Mon. Jun 5th, 2023


Ohio is located in the Midwest region of the United States. As the 34th largest state by area, it has a population of nearly 11.8 million and is the seventh most populous and tenth most densely populated state. The state’s capital and largest city is Columbus.

Its largest metropolitan areas are Cincinnati, Greater Cleveland, and the Columbus metro area. On the north, Ohio is bordered by Lake Erie, on the east by Pennsylvania, on the southeast by West Virginia, on the southwest by Kentucky, on the west by Indiana, and on the northwest by Michigan.


  • Capital City: Columbus
  • Largest City: Columbus
  • Nickname: The Buckeye State
  • Statehood: 1803; 17th state
  • Population (as of 2020): 11,799,448
  • Abbreviation: OH
  • State bird: cardinal
  • State flower: red carnation
  • Total Size Of The State: 44,825 sq mi (116,096 km2)

Historical Background

Due to discoveries such as Ice Age ground sloth bones marked by ancient tools, archaeologists have determined that humans have lived on the land now called Ohio for at least 13,000 years. In addition, the land was inhabited by other Native American tribes, such as the Erie, Kickapoo, and Shawnee, for thousands of years after these ancient hunters had lived there.

Around 1670, French explorer Robert de La Salle became the first known non-native to reach the area. Following the French fur traders, the British won the French and Indian War in 1763 and claimed the territory. Ohio became a part of the United States after the Revolutionary War ended in 1783.

In 1803 Ohio became the 17th state. Almost 30 years later, the Ohio and Lake Erie Canal was completed, connecting Lake Erie to the Ohio River. It became much cheaper to ship goods from the east, so more settlers moved to the state.

During the Civil War, most Ohioans fought for the Union. However, because they were seen as poisonous snakes waiting to attack in favor of the south, people who opposed the War and refused to fight were called Copperheads.

Why Does It Have That Name?

Some experts think Ohio’s name is derived from the Iroquois word Oyo, which roughly means “the great river.” The river forms in present-day Pennsylvania, where the Iroquois lived.

Ohio is known as the Buckeye State after a tree called the Buckeye that grows in the state. The nuts of this plant look like the eyes of deer — that is, the eyes of a buck.

Geographic Features and Landforms

Ohio borders Michigan and Lake Erie in the north, Pennsylvania and West Virginia in the east, Kentucky and West Virginia in the south, and Indiana in the west. There are five geographical regions in the state, mainly composed of plains.

A fertile lowland region of the northern Great Lakes Plains, the Lake Erie Shoreline is characterized by sandy and clay beaches, tall clay bluffs, and sand dunes that line the shore.

There is a large area of fertile land called the Till Plains in the west and center of the state. Corn grows so abundantly there that it’s considered the start of America’s corn belt. Campbell Hill is the highest point in Ohio’s lowland region, but it needs to be higher to be considered a mountain.

Ohio’s largest region is the Appalachian Plateau, which spans almost the entire eastern half of the state. The area is also relatively rugged, with steep hills and deep valleys.

Located in the south, the Bluegrass Region offers cliffs and deep valleys. In addition, the region is dotted with sinkholes and caves. Scientists think the Serpent Mound Meteor Crater was formed millions of years ago by a meteor crash.

The Natural World

Some of Ohio’s most common mammals include black bears, coyotes, bobcats, American beavers, and white-tailed deer (the state animal). In addition, the state has approximately 350 species of birds, including ring-necked pheasants, wild turkeys, great horned owls, red-headed woodpeckers, blue jays, and American robins.

One of Ohio’s state reptiles is the black racer, a non-venomous snake. Among the reptiles here are Lake Erie water snakes and woodland box turtles. In addition, various amphibians hop through the state, including red-spotted newts, western chorus frogs, and American toads.

Ohio is home to various trees, including beech, aspen, pawpaw, boxelder, American elm, and slippery elm. Asters, phlox, trilliums, and wild lilies are also plentiful in the state.

Natural Resources

Aside from Ohio’s fertile soil, it is also known for coal, natural gas, rock salt, or halite. About five million tons of salt are mined from beneath Lake Erie in the state each year.

Some Fun Facts About Ohio

  • There is a festival celebrated yearly in Ohio for Pawpaws, a fruit that grows on trees.
  • Ohio has produced seven U.S. presidents: Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, James Garfield, Benjamin Harrison, William McKinley, William H. Taft, and Warren G. Harding.
  • Among the music artifacts displayed at Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame are Elvis Presley’s car, Jimi Hendrix’s couch, and John Lennon’s glasses.
  • One of the fascinating national heritage sites, the Ohio and Erie Canalway, extends 110 miles. Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, a three-hour trip with stops along the way, is also available.
  • In Dayton, Carillon Historical Park features historical buildings and museums, including a bell tower, a one-room school, a covered bridge, a gristmill, a 1930s-style cafeteria, and a carousel featuring Dayton companies and factories where visitors can ride on a giant bag of potato chips.
  • Visitors can learn about the Underground Railroad at Cincinnati’s National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, a network of people who helped enslaved people reach freedom in the early to mid-1800s.

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