Dayton, Ohio

By | December 4, 2022

Downtown Dayton and the Great Miami River.

According to, Dayton is a city in the state of Ohio in the United States. The city has 138,000 inhabitants and a larger agglomeration of 814,000 inhabitants (2021). It is not a very important city, however, as the larger and more famous cities of Cincinnati and Columbus are nearby.


The city is located 80 kilometers northeast of Cincinnati, 105 kilometers west of Columbus, 170 kilometers east of Indianapolis and 300 kilometers southwest of Detroit. The city is located on the Great Miami River and the metropolitan area measures 25 kilometers by 30 kilometers and has almost grown close to that of Cincinnati. Dayton is one of the cities in the region that has lost population. Many cities peaked in the 1950 census, but Dayton peaked in 1960 with 262,000 residents. This has fallen to 138,000 in 2021, below the 1920 level. Montgomery County, where Dayton is located, is also declining in population, but at a slower rate than Dayton itself. However, neighboring Green County to the east is growing in population, from 95,000 in 1960 to 161,000 in 2010.

Road network

Dayton has a remarkably large and wide road network for a city of its age, and this wide road network existed before the automobile became popular. This was because wagons pulled by oxen had to be able to turn in the streets, Dayton was an important trading center at the time. The city is mainly on I-75, with I-70 running north of the city. I-675 forms an eastbound bypass. US 35 is a major east-west highway to southeastern Ohio. The SR-4 forms a short highway to the city’s airport.


I-675 along the east side of Dayton.

Dayton had a population of 211,000 in 1940, and grew to 262,000 in 1960. Presumably before the creation of the Interstate Highway system in 1956, Dayton had no highways. Interstate 75 was built in the early 1960s as the primary access road to Dayton. Presumably, a part of US 35 through the center was also constructed as a freeway at that time. In 1967, State Route 4 opened in northern Dayton. The population of Dayton declined sharply in the 1970s, in particular, so that no plans were made for a large-scale network of highways, but Interstate 675 was Built as an eastern bypass, it was largely constructed in the 1980s and was completed in 1987. With Dayton’s slump in the 1970s, there was opposition to I-675, with politicians fearing the construction of I-675 would draw business away from downtown.

In the period 2007-2014, the I-75 was modernized by Dayton. This is still Dayton’s main highway and also handles all through traffic through western Ohio. Four of the five bridges over the Miami River were replaced. In fact, I-75 around downtown Dayton has been completely redesigned.


Dayton is relatively traffic-free, thanks in part to significant investments in the I-75 through Dayton between 2007 and 2012.

Dayton, Ohio