Ohio, abbreviated as OH and O, is a state in the United States that, together with Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin, form the so-called Northeast Central States. Adjacent to Indiana in the west, Lake Erie and Michigan in the north, Pennsylvania in the east, West Virginia in the southeast and Kentucky in the southwest.
Ohio has a total area of approximately 116,100 km2, and with 11,658,609 residents (US Census, 2017) is the 7th most populous state in the United States. Ohio was admitted as the 17th state of the United States on March 1, 1803. The capital and largest city is Columbus.
The name is after the Ohio River, Iraqi O-he-yo, ‘beautiful (big) river’. The state is often called The Buckeye State, after the buck-eyed tree, a formerly widespread relative of the horse chestnut.
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Geography and climate
Ohio is part of the North American central lowland area, leveled by the glacial glaciers and covered by the bottom moors. In southeastern Ohio, the flat land is intersected by stream valleys. A moraine series forms the watershed between Erie in the north and the Ohio River in the south.
The state has an inland climate, with an average temperature of about 22 °C in July and approx. −2 °C in January. 15 per cent of the area is forest, 47 per cent cultivated land.
Of the population, 82.2 percent are considered white, of which 3.8 percent are Hispanics; 12.9 percent as Black / African American and 2.3 percent Asians (US Census, 2017). Ohio had a population growth of 4.7 percent in the period 1990–2000, while the national average for the same period was a growth of 13.1 percent. In the years 2000-2010, growth in Ohio was 1.6 percent, while the United States had a total growth of 9.7 percent. Further to 2015, Ohio saw growth of only 0.7 percent, compared to five percent across the United States.
About 80 percent of the population lives in cities. The largest cities are the capital of Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Toledo, Akron and Dayton. There are eleven universities, the largest in Columbus. Oberlin College was the first college in the United States to accommodate both women and men (1833). Wilberforce University was one of the first higher institutions for blacks (1870). The largest denominations are Roman Catholic, Methodist and Lutheran. Eight presidents have come from Ohio.
Ohio sends two senators and 16 representatives to Congress.
Ohio is one of the big agricultural belt in the Midwest, but the industry is still important, even though the service industries are now larger. Employment (2010): industry 17 per cent, trade, transport and supply 19 per cent, service professions 25 per cent, health and social care 18 per cent, finance 6 per cent, retail trade 12 per cent and ten per cent in hotel and restaurant operations. In 2016, unemployment was 4.9 per cent. The western part of Ohio belongs to the corn belt. It grows wheat, oats, soybeans in the northwest, tobacco in the southwest, and fruits and vegetables at Lake Erie. In addition to a substantial pig and cattle holding, the production of milk and milk products is important.
In 2005, Ohio had 1.3 million pigs, 142,000 sheep, 36 million chickens and 42 million broilers. To the east and southeast, the Appalachian coalfield reaches Ohio. In the northwest and southeast are petroleum, in many places natural gas, in the northeast salt. There are large limestone quarries with cement production. The production of clay products is greater than in any other state. Iron ore, transported across the seas to the ports of Cleveland and Toledo, provides the basis for the large iron and steel industry, especially in the eastern border, Canton and Cleveland. However, the machine industry employs more. There is otherwise a large chemical, rubber and glass industry. The timber industry, especially deciduous, is still important.
Ohio was the subject of British-French strife in the 18th century, until France in 1763 surrendered all land east of the Mississippi. In 1774 the area was joined to Québec. After the War of Independence (1775–1783), it came under the United States, where it belonged to the Northwest Territory from 1787 to 1800. The colonization of the area began in 1788. In 1800, Ohio became its own territory, and in 1803 Ohio became the 17th state of the United States.