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Lake County is a county located in the U.S. state of Ohio. According to the 2010 census, it has a population of 230,041, which is an increase of 1.1% from 227,511 in 2000. The county seat is Painesville, and the county name comes from its location on the southern shore of Lake Erie.
According to the 2010 census, the county has a total area of 979.20 square miles (2,536.1 km2), of which 227.49 square miles (589.2 km2) (or 23.23%) is land and 751.70 square miles (1,946.9 km2) (or 76.77%) is water. Lake County is Ohio's smallest county by land area.
- Across Lake Erie lies Elgin County, Ontario, Canada (north)
- Ashtabula County (east)
- Geauga County (south)
- Cuyahoga County (south and west)
National protected area
As of the census of 2000, there were 227,511 people, 89,700 households, and 62,520 families residing in the county. The population density was 997 people per square mile (385/km²). There were 93,487 housing units at an average density of 410 per square mile (158/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 95.40% White, 1.99% Black or African American, 0.11% Native American, 0.90% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.66% from other races, and 0.92% from two or more races. 1.70% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 18.5% were of German, 14.6% Italian, 12.7% Irish, 8.1% English, 6.2% Polish, 5.7% American and 5.4% Slovene ancestry according to Census 2000. 93.6% spoke English, 1.9% Spanish, and 0.8% Croatian as their first language.
There were 89,700 households out of which 31.10% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.10% were married couples living together, 10.00% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.30% were non-families. 25.60% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.80% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.50 and the average family size was 3.03.
In the county, the population was spread out with 24.20% under the age of 18, 7.30% from 18 to 24, 29.70% from 25 to 44, 24.70% from 45 to 64, and 14.10% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 94.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.50 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $48,763, and the median income for a family was $57,134. Males had a median income of $40,916 versus $28,434 for females. The per capita income for the county was $23,160. About 3.50% of families and 5.10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.50% of those under age 18 and 5.40% of those age 65 or over.
Scorecard ranks Lake County among the worst 10% of counties in the U.S. in terms of cancer risk, developmental and reproductive toxicants, and other categories as well; this is comparable with most major cities and densely populated areas.
Lake County has a large public park system. Kirtland is home to the Holden Arboretum and the location of Gildersleeve Mountain. Headlands Beach State Park is located in Mentor. The Grand River is a state wild and scenic river and the Chagrin River is a state scenic river.
Laketran is the transit agency servicing Lake County. Interstate 90 runs northeast/southwest through Lake County, roughly parallel to State Route 2; together these roads make up the major traffic arteries in the county. There is currently no passenger rail service in Lake County.
Lake County is served by the following libraries:
- Fairport Harbor Public Library in Fairport Harbor
- Kirtland Public Library in Kirtland
- Madison Public Library in Madison
- Mentor Public Library in Mentor
- Morley Library in Painesville
- Perry Public Library in Perry
- Wickliffe Public Library in Wickliffe. WKPL is "A Top Ten American Library" as rated by the HAPLR Index. In 2005, the library loaned more than 459,000 items to its 110,400 cardholders. Total holdings are over 100,000 volumes with over 519 periodical subscriptions.
- Willoughby-Eastlake Public Library, headquartered in Willowick with branches in Eastlake, Willoughby, and Willoughby Hills. In 2005, the library loaned more than 1.2 million items to its 37,000 cardholders. Total holding are over 216,000 volumes with over 850 periodical subscriptions.
A 2008 analysis of Ohio presidential election results from 1960 to 2004 found that no other county more closely follows the statewide Ohio voting pattern. Lake County doesn't always vote with the winner, but consistently is closer to the winner's Ohio vote percentage than any other Ohio county.
- Melon heads - a local urban legend
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Lake County, Ohio
- "Ohio County Profiles: Lake County" (PDF). Ohio Department of Development. Retrieved 2007-04-28.
- "Lake County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-02-16.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- "Lake County data". Ohio State University Extension Data Center. Archived from the original on 2007-12-11. Retrieved 2007-04-28.
- "Census 2010 U.S. Gazetteer Files: Counties". United States Census. Retrieved 2011-11-05.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "HAPLR Top Ten by Population". HAPLR Index.
- "2005 Ohio Public Library Statistics:Statistics by County and Town". State Library of Ohio. Retrieved October 28, 2006.
- Exner, Rich (August 19, 2008). "Ohio's presidential election bellwether: Lake County". Cleveland Plain Dealer. Retrieved June 24, 2012.