Willoughby, Ohio

Coordinates: 41°38′05″N 81°24′30″W / 41.63472°N 81.40833°W / 41.63472; -81.40833
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Willoughby, Ohio
Downtown Willoughby
Downtown Willoughby
"The Courtesy City"
Location in Greater Cleveland
Location in Greater Cleveland
Willoughby, Ohio is located in Ohio
Willoughby, Ohio
Willoughby, Ohio
Location in Ohio
Coordinates: 41°38′05″N 81°24′30″W / 41.63472°N 81.40833°W / 41.63472; -81.40833[1]
CountryUnited States
 • Total10.33 sq mi (26.75 km2)
 • Land10.24 sq mi (26.51 km2)
 • Water0.09 sq mi (0.23 km2)
Elevation637 ft (194 m)
 • Total23,959
 • Density2,340.43/sq mi (903.61/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP codes
Area code440
FIPS code39-85484[4]
GNIS feature ID1086435[3]

Willoughby is a city in Lake County, Ohio, United States, along the Chagrin River. The population was 23,959 at the time of the 2020 census. A suburb of Cleveland, it is part of the Cleveland metropolitan area.


Town square of Willoughby, Ohio in 1908. Featuring the Civil War memorial, Dahlgren canon, and bandstand in the background.

Willoughby's first permanent settler was David Abbott in 1798, who operated a gristmill.[5] Abbott and his family were said to have had close relations with a band of Indians along the banks of the local river, which the Indians called the "Sha-ga-rin" meaning "Clear Water." This river was later called the Chagrin River, though the origin of the name remains in dispute.

In 1835, the village was permanently named "Willoughby" in honor of Westel Willoughby, Jr., a public health official that the founders of a short-lived Medical College, which was based in the city, hoped to attract to the area.[6] Many historical buildings from this period survive to this date, affording the downtown Willoughby area some outstanding specimens of 19th century architecture.

In World War I, the U.S. Army chose Willoughby as the site for a chemical weapons plant producing lewisite.[7]

Over time, Willoughby sent citizens into every major U.S. military conflict. Several memorials and historical relics are displayed in Wes Point Park, the center of downtown Willoughby, to honor those that have served.

Downtown Willoughby is home to a number of small businesses, coffee shops and pubs which makes for a nice nightlife "feel" and provides a sense of community.

Willoughby is the only town in America that has belonged, at one time or other, to six counties (Washington, Jefferson, Trumbull, Geauga, Cuyahoga, and Lake).[8]


View north down Erie Street in downtown Willoughby

Willoughby is located at 41°38′45″N 81°24′35″W / 41.645915°N 81.409681°W / 41.645915; -81.409681 (41.645915, -81.408515).[1][9]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 10.34 square miles (26.78 km2), of which 10.25 square miles (26.55 km2) is land and 0.09 square miles (0.23 km2) is water.[10]

Willoughby is in an interesting geographical area. To the west is Cleveland, allowing for access to big businesses and a high neighboring population density. It is also close to more rural parts of northeast Ohio such as Waite Hill and Kirtland, two villages in Lake County Ohio with some of the highest residential values. It also has access to Mentor Ave, a long stretch of mostly commercial buildings spanning alongside the coast of Lake Erie.


Historical population
2021 (est.)23,898−0.3%

2010 census[edit]

At the 2010 census there were 22,268 people in 10,413 households, including 5,716 families, in the city. The population density was 2,172.5 inhabitants per square mile (838.8/km2). There were 11,387 housing units at an average density of 1,110.9 per square mile (428.9/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 93.6% White, 3.1% African American, 0.1% Native American, 1.5% Asian, 0.2% from other races, and 1.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.3%.[14]

Of the 10,413 households 23.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.1% were married couples living together, 11.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.1% had a male householder with no wife present, and 45.1% were non-families. 38.4% of households were one person and 16.2% were one person aged 65 or older. The average household size was 2.12 and the average family size was 2.83.

The median age was 43.6 years. 19.1% of residents were under the age of 18; 7.5% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 25.2% were from 25 to 44; 29.1% were from 45 to 64; and 19.1% were 65 or older. The gender makeup of the city was 46.8% male and 53.2% female.

2000 census[edit]

At the 2000 census there were 22,621 people in 10,265 households, including 5,892 families, in the city. The population density was 2,225.3 inhabitants per square mile (859.2/km2). There were 10,700 housing units at an average density of 1,052.6 per square mile (406.4/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 96.47% White, 1.14% African American, 0.17% Native American, 1.15% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 0.11% from other races, and 0.90% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.71%.[4] 19.0% were of German, 15.8% Italian, 13.3% Irish, 8.2% English, 5.6% Polish, 5.6% American and 5.4% Slovene ancestry according to Census 2000.

Of the 10,265 households 25.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.8% were married couples living together, 11.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 42.6% were non-families. 36.6% of households were one person and 13.9% were one person aged 65 or older. The average household size was 2.17 and the average family size was 2.87.

The age distribution was 21.1% under the age of 18, 7.3% from 18 to 24, 31.5% from 25 to 44, 22.5% from 45 to 64, and 17.5% 65 or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females, there were 85.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 81.9 males.[15]

Downtown Willoughby, Ohio Looking North on U.S. Route 20 December 2023

The median household income was $43,387 and the median family income was $53,677. Males had a median income of $38,711 versus $30,553 for females. The per capita income for the city was $23,653. About 4.3% of families and 5.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.4% of those under age 18 and 7.6% of those age 65 or over.


According to the city's 2009 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[16] the top employers in the city were:

# Employer # of employees
1 Lake Health 669
2 Willoughby-Eastlake City School District 458
3 Ohio Presbyterian Retirement Services 450
4 Momentive Performance Materials 377
5 Marous Brothers Construction 263
6 City of Willoughby 237
7 Windsor-Laurelwood 225
8 Deepwood Industries 205
9 Giant Eagle 180
10 Bescast 141


South High School

Two public high schools are located in Willoughby: Willoughby South High School and Willoughby-Eastlake Technical Center, both of which are a part of the Willoughby-Eastlake School District. Students in the ninth through twelfth grades are enrolled at Willoughby South High School, which opened its doors at its present location in 2019. Previously, Willoughby South High School and current rival Eastlake North High were housed in the same building called Union High, but following the division, the then-abandoned Union High became the location of Willoughby Junior High School until 1972. It then housed the Willoughby-Eastlake Technical Center, located in downtown Willoughby. In 2011, the proposed Five-Year Facilities Plan would add 2 new buildings to the district, a new Longfellow Elementary, a new Eastlake North High School, renovate Willoughby South High School, add a new school to the building as well as move Willoughby Middle School to the previous building. Construction for these buildings began in Fall 2016 and ended Fall 2019. The demolition of the old Willoughby Middle, Longfellow Elementary, and North High School began and ended Summer 2019.[17]

The Andrews Osborne Academy which is a private boarding school is also located in Willoughby.

Willoughby is served by a branch of the Willoughby-Eastlake Public Library.[18]


  • The News-Herald, a Lake County newspaper, has been headquartered in Willoughby since its inception.
  • WINT 1330AM is licensed to Willoughby and serves the surrounding area.

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "2010 Census Gazetteer Files: Places: Ohio". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved December 19, 2012.
  2. ^ "ArcGIS REST Services Directory". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 20, 2022.
  3. ^ a b U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Willoughby, Ohio
  4. ^ a b c "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  5. ^ Hellmann, Paul T. (May 13, 2013). Historical Gazetteer of the United States. Routledge. p. 876. ISBN 978-1135948597. Retrieved November 30, 2013.
  6. ^ Taddeo, Ronald J. "How Willoughby Got Its Name". City of Willoughby website. Retrieved October 30, 2019.
  7. ^ Hershberg, James G. (1993). James B. Conant : Harvard to Hiroshima and the making of the nuclear age. Stanford, Cal.: Stanford University Press. p. 47. ISBN 0-8047-2619-1.
  8. ^ "Willoughby, Ohio - Ohio History Central". www.ohiohistorycentral.org. Retrieved March 1, 2018.
  9. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  10. ^ "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
  11. ^ "Number of Inhabitants: Ohio" (PDF). 18th Census of the United States. U.S. Census Bureau. 1960. Retrieved May 17, 2020.
  12. ^ "Ohio: Population and Housing Unit Counts" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved November 22, 2013.
  13. ^ "Willoughby city, Ohio". census.gov. Retrieved July 7, 2022.
  14. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
  15. ^ "The City of Willoughby - 1 Public Square • Willoughby, OH 44094 • 440.951.2800". The City of Willoughby. Retrieved January 25, 2016.
  16. ^ City of Willoughby CAFR
  17. ^ "Five-Year Facilities Plan" (PDF). Willoughby-Eastlake School District. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
  18. ^ "Locations and Hours". Willoughby-Eastlake Public Library. Retrieved February 26, 2018.

External links[edit]