|County of Cuyahoga|
|Etymology: Cuyahoga River|
|Founded||May 1, 1810|
|Named for||Cuyahoga River|
|• County Executive||Armond Budish (D)|
|• Total||1,246 sq mi (3,230 km2)|
|• Land||457 sq mi (1,180 km2)|
|• Water||788 sq mi (2,040 km2)|
|Elevation||653 ft (199 m)|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||2,767.65/sq mi (1,068.60/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−5 (EST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−4 (EDT)|
|Congressional districts||9th, 11th, 14th, 16th Cuyahoga|
Cuyahoga County (// or //) is a large urban county located in the northeastern part of the U.S. state of Ohio. It is situated on the southern shore of Lake Erie, across the U.S.-Canada maritime border. As of the 2020 census, its population was 1,264,817, making it the second-most-populous county in the state.
The county seat and largest city is Cleveland. The county is bisected by the Cuyahoga River, after which it was named. "Cuyahoga" is an Iroquoian word meaning "crooked river". Cuyahoga County is the core of the Greater Cleveland Metropolitan Area and of the Cleveland–Akron–Canton combined statistical area.
See also: History of Cleveland
The land that became Cuyahoga County was previously part of the French colony of Canada (New France), which was ceded in 1763 to Great Britain and renamed Province of Quebec. In the early 1790s, the land became part of the Connecticut Western Reserve in the Northwest Territory, and it was purchased by the Connecticut Land Company in 1795. Cleveland was established one year later by General Moses Cleaveland near the mouth of the Cuyahoga River.
Cuyahoga County was created on June 7, 1807, and organized on May 1, 1810. Cleveland (then known as "Cleaveland") was selected as the county seat in 1809. The county was later reduced in size by the creation of Huron, Lake, and Lorain counties.
In 1831, former U.S. President James A. Garfield was born in what was at the time Cuyahoga County's Orange Township.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the county has an area of 1,246 sq mi (3,230 km2), of which 457 sq mi (1,180 km2) are land and 788 sq mi (2,040 km2) (63%) are 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.
See also: Demographics of Cleveland
Source: U.S. Decennial Census
|Largest ancestries (2010)||Percent|
As of the 2010 census, 1,280,122 people, 571,457 households, and 319,996 families were residing in the county. The population density was 2,800 people/sq mi (1,081/km2). The 621,763 housing units averaged 1,346 per sq mi (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), 1.8% from other races, and 2.1% from two or more races. About 4.8% of the population were Hispanics or Latinos of any race (3.1% Puerto Rican, 0.7% Mexican, 0.1% Dominican, 0.1% Guatemalan). Further, 16.5% were of German, 12.8% Irish, 8.8% Italian, 8.1% Polish, 5.9% English, 3.7% Slovak, and 3.1% Hungarian heritage.
Sizable numbers of Russians (1.7%), French, (1.4%), Arabs (1.4%), Ukrainians (1.2%), and Greeks (0.7%) were residing in the county; as their first language, 88.4% spoke English, 3.7% Spanish, and 4.9% some other Indo-European language. In addition, 7.3% of the population were foreign-born (of which 44.4% were born in Europe, 36.3% in Asia, and 12.1% in Latin America).
Of the 571,457 households, 28.5% had children under 18 living with them, 42.4% were married couples living together, 15.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.9% were not families. About 32.8% of all households consisted of single individuals, and 12.1% consisted of someone living alone who was 65 or older. The average household size was 2.39, and the average family size was 3.06.
The age distribution in the county was as follows: 25.0% under 18, 8.0% between 18 and 24, 29.3% between 25 and 44, 22.2% between 45 and 64, and 15.6% who were 65 or older. The median age was 37 years old. For every 100 females, there were 89.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.2 males.
The median income in the county was $43,603 for a household and $58,631 and for a family. The county’s per capita income was $26,263. About 10.3% of families, 19.4% of those under age 18, and 9.3% of those age 65 or over, and 13.1% of the population as a whole was living below the poverty line.
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, with 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.
On September 25, 2018, Cuyahoga County passed legislation which specifically protects LGBTQ+ people in their anti-discrimination laws. The protections under the bill specify equal access for the LGBTQ+ community to employment, housing, and public accommodations. The County is one of 20 municipalities in Ohio with this specific protection. Alongside the new language, the legislation creates a three-person Commission of Human Rights for Cuyahoga County which would support citizens looking to file a discrimination complaint. This legislation evokes the Ohio Fairness Act, a bill currently stalled in the House and Senate which would amend this anti-discrimination legislation on a state level.
Cuyahoga County is heavily Democratic in voter registration, with Republican candidates last having narrowly won the county with a plurality in 1972, and last having won an absolute majority in 1956.
Democratic strength is concentrated in the City of Cleveland and suburbs in eastern Cuyahoga County, such as Shaker Heights and Solon.
Republican strength is concetrated in the southern Cuyahoga County suburbs, such as Strongsville and North Royalton. Suburbs in western Cuyahoga County, such as North Olmsted and Westlake tend to be more moderate.
In recent elections, formerly Democratic working-class suburbs such as Middleburg Heights and Parma have trended to the GOP, while formerly GOP upscale suburbs such as Bay Village and Chagrin Falls have trended Democratic.
Cuyahoga County is home to a number of higher-education institutions, including:
School districts include:
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 who are obese is 26.2%.
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. Cuyahoga County has many health disparities when comparing cities and demographics. The Hough neighborhood of Cleveland and the suburb of 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 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). A 24-year disparity was seen 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 that of Lyndhurst residents. The Lyndhurst rate of accidental deaths was nine times higher than the Hough neighborhood.
Cuyahoga County is served by international, regional, and county airports, including:
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, also known as RTA, provides public transportation to Cuyahoga County through a combination of conventional bus, rapid-transit bus, 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.
Cuyahoga County has many options for shopping. Some of the well-known shopping areas include: