Ohio River Basin Facts
- The Ohio River is 981 miles (1582 km) long, starting at the confluence of the Allegheny and the Monongahela Rivers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and ending in Cairo, Illinois, where it flows into the Mississippi River.
- The Ohio River flows through or borders six states: Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.
- The Ohio River is a source of drinking water for more than three million people.
- More than 25 million people, almost 10 percent of the U.S. population, live in the Ohio River Basin.
- Approximately 150 species of fish have been collected from the Ohio River.
- The average depth of the Ohio River is approximately 24 feet.
- The widest point along the Ohio River is approximately 1 mile at the Smithland Dam.
- There are 20 dams and 49 power generating facilities on the Ohio River. For hydropower impacts, click here: Hydropower Impacts. The power generating facilities have a combined capacity in excess of six percent of the total US generating capacity. The navigation dams provide a nine-foot minimum depth for commercial navigation..
- Over 230 million tons of cargo are transported on the Ohio River each year. Coal and other energy products make up approximately 70 percent of the commerce traveling by barge.
To view real-time information, click on a stream flow marker (blue) on the map below.