Ohio is one of the most important states in the USA. It’s a center of industry and many great names in American history and even pop culture call Ohio home. Learn more with these 70 Ohio facts.
- Ohio covers an estimated total area of 116,000 km².
- Water makes up an estimated 10,000 km² or 9% of the state’s area.
- An estimated 11.8 million people live in the state today.
- Ohio has an estimated population density of 109 people for every km².
- At its lowest point on the Ohio River, Ohio has an estimated elevation of 139 meters above sea level.
- Native Americans lived in what would become Ohio in 13,000 BC.
- The French founded the first European settlements in the region during the 18th century.
- Britain gained control of the region after the Seven Years War.
- The USA gained Ohio as part of the Treaty of Paris of 1783 that ended the American War of Independence.
- Ohio became the 17th State to join the Union in 1803, under US President Thomas Jefferson.
- Industry steadily grew across Ohio over the 19th century.
- In 1830, US President Andrew Jackson expelled the Native Americans in Ohio.
- The state stayed loyal to the Union during the American Civil War.
- Ohio remained an industrial powerhouse throughout the 20th century.
- In recent years, Ohio has diversified its economy to keep up with the 21st century.
- Columbus City is Ohio’s capital and biggest city.
- The state falls in the USA’s Eastern Time Zone, or GMT-5.
- The people of Ohio sometimes call themselves Buckeyes after the Ohio Buckeye Tree.
- The state has the nickname, “The Buckeye State”.
- Ohio also has the only non-rectangular flag out of all US states.
Ohio has distinctive geography.
For starters, its position has turned into crossroads for trade and movement between the American Northeast and the Midwest. Pennsylvania is to the east, West Virginia is to the southeast, Kentucky is to the south, Indiana is to the west, and Michigan is to the northwest. Lake Erie defines Ohio’s northern border, further expanding the state’s trading capacity, in particular, through the port cities of Cleveland and Toledo.
The Ohio River similarly defines the state’s southern border and also expands its trading capacity through river trade and transport. Ironically, following a US Supreme Court ruling in 1980, most of the Ohio River legally belongs to Kentucky and West Virginia. Ohio itself owns only the portion of the river between the modern high-water mark and a 1792 low-water mark.
Earthquakes regularly erupt in the state.
Ohio actually forms part of the Southern Great Lakes Seismic Zone and even has a seismic zone of its own, the Western Ohio Seismic Zone. Scientists have actually recorded an estimated 200 earthquakes in Ohio since 1776. That said, most of them barely register to the state’s residents, with the strongest quake recorded taking place in 1937. With its epicenter in Western Ohio, the quake had a magnitude of 5.4 and shook the village of Anna in Shelby County.
Other major quakes in Ohio include the 1884 Lima Earthquake, which had a magnitude of 4.8. There’s also the magnitude 4.1 Portsmouth Earthquake of 1901, and the 1986 LeRoy Earthquake. The LeRoy Earthquake had a magnitude of 5 and triggered aftershocks of up to magnitude 2.4 for the next two months.
Campbell Hill makes up the state’s highest point.
Located in the city of Bellefontaine, Campbell Hill rises up to a height of 472 meters. In 1951, during the Cold War, the US Air Force opened Bellefontaine Air Force Station on the hill. There they based an early-warning radar for the 664th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron. The formation of NORAD in 1958 led to a shift in military strategy, and the US Air Force closed Bellefontaine Air Force Station in 1969.
Today, the Ohio Hi-Point Career Center occupies the hill and has done so since 1974. More recently, a petition to rename the hill after former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin arrived before the White House in 2015.
Ohio has a largely uniform climate.
Most of Ohio enjoys a humid continental climate, featuring hot and humid summers as well cool to cold winters. Southern Ohio makes up the exception, instead having a humid subtropical climate featuring hot and humid summers with mild winters. Temperatures in the state can get as high as 45 degrees Celsius in summer, and as low as 39 degrees below zero Celsius in winter.
Tornadoes also sometimes strike the state, but Ohio itself does not form part of North America’s Tornado Alley. Severe snowstorms also regularly strike Ohio’s shores along Lake Erie in winter, giving the area the local nickname of the Snowbelt.
The state has various symbols.
These include the spotted salamander, which makes up Ohio’s official state amphibian. There’s also the cardinal, the official state bird, and the red carnation, the official state flower. Ohio also has an official state insect, the ladybug, as well as an official state mammal, the white-tailed deer. The black racer snake makes up the official state reptile, while the buckeye tree makes up the official state tree.
Tomato juice makes up the official state beverage, while the Isotelus maximus, a trilobite fossil from the Ordovician Period around 485 million years ago makes up the official state fossil. Ohio also has an official state gemstone, the Ohio flint.
The Adena Culture make up the earliest known people to live in what would become Ohio.
They first appeared around 500 BC, and over the following centuries spread out across Ohio and the surrounding areas. Archeologists have found evidence of the Adena Culture’s influence in Indiana, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. They mostly used stone tools and weapons, but archeologists have found copper axes and jewelry from the Adena Culture.
Archeologists have also found tablets with varying geometric designs, the purpose for which remains unclear. Some archeologists think the Adena used the tablets as stamps, or even to outline tattoo designs before applying them to their bodies. The Adena Culture also left various earthworks in the form of mounds across the lands they lived in before disappearing during the 1st century AD.
The Adena Culture left behind Ohio’s Great Serpent Mound.
Located in Ohio’s Adams County, the mound takes its name from its appearance: a long, winding earthwork that gives the impression of a snake. Following the course of the Ohio Brush Creek in the Serpent Mound Crater, scientists have dated the mound to around 320 BC. However, other evidence suggests that while Adena first built the mound, later cultures rebuilt it during the 11th century. In particular, they point to a supernova event in that century, as well as a visit by Halley’s Comet.
This has led scientists to think that the modern appearance of the mound may not match its original appearance as built by the Adena. Instead, later cultures reworked the mound to honor Halley’s Comet as they saw it wind its way across the sky.
Various cultures developed in the wake of the Adena Culture’s disappearance.
This included the Hopewell Culture, which first arose around 100 BC, and which expanded into Ohio after the Adenas disappeared. Some scientists even think that the Hopewell Culture may actually have evolved from the Adenas. The Hopewell Culture collapsed sometime during the 8th century, with the Mississippian Culture rising in its wake. Oral traditions from the Sioux claim their descent from the Mississippian Culture and claim their control over Ohio until the 13th century.
Archeologists have also found evidence of other cultures coexisting with the Missippians in Ohio at the time. These include the Fort Ancient People, who may have belonged to the Shawnees. There’s also the Whittlesey Focus People and the Monongahela Culture. All these cultures had disappeared or had left Ohio by the 17th century.
The Iroquois gained control of the region in the mid-17th century.
This resulted in the aftermath of the Beaver Wars, with the Iroquois fighting against other Native Americans over the right to supply and sell fur to the Europeans. The Iroquois enjoyed an alliance with the Dutch, who wanted a monopoly on the North American fur trade. Despite French support, the Erie, Huron, Mohican, and other Native American peoples found themselves driven by the Iroquois from not just Ohio, but also New England.
The fighting only ended when the war between the British and the Dutch saw the latter driven from North America, depriving the Iroquois of their support. By then, however, the Iroquois had already gained control of Ohio.
The USA included Ohio in the new Northwest Territory in 1787.
This resulted from the Northwest Ordinance and included parts of not just modern Ohio, but also modern Indiana. The Northwest Territory grew even further in 1795 when the US government forced the Native American Western Confederation to surrender lands in the region.
The Northwest Ordinance also banned slavery in the territory, while also recognizing the possibility of lands in the territory to become states once their population reached 60,000 or more people. In fact, the Ohio Country would gain recognition as having stepped onto the path to statehood in 1801. This, despite the fact that Ohio only had an estimated population of 45,000 at the time.
The US government also settled veterans in the region at the time.
This resulted from the efforts of General Rufus Putnam, who had overseen the building of fortifications during the American Revolution. After the war, he and Manasseh Cutler led the campaign to form the Northwest Territory. Putnam explicitly supported the campaign on the basis of seeing land granted to war veterans. This would serve as compensation for their sacrifices during the American Revolution. In fact, war veterans founded the first post-revolutionary settlement in Ohio, Marietta City.
As a devoted Puritan, Putnam also pushed for educational programs in the new territory and succeeded in getting lands explicitly reserved for schools. He later served as a judge in the Northwest Territory’s first court. And in 1802, he also served in the convention that drafted Ohio’s state constitution. All these would earn him the nickname of the Father of Ohio.
The US Congress never actually passed a resolution recognizing Ohio’s statehood until 1953.
That’s not to say there’s no legal basis for Ohio’s statehood, as the US Congress did ratify Ohio’s state constitution in 1803. The US Congress just never actually recognized Ohio as the 17th State of the Union, as this practice only began in 1812, with Louisiana’s statehood as the 18th State of the Union. Historians only discovered this fact in 1953, when Ohio began preparations for its 150th anniversary.
This led the Ohio state legislature to draft and pass a bill to recognize them as the 17th State of the Union. In honor of the occasion, they retroactively dated the bill to 1803 and had it delivered to Washington D.C. on horseback. The US Congress ratified the bill in August of 1953.
Ohio moved its capital around several times in the early 19th century.
Chillicothe became Ohio’s first capital on becoming a state in 1803 and would remain the capital until 1810. In that year, the state legislature moved the capital to Zanesville as a part of a compromise in the passing of certain laws. Zanesville remained the capital for only two years, with the state government returning to Chillicothe in 1812.
It remained the capital for another four years, when the state government again moved the capital in 1816, to Columbus, which stood near the geographic center of Ohio. This proved the final relocation, with Columbus serving as Ohio’s state capital from 1816 to the present day.
The state became the center of the American steel industry during the 19th century.
Ohio opened its first industrial ironworks in Youngstown in 1804, with other ironworks opening across the state over the following decades. The state’s rich coal deposits further stimulated the growth of the iron and steel industry, with the state having 48 blast furnaces by the 1850s. Most of them stood in Southern Ohio. However, Cleveland in Northern Ohio would become the third-largest producer of iron and steel in the USA by 1853.
In fact, Ohio’s Cleveland Rolling Mill Company would become one of three companies that merged to form the metallurgical giant US Steel, which remains one of the largest steel producers in the world today. Otis Steel Company later opened the first open-hearth furnace in Cleveland, and by 1892, the state as a whole had become the second-largest producer of iron and steel in the USA.
Ohio and Michigan once even fought a war against each other in 1835.
Specifically, the Toledo War, which took place between 1835 and 1836, over a strip of land between Ohio and Michigan. Despite the name, no one died or even suffered injuries during this war.
And while shots were fired, they were only for warning. In the end, the states compromised under pressure from the US Congress. Ohio kept the Toledo Strip, while Michigan gained land in the Upper Peninsula extending into Lake Michigan.
Ohio made many contributions to the Union during the Civil War.
All three of the Union’s top generals, Ulysses Grant, William Sherman, and Philip Sheridan, came from Ohio. Thirty-five thousand men from Ohio fought and died for the Union during the Civil War. Another 30,000 men from Ohio also suffered various injuries in the war. When Confederate General Stonewall Jackson threatened Washington D.C. in 1862, 5,000 men volunteered in Ohio to defend the capital.
The Ohio River became a major route to send supplies and men to the frontlines. The same also went for the state’s railroads. Ohio’s industries enjoyed similar importance, with much of the steel used to make guns and bullets for the Union Army coming from Ohio.
Ohio became especially celebrity famous during the 20th century.
The Superman franchise began in Ohio during the 1930s, with Jerry Spiegel and Joe Shuster publishing their work with Action Comics. They did so in response to the rise of fascism in Europe and Asia, and Nazi Germany. In fact, many of Superman’s early chapters involved the superhero fighting and defeating the Nazis. Warner Brothers also originally came from Ohio, only later moving to California.
Steven Spielberg, who directed famous films like Jaws, E.T., as well as the Indiana Jones and Jurassic Park series among others, also originally came from Ohio. Famous musicians from Ohio include Dean Martin, the O’Jays, and Dave Grohl.
It also became infamous for its role in the anti-war movements of the 1970s.
Specifically, the May 4 Massacre in 1970, over an anti-war protest at Kent State University. The protest erupted after the USA invaded Cambodia as part of the greater anti-Communist campaign in Southeast Asia centered on the Vietnam War. Although the protest started peacefully, it quickly escalated to the protesters assaulting police, government buildings, and other symbols of authority. This led to the declaration of a state of emergency, and the National Guard arriving to restore order.
On May 4, after the protesters refused to disperse and started throwing rocks and bottles at the National Guard, the guardsmen finally opened fire. This led to the death of four protesters and serious injuries to another nine protesters. The shootings caused widespread outrage across the USA and only strengthened the growing anti-war movement.
The Great Recession of the 2000s hit Ohio hard.
It began with the housing bubble collapse in 2005, which caused the price of homes and other landed properties across the USA to drop sharply. This led to large numbers of people abandoning their mortgages, which triggered a financial crisis that caused banks to go bankrupt or file for government bailouts.
In Ohio, the Great Recession caused an estimated 377,000 people to lose their jobs and set a state record of 89,053 foreclosures for 2009 alone. Also in that year, the state poverty rate rose to 13.5%, while average household incomes across the state fell by 7%.
Ohio’s capital of Columbus goes back to pre-colonial times.
Archeological evidence actually points to Native Americans living in what would become the Columbus Metropolitan Area as far back as 1000 BC. These include mounds belonging to the Adena, Hopewell, and Fort Ancient Cultures. Most of these mounds lie outside Columbus’ city boundaries, with the exception of the Shrum Mound. Regardless of their locations, however, all the mounds enjoy protection as public parks and historical sites.
Europeans would not arrive at Columbus until the 17th century when French traders set up an outpost in the area. British traders briefly had a presence in the 1740s, until their expulsion by the French. However, the British would eventually drive the French out of not just Columbus, but also the entirety of Ohio after the Seven Years War.
It shares its name with the famous explorer Christopher Columbus.
In fact, it’s the largest city in the world named after the explorer, although it remains unclear who actually named the city. The most common theory among historians generally attributes the city’s naming to widespread admiration for Christopher Columbus among the city’s first permanent settlers. It has, however, caused controversy ever since the late 20th century, with Native Americans, in particular, criticizing the name.
They point out how Columbus’ discovery of the New World enabled colonialism, imperialism, and slavery. This led to the removal of various memorials to Columbus in the city over the 1990s. And as part of the 2020 George Floyd Protests, calls even went up to rename the city.
Columbus struggled with its location early in its history.
This comes from the fact that the city lies next to the Scioto and Olentangy Rivers. In fact, the first permanent settlement in the area, founded in 1797, lasted only a year before a flood wiped it out in 1798. Although the settlers rebuilt their settlement, the flood forced them to build further inland than originally planned. Even then, floods remained a major danger, as did disease caused by the region’s wet and humid state.
Malaria, in particular, proved especially widespread at the time, as did cholera. This forced the city government to establish a Board of Health in 1833, which later evolved into the modern Columbus Public Health Department.
The city became a major railway hub from the 1850s onward.
It started with the Columbus and Xenia Railroad, completed in 1850, and linked Columbus with the town of Xenia. Other railways followed in 1851, linking Columbus with the cities of Cleveland and Cincinnati. By the 1860s, Columbus’ status as a national transport hub led to it becoming a terminus for the Underground Railroad. While not a literal railroad itself, it referred to various clandestine routes used by escaping slaves from the Southern USA to reach the northern states.
Later on, the Civil War further encouraged the growth of both the state and the city’s railroads. By 1875, eight different railroads passed through the city, linking Columbus with other cities and states.
The city also became famous for its arches in the early 20th century.
So much so that it gained the nickname of Arch City, which goes back to 1888 when the city erected arches to light its streets as part of a Civil War veterans’ convention. The practice continued over the following decades, with Columbus using wooden arches to mount streetlights, in particular, across the length of High Street. They later also used the arches to carry the electrical lines to power the electric trams as part of the city’s public transport system.
Advances in streetlight and electric transmission led to the arches getting taken down in 1914. This, however, caused a public outcry, with citizens having since come to see the arches as part of the city’s legacy. However, it would take until 2002 before the arches returned, reconstructed from metal as part of a city-wide celebration of the city’s historical legacy.
A flood devastated the city in 1913.
Specifically, the Great Flood of 1913, which took place between March 23 and 26 of that year. Heavy rains in the Eastern and Central USA caused rivers to swell and overflow their banks. In the end, the estimated death toll amounted to 650 people. Ohio suffered the most, with up to 470 deaths coming from the state alone. Of those, 90 deaths took place in Columbus, with thousands more left homeless. This eventually led to an intervention by the US Army, the engineers of which drew up plans to prevent future floods in the city.
These included widening the river, building new bridges, as well as floodwalls along the banks. It would take until after WWI and for the economy to boom before these plans were acted on.
The 2010 Foreclosure Crisis hit Columbus badly in 2010.
Also known as Foreclosuregate, this is a series of widespread improper foreclosures by banks across the USA. Federal investigations, court cases, and even attempts by the US Congress are then opened to refine foreclosure law. The damage, however, was already too substantial, with investor confidence in the banking sector left shaken.
In Columbus alone, the city government had to buy out all the improperly-foreclosed properties, costing the city’s taxpayers millions of dollars. By the time the city had brought the crisis under control in 2011, the city found itself left with an estimated 6,000 vacant properties.
Protests took place in Columbus over the death of George Floyd in 2020.
The protests largely took place in Downtown Columbus, as well as in the Short North and the South Side. They began on May 28, just three days after George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis. Although the protests started out peaceful, it didn’t take long for them to become violent and turn into riots. By May 30, an estimated 100 businesses across Columbus had suffered vandalism from the rioters, forcing the city government to impose a curfew.
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine also intervened, sending in the National Guard to help maintain order in the city. This succeeded in stopping the violence, although the protests continued, with police and even government officials taking part.
Cincinnati is another major city in Ohio.
Mathias Denham, Israel Ludlow, and Robert Patterson established the first settlement on what would become Cincinnati in 1788. They originally named the settlement Losantiville, only for Arthur St. Clair to rename it after the Roman politician and republican hero Cincinnati in 1790. River trade along the Ohio River caused Cincinnati to grow quickly, with cured pork becoming a major export. More than that, it also won Cincinnati a reputation as a food processing center at the time.
The settlement would finally find itself officially recognized as a city in 1819. The population also grew, from an estimated 10,000 people in 1810 to an estimated 25,000 people in 1830.
The city became a major transport hub early on in its history.
In addition to the Ohio River, construction began in 1827 on the Miami and Erie Canal, which would link the Ohio River and Lake Erie together. Built in stages, the canal linked Cincinnati with Middletown by 1827, and on its completion in 1840, with Toledo on Lake Erie. Railroads also began to fan out from Cincinnati by 1836, with the Little Miami Railroad.
Over the following years, the Mad River and Lake Erie Railroads followed, linking Cincinnati with Sandusky Bay on Lake Erie. The city’s rapid growth both in size and population at this time would earn it the nickname “Queen City” from its citizens.
Riots devastated the city in 1884.
Specifically, the Cincinnati Courthouse Riots, which erupted between March 28 and 30 of that year. They erupted over the case of William Berner and Joe Palmer, who murdered their employer William Kirk. Despite seven witness testimonies that made it clear they committed premeditated murder, the jury forced the judge to convict Berner on a manslaughter charge. This caused widespread popular outrage, made even worse by the fact that this only proved the latest in a series of miscarriages of justice over the past decade.
On March 28, a mob attacked the jailhouse planning to lynch Berner. When they couldn’t find him, the mob then tried to burn down the jailhouse and everyone in it. The fighting continued on May 29, made worse when many guards joined the rioters instead. Only the arrival of militia from Columbus ended the violence, but even then newspapers around the USA expressed support and sympathy for the rioters. In the end, 56 people died and 300 suffered injuries from the riots.
A flood devastated the city in 1937.
Specifically, the Ohio River Flood of 1937, which lasted between January and February of that year. The exact days vary between the affected locations, with the flood striking Cincinnati between January 18 and February 5. The flood peaked on January 26, with a depth of 24.4 meters, against the river’s normal maximum depth of 16.8 meters.
This left an estimated 31 km² of the city underwater and forced the city government to cut electrical power for safety reasons. They also cut the public water services, for the similar reason of the flood possibly contaminating the water lines. An estimated 100,000 people lost their homes, but thankfully only 10 people lost their lives because of the flood.
The city also has various nicknames.
We’ve already mentioned Arch City, as well as Queen City, but another one of Cincinnati’s nicknames includes the City of Seven Hills. Much like the city’s name, it references Ancient Rome, with the old city built on top of and around seven hills. Similar to Rome, Cincinnati also stands on and around seven hills: Mount Adams, Mount Auburn, College Hill, Fairmount, Price Hill, Vine Street Hill, and Walnut Hills.
Other nicknames used by the city include “The ‘Nati”, referencing a popular contraction of its name. There’s also the Queen of the West, Cincy, Blue Chip City, and even Porkopolis, referencing its past as a center of pork processing and export.
It is famous for its Cincinnati Chili.
It’s a Mediterranean-spiced meat sauce, served on top of either spaghetti noodles or hotdogs. This spice includes allspice, bay leaves, chili powder, cinnamon, cloves, cumin, and nutmeg. Some recipes even add soupy and unsweetened dark chocolate. Immigrants developed the sauce in the 1920s, and it boomed in popularity in the 1930s. It is one of America’s top 20 iconic dishes as of this day.
While some critics have compared it to chili con carne, professionals see it as closer to Greek pasta sauces instead. Cincinnati Chili also comes served with various toppings, the combinations of which have become known as ways. The three-way makes up the most common combination, which adds shredded cheese to the sauce and spaghetti noodles. The two-way makes up the simplest combination, simply including sauce and spaghetti noodles. There’s also the four-way, which adds onions to the otherwise three-way combination, and the five-way, which adds onions and beans.
Other famous dishes have also come from Cincinnati.
These include Goetta, a meat and grain sausage popularized by German immigrants to the city in the 19th century. The meat usually comes in the form of pork, but variants made from beef also exist. Pin-head oats make up the grain, while salt and spices like bay leaves, pepper, rosemary, and thyme add flavor to the sausage.
Another famous dish from Cincinnati includes mock turtle soup, also popularized by German immigrants to the city in the 19th century. The dish uses organ meats to imitate the texture and flavor of turtle meat. In fact, a calf’s brain counts as the traditional meat ingredient. Other ingredients used in the dish include beef and hard-boiled eggs.
Ohio has a diverse population.
As of 2020, whites make up the majority of the population, at an estimated 80%. Of those, German-Americans make up the plurality of whites, at an estimated 27%. Irish-Americans follow at an estimated 14% of all whites, with Anglo-Americans only making up an estimated 9%. African-Americans make up the second-largest ethnicity in the state, making up an estimated 14% of the population.
Hispanics follow in third place, making up an estimated 4%, followed by Asian-Americans at 3%. Native Americans make up the smallest single ethnicity, making up only an estimated 1% of the population.
The same goes for the state’s religions.
The various Protestant denominations make up the majority, followed by an estimated 53% of the state’s population. Roman Catholics follow at 18%, with other religions like Buddhism, Islam, and Judaism each having a following of 1% in the state’s population. Another 22% of Ohio’s population also admit to not following any one religion.
That said, a 2015 survey found that an estimated 56% of the state’s population considered religion as very important. Another estimated 25% considered it as only somewhat important, while only an estimated 19% saw religion as unimportant. That same survey also found that only an estimated 38% of people in Ohio regularly attend weekly religious services.
The aerospace and military industries have a major presence in Ohio.
In fact, an estimated 16,000 people work in the state’s aerospace and military industry. This ranks Ohio eighth among US states for the number of workers in the sector. Ohio also ranks fifth among US states over the production of aerospace parts and products. Companies in this sector include Aircraft Braking Systems, CFM International, GE Aviation, GE Honda Aero Engines, and the Goodrich Corporation.
Boeing, Northrop-Grumman, and Raytheon also have a presence in the state. Among non-military aerospace companies, Airbus also has a presence in Ohio, having invested an estimated $4 billion in the state so far. Major military products from the state include the M1 Abrams main battle tank used by the US military, as well as the Stryker FSV.
The state also has a solid agricultural sector.
One in eight people in Ohio work in the agricultural sector, currently valued at an estimated $124 billion. The sector has made Ohio the number one producer of Swiss cheese in the USA. It also counts as the country’s third-biggest egg producer.
Ohio also has the third-largest tomato industry in the country. It also produces the sixth-largest amount of soybeans, the eighth-largest amount of pork, and the ninth-largest amount of corn. It also even has the world’s largest ketchup factory, in Sandusky County’s Fremont City. As of 2018, official statistics put the estimated number of farms in the state at 75,000.
The state’s oil industry also goes back to the 19th century.
Oil prospectors first found oil in Ohio in 1836, but commercial production did not begin until 1884. The oil industry steadily grew over the following years, with the Findlay Field soon finding itself joined by oil fields at Lima and Grand Lake. Grand Lake, in particular, would find itself tapped by over 100 wells in less than 10 years. Ohio’s early oil industry peaked in 1896, having produced 24 million barrels of oil in a single year. This made the state the largest producer of oil in the USA until 1903. Afterwards, both California and Oklahoma quickly overtook the state.
The Ohio oil industry began to fluctuate. Even worse, the inefficient early methods of oil extraction wasted a lot of oil, and quickly depleted the fields. Today, with an annual production of 5.55 million barrels of oil per year, Ohio counts as the USA’s 17th-largest producer of oil.
Ohio also has rich coal and gas reserves.
Commercial production of gas in Ohio began in 1885, with the Bowling Green gas deposits. Much like the early oil industry, the early gas industry’s inefficient methods wasted a lot of gas, while also quickly depleting the gas deposits known at the time. Today, Ohio produces an estimated 2.41 billion cubic meters of gas per year, enough to heat an estimated 1 million homes.
Ohio also produces an estimated 26 million tons of coal per year, making it the USA’s 11th-largest producer of coal. As of 2010, various companies in Ohio have received state investments to research the transmutation of coal into oil.
The state has also made investments in solar energy.
As of 2021, solar energy provides an estimated 500 MW of electricity for Ohio’s needs. Bowling Green has the state’s largest solar farm, completed in 2017, and produces an estimated 20 MW of electricity. Other major solar farms in the country include a 12 MW solar farm at Upper Sandusky, completed in 2010.
Perrysburg also has one of the largest solar panel factories in the USA, able to produce 600 MW’s worth of solar panels in a year. The US military in Ohio has also contributed to the solar energy sector, with the Ohio Air National Guard’s 180th Fighter Wing using a 1.2 MW solar farm to provide all its energy needs.
Wind power also enjoys strong support in Ohio.
Wind power in Ohio goes back to the 19th century when Charles Brush built an experimental wind turbine in Cleveland. It operated between 1886 and 1900, producing an estimated 12 KW of electricity per year. It wouldn’t be until the 1970s before wind power made a comeback, with NASA developing experimental wind turbine technology in the state.
Today, wind power provides an estimated 2% of the state’s energy needs, at 738 MW of electricity per year. Ohio’s biggest wind farm stands at Blue Creek, built in 2012 with 152 turbines producing an estimated 304 MW of electricity. Government-sponsored plans also exist to expand the state’s wind power production by over 800 MW over the following years.
Ohio also has a reputation as a leader in fuel cell technology.
In fact, Ohio even has the nickname of the Fuel Cell Corridor for the sheer number of its companies in the sector. Students from Ohio State University even developed the world’s fastest fuel cell-powered vehicle in 2007. Today, an estimated 800 companies produce and develop fuel cells in the state, employing an estimated 60,000 people.
These include Graftech, the HydroGen Corporation, Ovonic Battery Systems, and Rolls-Royce Fuel Systems, among others. Columbus City even offers an estimated $33 million in incentives for fuel cell companies to invest in the city. This, in addition to $100 million of tax incentives offered by the state government.
Other energy sources also have a presence in Ohio.
These include geothermal energy, with Ohio having the world’s first ground source heat pumps in 1948. Hydroelectricity also has a presence in Ohio, with five hydroelectric plants along the Ohio River. Ohio also has two nuclear power plants, with a third currently under production. Piketon in Ohio even once had a uranium enrichment plant, used to produce various uranium products for civilian and military uses.
The French nuclear company Areva also opened a nuclear reprocessing plant to handle nuclear waste in 2010. Prospectors have noted that Ohio’s significant uranium ore deposits give the state’s nuclear industry good chances for future expansion.
The state also has a solid automobile sector.
In fact, an Ohio native, Charles Kettering, invented the self-starter, which helped make cars and other vehicles become mainstream. Today, Ohio’s automobile industry has a value of an estimated $16 billion. It also produces an estimated 14% of the USA’s automobile output. This includes an estimated 2 million vehicles or an estimated 16% of the vehicles produced in the USA.
Auto companies in the state include General Motors, which produces the most vehicles in the state, at an estimated 37%. Honda follows in second place, producing an estimated 36% of all vehicles made in Ohio. Other auto companies operating in Ohio include DaimlerChrysler, as well as Ford.
Various other industries also have a presence in Ohio.
The insurance industry has a major presence in the state, with Ohio counting as the sixth among US states when it comes to the number of people working in the sector. The state also has the third-most number of claim examiners in the entire USA. Rubber and plastic manufacturing also makes up a large part of the state economy. So much so that Ohio actually counts as the top US state in rubber and plastic production.
Various robotics companies also operate in the state, such as Yaskawa America, Robotics Research, and FANUC Robotics America Inc. AT&F Steel in Cleveland has the USA’s biggest laser welding facility, while Lockheed Martin produces laser-targeted sniper systems in Ohio.
The state has a solid transportation infrastructure network.
In fact, the Lincoln Highway, the USA’s first trans-continental highway, passes through Ohio. It links New York City on the Atlantic Seaboard with San Francisco on the West Coast. Ohio’s Main Market Route 3 even became part of the highway in 1913. Another one of the USA’s trans-continental highways, US Route 40, also passes through Ohio.
The state also has four different international airports, with Cleveland Hopkins International Airport as the biggest and most important. The US military also separately operates two other major airports for their own purposes. These include Rickenbacker International Airport and Wright Patterson Air Force Base.
Ohio has given the country seven presidents.
This earned the state the nickname “Mother of Presidents” and is rivaled only by the state of Virginia. These presidents include Ulysses Grant, who had previously served as a general in the Union Army during the Civil War. There’s also Rutherford Hayes, who succeeded Grant as President of the USA after he finished his second term of office. James Garfield, the second US President to die by assassination, also came from Ohio, as did Benjamin Harrison.
William McKinley, the third US President to die by assassination, and who previously led the country in the Spanish-American and American-Philippine Wars, also came from Ohio. Both Presidents William Taft and Warren Harding also came from Ohio.
It is infamous for voter suppression.
It started in 1994 when Ohio adopted a policy of dropping the names of infrequent voters from the list of registered voters. This eventually led to a lawsuit in 2016, that Ohio’s voter policy violated a 1993 law and a 2002 law protecting citizens’ right to vote. A federal court ruled against the state, but only with regard to the 2016 US Elections.
Even then, analysts have concluded that had the court not ruled as it did, thousands of citizens in Ohio would have found themselves unable to vote. They also accused the state of having deprived an estimated 2 million citizens of the right to vote since 2011. This later earned Ohio the status of the 17th hardest place to vote in the USA.
Ohio participates in various sports.
The National Football League (NFL) started in Ohio as the American Professional Football Association in 1920. Today, the Cincinnati Bengals and the Cleveland Browns jointly represent the state in the NFL. Ironically, Ohio has never won in the Super Bowl ever since its beginning in 1967.
In other sports, the Cleveland Cavaliers represent the state in the NBA, while the Cincinnati Reds and the Cleveland Guardians play for Ohio in major league baseball. Similarly, the Columbus Crew SC and the FC Cincinnati represent the state in major league soccer. The state also participates in hockey, with the Columbus Blue Jackets participating in the National Hockey League.