Cleveland, Ohio, United States of America, North America

Founded: 1796; Incorporated: 1836
Location: Northeastern Ohio on the southern shore of Lake Erie, United States, North America
Motto: Progress and Prosperity
Flag: Red left panel, white center panel with emblem, and blue right panel.
Flower: Carnation
Time Zone: 7 AM Eastern Standard Time (EST) = noon Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)
Ethnic Composition: City—49% white; 47% black; 5% Hispanic origin (of any race); 21.7% of Cleveland's European Americans were of German ancestry; Irish, 12.5%; English, 9.1%; Italian, 7.1%; Polish, 6.1%; Slovak, 4.2%; French, 2.8%; Hungarian, 2.4%; Yugoslav, 1.6%; Scottish/Irish, 1.6%; Russian, 1.2%; Czech, 1.5%; and Dutch, 1.5%.
Elevation: 201 meters (660 feet) above sea level. Most of the city is on a level plain 18–24 meters (60–80 feet) above Lake Erie; an abrupt ridge rises 150 meters (500 feet) above the shore on the eastern edge of the city along its border with the community of Cleveland Heights.
Latitude and Longitude: 41°30′N, 81°70′W
Coastline: 22 kilometers (14 miles) on the southern shore of Lake Erie.
Climate: Hot, humid summers and cold, snowy winters. The climate is influenced by Lake Erie, which moderates both summer heat and winter cold.
Annual Mean Temperature: 10°C (50°F); January–3°C (27°F); July 23°C (73°F).
Seasonal Average Snowfall: 52 inches (132 cm); western suburbs, 45 inches (112 cm); eastern suburbs, 90 inches per year (230 cm).
Average Annual Precipitation (rainfall and melted snow): 32 inches (81 cm).
Government: Mayor and 21-member City Council
Weights and Measures: Standard US
Monetary Units: Standard US
Telephone Area Codes: 216 in the city; 440 and 330 in suburban areas
Postal Codes: 44101–44115; 44117, 44119–44122; 44126–44129; 44134, 44135, 44144


Three major interstate highways intersect in the downtown area: I-71 and I-77 run north-south connecting Cleveland with the Ohio cities of Columbus and Akron, respectively. I-90 runs east-west, linking Cleveland to Erie, Pennsylvania to the east and Toledo, Ohio, and Chicago, Illinois, to the west. I-480 connects the eastern and western suburbs on a route south of the city; I-271 runs east of the city on a north-south route; and I-490 connects I-90, I-71, and I-77 away from their downtown merges.

Bus and Railroad Service

Greyhound Bus Lines provides daily service into downtown Cleveland, and to many cities in the Greater Cleveland area. Amtrak passenger rail service to points east and west is provided by the train called the Lakeshore Limited. The Capital Limited train travels to Washington, D.C. via Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Cleveland Population Profile

City Proper

Population: 505,616
Area: 200 sq km (77 sq mi)
Ethnic composition: 49% white; 47% black; 4% other
Nicknames: Mistake on the Lake (1960s and 1970s), Comeback City (1980s and 1990s)

Metropolitan Area

Population: 2,900,000
Description: Includes Cuyahoga County (where Cleveland is located), neighboring Lorain, Medina, Summit, Portage, Geauga, and Lake Counties; and outlying Ashtabula County
Area: 9,360 sq km (3,613 sq mi)
World population rank1: 192
Percentage of national population2: 0.6%
Average yearly growth rate: 0.4%
Ethnic composition: 72% white; 25% black; 3% other


  1. The Cleveland metropolitan area's rank among the world's urban areas.
  2. The percent of the total US population living in the Cleveland metropolitan area.


The largest airports serving the area are Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (served by 14 air carriers providing 11.5 million passenger arrivals/departures in 1996), Burke Lakefront Airport (commuter air service provided 219,512 arrivals/departures in 1996), and the Cuyahoga County Airport (providing business and general aviation services). Continental Airlines has the largest number of flights with over 300 daily departures.


The Port of Cleveland, declared a foreign trade zone in 1990, is the largest overseas general cargo port on Lake Erie and is the third largest on the Great Lakes. Ships from the Atlantic Ocean enter the Great Lakes via the St. Lawrence Seaway, which opened in 1959. The port handles about 13 million metric tons (14 million tons) of cargo annually.

Bus and Commuter Rail Service

Within the area, Cleveland's Regional Transit Authority (RTA) serves 59 million passengers annually. Its rail line consists of 54 kilometers (34 miles) of track connecting the closest suburbs with Public Square in the center of the downtown area. In 1988, Cleveland became the first city in the United States to have commuter rail service from downtown to the airport when RTA connected Public Square to Hopkins Airport. There is a loop bus route (fare is 50 cents) serving the downtown area from 6 AM to 6:30 PM. In 1996, commuter rail service was extended to the newly developed waterfront area. The RTA operates 102 bus lines, 72 of which reach downtown.


The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad operates a 90-minute round trip through the Cuyahoga National Recreation Area to the south of the city of Cleveland. Sightseeing cruises on the Cuyahoga River and Lake Erie are operated during the summer months, and dozens of marinas serve pleasure boaters of the area. A fleet of trolley cars known as Lolly the Trolley provide sightseeing tours.

7. Government

The city's chief executive is the mayor, elected to four-year terms on a non-partisan ballot. Michael R. White (Democrat) was elected mayor in 1989, reelected in 1993 and again in 1997. The legislature is a City Council; its 21 members are also elected on a non-partisan ballot to four-year terms. (Until 1980, the mayoral and council terms were two years.)

8. Public Safety

In 1996, Cleveland had six police districts with 1,791 sworn officers; 26 fire stations with 957 uniformed fire fighters; and 18 Emergency Medical Services (EMS) ambulances with 224 uniformed employees. In 1994, there were 137 homicides; 751 rapes; 3,924 robberies; 2,947 aggravated assaults; 8,008 burglaries; 12,931 larcenies; 9,062 auto thefts; and 801 cases of arson.

19. Tourism

In 1995, Cleveland had 12,621 hotel rooms and attracted some seven million domestic visitors. Five-hundred-thousand visitors toured the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, one of the city's largest national and international draws since its opening in 1994. For conventions, the downtown offers the Cleveland Convention Center, the Clarion Hotel and Conference Center, and the I-X Center.

22. For Further Study


City of Cleveland Home Page. [Online] Available (accessed on January 15, 2000).

Crain's Cleveland Business. [Online] Available (accessed on January 15, 2000).

Homepage maintained by local newspaper and television station. [Online] Available (accessed on January 15, 2000).

Government Offices

City Hall
601 Lakeside Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44114
(216) 664–2000

Community Relations Board
(216) 664–3290

Mayor's Office
601 Lakeside Avenue Suite 202
Cleveland, OH 44114
(216) 664–2220

Tourist and Convention Bureaus

Convention and Visitors Bureau of Greater Cleveland
50 Public Square, Suite 3100
Cleveland, Ohio 44113
(800) 321–1001
(216) 621–4110

Greater Cleveland Growth Association
200 Tower City Center, 50 Public Square
Cleveland, Ohio 44113
(216) 621–3300

The New Cleveland Campaign
1809 East Ninth Street, Suite 1020
Cleveland, Ohio 44113
(216) 574–8940


Call and Post (African American newspaper)
1949 East 105th St.
Cleveland, OH 44115

Cleveland Magazine
1422 Euclid Avenue, Suite 730
Cleveland, Ohio 44115

Crain's Cleveland Business
700 West St. Clair Ave., Suite 310
Cleveland, OH 44113–1230

Northern Ohio Live
11320 Juniper Road
Cleveland, Ohio 44106

Nueves Horizontes magazine
(serving the Hispanic community)
2012 West 25th Street, Suite 717
Cleveland, Ohio 44113

The Plain Dealer
1801 Superior Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio 44114
(216) 999–5000


African American Heritage Trail of Cleveland Tour Guide. Cleveland: National Association of Black Journalists, Cleveland Chapter, 199?.

Cameron, Patience. Cleveland on Foot: A Guide to Walking and Hiking in Cleveland and Vicinity. Cleveland: Gray & Co., 1995.

Cleveland, A City Built on Strong Neighborhoods: A Comprehensive Guide to the City's Thirty-six Neighborhoods. Cleveland: LIVE Pub., 1996.

Cleveland Fact Book. Cleveland: Greater Cleveland Growth Association, 1997.

A Galaxy of Cleveland's Black Stars, 1796–1996: A Bicentennial Activity Book for Children, Ages 7–12. Cleveland: New Day Press, 1996.

Grabowski, John J. Sports in Cleveland: An Illustrated History. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1992.

Johnston, Christopher. ed. Best Things in Life: 236 Favorite Things about Cleveland (by Clevelanders). Cleveland: Gray & Co., 1994.

Peacock, Nancy. Kidding Around Cleveland: A Fun-filled, Fact-Packed Travel and Activity Book. Sante Fe, New Mexico: J. Muir Publications, 1997.

Springstubb, Tricia. Cleveland for Kids. Cleveland: The Cleveland Arts Consortium, 1993.

Van Tassel, David D., and John J. Grabowski, ed. The Dictionary of Cleveland Biography. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1996.

Van Tassel, David D., and John J. Grabowski, ed. The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History. 2nd ed. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1996.

Stoffel, Jennifer, and Stephen Phillips. Cleveland Discovery Guide: Greater Cleveland's Best Family Recreation. Cleveland: Gray & Co., 1994.

Wickham, Gertrude Van Rensselaer. The Pioneer Families of Cleveland 1796–1840. Salem, Massachusetts: Higginson Book Co., 1993.


Cleveland Neighborhood Development Corporation. Cleveland Neighborhoods: Weaving the Fabric of the City. Cleveland, OH: The Corporation, [199–?]. One 15-minute videocassette.