Profile: Cleveland, Ohio

Cleveland's metropolitan area is one of the largest in the country, attracting young professionals and empty nesters alike.
By: Douglas Trattner
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Population: 438,000 

USDA Hardiness Zone: 5

Major Airport: Cleveland-Hopkins International Airport

Companies with a Major Presence Here: Cleveland Clinic, Eaton, Parker Hannifin, Progressive Insurance, Sherwin-Williams, KeyCorp, Lincoln Electric, American Greetings

Much has been made of Cleveland’s hemorrhaging population base, but a closer look at the figures reveals a different truth. While the city proper has indeed shriveled in size from nearly a million strong in the 1950s to less than half that now, many of the departed simply traded in urban ZIP codes for suburban ones. Five-county Greater Cleveland contains more than 2 million people, making it one of the larger metropolitan areas in the country.

These days, figures are beginning to tell a different story as waves of young professionals and empty-nesters swap suburban scenery for urban excitement. Attracted by a clean, safe and vibrant downtown, these urban pioneers are moving into warehouse lofts, shiny glass condos and entire neighborhoods of restored 19th-century cottages. Instead of spending all weekend tending the lawn, these ebullient city folks are cheering on one of three pro sports teams or checking out the latest exhibit at the Cleveland Museum of Art. At night, entertainment options range from an evening with the Cleveland Orchestra to Shakespeare in PlayhouseSquare, the second-largest performing arts complex in the country.

When Clevelanders want to get away, they have easy access to Lake Erie, Cuyahoga Valley National Park and one of the best metropolitan park systems in the nation.