Cleveland, Ohio
Clockwise, from top: Downtown Cleveland skyline; the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; Fountain of Eternal Life statue; the West Side Market; West Pierhead Lighthouse; FirstEnergy Stadium; the James A. Garfield Memorial; East 4th Street; south entrance to the Cleveland Museum of Art; and one of the eight Guardians of Traffic
Flag of Cleveland, Ohio
Official seal of Cleveland, Ohio
The Forest City
(for more, see full list)
Progress & Prosperity
Location in Ohio and Cuyahoga County
Location in Ohio and Cuyahoga County
Cleveland is located in the United States
Location in the contiguous United States
Coordinates: 41°28′56″N 81°40′11″W / 41°28′56″N 81°40′11″W / 41.48222; -81.66972UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
Area code216
FIPS code39-16000

Cleveland (d/ KLEEV-lənd) is a major city in the U.S. state of Ohio, and the county seat of Cuyahoga County.[7] The city proper has a population of 388,072, making it the 51st-largest city in the United States,[5] and the second-largest city in Ohio.[8][9] Greater Cleveland is ranked as the 32nd-largest metropolitan area in the U.S., with 2,055,612 people in 2016.[10] The city anchors the Cleveland–Akron–Canton Combined Statistical Area, which had a population of 3,515,646 in 2010 and is ranked 15th in the United States.

The city is located on the southern shore of Lake Erie, approximately 60 miles (100 kilometers) west of the Ohio-Pennsylvania state border. It was founded in 1796 near the mouth of the Cuyahoga River. It became a manufacturing center due to its location on both the river and the lake shore, as well as being connected to numerous canals and railroad lines. Cleveland's economy relies on diversified sectors such as manufacturing, financial services, healthcare (such as the Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals), and biomedicals. Cleveland is also home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Cleveland residents are called Clevelanders. The city has many nicknames, the oldest of which in contemporary use being The Forest City.[11]


Cleveland was named on July 22, 1796, when surveyors of the Connecticut Land Company laid out Connecticut's Western Reserve into townships and a capital city. They named it Cleaveland after their leader, General Moses Cleaveland. Cleaveland oversaw design of the plan for what would become the modern downtown area, centered on Public Square, before returning home, never again to visit Ohio. The first settler in Cleaveland was Lorenzo Carter, who built a cabin on the banks of the Cuyahoga River. The Village of Cleaveland was incorporated on December 23, 1814.[9] In spite of the nearby swampy lowlands and harsh winters, its waterfront location proved to be an advantage, giving access to Great Lakes trade.

The area began rapid growth after the 1832 completion of the Ohio and Erie Canal. This key link between the Ohio River and the Great Lakes connected the city to the Atlantic Ocean via the Erie Canal and Hudson River, and later via the St. Lawrence Seaway. Its products could reach markets on the Gulf of Mexico via the Mississippi River. Growth continued with added railroad links.[12] Cleveland incorporated as a city in 1836.[9]

In 1836, the city, then located only on the eastern banks of the Cuyahoga River, nearly erupted into open warfare with neighboring Ohio City over a bridge connecting the two.[13] Ohio City remained an independent municipality until its annexation by Cleveland in 1854.[9]

Bird's-eye view of Cleveland in 1877

The city's prime geographic location as a transportation hub on the Great Lakes has played an important role in its development as a commercial center. Cleveland serves as a destination for iron ore shipped from Minnesota, along with coal transported by rail. In 1870, John D. Rockefeller founded Standard Oil in Cleveland. In 1885, he moved its headquarters to New York City, which had become a center of finance and business.[14]

Cleveland emerged in the early 20th century as an important American manufacturing center. Its businesses included automotive companies such as Peerless, People's,[15] Jordan, Chandler, and Winton, maker of the first car driven across the U.S.[16] Other manufacturers located in Cleveland produced steam-powered cars, which included White and Gaeth, as well as the electric car company Baker. Because of its significant growth, Cleveland was known as the "Sixth City" of the US during this period.[17][18]

By 1920, due in large part to the city's economic prosperity, Cleveland became the nation's fifth-largest city.[9] The city counted Progressive Era politicians such as the populist Mayor Tom L. Johnson among its leaders. Its industrial jobs had attracted waves of European immigrants from southern and eastern Europe, as well as both black and white migrants from the rural South.

In commemoration of the centennial of Cleveland's incorporation as a city, the Great Lakes Exposition debuted in June 1936 along the Lake Erie shore north of downtown. Conceived as a way to energize the city after the Great Depression, it drew four million visitors in its first season, and seven million by the end of its second and final season in September 1937.[19] The exposition was housed on grounds that are now used by the Great Lakes Science Center, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and Burke Lakefront Airport, among others.[20]

Following World War II, Cleveland continued to enjoy a prosperous economy. In sports, the Indians won the 1948 World Series, the hockey team, the Barons, became champions of the American Hockey League, and the Browns dominated professional football in the 1950s. As a result, along with track and boxing champions produced, Cleveland was dubbed "City of Champions" in sports at this time.

Businesses proclaimed that Cleveland was the "best location in the nation".[21][22][23] In 1940, non-Hispanic whites represented 90.2% of Cleveland's population.[24] Wealthy patrons supported development of the city's cultural institutions, such as the art museum and orchestra. The city's population reached its peak of 914,808, and in 1949 Cleveland was named an All-America City for the first time.[25] By the 1960s, the economy slowed, and residents sought new housing in the suburbs, reflecting the national trends of suburban growth following the subsidized highways.[26]

The Cuyahoga River winds through the Flats in a December 1937 aerial view of downtown Cleveland.

In the 1950s and 1960s, African Americans worked in numerous cities to gain constitutional rights and relief from racial discrimination. As change lagged despite federal laws to enforce rights, social and racial unrest occurred in Cleveland and numerous other industrial cities. In Cleveland, the Hough Riots erupted from July 18 to 23, 1966. The Glenville Shootout took place from July 23 to 25, 1968. In November 1967, Cleveland became the first major American city to elect a black mayor, Carl Stokes (who served from 1968 to 1971).[27]

Industrial restructuring, particularly in the railroad and steel industries, resulted in the loss of numerous jobs in Cleveland and the region, and the city suffered economically. In December 1978, Cleveland became the first major American city since the Great Depression to enter into a financial default on federal loans.[9] By the beginning of the 1980s, several factors, including changes in international free trade policies, inflation and the Savings and Loans Crisis, contributed to the recession that severely affected cities like Cleveland.[28]

While unemployment during the period peaked in 1983,[29] Cleveland's rate of 13.8% was higher than the national average due to the closure of several steel production centers.[30][31][32]

In the later 20th century, the metropolitan area began a gradual economic recovery under mayors George Voinovich and Michael R. White. Redevelopment within the city limits has been strongest in the downtown area near the Gateway Sports and Entertainment Complex—consisting of Progressive Field and Quicken Loans Arena—and near North Coast Harbor, including the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, FirstEnergy Stadium, and the Great Lakes Science Center. Cleveland was hailed in 2007 by local media as the "Comeback City".[33] Economic development of the inner-city neighborhoods and improvement of the school systems have been municipal priorities.[34] In 1999, Cleveland was identified as an emerging global city.[35]

Since the turn of the 21st century, the city has improved infrastructure, developed a more diversified economy, gained a national reputation in medical fields, and invested in the arts. Cleveland is generally considered to be an example of revitalization of an older industrial city. The city's goals include additional neighborhood revitalization and increased funding for public education.[36] In 2009, Cleveland was chosen to host the 2014 Gay Games, the fourth city in the United States to host this international event.[37] On July 8, 2014, Cleveland was chosen to be the host city of the 2016 Republican National Convention.[38]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Cleveland, Ohio
አማርኛ: ክሊቭላንድ
aragonés: Cleveland
asturianu: Cleveland (Ohio)
azərbaycanca: Klivlend
تۆرکجه: کلیولند
bamanankan: Cleveland
Bân-lâm-gú: Cleveland
беларуская: Кліўленд
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Кліўлэнд
български: Кливланд
brezhoneg: Cleveland (Ohio)
català: Cleveland
čeština: Cleveland
dansk: Cleveland
Deutsch: Cleveland
Diné bizaad: Tóntsxaahílį́
eesti: Cleveland
Ελληνικά: Κλίβελαντ
emiliàn e rumagnòl: Cleveland
español: Cleveland
Esperanto: Klevlando
euskara: Cleveland
føroyskt: Cleveland
français: Cleveland
furlan: Cleveland
Gaeilge: Cleveland
Gàidhlig: Cleveland, Ohio
한국어: 클리블랜드
hrvatski: Cleveland
Bahasa Indonesia: Cleveland, Ohio
interlingua: Cleveland (Ohio)
íslenska: Cleveland (Ohio)
italiano: Cleveland
עברית: קליבלנד
Kapampangan: Cleveland, Ohio
ქართული: კლივლენდი
kernowek: Cleveland, Ohio
Kiswahili: Cleveland, Ohio
Kreyòl ayisyen: Cleveland, Ohio
кырык мары: Кливленд (Огайо)
Latina: Cleveland
latviešu: Klīvlenda
lietuvių: Klivlandas
Lingua Franca Nova: Cleveland, Ohio
magyar: Cleveland
македонски: Кливленд
Malagasy: Cleveland
Bahasa Melayu: Cleveland
Mìng-dĕ̤ng-ngṳ̄: Cleveland
Nederlands: Cleveland (Ohio)
norsk: Cleveland
norsk nynorsk: Cleveland
occitan: Cleveland
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Cleveland
Piemontèis: Cleveland
polski: Cleveland
português: Cleveland
română: Cleveland
русский: Кливленд
саха тыла: Кливленд
sardu: Cleveland
Scots: Cleveland
shqip: Cleveland
Simple English: Cleveland, Ohio
slovenčina: Cleveland (Ohio)
slovenščina: Cleveland, Ohio
ślůnski: Cleveland
српски / srpski: Кливленд
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Cleveland, Ohio
suomi: Cleveland
svenska: Cleveland
татарча/tatarça: Кливленд
тоҷикӣ: Кливленд
Türkçe: Cleveland
українська: Клівленд
vepsän kel’: Klivlend
Tiếng Việt: Cleveland
Winaray: Cleveland
ייִדיש: קליוולאנד
Yorùbá: Cleveland
粵語: 卡夫蘭
中文: 克利夫兰