Portage County, Ohio

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Portage County, Ohio
Portage County courthouse.jpg
Portage County Courthouse
Map of Ohio highlighting Portage County
Location in the state of Ohio
Map of the United States highlighting Ohio
Ohio's location in the U.S.
FoundedJune 7, 1807[1]
Named forthe portage between the Cuyahoga and Tuscarawas Rivers
Largest cityKent
 • Total504.06 sq mi (1,306 km2)
 • Land487.38 sq mi (1,262 km2)
 • Water16.68 sq mi (43 km2), 3.31%
 • (2010)161,419
 • Density331.2/sq mi (128/km²)
Time zoneEastern: UTC-5/-4
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Portage County, Ohio
Portage County courthouse.jpg
Portage County Courthouse
Map of Ohio highlighting Portage County
Location in the state of Ohio
Map of the United States highlighting Ohio
Ohio's location in the U.S.
FoundedJune 7, 1807[1]
Named forthe portage between the Cuyahoga and Tuscarawas Rivers
Largest cityKent
 • Total504.06 sq mi (1,306 km2)
 • Land487.38 sq mi (1,262 km2)
 • Water16.68 sq mi (43 km2), 3.31%
 • (2010)161,419
 • Density331.2/sq mi (128/km²)
Time zoneEastern: UTC-5/-4

Portage County is a county located in the U.S. state of Ohio. According to the 2010 census, it has a population of 161,419, which is an increase of 6.2% from 152,061 in 2000.[2] Its county seat is Ravenna.[3] Portage County is named for the portage between the Cuyahoga and Tuscarawas Rivers.[4] Portage County is part of the Akron Metropolitan Statistical Area.


The name "Portage" comes from an old Native American path called "Portage Path", which ran between the Cuyahoga and Tuscarawas rivers, where travelers portaged their canoes. The location of the trail today is within the boundaries of neighboring Summit County.[5][6]

The first European settler in what is now Portage County was Abraham Honey in 1798 in the area now known as Mantua Township, followed by Asa Hall in what is now Atwater Township in April 1799. In June 1799, Benjamin Tappan, Jr. arrived and founded Ravenna, David Daniels came to what is now Palmyra Township, and Ebenezer Sheldon settled in what is now Aurora.[7]

1826 map of Portage County with 30 townships

When first settled, the area that presently constitutes Portage County was part of the original Jefferson County, which had been organized in 1797.[8] In 1800, the area was made part of Trumbull County, which followed the boundaries of the Connecticut Western Reserve. In 1802, all of what is now Portage County was organized under the name of Franklin Township with other townships being formed later. On February 10, 1807 the Ohio state legislature passed the act to create Portage County from Trumbull County and it took effect June 7, 1807. Portage County remained attached to Trumbull County until June 8, 1808, when the first elections were held. Initially, the county included a large area of the Western Reserve that encompassed most of present-day Summit County, all of Medina and Huron counties, and parts of Lorain and Ashland counties. There were six organized townships in 1808: Franklin, Deerfield, Aurora, Hiram, Springfield, and Hudson with new townships organized later, reaching a maximum of 30. The present-day boundaries of Portage County were established in 1840 following the 1812 creation of Medina County, a slight boundary adjustment in 1827 with Cuyahoga County, and finally the creation of Summit County in 1840, which took 10 townships from Portage County along with 3 townships from Medina County and two from Stark County.[6]


Gazebo at Towner's Woods Park in Franklin Township, part of the county park system
Map of Portage County municipal and township labels

According to the 2010 census, the county has a total area of 504.06 square miles (1,305.5 km2), of which 487.38 square miles (1,262.3 km2) (or 96.69%) is land and 16.68 square miles (43.2 km2) (or 3.31%) is water.[9]

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.

Adjacent counties[edit]

Major highways[edit]


Historical population
Est. 2012161,4510.0%
U.S. Decennial Census[10]
2012 Estimate[2]

As of the census[11] of 2000, there were 152,061 people, 56,449 households, and 39,175 families residing in the county. The population density was 309 people per square mile (119/km²). There were 60,096 housing units at an average density of 122 per square mile (47/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 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 were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 23.5% were of German, 11.0% Irish, 9.9% Italian, 9.7% English, 9.7% American and 5.2% Polish ancestry according to Census 2000. 96.1% spoke English and 1.2% Spanish as their first language.

There were 56,449 households out of which 32.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.60% were married couples living together, 10.10% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.60% were non-families. 23.30% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.40% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.56 and the average family size was 3.03.

In the county, the population was 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 were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 95.40 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.40 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $44,347, and the median income for a family was $52,820. Males had a median income of $37,434 versus $26,232 for females. The per capita income for the county was $20,428. About 5.90% of families and 9.30% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.90% of those under age 18 and 5.70% of those age 65 or over.


Portage County is home to eleven public school districts.[12]

DistrictLocationCommunities served
Aurora City School DistrictAuroraAurora, small part of Reminderville
Crestwood Local School DistrictMantuaMantua, Mantua Township, Hiram, most of Hiram Township, most of Shalersville Township
James A Garfield Local School DistrictGarrettsvilleGarrettsville, Nelson Township, Freedom Township, part of Hiram Township, small part of Charlestown Township
Field Local School DistrictBrimfieldBrimfield Township, most of Suffield Township, parts of Tallmadge and Kent which were annexed from Brimfield
Kent City School DistrictKentBrady Lake, most of Kent, Sugar Bush Knolls, most of Franklin Township, small portion of Streetsboro
Ravenna School DistrictRavennaRavenna, most of Ravenna Township, small portion of Shalersville Township
Rootstown Local School DistrictRootstownRootstown Township and small portion of Ravenna Township
Southeast Local School DistrictPalmyraEdinburg Township, Palmyra Township, Paris Township, most of Charlestown Township, most of Deerfield Township
Streetsboro City School DistrictStreetsboromost of Streetsboro
Waterloo Local School DistrictAtwaterAtwater Township, Randolph Township, small portion of Deerfield Township
Windham Exempted Village School DistrictWindhamWindham, Windham Township
Bio-Med Science AcademyRootstownAll of Portage County as well as other counties. Officially a Public STEM+M School
Map of school districts in Portage County with township and municipal boundaries superimposed.

In addition, there are parts of five neighboring districts which serve portions of Portage County residents.[12]

DistrictLocationCommunities served in Portage County
Lake Local School DistrictUniontownsmall part of Suffield Township
Mogadore Local School District*MogadoreMogadore, small part of Suffield Township
Springfield Local School DistrictSpringfieldsmall part of Suffield Township
Stow-Munroe Falls City School DistrictStowsmall part of Franklin Township
West Branch Local School DistrictBeloitsmall part of Deerfield Township

*= Although the village of Mogadore is located in both Summit and Portage Counties its school facilities are physically located in Summit County.

Portage County is also home to the Bio-Med Science Academy, a year round public STEM+M high school, located on the campus of Northeast Ohio Medical University. The Academy serves students from across all districts in Portage County.[13]

Higher education[edit]

Portage County is home to four institutions of higher learning:


Portage County is arranged as a 4x5 grid of 20 rectangles: 18 unincorporated townships containing 9 cities and villages; and two incorporated townships which are fully occupied by one city each.

Under Ohio law, there are two types of incorporated municipal jurisdictions: cities and villages, and any territory within a county that is not part of an incorporated municipality (city or village), is part of a township. Townships have limited local government and services.


Cities and villages[edit]

In addition to the above, a small part of Tallmadge is in land that was formerly part of Brimfield Township (the rest of the city is in Summit County).

Unincorporated communities[edit]

Census-designated places[edit]

The Camp Ravenna Joint Military Training Center, formerly known as the Ravenna Training and Logistics Site and commonly known as the Ravenna Arsenal, occupies much of the land in Charlestown, Paris, and Windham Townships, as well as a small part of Freedom Township.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Ohio County Profiles: Portage County" (PDF). Ohio Department of Development. Retrieved 2007-04-28. 
  2. ^ a b "Portage County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-02-16. 
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  4. ^ "Portage County data". Ohio State University Extension Data Center. Retrieved 2007-04-28. [dead link]
  5. ^ Cherry, Peter Peterson (1911). The Portage Path. Akron, Ohio: The Western Reserve Company. Retrieved June 8, 2013. 
  6. ^ a b Brown, R.C; Norris, J.E. (1885, 1972 revision). History of Portage County Ohio. Chicago, Illinois: Warner, Beers, and Company. pp. 192–196. "Portage County received its name from the fact that the old Indian Portage Path, between the Cuyahoga and Tuscarawas Rivers, was, originally, within its limits, though now in Summit County." 
  7. ^ Brown and Norris, pp. 229–232
  8. ^ "Ohio County Formation Maps". Genealogical Information for the State of Ohio. Genealogy, Inc. 1999. Retrieved 2008-05-26. 
  9. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  10. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". Census.gov. Retrieved November 7, 2013. 
  11. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  12. ^ a b Exner, Rich (2008). "Property Tax 2007". Cleveland.com Business. The Plain Dealer. Retrieved 2008-10-11. 
  13. ^ Bio-Med Science Academy
  14. ^ "About - NEOMED". Northeast Ohio Medical University. 2012. Retrieved August 31, 2012. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°10′N 81°12′W / 41.17°N 81.20°W / 41.17; -81.20