is the capital and the largest city in the U.S. state of Ohio. It is the county seat of Franklin County, although parts of the city also extend into Delaware and Fairfield counties. Named for explorer Christopher Columbus, the city was founded in 1812 at the confluence of the Scioto and Olentangy rivers, and assumed the functions of state capital in 1816.
The population was 711,470 at the 2000 census. In 2007, Columbus was the 15th largest city in the United States, with 747,755 residents, and was also the 32nd largest metropolitan area, the fourth largest city in the Midwest, and the third most populous capital in the U.S. According to the U.S. Census, the metropolitan area has a population of 1,754,337, and the Combined Statistical Area (which also includes Marion and Chillicothe) has a population of 1,982,252. Columbus is located within of half of the population of the United States.
The city has a diverse economy based on education, insurance, health care, retail, and technology. Acknowledged by
as the 8th best large city in the U.S. to inhabit, it is also recognized as an emerging global city. Residents of Columbus are usually referred to as
Evidence of ancient mound-building societies abounds in the region near the confluence of the Scioto and Olentangy rivers. Mound Street, located in downtown Columbus, was so named because of its proximity to a large Native American burial mound. Numerous other earthworks were found throughout the area, including a surviving edifice on McKinley Avenue. Those ancient civilizations had long since faded into history when European explorers began moving into the region south of Lake Erie.
Rather than an empty frontier, however, they encountered people of the Miami, Delaware, Wyandot, Shawnee, and Mingo nations. These tribes resisted expansion by the fledgling United States, resulting in years of bitter conflict. The decisive battle of Fallen Timbers resulted in the Treaty of Greenville, which finally opened the way for new settlements. By 1797, a young surveyor from Virginia named Lucas Sullivant had founded a permanent settlement on the west bank of the forks of the Scioto River. An admirer of Benjamin Franklin, Sullivant chose to name his new frontier village "Franklinton." Although the location was desirable in its proximity to navigable rivers, Sullivant was initially foiled when, in 1798, a large flood wiped out the newly formed settlement. He persevered, and the village was rebuilt.