Cleveland (pronounced /ˈkliːvlənd/) 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 municipality is located in northeastern Ohio on the southern shore of Lake Erie, approximately 60 miles (100 km) 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 at the head of numerous canals and railroad lines. With the decline of heavy manufacturing, Cleveland’s businesses have diversified into the service economy, including the financial services, insurance, legal, and healthcare sectors. Cleveland is also home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
As of the 2000 Census, the city proper had a total population of 478,403, and was then the 33rd largest city in the United States, (now estimated as the 43rd largest due to declines in population) and the second largest city in Ohio. The city’s population has been shrinking since it peaked at 914,808 in 1950. It is the center of Greater Cleveland, the largest metropolitan area in Ohio. The Cleveland-Elyria–Mentor Metropolitan Statistical Area which in 2000 ranked as the 23rd largest in the United States with 2,250,871 people. Cleveland is also part of the larger Cleveland-Akron-Elyria Combined Statistical Area, which in 2000 had a population of 2,945,831, and ranked as the country’s 14th largest.
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. The city has worked to improve its infrastructure, diversify its economy, and invest in the arts ever since, and now Cleveland is considered an exemplar for public-private partnerships, downtown revitalization, and urban renaissance. 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 faces continuing challenges, in particular from concentrated poverty in some neighborhoods and difficulties in the funding and delivery of high-quality public education.
Residents of Cleveland are called Clevelanders. Nicknames for the city include “The Forest City“, “Metropolis of the Western Reserve”, “Sixth City”,”The Rock ‘n’ Roll Capital of the World”, “C-Town” and “The Cleve”. Due to ocean access provided by the Saint Lawrence Seaway, the Cleveland area is also referred to as “The North Coast”.