The city was named for John Young, an early settler from Whitestown, New York, who established the community's first sawmill and gristmill. Youngstown is located in a region of the United States that is often referred to as the Rust Belt. Traditionally known as a center of steel production, Youngstown was forced to redefine itself when the U.S. steel industry fell into decline in the 1970s, leaving communities throughout the region without major industry. The 2000 census showed that Youngstown had a total population of 82,026, making it Ohio's eighth largest city. A 2007 U.S. Census Bureau estimate released in July 2008 placed the population at 73,818.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau's 2007 estimate, the Youngstown-Warren-Boardman Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) contains 570,704 people and includes Mahoning and Trumbull counties in Ohio, and Mercer County in Pennsylvania. The Steel Valley area as a whole (including Youngstown-Warren and Sharon-Farrell-New Castle, Pennsylvania) comprises 679,402 residents.
According to the 2000 Census numbers, Youngstown has 32,177 households and 19,724 families in the city. The population density is 893/km² (2,312.9/sq mi). There are 37,159 housing units at an average density of 1,096.3/sq mi (423.2/km²).
The racial makeup of the city is roughly 51% White, 44% Black or African American, and 5% Hispanic or Latino of any race, though Puerto Ricans are the dominant Spanish-speaking group.
Records suggest that 27.2% of the households have children under the age of 18. Of these, 33.2% are married couples living together, 22.9% have a female householder with no husband present, and 38.7% are non-families. Meanwhile, 34.0% of all households comprise a single person, and 14.7% of households comprise a person over 65 years of age living alone. The average household size is 2.39 and the average family size is 3.07.
In Youngstown, the population leans toward greater numbers of youths, as is often the case in U.S. inner-city areas with higher birth rates. Survey data show the following: 25.8% under the age of 18, 10.1% from 18 to 24, 26.4% from 25 to 44, 20.3% from 45 to 64, and 17.4% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 36 years. For every 100 females, there are 91.9 males; for every 100 females aged 18 and over, there are 87.8 males.
The median household income is $24,201, and the median family income $30,701; but the average per capita income for the city is $13,293. Males have a median income of $29,900 and females $21,050. About 25% of the population lives below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 37.3% of those under the age of 18 and 13.3% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.
The United States Census Bureau's 2006 Annual Social and Economic (ASEC) Supplement Current Population Survey estimates a median household income of $21,850. Analysis by CNNMoney states that Youngstown has the lowest median income of U.S. cities with more than 65,000 residents.
The Youngstown area is served by the Western Reserve Transit Authority (WRTA) bus system, which is supported through income tax. WRTA, whose main terminal is located in the downtown area, provides service throughout the city and into surrounding Mahoning and Trumbull counties. The downtown terminal serves as the Youngstown area's Greyhound terminal.
Located in the vicinity of the WRTA terminal is a former Baltimore and Ohio Railroad station. The historic terminal building, which has been converted into a banquet hall, served as a train station from 1995 to 2005. The local railroads now serve cargo trains exclusively.
The only airport within the city limits is the Lansdowne Airport, located on the city's east side. This facility is used for general aviation. The metropolitan area's main airport is the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport (YNG), located in nearby Vienna, Ohio. The only commercial route available at this airport is a flight to Orlando, Florida through Allegiant Air. Most valley residents take advantage of larger airports such as Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, Akron-Canton Regional Airport, and Pittsburgh International Airport.