Athens is a city in and the county seat of Athens County, Ohio, United States. Athens is most widely known as the home of Ohio University, a large public research university with an enrollment of more than 36,800 students across all campuses. Located along the Hocking River in the southeastern part of Ohio about 65 miles (105 km) southeast of Columbus, Athens is the principal city of the Athens, Ohio Micropolitan Statistical Area. The official population of Athens in the 2010 U.S. Census was 23,832, with a daytime population of over 40,000 Athens is a qualified Tree City USA as recognized by the National Arbor Day Foundation.
Athens is located in the unglaciated Allegheny Plateau about 47 miles from Chillicothe and 35 miles west of Marietta. Athens is surrounded by hills that rise about three hundred feet from river valley to the narrow ridge tops. The county extends west from the Ohio River, mostly centered around the lower Hocking River watershed. According to the 2010 census, the city has a total area of 10.05 square miles (26.0 km²), of which 9.83 square miles (25.5 km²) (or 97.81%) is land and 0.22 square miles (0.57 km²) (or 2.19%) is water. Large sections of Athens and Ohio University are located in the floodplain of the Hocking River. Over the last two centuries the town suffered from many destructive floods, including notable floods in 1832, 1873, 1907, 1937, 1949, 1964 and 1968. In 1969 the Army Corps of Engineers completed a major work that rerouted and expanded the channel of the Hocking River, for a stretch of several miles around the town, moving the river hundreds of feet to the south. That project and the ongoing efforts to maintain the channel have greatly reduced the negative effects of seasonally high river levels.
As of the census of 2010, there were 23,832 people, 6,903 households, and 1,842 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,424.4 inhabitants per square mile (936.1/km²). There were 7,391 housing units at an average density of 751.9 per square mile (290.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 86.4% White, 4.4% African American, 0.2% Native American, 6.1% Asian, 0.6% from other races, and 2.3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.4% of the population.
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