Ohio is the 7th most populous state in the United States, and the 10th most densely populated amongst the country’s 50 states. Historically known as the “Buckeye State” after its Ohio buckeye trees, and Ohioans are also known as “Buckeyes”. Surrounded by scenic landscapes like the Ohio River and the Appalachians, Ohio is a must-see for any tourist. Keep on reading to learn 75 facts about Ohio State.
Fact 1: Ohio is a state in the East North Central region of the United States.
Fact 2: Ohio is the 34th largest state by area in the United States. It has a total area of 116,096 km2 which makes it just a little bit smaller than North Korea.
Fact 3: The state of Ohio is the 7th most populated state in the United States of America. It has a total population of 11,689,100 which is about the same as the population of Belgium in Europe. But to give you some idea of how small that 11 million number is, the entire population of the US sits at 328 million people! So Ohio accounts for only about 3% of the total population!
Fact 4: The largest city in Ohio is Columbus. It’s the 14th largest city in the United States with a population of 892,533. That population is spread over an area of 577.85 km2.
Fact 5: 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.
Fact 6: The State got its name from the Ohio River even though most of the river isn’t actually in the state.
Fact 7: The Ohio River is one of the longest rivers in the United States. It’s 1,579 km long.
Fact 8: The largest county in Ohio by area is Ashtabula County with an area of 1,819 km2. Found in the North Eastern Corner of the State, the largest settlement in the county is the city of Ashtabula.
Fact 9: The smallest county in Ohio by area is Lake County with an area of only 591 km2. For its size, it has a very large population of 230,041 people which gives it a population density of 389 people per km2.
Fact 10: With a population of 1,264,518, Franklin County is the largest county in the state of Ohio by population. Almost dead centre of the state, Franklin County’s population is very high because it is home to the Ohio State capital, Columbus.
Fact 11: With a population of only 13,435, Vinton County is the smallest county by population in Ohio.
Fact 12: The largest lake in Ohio, not including Lake Erie, is Aurora Pond. It’s only 1.4 km² in size and can be found in Portage County.
Fact 13: The 1860s ushered in the famous Ohio Oil Rush which turned Ohio into the biggest crude oil producer in the USA. The spark that started the oil rush was the discovery of huge coal deposits across much of the state.
Fact 14: Ohio played a key role during the American Civil War by providing the Union Army with huge supplies of troops, food, and weapons.
Fact 15: Ohio is the first state to be carved from the original Northwest Territory of the United States.
Fact 16: On March 1, 1803, Ohio became the 17th member to join the union that went on to create the United States of America. In its time since joining the union, Ohio has grown from a low technology agrarian based state to a state that reflects the urbanisation, industrialisation, and ethnic mix that is the modern United States of America.
Fact 17: 8 US presidents have been born in the state of Ohio. Significantly, Ohio has supplied by birth or residence eight US presidents: William H. Harrison, Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, James A. Garfield, Benjamin Harrison, William McKinley, William H. Taft, and Warren G. Harding.
Fact 18: During the great blizzard of February 10, 1899, the lowest ever temperature of −39.5 °C was recorded in the state in the town of Milligan.
Fact 19: On July 21, 1934, a record high temperature of 45 °C was recorded near the town of Gallipolis.
Fact 20: Ohio’s capital and largest city is Columbus.
Fact 21: Both Monday Magazine and BusinessWeek have rated the City of Columbus as one of the best cities to live in, in the USA. In 2016, Money Magazine called Columbus, “One of the 6 best cities in the country”. Meanwhile, BusinessWeek called Columbus, “One of the best 50 cities in the US.”
Fact 22: Ohio’s tallest mountain, if you can call it a mountain, is Campbell Hill at 472 meters. It can be found near the city of Bellefontaine, in Logan County.
Fact 23: The lowest point in the state can be found near Cincinnati where the Miami River and the Ohio River join together. Here the land is only 132 meters above sea level.
Fact 24: Lake Erie, which borders the state of Ohio, is the shallowest of all 5 of the Great Lakes with an average depth of only 19 meters.
Fact 25: Ohio often experiences extremely bad storms that form over Lake Erie. These storms move south and then make land fall on Ohio’s Northern border with Erie. These storms then flow inland brigning high winds and deluges of rain. This leads to higher than typical levels of erosion to the Ohio/Erie border as the lake slowly erodes the shore extending itself south.
Fact 26: The state’s official tree is the Ohio buckeye. The Buckeye is most commonly found along rivers and creeks. It is a native species that is mostly found in the Midwestern and lower Great Plain regions of the United States.
Fact 27: Bird watchers would have a bonanza in Ohio with over 350 species of birds known to live in the state. And over half of those spaces are native and unique to Ohio!
Fact 28: And it’s not just birds the state is rich in. Ohio also has over 150 Fish species including Muskellunge, Perch Walleye, Trout, and Bass. Additionally, Ohio is home too many of the USAs most common mammals including rabbits, groundhogs, skinks, foxes, raccoons, deer, and opossums.
Fact 29: People with white European ancestry make up over 4/5th of the population in Ohio.
Fact 30: In 1788 a group of New Englanders, who fought in the American Revolution, founded the first official settlement by white Europeans in the territory that would eventually become known as Ohio. The settlement was established at Marietta near the River Ohio.
Fact 31: By 1650, a Native American tribe called the Iroquois had settled between the Great Lakes and the River Ohio in present-day Ohio.
Fact 32: Ohio is home to the largest old order Amish community in the world.
Fact 33: 76% of Ohio’s population consider themselves Christian. Of this 76%, 21% are Catholic, 22% consider themselves Protestants, and 26% consider themselves Evangelical Protestant.
Fact 34: Ohio saw a huge influx of European immigrants throughout the 1920s. Large numbers of Italians, Polish people, Hungarians, and Russians came looking for work in the different heavy industries that were abundant throughout the state.
Fact 35: By 1853, Ohio was the third largest iron and steel producer in the US.
Fact 36: Ulysses S. Grant was born in Ohio. The renowned general, who eventually went on to become American president from 1869 to 1877, Led the Unionists to Victory over the Southern Confederate army.
Fact 37: Ohio is home to the largest Air Museum in the world. With over 360 aircraft and missiles on display, the National Museum of the United States air force is the official museum of the United States Air Force. It is located on a working airforce base called Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and can be found 10 kilometres north-east of Dayton, Montgomery County.
Fact 38: Marietta, the first permanent settlement in the Northwest Territory, was named after Queen Marie Antoinette of France. She was the last Queen of France just before the French Revolution ended the French monarchy.
Fact 39: Since 1933, the Cardinal has been the official bird of Ohio. Cardinals can be found all-year-round in the state and can easily be identified by their red plumage.
Fact 40: 8.7% of the state’s area is covered in water. This amounts to an area of 10,040 km2.
Fact 41: The State has a total of 88 counties.
Fact 42: Ohio has the nation’s 10th largest highway network. Ohio is home to over 46,813 km of roads. This is more than enough road to stretch all the way around the world.
Fact 43: There is just over 8,000 km of railroad in the state of Ohio. Whereas the USA has a total of 225,308 km of Railroad track in total. That means Ohio makes up only 3.5% of all the tracks in the USA.
Fact 44: Ohio is the third largest US State for manufacturing goods.
Fact 45: In 1833, Oberlin College became the first college in the United States to allow women to study there. Two years later, in 1835, they extended there education programs so African-Americans could also attend.
Fact 46: Ohio is considered to be at the very centre of the USA’s economy and industry. And for good reason! The State is within an 8 hour drive of 50% of North America’s, Canada included, population. It’s also within 8 hours drive of 70% of North America’s manufacturing centres.
Fact 47: A number of animals and plants are used to represent the state of Ohio. They are:
- The Buckeye – A species of tree which as represented the state since 1953
- A white-tailed dear – Represented the state since 1987
- A Red Carnation – A flower that has represented the state since 1904
- A Cardinal – A bird which has represented Ohio since 1933
- A Ladybug – Has represented the state since 1975.
- A Black Racer Snake – Representing Ohio since 1995
- A Spotted Salamander – An amphibian.
Fact 48: The Scioto is the longest river that is entirely within Ohio’s borders. It flows for 372 kilometres. It eventually meets the Ohio River in the south of the state.
Fact 49: Ohio is the second largest producer of automobiles of all kinds including cars, busses, and trucks, behind the state of Michigan.
Fact 50: 15,000 years ago, Ohio, or at least what would eventually become Ohio, was inhabited by an ancient Paleo-Indian Culture called the Clovis.
Fact 51: The State has 247 cities with a population of over 5,000 citizens.
Fact 52: Ohio is home to the first African American to win an Olympic gold Medal. At the 1924 Paris Olympic Games, Dehart Hubbard won gold while competing in the Long Jump.
Fact 53: Ohio’s shoreline on Lake Erie is 502 km long.
Fact 54: In 1920, the first American pro football league called the American Professional Football Association, was formed in Canton, Ohio.
Fact 55: The Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield has one claim to fame: it’s where the 1994 film The Shawshank Redemption was filmed. Thousands of fans visit and tour the reformation centre every year for a chance to glimpse buildings and scenery used in the film.
Fact 56: The average income of people living in the state of Ohio is $54,021. That makes the people of Ohio, on average, the 36th highest earners in the USA.
Fact 57: Having built upon the work of Thomas Edison’s electrically powered light bulb, Charles F. Brush from Cleveland, Ohio wanted to test his newly invented “Brush Light” for city street lighting. After offering the chance to many cities in his native Ohio, and having no city councils take him up on his offer, he started to offer his invention to other cities in other states. Eventually, Wabash in the state of Indiana accepted his offer. It become the first City in the world to have electrically powered street lighting.
Fact 58: In 1933, Superman was created in Cleveland by high school students, and “Comic Geeks,” Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel.
Fact 59: Ohio didn’t actually become an official state until 1953 when president Dwight D. Eisenhower signed and backdated the admittance of Ohio into the United States union. For some reason, even though Thomas Jefferson set out Ohio’s state boundaries in 1803, somebody forgot to actually sign off on Ohio’s statehood.
Fact 60: Adopted in 1902, Ohio’s flag is the only non-rectangular state flag in the USA. The Flag is burgee-shaped.
Fact 61: Some of insignia that represent Ohio include:
- Tomato Juice as of 1965
- Ohio Flint as of 1965
- Great White Trillium which is a wild flower
- Isotelus Maximus, a fossil trilobite which has represented the state since 1985
Fact 62: It wasn’t until 1816 that Columbus become the state capital. Before this the cities of Chillicothe and Zanesville shared the role.
Fact 63: Akron was the first city in the USA to use an electrically powered police car.
Fact 64: Here are some famous faces who were born in Ohio: Steven Spielberg, Halle Berry, and Katie Holmes.
Fact 65: 93% of all the citizens that live in Ohio speak English as their first language. A small percentage, 2.2%, speak Spanish, The remaining, 4.5% speak anything from German to Italian as their first language.
Fact 66: Ohio is sometimes thought of as the fast food capital of the world. The reason for this is that two of America’s biggest fast food chains, Wendy’s and Arby’s, started life in the state. Wendy’s started in the state capital city of Columbus and Arby’s in the city of Boardman.
Fact 67: Ohio born President William Henry Harrison holds the record for two things. First, he had the longest inauguration speech in US History. It was 8,445 words long and took 1 hour 45 minutes for him to deliver it to the crowd. Second, he holds the record for the shortest term as president. After taking office he died one month later.
Fact 68: In 1891, John William Lambert, from Ohio City, invented the first gasoline powered American car.
Fact 69: If you want to become president of the United States, you better win Ohio. No presidential candidate has gone on to become president without winning Ohio since John F. Kennedy in 1960. So next time you watch America’s political engine move into full throttle when its presidential election time, keep an eye open for who wins Ohio.
Fact 70: Ohio has a population density of 109 people per square kilometre. That’s about 3 times higher than the average US population density which sits at 36 people per square kilometre.
Fact 71: With over 55,500 students, The Ohio State University is the 3rd largest education centre in the entire United States. The only Universities that are bigger are the University of Texas and the University of Central Florida.
Fact 72: The official state slogan is “So Much to Discover.”
Fact 73: Ohio’s economy is heavily industrialised which helps make it the 7th most productive state in the USA with a GDP of 552.5 Billion US dollars. For comparison, the USA’s Total GDP is 20.54 Trillion US dollars. That means Ohio contributes about 1/40th of the total GDP of the nation.
Fact 74: A bar at the Beer Barrel Saloon in Put-in-Bay on South Bass Island on Lake Erie holds the Guinness World Record for the longest bar. It’s 124 meters long. That’s a lot of beer to drink!
Fact 75: In 1985, Ohio decided to give itself an official state song. So they chose the Rock song “Hang On Sloopy”.