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Portage County is a county located in the U.S. state of Ohiomarker. As of 2000, the population was 152,061. Its county seat is Ravennamarker . Portage County is named for the portage between the Cuyahogamarker and Tuscarawas Rivers. Portage County is part of the Akronmarker Metropolitan Statistical Area.


The name "Portage" comes from an old Native American path called "Portage Trail", which ran between the Cuyahogamarker and Tuscarawas rivers, where travelers portaged their canoes. The location of the trail today is within the boundaries of neighboring Summit Countymarker.

The first European settler in what is now Portage County was Abraham Honey in 1798 in the area now known as Mantua Townshipmarker, followed by Asa Hall in what is now Atwater Townshipmarker in April 1799; Benjamin Tappan, Jr. in what is now Ravennamarker, David Daniels in what is now Palmyra Townshipmarker, and Ebenezer Sheldon in what is now Auroramarker all arrived in June 1799.

When first settled, the area that presently constitutes Portage County was part of the original Jefferson Countymarker, which had been organized in 1797. In 1800, the area was made part of Trumbull Countymarker, which followed the boundaries of the Connecticut Western Reserve.


Geographic features

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 507 square miles (1,313 km²).492 square miles (1,275 km²) of it is land and 15 square miles (38 km²) of it (2.90%) is 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.

Major highways

Interstate 80, Interstate 76, and U.S. Route 224 pass through Portage County heading east-west.

Interstate 480 connects to Interstate 80 and State Route 14 in Streetsboromarker and is a major thoroughfare for those heading north. It also serves to connect Portage County to Clevelandmarker proper.

Adjacent counties


Portage County

Population by year

1810 2,995

1820 10,095

1830 18,826

1840 22,965

1850 24,419

1860 24,208

1870 24,584

1880 27,500

1890 27,868

1900 29,246

1910 30,307

1920 36,369

1930 42,682

1940 46,660

1950 63,954

1960 91,798

1970 125,868

1980 135,856

1990 142,585

2000 152,061

As of the census 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% Americanmarker 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.



Map of Portage County, Ohio with municipal and township labels.
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.

There are 18 unincorporated townships:

There are 11 villages and cities that were formed from all or parts of the original 20 townships:

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

Two small unincorporated communities in Portage County have their own post offices:

There is one unincorporated Census-designated place, in Brimfield Township:

The Ravenna Training and Logistics Sitemarker, commonly known as the Ravenna Arsenal, consumes much of the land in Charlestown, Paris, and Windham Township, as well as a small part of Freedom Township.


Portage County is home to eleven public school districts.

District Location Communities served
Aurora City School District Aurora Aurora, small part of Reminderville
Crestwood Local School District Mantua Mantua, Mantua Township, Hiram, most of Hiram Township, most of Shalersville Township
James A Garfield Local School District Garrettsville Garrettsville, Nelson Township, Freedom Township, part of Hiram Township, small part of Charlestown Township
Field Local School District Brimfield Brimfield Township, most of Suffield Township, parts of Tallmadge and Kent which were annexed from Brimfield
Kent City School Districtmarker Kent Brady Lake, most of Kent, Sugar Bush Knolls, most of Franklin Township, small portion of Streetsboro
Ravenna School District Ravenna Ravenna, most of Ravenna Township, small portion of Shalersville Township
Rootstown Local School District Rootstown Rootstown Township and small portion of Ravenna Township
Southeast Local School District Palmyra Edinburg Township, Palmyra Township, Paris Township, most of Charlestown Township, most of Deerfield Township
Streetsboro City School District Streetsboro most of Streetsboro
Waterloo Local School District Atwater Atwater Township, Randolph Township, small portion of Deerfield Township
Windham Exempted Village School District Windham Windham, Windham Township

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

District Location Communities served in Portage County
Lake Local School District Uniontown small part of Suffield Township
Mogadore Local School District* Mogadore Mogadore, small part of Suffield Township
Springfield Local School District Springfieldmarker small part of Suffield Township
Stow-Munroe Falls City School District Stow small part of Franklin Township
West Branch Local School District Beloit small 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.

Higher education

Portage County is home to four institutions of higher learning:
  • Kent State Universitymarker, located in Kentmarker; a large regional public research university with over 34,000 students. It serves as the county's largest employer.

  • Hiram Collegemarker, located in Hirammarker in northwestern Portage County; a small liberal arts college of around 1,200 students.

  • Bohecker College, a small two-year college of around 300 students in Ravennamarker specializing in the business and medical technician fields.


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