Hilliard is bordered on the east by Upper Arlington, on the north by Dublin, on the south by Galloway and Columbus, and to the west lies open farmland. Downtown Columbus lies in a distance to the southeast, its skyline visible at times when crossing bridges. The only major highway that runs through Hilliard is I-270, which runs north and south slightly east of the middle of the city.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 13.34 square miles (34.55 km2), of which, 13.17 square miles (34.11 km2) is land and 0.17 square miles (0.44 km2) is water.
In 1852, John Reed Hilliard bought 10 acres (40,000 m2) of farmland in western Franklin County, Ohio from Hoseah High and Abraham Wendell. Geographically, the Hilliard area is between Big Darby Creek on the west and the Scioto River on the east. Originally called Hilliard’s Station, the town grew around the railroad route of the Piqua and Indiana Railroad station, which bisected the former Hilliard farmland. Hilliard’s Station served as an ideal shipping point for agricultural products going to market and supplies coming to the farmers in the area. The original Hilliard area was platted by John Hilliard on September 1, 1853.
Until the mid 20th century, the railroad station and Main Street were the town center. In 1854, a post office was established in Hilliard’s Station and the word Station was dropped from the town name. The Village of Hilliard became incorporated on July 13, 1869 with a population of 280 residents. In 1886 the first railroad station was located on the north side of the tracks, west of Main Street, and remained there until 1962 when all railroad services ceased. The original train station has been restored and remains in Hilliard’s historical Weaver Park. The original platted area contained a mix of residences and businesses of varying ages and architecture.
The construction of three large residential subdivisions in the 1950s brought explosive growth to Hilliard. The connection to the Columbus regional sewer and water systems in the 1960s opened up the area to development. The Village of Hilliard gained city status officially from the Ohio Secretary of State, by attaining a population of 5,633 on December 12, 1960.
With the completion of the I-270 outerbelt in the 1980s, a second wave of explosive growth came to the area. Land uses in Hilliard continue to be a mix of residential and commercial development. A rich heritage of residential structures and architectural styles can be found in the historic district along Norwich Street.
2010 census - there were 28,435 people, 10,198 households, and 7,612 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,159.1 inhabitants per square mile (833.6 /km2). There were 10,637 housing units at an average density of 807.7 per square mile (311.9 /km2). The racial makeup of the city was 88.5% White, 3.0% African American, 0.2% Native American, 5.6% Asian, 0.8% from other races, and 1.9% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.3% of the population.
There were 10,198 households out of which 44.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.8% were married couples living together, 9.2% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.7% had a male householder with no wife present, and 25.4% were non-families. 21.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.77 and the average family size was 3.26.
The median age in the city was 35.9 years. 30.1% of residents were under the age of 18; 6.4% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 28.7% were from 25 to 44; 26.2% were from 45 to 64; and 8.6% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.8% male and 51.2% female.