Profile: Cincinnati, Ohio

Get the 411 on Cincinnati's economy, demographics, and more.
By: Geoff Williams
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Population: 364,040

USDA Hardiness Zone: 6

Major Airport: Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport

Companies With a Major Presence Here: The Kroger Co., Procter & Gamble Co., Western & Southern Financial, Federated Department Stores, Fifth Third Bancorp; more than 360 other Fortune 500 companies have operations in Cincinnati.

Cincinnati isn’t a city you date, but you marry. It lacks the grit and drama of a New York City, Chicago or Los Angeles. It doesn’t have the beach backdrop of a Miami or Corpus Christi, Texas. Young people don’t come here hoping to make it big in show business. But people do come to Greater Cincinnati, which includes in its family northern Kentucky and southeastern Indiana. They come intending to settle down in a family-friendly neighborhood where the cost of living is much kinder than in some other parts of the country. And that’s just what they find.

Which isn’t to say that residents who settle in Cincinnati are settling. Just as when you meet and marry your soul mate, this is a city that its citizens love deeply.

Still, despite a lot of reasons to admire and enjoy Cincinnati, the city gets beat up a lot in the press, especially when it comes to lists. In early 2009, BusinessWeek named it the ninth most unhappy city in the nation out of a list of 50 (Portland, Ore., was ranked the least happy city, for comparison’s sake) and the same year Forbes said that Cincinnati was the third least popular city in the country.

But in the positive column, Forbes also acknowledged that Cincinnati is number five on the list of the country’s most affordable cities, and in a separate list, they named Cincinnati in its list of the 30 most wired cities in the nation.

At any rate, the people here seem pretty happy despite what some lists indicate. Certainly, there’s plenty to keep everyone content and cheery when we aren’t working hard. We have two beloved sports franchises, the Reds baseball and the Bengals football teams. There’s also a vast and impressive park system, a healthy arts community and it can be a kids’ paradise. The Cincinnati Museum Center, for instance, has a very popular wing just for children, and Cincinnati’s zoo is one of the most admired in the nation and the country’s second oldest. Meanwhile, for older kids and grownups, Cincinnati boasts the relatively new and impressive Underground Railroad Freedom Center.

And if nothing else, how many other cities can say that they’re included in the title of a classic TV series? That would be WKRP in Cincinnati (1978-82).

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