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The traditional county seat and largest city is Cleveland. The county is bisected by the Cuyahoga River, which serves as its namesake. The name is derived from the Iroquoian word Cuyahoga, which means 'crooked river'. Cuyahoga County forms the core of the Greater Cleveland Metropolitan Area and the Cleveland–Akron–Canton Combined Statistical Area.
Former U.S. President James A. Garfield was born in what was Cuyahoga County's Orange Township.
Cuyahoga County in 1874
See also: History of Cleveland
After the discovery of the New World, the land that became Cuyahoga County was originally part of the French colony of Canada (New France), which was ceded in 1763 to Great Britain and renamed Province of Quebec. In the late 18th century the land became part of the Connecticut Western Reserve in the Northwest Territory, then was purchased by the Connecticut Land Company in 1795.
Cuyahoga County was created on June 7, 1807 and organized on May 1, 1810. It was reduced by the creation of Huron, Lake, and Lorain Counties. It was named after the Cuyahoga River.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has an area of 1,246 square miles (3,230 km2), of which 457 square miles (1,180 km2) is land and 788 square miles (2,040 km2) (63%) is water. It is the second-largest county in Ohio by area. A portion of Cuyahoga Valley National Park is in the county's southeastern section.
Lake County (northeast)
Geauga County (east)
Summit County (southeast)
Medina County (southwest)
Lorain County (west)
Portage County (southeast)
I-80 / Ohio Turnpike
See also: Demographics of Cleveland
Census Pop. %±
1810 1,459 —
1820 6,328 333.7%
1830 10,373 63.9%
1840 26,506 155.5%
1850 48,099 81.5%
1860 78,033 62.2%
1870 132,010 69.2%
1880 196,943 49.2%
1890 309,970 57.4%
1900 439,120 41.7%
1910 637,425 45.2%
1920 943,495 48.0%
1930 1,201,455 27.3%
1940 1,217,250 1.3%
1950 1,389,532 14.2%
1960 1,647,895 18.6%
1970 1,721,300 4.5%
1980 1,498,400 ?12.9%
1990 1,412,140 ?5.8%
2000 1,393,978 ?1.3%
2010 1,280,122 ?8.2%
Est. 2019 1,235,072 ?3.5%
U.S. Decennial Census
Largest ancestries (2010) Percent
Cuyahoga County population (Source: United States Census, 2000)
As of the 2010 census, there were 1,280,122 people, 571,457 households, and 319,996 families residing in the county. The population density was 2,800 people per square mile (1,081/km2). There were 621,763 housing units at an average density of 1,346 per square mile (520/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 63.6% White, 29.7% African American, 0.2% Native American, 2.6% Asian (0.9% Indian, 0.7% Chinese, 0.3% Filipino, 0.2% Korean, 0.2% Vietnamese, 0.1% Japanese), 0.02% Pacific Islander, 1.8% from other races, and 2.1% from two or more races. 4.8% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race (3.1% Puerto Rican, 0.7% Mexican, 0.1% Dominican, 0.1% Guatemalan). 16.5% were of German, 12.8% Irish, 8.8% Italian, 8.1% Polish, 5.9% English, 3.7% Slovak and 3.1% Hungarian, ancestries.
There are also sizable numbers of Russians (1.7%), French, (1.4%), Arabs (1.4%), Ukrainians (1.2%), and Greeks (0.7%). 88.4% spoke English, 3.7% Spanish, and 4.9% some other Indo-European language. 7.3% of the population were foreign-born (of which 44.4% were born in Europe, 36.3% Asia, and 12.1% Latin America).
There were 571,457 households, out of which 28.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.40% were married couples living together, 15.70% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.90% were non-families. 32.80% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 3.06.
In the county, the population was spread out, with 25.00% under the age of 18, 8.00% from 18 to 24, 29.30% from 25 to 44, 22.20% from 45 to 64, and 15.60% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 89.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.20 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $43,603, and the median income for a family was $58,631. The per capita income for the county was $26,263. About 10.30% of families and 13.10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.40% of those under age 18 and 9.30% of those age 65 or over.
Main articles: Cuyahoga County Council and Ohio county government
The Cuyahoga County Council and Executive exercise direct government over unincorporated areas of Cuyahoga County. As of 2012, this consisted of two small areas: Chagrin Falls Township and Olmsted Township.
Cuyahoga County had long been led by a three-member Board of County Commissioners. In July 2008, Federal Bureau of Investigation agents began raiding the offices of Cuyahoga County Commissioners and those of a wide range of cities, towns, and villages across Cuyahoga County. The investigation revealed extensive bribery and corruption across the area, affecting hundreds of millions of dollars in county contracts and business. The investigation led to the arrest of county commissioner Jimmy Dimora; county auditor Frank Russo; MetroHealth vice president John J. Carroll; former Strongsville councilman Patrick Coyne; former Ohio District Courts of Appeals judge Anthony O. Calabrese III; former Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas judge Bridget McCafferty; Cuyahoga County Sheriff Gerald McFaul; former Cleveland City Council member Sabra Pierce Scott; Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas judge Steven Terry; and a wide range of attorneys, building inspectors, consultants, contractors, school district employees, and mid and low level county workers.
On November 3, 2009, county voters overwhelmingly approved the adoption of a new county charter which replaced the three-commissioner form of county government with an elected county executive and county prosecutor, and an 11-member county council. Each council member represents a single geographic district; there are no at-large districts. The elected offices of auditor, clerk of courts, coroner, engineer, recorder, sheriff, and treasurer were abolished. The county executive was given authority to appoint individuals to these offices, which became part of the executive branch of the county. Summit County is the only other Ohio county with this form of government.
In the November 2, 2010, election, Lakewood mayor Ed FitzGerald (D) defeated Matt Dolan (R) to become the first Cuyahoga County Executive. The first Cuyahoga County Council was also elected, with Democrats winning eight seats, while Republicans won three.
Cuyahoga County is heavily Democratic in voter registration, having voted for the Democratic presidential candidate in every election since 1972.
Presidential election results
Colleges and universities
Cuyahoga County is home to a number of higher education institutions, including:
Baldwin Wallace University (Berea)
Bryant & Stratton College (Parma)
Cleveland Bartending School (Cleveland Heights)
Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland)
Cleveland Institute of Art (Cleveland)
Cleveland Institute of Music (Cleveland)
Cleveland State University (Cleveland)
Cuyahoga Community College (Cleveland, Highland Hills, Westlake and Parma)
DeVry University (Seven Hills)
John Carroll University (University Heights)
Notre Dame College (South Euclid)
Kent State University College of Podiatric Medicine (Independence)
Stautzenberger College (Brecksville)
Ursuline College (Pepper Pike)
In 2014, Cuyahoga County ranked 65 out of 88 counties in Ohio for health outcomes. This ranking was based on multiple factors including: premature death (7,975 years per 100,000 population, of potential life lost), adults who reported having poor or fair health (15%), average number of poor physical health days reported in a 30-day period (3.3), average number of poor mental health days reported in a 30-day period (4.1), and the percentage of births with low birth-weight (10.4%). Among these factors Cuyahoga did worse than the Ohio average in premature death, poor mental health days, and low birth-weight. Possible explanations as for why Cuyahoga County is lower in health outcomes than the average Ohio county include behavioral factors, access to clinical care, social and economic factors, and environmental factors.
The leading causes of death and disability in Cuyahoga County are chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, obesity and diabetes. The cancer mortality rate for Cuyahoga is 192.7 per 100,000 people, the mortality rate due to heart disease is 204.2 per 100,000 people, and the percentage of adult residents that are obese is 26.2%.
Community comparison of disparities
According to The Fox Chase Cancer Center, a health disparity can be defined as the existence of inequalities that prevent certain members of a population group from benefiting from the same health status as other groups. Within Cuyahoga County there are many health disparities when comparing cities and demographics. The Hough neighborhood in Cleveland and Lyndhurst can be compared to illustrate some of the disparities. The communities are both in Cuyahoga County and are less than 10 miles apart. They also have similar populations, but a different racial breakdown according to the 2010 US Census. The Hough neighborhood's population was 16,359 (96.1% Black or African American and 2.1% White American) and the Lyndhurst's population was 14,001 (6.4% Black or African American and 90.3% White American). There is a 24-year disparity in life expectancy between the communities. Hough neighborhood residents have a life expectancy of 64 years and residents in Lyndhurst have a life expectancy of 88.5 years. The annual median income in the Hough neighborhood is $13,630 while it is $52,272 in Lyndhurst. Data collected from the Center for Community Solutions indicated from 1990 to 2001 the rate of heart disease for residents of the Hough neighborhood was around four times the frequency of Lyndhurst residents. The rate of accidental deaths were nine times higher than the Hough neighborhood.
University Hospitals Ahuja Medical Center - Beachwood
University Hospitals Bedford Medical Center - Bedford
Cleveland Clinic - Cleveland
Euclid Hospital - Euclid
Fairview Hospital - Cleveland
Hillcrest Hospital - Mayfield Heights
Huron Hospital - East Cleveland
University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center - Cleveland
Lakewood Hospital - Lakewood
Lutheran Hospital - Cleveland
University Hospitals MacDonald Women's Hospital - Cleveland
Marymount Hospital - Garfield Heights
MetroHealth Medical Center - Cleveland
University Hospitals Parma Medical Center - Parma
Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital - Cleveland
University Hospitals Richmond Medical Center - Richmond Heights
South Pointe Hospital - Warrensville Heights
Southwest General Health Center - Middleburg Heights
St. Anne's Hospital, historical facility in Cleveland
St. John Medical Center - Westlake
St. Vincent Charity Medical Center - Cleveland
University Hospitals Case Medical Center - University Circle, Cleveland
Healthspan (formerly Kaiser Permanente of Northeast Ohio) - Bedford, Cleveland, Cleveland Heights, & Parma
Cuyahoga County is served by international, regional and county airports, including:
Cuyahoga County Airport
Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (Cleveland)
Cleveland Burke Lakefront Airport (Cleveland)
I-80 / Ohio Turnpike
Cuyahoga County receives intercity passenger service by Amtrak by way of Lakefront Station in Cleveland, with destinations such as Chicago, New York, Boston, Washington, DC and many more.
The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad offers scenic excursion service through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park by way of their Rockside Station in Independence.
Freight rail service is provided by Norfolk Southern, CSX Transportation, Wheeling and Lake Erie Railroad, Cleveland Commercial Railroad and several other small companies. Norfolk Southern has the largest presence in the county, operating three different lines and several terminal yards.
The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority, better known as RTA, provides public transportation to Cuyahoga county through a combination of conventional bus, bus rapid transit and rail transit services as well as on demand services. Several other county agencies also serve Cuyahoga County, mostly through downtown Cleveland.
Greyhound, Barons Bus Lines and Megabus provide public transportation beyond Cuyahoga County to destinations across the United States.
The Cleveland Metroparks system serves Cuyahoga County. Its 16 reservations provide more than 21,000 acres (8,500 ha) of green space and recreational amenities. The county is home to part of Cuyahoga Valley National Park, which extends southward into Summit County.
Beck Center (Lakewood)
Cabaret Dada (Cleveland)
Cassidy Theater (Parma Heights)
Cleveland Play House (Cleveland)
Cleveland Public Theater (Cleveland)
Dobama Theater (Cleveland Heights)
East Cleveland Theater (East Cleveland)
Huntington Playhouse (Bay Village)
Karamu House (Cleveland)
Near West Theatre (Cleveland)
Playhouse Square Center (Cleveland)
Cleveland Orchestra performs in Severance Hall
Cleveland Museum of Art
Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Cleveland Museum of Natural History
Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage Beachwood
Great Lakes Science Center Cleveland
International Women Air & Space Museum Cleveland
Cuyahoga County has many options for shopping. Some of the well known shopping areas include:
In Cleveland, Downtown: Historically, downtown Cleveland, especially Euclid Avenue, has served as the major economic hub of the county and the entire metropolitan area. Other retail centers in Cleveland include Ohio City, Kamm's Corners, and Shaker Square.
In Beachwood, Beachwood Place: stores include Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, Dillard's, Coach, True Religion, Lacoste, H&M, ZARA.
In Lakewood, Downtown: Lakewood's commercial center spans from Bunts Avenue to the east and Arthur Avenue to the west along Detroit Avenue.
In Lyndhurst, Legacy Village: stores include Crate & Barrel, Arhaus Furniture, Ethan Allen, Restoration Hardware, Nordstrom Rack, Z Gallerie, The Cheesecake Factory.
In North Olmsted, Great Northern Mall: stores include Dillard's, Macy's, Dicks Sporting Goods, JC Penney, Sears, H&M, Disney Store, Forever 21.
In Orange, Ohio, Pinecrest opening Spring 2018: stores include Whole Foods, REI, West Elm, Pottery Barn, Williams Sonoma, Orangetheory Fitness
In Strongsville, SouthPark Mall: stores include Dillard's, Macy's, JC Penney, Kohl's, Dicks Sporting Goods, Aldo, Chico's, Build-A-Bear Workshop, Forever 21, H&M, Swarovski.
In University Heights, Ohio, University Square Shopping Center: stores include Macy's, Target, T.J. Maxx, Pier 1 Imports
In Westlake, Crocker Park: stores include Apple Store, Banana Republic, Nordstrom Rack, Guess, Lucky Brand Jeans, Arhaus Furniture.
In Woodmere, Eton Square: stores include Anthropologie, Apple Store, Brooks Brothers, Tiffany & Co., The North Face, Orvis, Sur La Table, Trader Joe's.
Map of Cuyahoga County, Ohio with Municipal and Township Labels
Cleveland (county seat)
Nineteen paper townships
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