Shaker Heights, Ohio

From Academic Kids

Shaker Heights is a city located in Cuyahoga County, Ohio. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 29,405.



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Location of Shaker Heights, Ohio

Shaker Heights is located at 41°28'35" North, 81°33'6" West (41.476502, -81.551620)Template:GR.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 16.4 km² (6.3 mi²). 16.3 km² (6.3 mi²) of it is land and 0.1 km² (0.04 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 0.63% water.


As of the censusTemplate:GR of 2000, there are 29,405 people, 12,220 households, and 8,040 families residing in the city. The population density is 1,807.9/km² (4,685.0/mi²). There are 12,982 housing units at an average density of 798.1/km² (2,068.4/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 59.94% White, 34.11% African American, 0.06% Native American, 3.16% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.50% from other races, and 2.22% from two or more races. 1.15% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 12,220 households out of which 32.1% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.1% are married couples living together, 12.9% have a female householder with no husband present, and 34.2% are non-families. 30.2% of all households are made up of individuals and 11.6% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.39 and the average family size is 3.00.

In the city the population is spread out with 26.2% under the age of 18, 5.3% from 18 to 24, 27.4% from 25 to 44, 25.5% from 45 to 64, and 15.6% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 40 years. For every 100 females there are 83.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 78.5 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $63,983, and the median income for a family is $85,893. Males have a median income of $61,768 versus $38,606 for females. The per capita income for the city is $41,354. 6.9% of the population and 5.3% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 8.1% of those under the age of 18 and 6.5% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

History and Notable Facts

Shaker Heights, Ohio was incorporated as a village in 1912. The name "Shaker Heights" has origins in two local sources. The community was laid out on land formerly owned by the North Union Community of the United Society of Believers, more commonly known by the vernacular Shakers, so named for the appearance that the worshippers "shook" during religious dance. "Heights" refers to the plateau east of Cleveland that rises sharply in elevation from 582 feet above sea level at the base of the Cedar Glen Parkway rising to 950 feet above sea level in nearby Cleveland Heights; Shaker Heights' elevation is 1000 above sea level.

The North Union Settlement was established in 1822 with just over 80 individuals. The colony peaked around 1850 with about 300 settlers. As the Shakers practiced celibacy, the colony faded away and was closed in 1889. The land was bought by brothers M.J. and O.P. Van Sweringen who envisioned the first "garden styled" suburb in Ohio for the site. Originally referred to as Shaker Village, the community was incorporated in 1912 and reached city status in the 1930s. Shaker Heights is known for its stringent building codes and zoning laws, which have helped to maintain the community's housing stock and identity throughout the years. Approximately seventy percent of the city of Shaker Heights is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Van Sweringens acquired the Nickel Plate Railroad in order to secure the right of way needed to establish a "rapid" interurban streetcar system that would carry residents of Shaker Heights to and from downtown Cleveland. The resulting system, was known as the Shaker Heights Rapid Transit System. The Rapid system was transferred into the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA) in the 1970s, which combined the operation of all bus systems in the county with the operation of the Shaker and west side rapid lines. Shaker Heights and Greater Cleveland refer to the system and to the trains as "The Rapid". While originally envisioned to extend from downtown Cleveland fourteen miles to the community of Hunting Valley, Ohio (then called Shaker Estates), the system was truncated in eastern Shaker Heights following the collapse of the Van Sweringen rail empire during the depression.

Shaker Heights is nationally recognized for its efforts to increase neighborhood and school system integration beginning in the 1960s. As a result, Shaker Heights avoided many of the downfalls from practices such as blockbusting and white flight by actively encouraging multi ethnic neighborhoods. The city maintains an housing assistance office that works with home buyers to achieve and maintain neighborhood integration.

Shaker Heights is the hometown of Paul Newman, Molly Shannon and Buffalo Bills cornerback Nate Clements. Sara Bloomfield, Executive Director of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum graduated from Shaker Heights High School (1968) and was a teacher in the Shaker Heights Public School System prior to her appointment.

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