Youngstown, Ohio

county seat of Mahoning County, Ohio, United States

Youngstown is a city in Ohio, United States. It is the county seat of Mahoning County.[4] Part of Youngstown is also in Trumbull County.[5] The town is on the Mahoning River. It is about 65 miles (105 km) southeast of Cleveland and 61 miles (100 km) northwest of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Youngstown has its own metropolitan area; it is often thought of as part of the Pittsburgh Tri-State area and Greater Cleveland.[6] Youngstown is 10 miles (16 km) west of the Pennsylvania state line. It is midway between New York City and Chicago via Interstate 80.

Youngstown, Ohio
City of Youngstown
The Metropolitan Tower in Downtown Youngstown facing east from West Federal Street.
The Metropolitan Tower in Downtown Youngstown facing east from West Federal Street.
Official seal of Youngstown, Ohio
The City of You, The Home of Grit
Location of Youngstown in Mahoning County within the state of Ohio Interactive Map Outlining Youngstown
Location of Youngstown in Mahoning County within the state of Ohio
Interactive Map Outlining Youngstown
Youngstown is located in Ohio
Location within Ohio
Youngstown is located in the United States
Location within the United States
Youngstown is located in North America
Location within North America
Coordinates: 41°6′N 80°39′W / 41.100°N 80.650°W / 41.100; -80.650Coordinates: 41°6′N 80°39′W / 41.100°N 80.650°W / 41.100; -80.650
Country United States
State Ohio
CountyMahoning, Trumbull
Incorporated1848 (Village)
 1867 (City)
Founded byJohn Young
 • TypeMayor-Council
 • BodyCouncil of the City of Youngstown
 • MayorJamael Tito Brown (D)
 • City88.5 km2 (34.2 sq mi)
 • Land87.8 km2 (33.9 sq mi)
 • Water0.77 km2 (0.3 sq mi)
259 m (850 ft)
 • City66,982
 • Estimate 
 • Density893.0/km2 (2,312.9/sq mi)
 • Urban
387,550 (US: 97th)
 • Metro
541,926 (US: 103rd)
 • CSA
645,003 (US: 74th)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern Standard Time)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (Eastern Daylight Time)
ZIP Code
15 Total ZIP Codes:
  • 44501–44507, 44509–44515, 44555
Area Code330, 234
FIPS code39-88000
GNIS feature ID1058156[3]
U.S. RouteUS 62.svg US 422.svg

The city was named for John Young. He was an early settler from Whitestown, New York, who started the town's first sawmill and gristmill.[7] Youngstown is in an area of the United States that is often called the Rust Belt. The town was known as a center of steel making. Youngstown was forced to change itself when the U.S. steel industry fell into decline in the 1970s. Towns in the area did not have a lot of business after that.[8] Youngstown also falls within the Appalachian Ohio region, among the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. The 2010 census showed that Youngstown had a total population of 66,982,[9] making it Ohio's ninth largest city. The city has had a decline of over 60% of its population since 1960.

According to the 2010 Census, the Youngstown-Warren-Boardman Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) contains 565,773 people and includes Mahoning and Trumbull counties in Ohio, and Mercer County in Pennsylvania.[9] The Steel Valley area as a whole has 763,207 residents.[10]


Governor David Tod

Youngstown was named for New York native John Young. He surveyed the area in 1796. He moved there soon after.[11] On February 9, 1797, Young bought the town of 15,560 acres (6,300 ha) from the Western Reserve Land Company for $16,085.[12] The 1797 start of Youngstown was officially recorded on August 19, 1802.[13]

The area of today's Youngstown was part of the Connecticut Western Reserve. This was a part of the Northwest Territory for settlers from the state of Connecticut.[14] While many of the area's early settlers came from Connecticut, Youngstown also had a large number of Scots-Irish settlers from neighboring Pennsylvania.[15] The first European Americans to settle in the area were Pittsburgh native James Hillman and his wife, Catherine Dougherty.[16] By 1798, Youngstown was the home of several families who were lived near the point where Mill Creek meets the Mahoning River.[14] Boardman Township was started in 1798 by Elijah Boardman. He was a member of the Connecticut Land Company. Also started in 1798 was Austintown by John McCollum. He was a settler from New Jersey.[17]

In 1800, governor Arthur St. Clair made Trumbull County (named for Connecticut Governor Jonathan Trumbull). He named the smaller town of Warren as its "county seat".[18] In 1813, Trumbull County was divided into townships, with Youngstown Township being a big part of what became Mahoning County.[19] The village of Youngstown was incorporated in 1848, and in 1867 Youngstown was chartered as a city. It became the county seat in 1876.[20]

The discovery of coal by the community in the early 19th century helped Youngstown become part of the Erie Canal. The Pennsylvania and Ohio Canal Company was organized in 1835. The canal was completed in 1840.[21] David Tod, who was later Ohio governor during the Civil War, persuaded Lake Erie steamboat owners that coal from the Mahoning Valley could fuel their vessels if canal transportation were available between Youngstown and Cleveland. The arrival of the railroad in 1856 made it easier for more economic growth.[22]

Youngstown, 1910s: Central Square and Viaduct (view looking south)

Youngstown's industrial development made the Mahoning Valley different. The community's coal industry made hundreds of immigrants from Wales, Germany, and Ireland come to the area. With the start of steel mills in the late 19th century, Youngstown became a popular destination for immigrants from Eastern Europe, Italy, and Greece.[23] In the early 20th century, the community saw more immigrants from non-European countries including what is today's Lebanon, Israel, and Syria. By the 1920s, this change in the town's population made people who were there earlier upset. Because of their anger, the Mahoning Valley became a center of Ku Klux Klan activity.[24] The situation reached a climax in 1924, when street clashes between Klan members and Italian and Irish Americans in neighboring Niles led Ohio Governor A. Victor Donahey to declare martial law.[25] By 1928 the Klan was in steep decline; and three years later, the group sold its Canfield, Ohio, meeting area, Kountry Klub Field.[26]

The growth of industry made more people from the United States and Latin America come to Youngstown. By the late 19th century, African Americans were well represented in Youngstown. The first local African Methodist Episcopal Church was started in 1871.[27] In the 1880s, local attorney William R. Stewart was the second African American elected to the Ohio House of Representatives.[28] A large increase of African Americans in the early 20th century was because of changes in the industrial area. During the national Steel Strike of 1919, local industrialists recruited thousands of workers from the South, many of whom were Black.[29] This move upset local Whites, and for decades, African-American steelworkers experienced discrimination in the workplace.[30][31] Migration from the South rose dramatically in the 1940s, when the mechanization of southern agriculture brought an end to the exploitative sharecropping system, leading onetime farm laborers to seek industrial jobs.[32]

The city's population became more diverse since the end of World War II, when a seemingly robust steel industry attracted thousands of workers.[33] In the 1950s, the Latino population grew significantly; and by the 1970s, St. Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church and the First Spanish Baptist Church of Ohio were among the largest religious institutions for Spanish-speaking residents in the Youngstown metropolitan area.[27] While diversity is among the community's enduring characteristics, the industrial economy that drew various groups to the area collapsed in the late 1970s. In response to subsequent challenges, the city has taken well-publicized steps to diversify economically, while building on some traditional strengths.[34]

Geography and climateEdit

The United States Census Bureau says the city has a total area of 34.60 square miles (89.61 km2). Land is 33.96 square miles (87.96 km2) of that area, and water is 0.64 square miles (1.66 km2).[35]

Youngstown is in the Mahoning Valley on the Glaciated Allegheny Plateau. The glaciers left behind a plain with valleys at the end of the last Ice Age. The valleys were caused by the Mahoning River crossing the plain.[36] Lakes made by glaciers that dammed small streams were eventually drained. This left behind fertile land.[36]

Climate data for Youngstown, Ohio (Youngstown-Warren Airport), 1981–2010 normals
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 71
Average high °F (°C) 33.2
Average low °F (°C) 19.0
Record low °F (°C) −22
Average precipitation inches (mm) 2.55
Average snowfall inches (cm) 17.1
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 17.1 14.3 14.1 14.5 13.6 12.3 10.7 10.0 10.6 11.5 14.1 17.2 160
Average snowy days (≥ 0.1 in) 13.9 10.6 7.2 2.9 0 0 0 0 0 .8 3.7 11.5 50.6
Source: NOAA (extremes 1897–present),[37] NWS (records)[38]


  1. "American FactFinder". Retrieved 2010-03-20.
  2. "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 30, 2019.
  3. "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  4. "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  5. "Subcounty population estimates: Ohio 2000–2006". United States Census Bureau, Population Division. June 28, 2007. Archived from the original (CSV) on April 20, 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-28.
  6. Breckenridge, Tom (November 4, 2008). "'The Tech Belt Initiative' to link Cleveland, Youngstown, Pittsburgh to share gains, dollars". The Plain Dealer. Cleveland, Ohio. Archived from the original on 2011-06-07. Retrieved 2008-11-22.
  7. "Communities along the Mahoning River". Youngstown State University. Archived from the original on 2007-06-21. Retrieved 2007-02-26.
  8. Bruno (1999), p. 10.
  9. 9.0 9.1 "American FactFinder2". Retrieved 2010-03-20.
  10. "Annual Estimates of the Population of Combined Statistical Areas: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2007". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 2007-07-10.
  11. "Knowing Youngstown: John Young's Land Purchase". The Youngstown Daily Vindicator. October 15, 1924. p. 7hi.
  12. Aley (1975), pp. 28–29.
  13. Blue et al. (1995), pp. 15–16.
  14. 14.0 14.1 Blue et al. (1995), p. 13.
  15. Blue et al. (1995), pp. 16–17.
  16. Blue et al. (1995), p. 15.
  17. Sanderson, Thomas (1907). 20th Century History of Youngstown and Mahoning County, Ohio. Biographical Publishing Company. pp. 169–180.
  18. Blue et al. (1995), pp. 17–18.
  19. Blue et al. (1995), p. 18.
  20. Aley (1975), pp. 98–99.
  21. Blue et al. (1995), pp. 33–35.
  22. Blue et al. (1995), pp. 35–36.
  23. Blue et al. (1995), p. 69.
  24. Jenkins (1990), p. 19.
  25. Jenkins (1990), p. 137.
  26. Aley (1975), p. 259.
  27. 27.0 27.1 Aley (1975), p. 46.
  28. Aley (1975), p. 47.
  29. Brody (1960), pp. 254–255.
  30. Bruno (1999), pp. 155–156.
  31. Linkon and Russo (2002), p. 42.
  32. Lemann (1991), pp. 3–58.
  33. Linkon and Russo (2002), pp. 41–42.
  34. Nasser, Haya El (December 26, 2006). "As older cities shrink, some reinvent themselves". USA Today. |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  35. "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-01-06.
  36. 36.0 36.1 Aley (1975), pp. 8–9.
  37. "NowData - NOAA Online Weather Data". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 2012-02-10.
  38. "Youngstown, OH Climate". National Weather Service. Retrieved 2008-11-15.