Columbus is Ohio's largest city at more than 822,000 residents. It is the 15th largest city in the US, Ohio’s state capital and home to the Ohio State University, a school with an enrollment of over 58,000 students in Columbus (over 64,000 total) boasting perennial championship contenders in football and basketball. Columbus has one professional franchise in a major sport -- the National Hockey League’s Blue Jackets.
While Columbus has more people within the city limits than Cleveland, the home to the National Football League’s Browns, the National Basketball Association’s Cavaliers and Major League Baseball’s Indians includes more people in its metropolitan statistical area. Cleveland sits on the southern shore of Lake Erie. The NHL does not have a franchise in Cleveland. Because of these teams’ futility in their sports, Cleveland is sometimes called the Mistake by the Lake.
Even though Cleveland has suffered mediocre and poor professional sports franchises for decades, Cleveland is home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The Pro Football Hall of Fame is just a short one-hour drive south in Canton -- Ohio’s 8th largest city.
Cleveland has a strong mayor form of government. The mayor’s cabinet is primarily composed of staff with titles of “chief” and “director” such as the Chief of Government and International Affairs and the Director of Public Works. According to a 2013 population estimate from the US Census Bureau, Cleveland has a population of over 390,000, and the metropolitan statistical area contains more than 2 million people.
Cincinnati is situated on the northern bank of the Ohio River just inside Ohio’s western border with Indiana. Even though Cincinnati is Ohio’s third largest city, it has the largest metropolitan statistical area in the state just nudging out the Cleveland area. The city of Cincinnati has just under 300,000 residents according to 2013 US Census bureau estimates. The metropolitan statistical area includes more than 2.1 million people.
Two major professional sports teams call Cincinnati home: the NFL’s Bengals and MLB’s Reds. The NBA and NHL do not have franchises in Cincinnati.
While the city government has a city manager, Cincinnati actually operates under the strong mayor form of government. In the late 1990’s, reforms began which diminished the city manager’s role. The city has 6,300 employees. The mayor and city council members are elected at-large.
Toledo sits on eastern end Ohio’s border with Michigan where the Maumee River flows into Lake Erie. Toledo’s suburbs extend into southern Michigan. According to the 2010 US Census, Toledo’s population is 287,208. The city runs by the strong mayor form of government.
Akron is located 40 miles south-southeast of Cleveland. These days, it is most noted for being the hometown of basketball superstar LeBron James who started his professional career with the Cleveland Cavaliers, left to play for the Miami Heat under circumstances that angered many basketball fans and returned to the Cavaliers.
The city organizes itself in the strong mayor form of government. Ten city council members are elected by wards. Three are elected at-large like the mayor. According to a 2013 estimate by the US Census Bureau, Akron’s population is 198,100.
Dayton sits about 55 miles north-northeast of Cincinnati and about 70 miles west-southwest of Columbus in the state's western third. The city’s population is 143,355 according to a 2013 US Census Bureau estimate. Dayton operates under the council-manager form of government. The mayor and city council enact laws and the city manager executes them with the support of the city staff. Dayton’s city government employs about 2,000 people.
Parma is a suburb of Cleveland about 8 miles south of downtown Cleveland. According to a 2013 estimate by the US Census Bureau, Parma’s population is 80,429. The city functions under the strong mayor form of government.
Canton’s claim to fame is the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Each year before the NFL’s preseason begins, a group of players is enshrined over the course of a celebratory weekend. The first preseason game is played at Fawcett Stadium which is part of the Hall’s complex. The Hall is open year-round to visitors and has meeting and conference space for rent.
The city government operates under the strong mayor form of government. The city council has nine members elected by wards and three elected at-large. The mayor is also elected at-large. Canton’s population is 72,683 according to a 2012 estimate from the US Census Bureau.
Youngstown is located in northeast Ohio on the Mahoning River a few miles west of the state’s border with Pennsylvania. The city is governed under the strong mayor form of government. According to a 2013 estimate from the US Census Bureau, Youngstown’s population is 65,184.
Lorain sits on the southern bank of Lake Erie about 30 miles west of Cleveland. The city functions under the strong mayor form of government. Lorain’s population is 63,707 as estimated by the US Census Bureau in 2012.
Job Sites for the 10 Largest Cities in Ohio
While the Buckeye State may not have overwhelmingly large cities like California, New York and Texas have, Ohio has ample opportunities for those desiring to make careers in public service. In addition to the state government headquartered in Columbus and the state universities flag shipped by the Ohio State University, Ohio has some large cities that need proportional city governments. Below are links to job sites for the 10 largest cities in Ohio along with a brief sketch about each locale.