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Regional Profile: The Fourth Federal Reserve District


The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland serves the Fourth Federal Reserve District, which comprises Ohio, western Pennsylvania, eastern Kentucky, and the northern panhandle of West Virginia. There are 169 counties in the Fourth District and 68 of these counties are located within the District’s 16 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs).

Chart: Metropolitan Statistical Areas of the Fourth Federal Reserve District

The four most populous MSAs in the Fourth District—Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Columbus—contain about half of the District’s total population of nearly 17 million people. The most densely populated areas in the District fan out from its major cities. In general, population is concentrated in the northern half of the District, while the southern half is part of rural Appalachia.

Fourth District MSA Population (thousands)

MSA 2004 2014 2004-2014

percent change
Pittsburgh 2,389 2,356 -1.4
Cleveland 2,129 2,064 -2.8
Cincinnati 2,043 2,149 5.2
Columbus 1,770 1,995 12.7
Dayton 806 801 -0.6
Akron 702 704 0.3
Toledo 618 607 -1.7
Youngstown 588 553 -6.0
Lexington  430 494 14.9
Canton 406 404 -0.5




Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis.

In recent decades, the District’s population has grown much more slowly than the nation’s. Since 1970, the District’s population grew just over 6.5 percent. By contrast, throughout the same period, the US population grew about 56 percent.

Chart: Chart: Population Growth, 4D and US

Average annual increases in population since 1970 have been consistently higher for the United States than for the District. Annual population growth averaged about 1.0 percent for the United States through this period, relative to average annual increases of 0.15 percent for the District.

Chart: Chart: Population Growth, 4D and US, 12-month percent change

The growth in real income per capita has been similar for the District and nation since 1970, though the gap has grown somewhat in recent years. Since 1970, real income per capita in the District grew about 1.3 percent per year; in comparison, real per capita income in the United States rose roughly 1.4 percent per year through the same period. As of 2014, income per capita was approximately $43,000 in the District compared to $46,000 for the country as a whole.

Chart: Real Per Capita Income

Chart: Chart: Real Per Capita Income

Over the last decade, the industrial mix within the Fourth District has become far more diversified, with healthcare, public administration, and retail trade surpassing manufacturing as the largest employing industries. Districtwide, those employed in the healthcare industry make up about 16 percent of the workforce, whereas the comparable figure for the country is about 13 percent. The share of employment the District devotes to manufacturing (about 11 percent) is still greater than the attendant shares for the United States (about 9 percent).

Chart: Industrial Mix
The District's Top Ten Fortune 500 Companies
Company 2015 rank City Revenues

(billions of US dollars)
Kroger 20 Cincinnati, OH 108.5
Marathon Petroleum 25 Findlay, OH 91.4
Cardinal Health 26 Dublin, OH 91.1
Proctor & Gamble 32 Cincinnati, OH 84.5
Nationwide 85 Columbus, OH 36.3
Macy's 105 Cincinnati, OH 28.1
Progressive 153 Mayfield Village, OH 19.4
Goodyear Tire & Rubber 166 Akron, OH 18.1
United States Steel 176 Pittsburgh, PA 17.5
American Electric Power 184 Columbus, OH 17.0
Source: Fortune Magazine.

With combined deposits totaling more than $450 billion, five of the nation's largest 50 bank holding companies are headquartered within the District.

Major Bank Holding Companies by Deposits

(as of March 2015)
Company City Deposits

(billions of US dollars)
PNC Financial Services Group Pittsburgh, PA 234.9
Fifth Third Bancorp Cincinnati, OH 105.7
Keycorp Cleveland, OH 73.4
Huntington Bancshares Columbus, OH 53.3
FirstMerit Akron, OH 20.2
Source: Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

As of August 2016, the unemployment rate for the Fourth District was 4.9 percent (down from 5.1 percent in August 2015). Over the same period, the nation’s unemployment rate rose from 4.7 percent to 4.9 percent. These figures are significantly below their previous peaks of 10.5 percent for the District and 10.0 percent for the nation in the fall of 2009.

Chart: Unemployment Rate

Of the 169 counties comprising the Fourth District, the median county-level unemployment rate was 5.8 percent in August 2016, compared to 5.5 percent in August 2015. County-level unemployment rates ranged from a low of 3.1 percent in Mercer County, Ohio, to a high of 16.4 percent in Magoffin County, Kentucky.

Chart: County Unemployment Rates

Of the four Fourth District states, Ohio posted the lowest unemployment rate of 4.7 percent in August 2016. Kentucky’s unemployment rate was 5.0 percent, and Pennsylvania and West Virginia both had unemployment rates of 5.7 percent. Geographically, unemployment remains the highest in remote areas of Ohio and Kentucky, while urban areas have maintained stronger labor markets.

Chart: Fourth District State Unemployment Rates

The size of the labor force—those employed or looking for work—in the Fourth District has remained relatively unchanged at about 8.3 million individuals since 2012. From the beginning of the recession, the size of the Fourth District’s labor force has fallen about 3.1 percent. As of August 2016, the national labor force was 3.6 percent higher than at the start of the last recession.

Chart: Civilian Labor Force

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