Mansfield is a city in the U.S. state of Ohio and the county seat of Richland County. The municipality is located in north-central Ohio in the western foothills of the Allegheny Plateau, approximately 80 miles (129 km) southwest of Cleveland and 66 miles (106 km) northeast of Columbus. It was founded in 1808 on a fork of the Mohican River in a hilly region surrounded by fertile farmlands, and became a manufacturing center owing to its location with numerous railroad lines. After the decline of heavy manufacturing, the city's industry has since diversified into a service economy, including retailing, education, and healthcare sectors. The population was 49,346 at the 2000 census. In 2008 Mansfield had an estimated population of 49,579. According to the US Census 2008 estimate, the Mansfield, OH Metropolitan Statistical Area has a population of 124,999 residents, while the Mansfield-Bucyrus, OH Combined Statistical Area has 168,695 residents. Mansfield's official nickname is "The Fun Center of Ohio". It is the largest city in the "Mid-Ohio" region of the state, the north-central region which is generally considered to extend from Marion, Delaware, Knox, Morrow, Crawford, Ashland and Richland counties in the south, to the Firelands area south of Sandusky in the north. Mansfield is also known as the "Carousel Capital of Ohio" and "Racing Capital of Ohio".