Cleveland is a city in the U.S. state of Ohio and is the county seat of Cuyahoga County, the most populous county in the state. The city is located in northeastern Ohio on the southern shore of Lake Erie, approximately west of the Pennsylvania border. It was founded in 1796 near the mouth of the Cuyahoga River, and became a manufacturing center owing to its location on the lake shore, as well as being connected to numerous canals and railroad lines. Cleveland's economy has diversified sectors that include manufacturing, financial services, healthcare, and biomedical. Cleveland is home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
As of the 2010 Census, the city proper had a total population of 396,815, making Cleveland the 45th largest city in the United States, and the second largest city in Ohio after Columbus. Greater Cleveland, the Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor Metropolitan Statistical Area, ranked 28th largest in the United States with 2,068,283 people in 2011. Cleveland is part of the larger Cleveland-Akron-Canton Combined Statistical Area, which in 2012 had a population of 3,497,711, and ranked as the country's 15th largest CSA.
Residents of Cleveland are called "Clevelanders". Nicknames for the city include "The Forest City", "Metropolis of the Western Reserve", "The Rock and Roll Capital of the World", "C-Town", "The Cleve", and the more historical "Sixth City". Due to Lake Erie’s proximity to the city, the Cleveland area is sometimes locally referred to as "The North Coast".
Cleveland obtained its name on July 22, 1796 when surveyors of the Connecticut Land Company laid out Connecticut's Western Reserve into townships and a capital city they named "Cleaveland" after their leader, General Moses Cleaveland. Cleaveland oversaw the plan for what would become the modern downtown area, centered on Public Square, before returning home, never again to visit Ohio. The first settler in Cleaveland was Lorenzo Carter, who built a cabin on the banks of the Cuyahoga River. The Village of Cleaveland was incorporated on December 23, 1814. In spite of the nearby swampy lowlands and harsh winters, its waterfront location proved to be an advantage. The area began rapid growth after the 1832 completion of the Ohio and Erie Canal. This key link between the Ohio River and the Great Lakes connected the city to the Atlantic Ocean via the Erie Canal and later via the St. Lawrence Seaway and the Gulf of Mexico via the Mississippi River. Growth continued with added railroad links. Cleveland incorporated as a city in 1836.
In 1836, the city, then located only on the eastern banks of the Cuyahoga River, nearly erupted into open warfare with neighboring Ohio City over a bridge connecting the two. Ohio City remained an independent municipality until its annexation by Cleveland in 1854.
The city's prime geographic location as transportation hub on the Great Lakes has played an important role in its development as a commercial center. Cleveland serves as a destination point for iron ore shipped from Minnesota, as well as coal transported by rail. In 1870, John D. Rockefeller founded Standard Oil in Cleveland, and moved its headquarters to New York City in 1885. Cleveland emerged in the early 20th Century as an important American manufacturing center, which included automotive companies such as Peerless, People's, Jordan, Chandler, and Winton, maker of the first car driven across the U.S. Other manufacturers located in Cleveland produced steam-powered cars, which included White and Gaeth, as well as the electric car company Baker. By 1920, due in large part to the city's economic prosperity, Cleveland became the nation's fifth largest city. The city counted Progressive Era politicians such as the populist Mayor Tom L. Johnson among its leaders. Many prominent Clevelanders from this era are buried in the historic Lake View Cemetery, including President James A. Garfield, and John D. Rockefeller.
In commemoration of the centennial of Cleveland's incorporation as a city, the Great Lakes Exposition debuted in June 1936 along the Lake Erie shore north of downtown. Conceived as a way to energize a city after the Great Depression, it drew four million visitors in its first season, and seven million by the end of its second and final season in September 1937. The exposition was housed on grounds that are now used by the Great Lakes Science Center, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Burke Lakefront Airport, among others. Following World War II, the city experienced a prosperous economy. In sports, the Indians won the 1948 World Series and the Browns dominated professional football in the 1950s. Businesses proclaimed that Cleveland was the "best location in the nation". In 1940, non-Hispanic whites represented 90.2% of Cleveland's population. The city's population reached its peak of 914,808, and in 1949 Cleveland was named an All-America City for the first time. By the 1960s, the economy slowed, and residents sought new housing in the suburbs, reflecting the national trends of urban flight and suburban growth.
During the African-American Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s, social unrest occurred in Cleveland, resulting in the Hough Riots from July 18, 1966 – July 23, 1966 and the Glenville Shootout from July 23, 1968 – July 25, 1968. In December 1978, Cleveland became the first major American city to enter into a financial default on federal loans since the Great Depression. Suburbanization changed the city in the late 1960s and 1970s, when financial difficulties and a notorious 1969 fire on the Cuyahoga River challenged the city. This, along with the city's struggling professional sports teams, drew negative national press. As a result, Cleveland was often derided as "The Mistake on the Lake".
By the beginning of the 1980s, several factors, including changes in international free trade policies, inflation and the Savings and Loans Crisis contributed to the recession that impacted cities like Cleveland. While unemployment during the period peaked in 1983, Cleveland's rate of 13.8% was higher than the national average due to the closure of several production centers.
The metropolitan area began a gradual economic recovery under mayors George Voinovich and Michael R. White. Redevelopment within the city limits has been strongest in the downtown area near the Gateway complex—consisting of Progressive Field and Quicken Loans Arena, and near North Coast Harbor—including the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland Browns Stadium, and the Great Lakes Science Center. Cleveland has been hailed by local media as the "Comeback City," while economic development of the inner-city neighborhoods and improvement of the school systems are municipal priorities. In 1999, Cleveland was identified as an emerging global city.
In the 21st century, the city has improved infrastructure, is more diversified, and has invested in the arts. Cleveland is generally considered an example of revitalization. In studies conducted by The Economist in 2005 Cleveland was ranked as one of the most livable cities in the United States, and the city was ranked as the best city for business meetings in the continental U.S. The city's goals include additional neighborhood revitalization and increased funding for public education.