🇺🇸 Akron is the fifth-largest city in the U.S. state of Ohio and is the county seat of Summit County. It is located on the western edge of the Glaciated Allegheny Plateau, about 40 miles south of downtown Cleveland. As of the 2019 Census estimate, the city proper is the 125th largest city in the United States. The Greater Akron area, covers Summit and Portage counties.
The city was founded along the Little Cuyahoga River at the summit of the developing Ohio and Erie Canal. The name is derived from the Greek word signifying a summit or high point. In the 1910s, Akron doubled in population, making it the nation's fastest-growing city. A long history of rubber and tire manufacturing, carried on today by The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, gave Akron the nickname "Rubber Capital of the World". It was once known as a centre of airship development. Today, its economy includes manufacturing, education, healthcare, and biomedical research; leading corporations include Gojo Industries, FirstEnergy, Huntington Bank, and Charter Spectrum.
A racially diverse city, it has seen noted racial relations speeches by Sojourner Truth in 1851—the Ain't I A Woman? speech; W. E. B. Du Bois in 1920; and President Bill Clinton in 1997. In 1914, Marcus Garvey founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association in Akron. Episodes of major civil unrest in Akron have included the riot of 1900, rubber strike of 1936, and the Wooster Avenue riots of 1968.
Economy Many industries in the United States either began or were influenced by the city. After beginning the tire and rubber industry during the 20th century with the founding of Goodrich, Firestone, General Tire, and also the Goodyear merger with The Kelly-Springfield Tire Company, Akron gained the status of "Rubber Capital of the World". Akron has won economic awards such as for City Livability and All-American City, and deemed a high tech haven greatly contributing to the Information Age. Current Fortune 500 companies headquartered in the city include the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company and FirstEnergy. In addition, the city is the headquarters to a number of other notable companies such as GOJO, Advanced Elastomer Systems, Babcock & Wilcox, Myers Industries, Acme Fresh Market and Sterling Jewelers. Goodyear, America's biggest tire manufacturer and the fifth-largest private employer in Summit County, recently built a new world headquarters in the city. The project, Akron Riverwalk, will feature a large retail and commercial development area. The project began in 2007, but was put on hold because of the financial crisis of 2007–2010, and is now continuing. Bridgestone built a new technical centre with state-of-the-art R&D labs, and moved its product development operations to the new facility in early 2012. The Eastern Ohio Division of KeyBank, which has six branches in the city, built a regional headquarters downtown. The city has a free WiFi corridor centred in downtown. Neighbourhoods in range include Goodyear Heights, East Akron, North Hill, Firestone Park, Kenmore, and West Akron.
Polymer Valley Northeast Ohio's Polymer Valley is centred in Akron. The area holds forty-five percent of the state's polymer industries, with the oldest dating to the 19th century. During the 1980s and 1990s, an influx of new polymer companies came to the region. In 2001, more than 400 companies manufactured polymer-based materials in the region. Many University of Akron scientists became world-renowned for their research done at the Goodyear Polymer Center. The first College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering was begun by the university. In 2010, the National Polymer Innovation Center opened on campus.
Hospitals Akron has designated an area called the Biomedical Corridor, aimed at luring health-related ventures to the region. It encompasses 1,240 acres (5.0 km²) of private and publicly owned land, bounded by Akron General on the west and Akron City on the east, and also includes Akron Children's near the district's centre with the former Saint Thomas Hospital to the north of its northern boundaries. Since its start in 2006, the corridor added the headquarters of companies such as Akron Polymer Systems.
Akron's adult hospitals are owned by two health systems, Summa Health System and Akron General Health System. Summa Health System operates Akron City Hospital and the former St. Thomas Hospital, which in 2008 were recognised for the 11th consecutive year as one of "America's Best Hospitals" by U.S. News & World Report. Summa is recognised as having one of the best orthopaedics programs in the nation with a ranking of 28th. Akron General Health in affiliation with the Cleveland Clinic operates Akron General Medical Center, which in 2009, was recognised as one of "America's Best Hospitals" by U.S. News & World Report. Akron Children's Hospital is an independent entity that specialises in pediatric care and burn care. In 1974, Dr. Howard Igel and Dr. Aaron Freeman successfully grew human skin in a lab to treat burn victims, making Akron Children's Hospital the first hospital in the world to achieve such a feat. Akron City and Akron General hospitals are designated Level I Trauma Centers.
Top employers According to the city's 2017 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the principal employers in the city include: Summa Health System; Cleveland Clinic Akron General Hospital; Akron Children's Hospital; Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company; County of Summit; Signet Jewelers; Akron Public Schools; FirstEnergy; The University of Akron; Spectrum.
Akron is ranked #168 by the Global Urban Competitiveness Report (GUCR) which evaluates and ranks world cities in the context of economic competitiveness. Akron has a population of over 197,597 people. Akron also forms part of the Greater Akron metropolitan area which has a population of over 703,505 people. Akron is the #110 hipster city in the world, with a hipster score of 4.3053 according to the Hipster Index which evaluates and ranks the major cities of the world according to the number of vegan eateries, coffee shops, tattoo studios, vintage boutiques, and record stores.