30 Interesting Facts About Ohio That You Should Know

Last updated on February 28th, 2019

Ohio is the 7th most populous and the 34th most extensive of the United States. It is a Midwestern state in the Great Lakes region of the United States. The state attained statehood on March 1, 1803, becoming the 17th state to join the union. It has five (5) bordering states that include Michigan, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Indiana, Kentucky. See the full list of states and their borders here. Ohio (nicknamed: the Buckeye State) has 88 counties. The state’s capital is Columbus. Ohio also has the status of a swing state because it can be either won by a Democratic or Republican presidential candidate. With these facts about Ohio, let us learn about its history, geography, people, economy and more.

1. Ohio is a Midwestern state in the Great Lakes region of the United States.[1]

2. It is one of the 48 contagious states of the U.S. and the seventh most populous among the 50 states.

3. The name of the state originated from the name of the river “Ohio”. The word “Ohio” in Seneca language means “the Great River.”[1]

Flag of Ohio

Flag of Ohio. Ohio fact file

4. Ohio’s flag is the only non-rectangular U.S. state flag. See the list of all U.S. state flags here…

5. On August 05, 1914, the world’s first electric signal was put in street in Cleveland, Ohio.[9]

6. In Dayton, Ohio, the Wright Brothers built their first controlled machine that would allow them to fly in the air and come back safely to the ground when need be. They built the world’s first practical airplane, the Wright Flyer, in 1905.[10]

Ohio with bordering states
Ohio (in red) on the map with its bordering states.

7. Thomas Edison, the legendary inventor, and businessman was born in Milan, Ohio.

8. The state is the birthplace of the cash register. It was invented by James Jacob Ritty. The design was patented on November 4th, 1879.[18]

9. Columbus became the capital of Ohio in 1816. Before this, the state’s capital was Chillicothe (the first capital), and then it was moved to Zanesville in 1810 and then one more time back to Chillicothe in 1812.[19]

10. Seven U.S. Presidents were born in Ohio. They are Ulysses Grant, Rutherford Hayes, James Garfield, Benjamin Harrison, William McKinley, William Taft and Warren Harding. The state is also nicknamed as the “Mother of Modern Presidents”.[4] Here is a complete list of the U.S. Presidents since George Washington to Donald Trump.

11. Ohio has the country’s 10th largest highway network, and because of its geographical location it serves for the economic growth of the region. In the 1800s, the state was also known as the “Gateway State” because it connected the Eastern and the Western part of the United States. The connection facilitated the movement of goods and other resources.[1,3]

Ohio on the map

12. The nickname “Buckeye State” comes from the buckeye tree, which grew abundantly on the state’s plains and hills. The tree’s seeds resemble a buck’s eye and hence the name of the tree.[3]

13. Goodyear (The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company) which is among the top four tire manufacturing companies in the world was founded in 1899 in Akron, Ohio. Akron was also nicknamed as the “Rubber Capital of the World.”[5,6]

14. Majority of the population of Ohio is of white European ancestry.[8]

15. Ohio is among the top three manufacturing employment providers in the United States. It is known for the manufacture of tires, jet engines, machine tools, auto assembly, office machines, refrigeration, and heating equipment among many others. Tourism is also a major industry in the state.[8]

16. According to Isure.com, Ohio State has the second cheapest cost of car insurance per year ($919) in the United States followed by Maine ($868). Michigan has the highest cost of all at 2,394 per year. The national average for car insurance is $1,318 per year.[11]

17. After Pennsylvania, Ohio has the second largest concentration of Amish living in the United State.[22]

The State Quarter

Ohio state quarter.

18. With 31.5% of the adult population of Ohio suffering from Obesity in 2016, Ohio was ranked at the 19th spot by Adult Obesity Rate by State, 2016.[12]

19. Based in Cincinnati, Ohio also has the world’s oldest builder of ambulances, the Hess and Eisenhardt Company. Also, the first known hospital-based ambulance service was based out of Commercial Hospital, Cincinnati, Ohio, by 1865.[13,14]

20. Vinto is Ohio’s smallest county by population.[20]

21. Born in Ohio, William Henry Harrison, the 9th President of the United States, delivered the longest inaugural speech in the U.S. presidential history. Unfortunately, he died one month after the speech, thus, holding the office for the shortest tenure of any U.S. presidents. He was the first president to die in the office.[15]

The Seal of Ohio

Seal of Ohio

22. DeHart Hubbard from Cincinnati is the first African American athlete to win a gold medal in an individual event in Olympics. In 1924, in Paris, he won the medal for the long jump.[16]

23. The Shape of the state resembles that of a heart. The slogan “The Heart of It All was widely used to promote professional, educational and recreational opportunities in the state.[17,21]

24. The highest point in Ohio is Campbell Hill near Bellefontaine (it rises 1,549 feet above sea level) and the lowest point in the state is at the Ohio River near Cincinnati, 455 feet above sea level.[17]

25. Because of the movement of glaciers in the state thousands of years ago, the state is blessed with some of the most fertile agricultural land in the U.S.[17] Learn how do glaciers affect land?

26. The fire in a coal mine set by its workers in 1884 near New Straitsville, southeast of Columbus, is still burning. The workers had a dispute with the mining company regarding their wages. The workers used coal and timber to set fire in the cars and then pushed the cars into the mine. It is estimated that more than two hundred square miles of coal has burned. In 2003, smoke began to emerge from the soil of the Wayne National Forest, 119 years after the fire began.[23]

27. The world’s largest annual gathering of twins is organized in Twinsburg, Ohio. Find more details here.

28. The Cincinnati Reds were the first professional baseball team.[24]

29. According to NASA, 25 astronauts are Ohio natives, having made nearly 80 space flights, with three of those flights being trips to the Moon. These astronauts include; Neil Armstrong – the first man to set foot on the moon and John Glenn –  the first American to orbit the Earth in 1962.[25]

30. Did you know that Asa A. Long born in Antwerp, Ohio, is a checkers player, who has the world records as both youngest and oldest national champion? He first won the US national championship at the age of 18 and then again in 1984 (becoming the oldest person to win). 

Ohio State – Quick facts and state symbols

State AbbreviationOH
NoteClick on the previous/next link below to see more table entries.
State CapitalColumbus
State SizeTotal (Land + Water): 44,825 sq miles; Land Only: 40,948 sq miles
(Estimate July 1, 2017 from United States Census Bureau)
StatehoodMarch 1, 1803
State rank by population7th
State rank by date of formation17th
State rank by area34th
Number of Counties88
Complete list of 50 states and number of counties in each
DemonymOhioan; Buckeye (colloq.)
Bordering StatesIndiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Pennsylvania, West Virginia
Official LanguageNone
ReligionProtestant - 53%
Catholic - 18%
None - 22%
Highest PointCampbell Hill
1,549 ft (472 m)
Lowest pointOhio River at Indiana border
455 ft (139 m)
Length 220 miles (355 km)
Width220 miles (355 km)
National ParksCuyahoga Valley National Park
GovernorJohn Kasich
Electoral Votes18
State MottoWith God, all things are possible
State NicknameBuckeye State
% Water8.7
Nobel Prize WinnersPaul C. Lauterbur (Physiology or Medicine, 2003)
Toni Morrison (Literature, 1993)
F. Sherwood Rowland (Chemistry, 1995)
Richard E. Smalley (Chemistry, 1996)
Charles G. Dawes (Peace, 1925)
Aarthur H. Compton (Physics, 1927)
Donald A. Glaser (Physics, 1960)
William Lipscomb (Chemistry, 1976)
Famous PeopleOrlando Pace (Pro Football Player)
Barry Larkin (Baseball Player)
Gus Johnson (Basketball Player)
Halle Berry (Actress)
Tracy Chapman (Singer)
Neil Armstrong (Astronaut)
U.S. Presidents Born In Ohio1. Ulysses Simpson Grant.
2. Rutherford Birchard Hayes.
3. James Abram Garfield.
4. Benjamin Harrison.
5. William McKinley.
6. William Howard Taft.
7. Warren Gamaliel Harding.
State Song"Beautiful Ohio"
State Rock Song"Hang on Sloppy"
State Flag Flag of Ohio

Flag of Ohio.svg

State sealGreat Seal of Ohio

State seal of Ohio

State coat of arms

Ohio state coat of arms (illustrated, 1876).jpg

State quarter

Ohio quarter


Phacops rana.jpg

State Bicentennial BridgeThe Blaine Hill Bridge

Blaine Hill S Bridge Ohio.jpg

State Mammalwhite-tailed deer

White-tailed deer.jpg

State AmphibianSpotted salamander


State FrogBullfrog

American Bullfrog Rana catesbeiana Front 838px.jpg

State InsectLadybug


State Prehistoric MonumentNewark Earthworks

Ohio Newark Great Circle09.jpg

State FlowerScarlet carnation

Red Carnation NGM XXXI p507.jpg

State WildflowerWhite trillium

A close view of the large white flower of a trillium plant trillium grandiflorum.jpg

State BirdCardinal

Northern Cardinal Male-27527-2.jpg

State ReptileBlack racer snake

Coluber constrictorPCCP20030612-1115B.jpg

State GemstoneOhio flint

Phacops rana.jpg

State TreeBuckeye

Aesculus glabra var. glabra.jpg

State FruitTomato

Tomato on its stem.jpg

State Native FruitPawpaw

Asimina triloba3.jpg

State GroundhogBuckeye Chuck

Closeup groundhog.jpg

State ArtifactThe Adena Pipe

human effigy pipe 01 - Cleveland Museum of Art
Longitude80° 31′ W to 84° 49′ W
Latitude38° 24′ N to 41° 59′ N
Time ZoneEastern Time Zone
Area Codes216, 234, 283, 330, 380, 419, 440, 513, 567, 614, 740, 937
Data SourceWikipedia, 1Keydata, State Symbol USA
Table Last UpateMarch 31, 2018