Introduction to Bowling Green, Ohio

Bowling Green is a city in northwest Ohio, located about 25 miles south of Toledo and 85 miles south of Detroit, Michigan. The county seat of Wood County, Bowling Green is situated on Interstate 75, which provides access to points north and south. A college town, the city is the proud home of Bowling Green State University.

First settled in the 1830s, Bowling Green was incorporated as a town in 1855 and officially achieved city status in 1901. The city got its name from Joseph Gordon, an early postal worker, whose previous residence was Bowling Green, Kentucky. Dependent on farming, fur trading and lumbering during its early years, the city was affected by the discovery of oil in nearby North Baltimore in 1886 which brought people and revenue to the area. Several of Bowling Green's lavish homes built with revenue from oil money are still standing today. In 1910, the Ohio state legislature designated Bowling Green as the site of the State Normal College, later to become Bowling Green State University.

Events and Attractions in Bowling Green

September marks the start of the Black Swamp Arts Festival, an annual event in Bowling Green. Started in 1993, the festival has grown to where it now features close to 150 artists and four musical stages. All types of music, including blues, jazz and rock are presented, and the historic Cla-Zel Theatre also participates by showing independent and art-related films throughout the weekend. Another large annual event is the National Tractor Pulling Championships. Held in August, this weekend-long event draws an estimated crowd of 60,000 and awards over $150,000 in purse money and contingency prizes. Bowling Green is also chock full of historic, cultural, and recreational sites for visitors to sample. Some of these are the following:

  • Historical Construction Equipment Museum: Exhibits and displays document the history of construction equipment development.
  • The Little Red Schoolhouse: Houses an historic collection of more than 3,000 items related to education in a one room school-house built in 1875.
  • Joe E. Brown Theatre and Eva Marie Saint Theatre: Located on the Bowling Green State University campus.
  • The Dorothy Uber Bryan Gallery
  • The Willard Wankelman Gallery
  • Wood County Courthouse
  • Wood County Historical Center & Museum

Sports activity in Bowling Green focuses on the Bowling Green State University Fighting Falcons. Hosting teams in 22 different sports, the Falcons participate in NCAA Division I (Division I-A for football) and in the Mid-American Conference. The Falcons Women's Basketball team won back-to-back conference championships in 2005 and 2006 and its Women's Soccer team captured a conference crown in 2005.

Professional sports can be found a few miles north of the city. Minor League Baseball resides in the city of Toledo, about a half-hour away, where the Mud Hens, a Triple-A franchise affiliated with the Detroit Tigers, compete in the International League. An additional hour's drive in the same northerly direction puts the sports fan in Detroit, which plenty of major league teams call home. Major League Baseball's Tigers reside there, as do the Lions of the National Football League and basketball's Pistons of the NBA. Hockey fans can watch first-rate National Hockey League action played by the Detroit Red Wings and fans of women's basketball can follow the Detroit Shock of the WNBA.


Total Population 31,506
Male Share of the Population 47.7%
Female Share of the Population 52.3%
Senior Citizens 9.2%
Employed Population 16+ 15,534
Age of the Population 23


% of people married 27.4%
Average household size 2

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 42.4%
Median Earnings25+ $30,880
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $20,275
Median Earnings With High School Degree $25,478


Median Family Income $63,709
% Above Poverty Level 66.4%
% Below Poverty Level 33.6%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 16 minutes
% Working from Home 2.7%
% Walking and Biking to Work 15.8%
% Using Public Transportation 0.7%


People Living Alone 36.3%
Median Gross Rent $644
Median House Value $154,200


Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 19.3%
US/American 0%
English 8.8%
Irish 14.8%

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Bowling Green Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Large City 20 miles S of Toledo, Ohio
County Wood
Metro Area Toledo
Standard Zip Codes 43402
Company Zip Codes 43403
Phone Area Codes 419
Time Zone Eastern (-5 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 41.374
Longitude -83.651

Bowling Green Climate

Nearest Weather Stations


  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)

Distance 1.9 miles
Jan Temp 15 to 31 F
Apr Temp 36 to 59 F
Jul Temp 62 to 84 F
Oct Temp 40 to 63 F
Annual Precip 33.1 inches
Distance 16.4 miles
Jan Temp 16 to 31 F
Apr Temp 38 to 59 F
Jul Temp 63 to 83 F
Oct Temp 42 to 62 F
Annual Precip 33.2 inches
Distance 27.7 miles
Jan Temp 14 to 30 F
Apr Temp 36 to 58 F
Jul Temp 61 to 84 F
Oct Temp 39 to 63 F
Annual Precip 34.5 inches

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Population Median Family Income
Cygnet 746 $49,583
Haskins 1,302 $81,875

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Bowling Green Public Libraries

Wood County District Public Library
251 N. MAIN ST.
Bowling Green, Ohio
(419) 352-5104
Library Web Site

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More Information for Librarians

Bowling Green Hospitals

(Voluntary non-profit - Private)
(419) 354-8833
Emergency Service: Yes

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Bowling Green High Schools

530 W POE RD
Serves 1,136 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 17.3

Bowling Green Colleges

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