Location within the U.S. state of Ohio
Ohio's location within the U.S.
|Founded||January 1, 1809|
|Named for||John Stark|
|o Total||581 sq mi (1,500 km2)|
|o Land||575 sq mi (1,490 km2)|
|o Water||5.3 sq mi (14 km2) 0.9%%|
| o Estimate |
|o Density||653/sq mi (252/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (Eastern)|
|o Summer (DST)||UTC-4 (EDT)|
|Congressional districts||7th, 13th, 16th|
Stark County is a county located in the U.S. state of Ohio. As of the 2010 census, the population was 375,586. Its county seat is Canton. The county was created in 1808 and organized the next year. It is named for John Stark, an officer in the American Revolutionary War.
Stark County is included in the Canton-Massillon, OH Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the Cleveland-Akron-Canton, OH Combined Statistical Area.
Stark County was named in honor of American Revolutionary War General John Stark. John Stark (August 28, 1728 - May 8, 1822) was a general who served in the American Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. He became widely known as the "Hero of Bennington" for his exemplary service at the Battle of Bennington in 1777.
The first permanent settlements were established in 1805, beginning with Canton. Possibly 80% of the early settlers were German-speakers from Pennsylvania, although others came from Virginia, New York, and New England. Lumbering and sawmills were important early industries, to cater to the enormous demand for lumber from the incoming settlers. Stark County was originally part of Columbiana County, but was split off in 1807.
During the early 20th century, Stark County was an important location in the early development of professional football. The rivalry between the Massillon Tigers and Canton Bulldogs helped bring the Ohio League to prominence in the mid-1900s (decade) and again in the late 1910s. The Bulldogs ended up a charter member of the National Football League, where it played for several years. (The role Stark County had in developing the game is part of the reason the Pro Football Hall of Fame is located in Canton.) Two relatively large football stadiums, Fawcett Stadium in Canton and Paul Brown Tiger Stadium in Massillon, are still in use (albeit now mostly for high school football), with Fawcett Stadium hosting the NFL's annual Pro Football Hall of Fame Game each year.
In the later 20th century, Stark County's voting record swung from one party to another, closely tracking the winner of the U.S. Presidential election. Even within the swing state of Ohio, Stark County is regarded as a quintessential bellwether, and thus presidential candidates have typically made multiple visits to the region. Major media outlets typically pay close attention to the election results in the county. The New York Times in particular has covered the county's citizens and their voting concerns in a series of features each election cycle for over a decade.
As of the census of 2000, there were 378,098 people, 148,316 households, and 102,782 families residing in the county. The population density was 656 people per square mile (253/km²). There were 157,024 housing units at an average density of 272 per square mile (105/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 90.28% White, 7.20% Black or African American, 0.24% Native American, 0.54% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.29% from other races, and 1.43% from two or more races. 0.92% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 148,316 households out of which 31.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.20% were married couples living together, 11.50% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.70% were non-families. 26.10% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.90% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.49 and the average family size was 3.00.
In the county, the population was spread out with 24.80% under the age of 18, 8.30% from 18 to 24, 27.80% from 25 to 44, 24.00% from 45 to 64, and 15.10% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 92.40 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.40 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $39,824, and the median income for a family was $47,747. Males had a median income of $37,065 versus $23,875 for females. The per capita income for the county was $20,417. About 6.80% of families and 9.20% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.90% of those under age 18 and 6.60% of those age 65 or over.
As of the 2010 census, there were 375,586 people, 151,089 households, and 100,417 families residing in the county. The population density was 652.9 inhabitants per square mile (252.1/km2). There were 165,215 housing units at an average density of 287.2 per square mile (110.9/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 88.7% white, 7.6% black or African American, 0.7% Asian, 0.3% American Indian, 0.5% from other races, and 2.2% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 1.6% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 33.6% were German, 15.5% were Irish, 10.1% were English, 10.1% were Italian, and 7.7% were American.
Of the 151,089 households, 30.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.2% were married couples living together, 12.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 33.5% were non-families, and 28.1% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 2.96. The median age was 41.1 years.
The median income for a household in the county was $44,941 and the median income for a family was $55,976. Males had a median income of $44,238 versus $31,896 for females. The per capita income for the county was $24,015. About 9.5% of families and 12.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.5% of those under age 18 and 6.7% of those age 65 or over.
Stark County formerly was a Republican Party stronghold, but since 1992 it has become a swing county that tilts Democratic. In 2016, Donald Trump won the county by the largest margin of any presidential candidate since Ronald Reagan in 1984.
Prior to 1815, Stark County consisted of only eight large townships. After a number of partitions and a few transfers between counties, the townships are: