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Most Americans have never been to Ohio. However, as the people who live there know, Ohio is an awesome state.
But is it all roses? Definitely not. Just like any other state, Ohio has its trouble spots. This article aims to determine, using science, the absolute worst small towns to live in the Buckeye State. Don't shoot the messenger, this is all using data.
After analyzing more than 384 of Ohio's smallest cities, we came up with this list as the 10 worst small towns in Ohio where you'd never want to live:
So what is the worst small town to call home in Ohio for 2022? According to the most recent census data, Salineville is the worst small town to live in Ohio.
Of course, many of these cities would rank highly if they were in other states, since Ohio has its stuff figured out.
Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers, or scroll to the bottom to see how your town ranked.
The 10 Worst Small Towns In Ohio For 2022
Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $58,300 (9th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 9.1% (47th worst)
More on Salineville: Data
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $39,700 (worst)
Unemployment Rate: 22.7% (2nd worst)
More on Drexel: Data
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $95,400 (106th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 9.8% (36th worst)
More on Stony Prairie: Data
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $62,200 (11th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 12.2% (20th worst)
More on Pomeroy: Data
Rank Last Year: 14 (Up 5)
Median Home Value: $85,300 (64th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 7.6% (79th worst)
More on Jeffersonville: Data
Rank Last Year: -
Median Home Value: $102,100 (134th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 15.5% (11th worst)
More on Urbancrest: Data
How do you decide if a place is lousy or not?
In order to rank the worst small towns to live in Ohio, we had to determine what criteria people like or dislike about a place. It isn't a stretch to assume that people like low crime, solid education, things to do and a stable economy.
So we scraped the internet for those criteria, and it spit out the answer. Like magic.
How we determined the worst small towns to live in Ohio for 2022
We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using FBI crime data and the Census's 2016-2020 American Community Survey, this is the criteria we used:
- Population Density (The lower the worse)
- Highest Unemployment Rates
- Low housing costs (meaning there's no demand)
- Adjusted Median Income (Median income adjusted for the cost of living)
- Education (Number of high school dropouts)
- High Crime
We looked at cities with populations between 1,000 and 5,000 people, of which, there were a lot - 384 to be exact.
Additional note: We get the crime numbers from the FBI, which gets its crime numbers from the cities themselves. Dropout numbers are based on the adult population, not just the current graduation rates of teenagers.
This list is a scientific analysis based on real data and is completely unbiased.
There You Have It - The Worst Small Towns In Ohio
If you're analyzing teeny places in the Buckeye State with the worst economic situations, where there's high crime and there's not a lot to do, this is an accurate list.
If you're curious enough, here are the best small towns to live in Ohio, according to science:
- Sixteen Mile Stand (Pop. 3,120)
- Terrace Park (Pop. 2,254)
- Mariemont (Pop. 3,445)
For more Ohio reading, check out:
Detailed List Of The Worst Small Towns In Ohio