Portage County is a county located in the state of Ohio. As of 2000, the population is 152,061. Its county seat is Ravenna6.
The name "Portage" comes from an old Native American path called "Portage Trail", which ran between the Cuyahoga and Tuscarawas rivers.
The first settler was Abraham Honey in Mantua township, followed by settlements in Palmyra township and Ravenna township.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,313 km˛ (507 mi˛). 1,275 km˛ (492 mi˛) of it is land and 38 km˛ (15 mi˛) of it is water. The total area is 2.90% water.
West Branch State Park is a very large state park in central Portage County, consisting of a large green surrounding the Michael J. Kirwan Dam and Reservoir. There are a number of smaller state and local parks.
Interstate 80, Interstate 76, and U.S. Highway 224 pass through Portage county heading East-West.
Interstate 480 connects to Interstate 80 in Streetsboro and is a major thoroughfare for those heading North. It also serves to connect Portage County to Cleveland proper.
Portage County has borders with Summit County to the West, Stark County to the South, Mahoning County to the South and East, Trumbull to the East, and Geauga County to the North. In addition there is a four-corners type border to the Northwest with Cuyahoga County.
As of the census2 of 2000, there are 152,061 people, 56,449 households, and 39,175 families residing in the county. The population density is 119/km˛ (309/mi˛). There are 60,096 housing units at an average density of 47/km˛ (122/mi˛). The racial makeup of the county is 94.40% White, 3.18% Black or African American, 0.18% Native American, 0.82% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.22% from other races, and 1.19% from two or more races. 0.72% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 56,449 households out of which 32.30% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.60% are married couples living together, 10.10% have a female householder with no husband present, and 30.60% are non-families. 23.30% of all households are made up of individuals and 7.40% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.56 and the average family size is 3.03.
In the county, the population is spread out with 23.70% under the age of 18, 14.30% from 18 to 24, 28.60% from 25 to 44, 22.30% from 45 to 64, and 11.00% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 34 years. For every 100 females there are 95.40 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 92.40 males.
The median income for a household in the county is $44,347, and the median income for a family is $52,820. Males have a median income of $37,434 versus $26,232 for females. The per capita income for the county is $20,428. 9.30% of the population and 5.90% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 9.90% of those under the age of 18 and 5.70% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.
Towns and cities
Portage County is arranged as a 4x5 grid of 20 rectanges: 18 unincorporated townships containing 9 cities; and two incorporated townships which are fully occupied by one city each.
The two incorporated townships are:
- Aurora city (fully occupies Aurora township)
- Streetsboro city (fully occupies Streetsboro township)
There are 18 unincorporated townships:
- Atwater township
- Brimfield township
- Charlestown township
- Deerfield township
- Edinburg township
- Franklin township
- Freedom township
- Hiram township
- Mantua township
- Nelson township
- Palmyra township
- Paris township
- Randolph township
- Ravenna township
- Rootstown township
- Shalersville township
- Suffield township
- Windham township
There are an additional 9 villages and cities contained within those 18 townships:
- Brady Lake village (Franklin township)
- Garrettsville village (Hiram and Nelson townships)
- Hiram village (Hiram township)
- Kent city (Franklin township)
- Mantua village (Mantua township)
- Mogadore village (Suffield township)
- Ravenna city (Ravenna township)
- Sugar Bush Knolls village (Streetsboro city and Franklin township)
- Windham village (Windham township)
In addition to the above, Tallmadge city from Summit County overflows into Portage county in a small part of Brimfield township.
The Ravenna Ordnance Plant consumes much of the land in Charlestown, Paris, and Windham township, as well as a small part of Freedom township.
Colleges and universities
Kent State University is located in Kent, in west-central Portage County, well-connected to Streetsboro, Ravenna, and most of Summit County.
Hiram College is located in Hiram in Northwest Portage County.
Northeastern Universities College of Medicine is located in Rootstown, in South central Portage County.
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