Many of Kent's demographic elements are influenced by the presence of the university, particularly the median age, median income, and those living below the poverty level.
In 1863 the Atlantic and Great Western Railroad was constructed through Franklin Mills, due largely to the efforts of local businessman Marvin Kent, son of Zenas Kent.
The site, known as Brady's Leap, is now a city park.
Settlement by Europeans began in the late 1790s and early 19th century.
Historically a manufacturing center, education is the city's largest economic sector with Kent State University the city's, and one of the region's, largest employers.
The Kent City School District and the Kent Free Library provide additional education opportunities and resources.