the last glacial period , is less rough. The west of the state was also covered with ice and is determined by ground and terminal moraines , which rise up to 472 m in Campbell Hill as the highest point in the state. The level of Lake Erie is 174 m, the lowest point of Ohio is at the confluence of the Great Miami River with the Ohio River at 137 m. Ohio is on average 260 m above sea level.

rivers and lakes

The eastern North American watershed cuts Ohio. The northern part of the state belongs to the catchment area of Lake Erie , which drains over the Niagara River and the Saint Lawrence River to the Atlantic Ocean, the southern part drains over the Ohio River and the Mississippi River into the Gulf of Mexico .

Major tributaries of the Ohio River in Ohio are the Little Muskingum River , Duck Creek , Muskingum River , Hocking River , Scioto River , Little Miami River, and the Great Miami River . The latter is connected to Lake Erie via the Miamikanal . The Wabash River has its source in Ohio and flows through Indiana and Illinois into the Ohio River. Cuyahoga River , Grand River , Huron River , Sandusky River and Maumee River (from east to west) flow into Lake Erie.



Traces of the last glacial period (Wisconsin glaciation) on Kelleys Island in Lake Erie
Photograph of the mound excavated in 1901 at Chillicothe

When Europeans settled North America, a particularly large number of unusual prehistoric earthworks , so-called mounds , were found in Ohio . The Indians, emaciated by diseases and conflicts, were not expected to perform such a feat, which is why, in addition to an interest in the scientific exploration of the region's past, countless speculations developed.

In the Archaic period the first regional cultures developed in the area of ​​today's Ohio. The Maple Creek and Glacial Kame cultures before 1000 B.C. BC are considered to be the earliest, still largely nomadic cultures in the region. In the Woodland period , the Adena culture was the first sedentary culture in today's Ohio, and it also created the first elaborate mounds. This was followed by the extensive Hopewell culture , which was also widespread in Ohio, and the Fort Ancient culture, which was spatially limited to southern Ohio and adjacent regions . Adena and Fort Ancient left behind complex and varied earthworks.

The Mississippi culture with Cahokia , the largest pre-Columbian city ​​north of Mexico , marks the successors to the Woodland phase. It radiated culturally far north and as far as Ohio and created the largest mounds in the region.

When the whites arrived, the region between the Ohio River and the Great Lakes , where Ohio is today, was inhabited by various Indian tribes, including the Miami , Wyandot , Shawnee , Lenni Lenape , Ottawa and Erie . During the colonization of North America by Europeans, Iroquois from what is now New York State claimed the area.

Memorial plaque for the "Northwest Order" in front of Federal Hall in Manhattan

In the 18th century France set up a system of trading posts there to control trade between Europeans and Indians. In 1754 the French and Indian War broke out between Great Britain and France, as a result of which the Peace of Paris was concluded and France ceded control of what is now Ohio to the British in 1763. The Royal Proclamation of 1763 forbade colonization of the newly won land. However, it lost its validity after American independence from the British Crown, whereupon the Northwest Territory was opened up in 1787 , which in addition to the area of ​​today's Ohio also included the areas of other states. The new territory was the first in the United States to officially outlaw slavery . In anticipation of the upcoming founding of the state, the Indiana Territory was later founded, which only comprised present-day Ohio and parts of present-day Michigan .

In the " Northwest Ordinance " it was decided that parts of the Northwest Territory could become states as soon as they reached a population of 60,000. Although the future Ohio only had 45,000 inhabitants in 1801, the US Congress decided to establish its state due to the rapid population growth. On February 19, 1803, Ohio was admitted as the 17th state to the United States by US President Thomas Jefferson . The state's first capital was not Columbus, but Chillicothe until 1810 and then Zanesville for two years . Since an official accession date for new states had only been determined by Congress since 1812, US President Eisenhower set it as March 1, 1803 in 1953.

In 1835 Ohio waged the Toledo War , in which it fought with the Michigan Territory for the area around the city of Toledo . After the intervention of Congress, the Michigan Territory renounced the so-called Toledo Strip and was awarded parts of the Upper Michigan Peninsula in return .

Ohio's central position played an important role in the civil war . 2,000 Ohio Citizens Died in the Battle of Shiloh When Stonewall Jackson threatened Washington, DC, Ohio Governor David Tod hired 5,000 volunteers for the Union Army. Historian Andrew RL Cayton estimates that a total of 35,000 Ohio citizens died in the war. The major Union generals Ulysses S. Grant , William Tecumseh Sherman, and Philip Sheridan were all from Ohio.


Population development
Census Residents ± in%
1800 45,365 -
1810 230.760 408.7%
1820 581.434 152%
1830 937.903 61.3%
1840 1,519,467 62%
1850 1,980,329 30.3%
1860 2,339,511 18.1%
1870 2,665,260 13.9%
1880 3,198,062 20%
1890 3,672,329 14.8%
1900 4,157,545 13.2%
1910 4,767,121 14.7%
1920 5,759,394 20.8%
1930 6,646,697 15.4%
1940 6,907,612 3.9%
1950 7,946,627 15%
1960 9,706,397 22.1%
1970 10,652,017 9.7%
1980 10,797,630 1.4%
1990 10,847,115 0.5%
2000 11,353,140 4.7%
2010 11,536,504 1.6%
Before 1900

1900-1990 2000

Population density

Ohio has 11,536,504 inhabitants according to the US census of 2010 , of which 84.5 percent are white, 13.4 percent black and African-American, 0.8 percent Indian, 2.1 percent Asian and 1.5 percent other. Ohio ranks seventh in population when compared to the US states.


The religious communities with the largest number of members in 2000 were the Roman Catholic Church with 2,231,832, the United Methodist Church with 566,084 and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America with 301,749 followers.

The skyline of the capital Columbus
Cleveland seen from Lake Erie


2,979,533 residents of Ohio stated in the American Community Survey 2015 that they had German ancestors. With a share of 25.7 percent of the total population, people of German origin represent the largest population group in the state. They are followed by the Irish (13.4 percent) and English-born (8.2 percent) groups.

Local distribution of the population groups

The ethnic group of German origin has a high proportion of the population, especially in the north-west, and has significantly shaped the culture of Ohio. For example, a district of the capital is called Columbus German Village .

Residents with American or British roots are primarily found in the south and central parts of the state. In Cleveland and Cincinnati , large proportions of the population are African American . In addition, many Hispanics live in Cleveland and especially in Toledo .

Age and gender structure

The age structure of Ohio in 2010 is composed as follows:

  • Under 5 years: 6.2 percent
  • 18 to 64 years: 75.8 percent
  • from 65 years: 14.1 percent

The median age is 38.8 years. 51.2 percent of the population are female and 48.8 percent are male.

Biggest cities

Lorain (Ohio) Youngstown (Ohio) Canton (Ohio) Parma (Ohio) Dayton (Ohio) Akron Toledo (Ohio) Cincinnati Cleveland Columbus (Ohio)


Border sign on Highway 52

Eight US presidents are from Ohio (including seven Republicans and one member of the Whig Party ); This puts Ohio together with Virginia , from which eight presidents also come, at the top of all US states. Ohio has long been a Republican stronghold, but is now politically divided. As a so-called swing state, it is particularly competitive before presidential elections, as it has the greatest influence of all swing states alongside Florida with 18 electoral votes today . Last played for Ohio in the 2004 presidential election that tip the scales when President George W. Bush with only 50.8% of the votes won all then 20 electoral votes of Ohio and so his position against his Democratic challenger John Kerry defended.

Because of its demographics , Ohio is often seen as a microcosm of the political United States as a whole. Interestingly, only two presidential candidates have managed to get into the White House since 1892 without gaining a majority in Ohio. In both cases (1944 and 1960), Ohio won a Republican even though a Democrat became president overall.

Presidential election results
year republican Democrats
2016 51.69% 2,841,005 43.56% 2,394,164
2012 47.60% 2,661,437 50.58% 2,827,709
2008 46.80% 2,677,820 51.38% 2,940,044
2004 50.81% 2,859,768 48.71% 2,741,167
2000 49.97% 2,351,209 46.46% 2,186,190
1996 41.02% 1,859,883 47.38% 2,148,222
1992 38.35% 1,894,310 40.18% 1,984,942
1988 55.00% 2,416,549 44.15 % 1,939,629
1984 58.90% 2,678,560 40.14% 1,825,440
1980 51.51% 2,206,545 40.91% 1,752,414
1976 48.65% 2,000,505 48.92% 2,011,621
1972 59.63% 2,441,827 38.07% 1,558,889
1968 45.23% 1,791,014 42.95% 1,700,586
1964 37.06% 1,470,865 62.94% 2,498,331
1960 53.28% 2,217,611 46.72% 1,944,248

There are democratic strongholds in northeast Ohio, around the cities of Cleveland and Youngstown. The Southwest, on the other hand, tends to support the Republican Party.

In the US Senate the state is represented by the Democrat Sherrod Brown and the Republican Rob Portman . The Ohio delegation to the 114th Congress House of Representatives consists of four Democrats and twelve Republicans.

Ohio has used the death penalty 53 times since 1976. Together with Missouri (86), this is 78 percent of the executions in the Midwest (177 as of December 2015). In the East North Central division ( Wisconsin , Illinois , Michigan , Indiana , Ohio), Ohio is the only state that has had executions since 2010, although Indiana has had a comparable number of 20 executions since 1976. The death penalty is less common in most of Ohio's neighboring states. The exception is Pennsylvania, where there is currently a moratorium and no one has been executed since 1999. In October 2015, John Kasich postponed the dates for twelve executions indefinitely.

legislative branch

In Ohio, as in all states of the USA except Nebraska , there is a bicameral system of popular representation. There is a House of Representatives with 99 members and a Senate with 33 members. Both houses are elected by majority vote, so Ohio is divided into 33 Senate and 99 House constituencies.


The state government consists of Governor Mike DeWine , Vice Governor Jon A. Husted , Secretary of State Frank LaRose , the Chairman of the Court of Auditors ( State Auditor ) Keith Faber , the Minister of Finance ( Treasurer ) Robert Sprague and Attorney General Dave Yost ; all belong to the Republican Party. The members of the government are elected individually by the electorate; accordingly, the governor does not necessarily have a parliamentary majority, nor are the other members of the state government necessarily political allies of the governor. These clear differences to the executives of the German federal states, for example, are common practice in the USA at the federal state level and, in terms of their party-political composition, find an approximate equivalent in the proportional government of the federal states of Austria .

State government


coat of arms

As is common in the USA, Ohio also has a number of symbols :



National park location view
Cuyahoga Valley National Park
  • Ohio
  • 3,306,175 visitors (2004)
  • founded October 11, 2000
Cuyahoga Valley National Park
United States map
CUVA tjfallfalls.jpg

Economy and Infrastructure

The economic output of Ohio in the year 2016 was 625 billion USD making it the seventh highest economic output of the states of the USA and a share of 3.39% of the total American economy. Counted as a separate country, Ohio's economic output would be roughly the same as that of Saudi Arabia . The real gross domestic product per capita real GDP was USD 53,609 in 2016 (national average of the 50 US states: USD 57,118; national ranking: 25). The unemployment rate was 4.8% in November 2017 (national average: 4.1%).

Ohio is one of the leading locations for mechanical engineering in the USA. Industrial production also includes means of transport , metal processing , machines , tools , rubber products , foodstuffs and electrical appliances.

As part of the Corn Belt , the agricultural sector plays a major role. Agricultural production includes soybeans , dairy products , corn , tomatoes , cattle for slaughter ( pigs , cattle ), poultry and eggs . Commercial fishing is carried out on Lake Erie .

With over 2500 lakes and 72,000 kilometers of river, because of its varied landscape, its recreational areas and historical sights (especially archaeological sites - excavations of Indian settlements and burial sites ) Ohio is interesting for tourists, and tourism is one of the growth industries . The Maumee Bay State Park in the delta of the Maumee River on Lake Erie deserves a special mention .

With Cedar Point one of the largest and oldest is Parks of the USA in Ohio. The roller coasters in the park, which is located on a peninsula near Sandusky , set several records . Cedar Point currently has 17 roller coasters.

With large sediments, mostly shale, of gas and oil, Ohio was able to profit significantly economically from the emerging fracking boom of the 2010s in the USA. The oil price, which fell significantly in the mid-2010s, as well as faults that are more and more scientifically linked to fracking in some areas, the further development in this area is open.


The major state colleges in Ohio are Ohio State University and Ohio University . Other state colleges include Bowling Green State University , Cleveland State University , Kent State University , Miami University , University of Akron , University of Cincinnati , University of Toledo , Wright State University, and Youngstown State University . Case Western Reserve University and the University of Dayton are among the major private universities . Other colleges are included in the list of universities in Ohio .


On the reverse of Ohio's 25-cent coin, the state is the birthplace of the Wright and
Neil Armstrong brothers

Presumably from Chillicotte, a village on the Scioto River, Tecumseh (1768–1813), an Indian general and politician, came from.

George Armstrong Custer (1839–1876), a military leader in the American Civil War and in Indian Wars, came from New Rumley .

One of the most famous inventors, Thomas Alva Edison , was born in Milan in 1847 ; Ohio owes its first powered flight to the Wright brothers. Neil Armstrong was the first man on the moon; he was born at Wapakoneta .

Some of the Ohio-born writers include: William Dean Howells (1837–1920), Ambrose Bierce (1842–1914), Charles W. Chesnutt (1858–1932), Sherwood Anderson (1876–1941), Natalie Clifford Barney (1876–1972 ), James Thurber (1894–1961), Louis Bromfield (1896–1956), William Riley Burnett (1899–1982), Frederic Brown (1906–1972), Robert Lowry (1919–1994), Ernest Tidyman (1928–1984) and Toni Morrison (1931-2019).

The film actor Clark Gable was from Cadiz, Ohio; he was born here in 1901. Director, screenwriter and producer Steven Spielberg was born in Cincinnati in 1946 . The singer and actor Dean Martin (1917-1995) also came from Steubenville, Ohio. The actor and screenwriter Josh Radnor is also from Ohio.

The 18th President of the United States , Ulysses S. Grant , was from Point Pleasant , his successor was Rutherford B. Hayes from Delaware , Ohio, the 25th President William McKinley, from Niles, Ohio, and William H. Taft , the 27th President Cincinnati. General William Tecumseh Sherman was born in Lancaster .

Source editions

  • Phillip R. Shriver, Clarence Wunderlin Jr. (Eds.): The Documentary Heritage of Ohio. Ohio University Press, Athens 2001.


  • Richard W. Jefferies: Holocene Hunter-Gatherers of the Lower Ohio River Valley. University of Alabama Press, 2008.
  • Anne Kelly Knowles: Calvinists Incorporated. Welsh Immigrants on Ohio's Industrial Frontier. University of Chicago Press, 1997.
  • Michael N. McConnell: A Country Between: The Upper Ohio Valley and Its Peoples, 1724-1774. University of Nebraska Press, 1992.
  • Andrew Robert Lee Cayton: Ohio. The History of a People. Ohio State University, 2002.
  • Warren R. Van Tine, Michael Dale Pierce: Builders of Ohio. A Biographical History. Ohio State University, 2003.
  • Walter Havighurst : Ohio. A history. New York 1976. (Paperback 2001)
  • Kenneth J. Winkle: The Politics of Community: Migration and Politics in Antebellum Ohio. Cambridge University Press, 1988.
  • James H. O'Donnell: Ohio's First Peoples. Ohio University Press, 2004.

Web links

Commons : Ohio  - collection of pictures, videos, and audio files
Wikivoyage: Ohio  Travel Guide
Wiktionary: Ohio  - explanations of meanings, origins of words, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Ohio Constitution of 1803 (Transcript) on Ohio History Central, accessed July 27, 2017
  2. Cahokia mounds. Illinois. In: Donald Langmead, Christine Garnaut (Eds.): Encyclopedia of Architectural and Engineering Feats. 2001, pp. 49–52, here: p. 52.
  3. Knepper (1989), pp. 233-234.
  4. Roseboom and Weisenburger (1967), p. 188.
  5. Cayton (2002), p. 129.
  6. Morris (1992), pp. 10-11.
  7. Cayton (2002), pp. 128-129.
  8. ^ US Census Bureau: Census of Population and Housing . Retrieved November 18, 2013.
  9. US Census Bureau: County Population Census Counts 1900-90 . Retrieved November 18, 2013.
  10. US Census Bureau: Census 2000 ( Memento of August 10, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF file, 39 kB) Retrieved November 18, 2013.
  11. US Census Bureau: Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010.Retrieved November 18, 2013.
  12. ^ The Association of Religion Data Archives: State Membership Report.Retrieved November 18, 2013.
  13. ^ US Census Bureau: Ohio Selected Social Characteristics
  14. ^ RCP Electoral Map 2004
  15. Sasan Abdi-Herrle: Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton: This is how the US election works. In: Zeit Online . November 7, 2016, accessed November 7, 2016 .
  16. ^ David Leip: Dave Leip's Atlas of US Presidential Elections. Retrieved November 28, 2018 .
  17. http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/number-executions-state-and-region-1976?scid=8&did=186
  18. zeit.de October 20, 2015: Ohio suspends executions for two years
  19. ^ US Department of Commerce, BEA, Bureau of Economic Analysis: Bureau of Economic Analysis. Retrieved August 27, 2017 (American English).
  20. ^ Unemployment Rates for States. Retrieved January 8, 2018 .
  21. Energy from the deep. February 23, 2013, accessed on November 11, 2015 : “An economic hit for the USA: Since then, gas production in the USA has skyrocketed, one region after another has been developed. After the huge Barnett Shale in Texas, more and more gas is now being produced in many other states, widely distributed across the United States, including North Dakota, Pennsylvania and Ohio. With the new extraction techniques, oil trapped in the rock can also be extracted. Here too, production is booming, even if the potential is not quite as high as with shale gas. "
  22. Fracking is believed to be responsible for earthquakes in Ohio. January 5, 2015, accessed on November 11, 2015 : "" The earthquakes in the municipality of Poland occurred in a very old, Precambrian rock layer in which there were probably already numerous seismic faults, "explains co-author Robert Skoumal from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. "This well activity did not create a new fault, but activated a previously unknown, old fault." It therefore makes sense that government, industry and science work closely together on fracking in areas with potentially unknown faults in the future. "
  23. Can the shale gas boom save Ohio? March 3, 2012, accessed November 11, 2015 .

Coordinates: 40 ° 11 ′  N , 82 ° 42 ′  W