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Dayton /ˈdeɪtən/ is the sixth largest city in the U.S. state of Ohio and is the county seat of Montgomery County. In the 2010 census, the population was 141,527; the Dayton metropolitan area had 841,502 residents, making it the fourth-largest metropolitan area in Ohio, after only the urban agglomerations of Cleveland, Cincinnati and Columbus, and the 61st largest in the United States. The Dayton-Springfield-Greenville Combined Statistical Area had a population of 1,080,044 in 2010 and is the 43rd largest in the United States. Dayton is situated within the Miami Valley region of Ohio just north of the Cincinnati–Northern Kentucky metropolitan area.
Ohio’s borders are within 500 miles (800 km) of roughly 60 percent of the country’s population and manufacturing infrastructure, making the Dayton area a logistical centroid for manufacturers, suppliers, and shippers. Dayton also plays host to significant research and development in fields like industrial, aeronautical, and astronautical engineering that have led to many technological innovations. Much of this innovation is due in part to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and its place within the community. With the decline of heavy manufacturing, Dayton’s businesses have diversified into a service economy that includes insurance and legal sectors as well as healthcare and government sectors.
Other than defense and aerospace, healthcare accounts for much of the Dayton area’s economy. Hospitals in the Greater Dayton area have an estimated combined employment of nearly 32,000, a yearly economic impact of $6.8 billion. It is estimated that Premier Health Partners, a hospital network, contributes more than $2 billion a year to the region through operating, employment, and capital expenditures. In 2011, Dayton was rated the No. 3 city in the nation out of the top 50 cities in the United States by HealthGrades for excellence in health care. Many hospitals in the Dayton area are consistently ranked by Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, and HealthGrades for clinical excellence.
Dayton is also noted for its association with aviation; the city is home to the National Museum of the United States Air Force. Orville Wright, poet Paul Laurence Dunbar, and entrepreneur John H. Patterson were born in Dayton. Dayton is also known for its many patents, inventions, and inventors that have come from the area, most notable being the Wright brothers’ invention of powered flight. In 2008, 2009, and 2010, Site Selection magazine ranked Dayton the No. 1 mid sized metropolitan area in the nation for economic development. Also in 2010, Dayton was named one of the best places in the United States for college graduates to find a job.