Worst Small Towns In Ohio For 2020


Using science and data, we can tell you which teeny specks in OH are the pits.

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Editor’s Note: This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out we updated this article for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the worst small places to live in Ohio.

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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 349 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 2020? According to the most recent census data, Drexel 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.

And if you already know about the small towns, check out the best places to live in Ohio or the worst places to live in Ohio.

If you're looking for something more national, check out the worst cities in America or the worst states in America.

The 10 Worst Small Towns In Ohio For 2020

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 1,991
Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $40,300 (2nd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 18.5% (5th worst)
More on Drexel:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 1,786
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $59,700 (14th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 16.1% (11th worst)
More on Pomeroy:  Data

West Union, OH

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 3,231
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 8)
Median Home Value: $79,900 (54th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 9.3% (50th worst)
More on West Union:  Data | Photos

Nelsonville, OH

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 4,990
Rank Last Year: -
Median Home Value: $78,700 (44th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 12.0% (27th worst)
More on Nelsonville:  Data | Photos

Manchester, OH

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 1,933
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $80,400 (57th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 11.5% (29th worst)
More on Manchester:  Data | Photos

Union City, OH

Source: Wikipedia User |
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 1,755
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 2)
Median Home Value: $59,200 (13th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 13.1% (20th worst)
More on Union City:  Data | Photos

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 1,223
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 5)
Median Home Value: $51,900 (5th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 18.5% (4th worst)
More on Salineville:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 1,019
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 3)
Median Home Value: $58,800 (12th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 10.5% (40th worst)
More on Chauncey:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 1,988
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $85,300 (82nd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 15.2% (14th worst)
More on Windham:  Data

Crooksville, OH

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 2,675
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $61,500 (15th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 16.7% (10th worst)
More on Crooksville:  Data | Photos

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 2020

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 2014-2018 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 - 349 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:

  1. Mariemont (Pop. 3,429)
  2. Chagrin Falls (Pop. 4,061)
  3. Ottawa Hills (Pop. 4,436)

For more Ohio reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst Small Towns In Ohio

Rank Town Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Drexel 1,991 18.5% $40,300
2 Pomeroy 1,786 16.1% $59,700
3 West Union 3,231 9.3% $79,900
4 Nelsonville 4,990 12.0% $78,700
5 Manchester 1,933 11.5% $80,400
6 Union City 1,755 13.1% $59,200
7 Salineville 1,223 18.5% $51,900
8 Chauncey 1,019 10.5% $58,800
9 Windham 1,988 15.2% $85,300
10 Crooksville 2,675 16.7% $61,500
11 Winchester 1,065 17.9% $96,300
12 Oak Hill 1,691 7.8% $67,000
13 Sardinia 1,360 5.7% $82,000
14 Middleport 2,137 9.6% $66,600
15 Sawyerwood 1,331 17.5% $58,700
16 Peebles 1,851 12.1% $92,900
17 Woodsfield 2,371 8.6% $85,300
18 Camden 1,942 11.1% $78,700
19 Bellaire 4,139 9.9% $52,100
20 Wellsville 3,393 15.7% $49,600
21 Lockland 3,459 8.4% $81,300
22 Urbancrest 1,085 6.5% $95,000
23 West Hill 2,045 5.7% $40,300
24 Wolfhurst 1,232 15.2% $80,100
25 Stony Prairie 1,307 23.7% $96,600
26 Sabina 2,454 11.4% $81,100
27 Piketon 2,137 12.6% $94,800
28 Lisbon 2,713 13.4% $84,000
29 Glenmoor 1,918 3.5% $77,500
30 Newburgh Heights 1,778 14.3% $67,200
31 Cardington 1,911 9.6% $93,800
32 New Miami 2,416 11.3% $71,100
33 West Portsmouth 2,795 7.0% $71,900
34 Seaman 1,117 7.1% $95,600
35 Jeffersonville 1,279 6.2% $82,800
36 New Waterford 1,190 9.9% $88,900
37 Crystal Lakes 1,467 12.2% $72,500
38 Elmwood Place 1,907 4.7% $56,400
39 Ripley 1,786 6.1% $82,200
40 Leesburg 1,442 3.8% $82,500
41 Coal Grove 1,811 10.9% $83,200
42 Addyston 1,040 5.1% $90,400
43 Leavittsburg 1,516 18.4% $51,500
44 New Boston 2,375 9.6% $56,400
45 Plymouth 1,600 4.8% $78,500
46 Aberdeen 1,538 5.1% $96,400
47 West Salem 1,562 7.9% $84,300
48 Lakeview 1,196 4.9% $76,900
49 Lincoln Heights 3,337 18.3% $80,800
50 Frazeysburg 1,700 6.2% $85,700
51 Orwell 1,583 4.6% $102,400
52 Utica 1,801 12.2% $94,600
53 Roseville 2,262 12.1% $68,300
54 New Paris 1,692 7.7% $74,300
55 Geneva-On-The-Lake 1,320 10.7% $91,400
56 Batavia 1,762 8.4% $120,200
57 New Lebanon 4,243 12.3% $79,900
58 Glouster 1,709 3.5% $58,800
59 Rosemount 1,993 13.5% $87,500
60 Buckeye Lake 2,792 10.2% $100,800
61 Greenwich 1,559 9.8% $88,800
62 Russells Point 1,158 4.8% $88,900
63 Sciotodale 1,057 7.2% $123,500
64 Lucasville 1,484 9.3% $130,700
65 Mcconnelsville 1,910 5.9% $89,100
66 Frankfort 1,308 8.5% $114,700
67 Antwerp 1,412 8.1% $75,000
68 Gallipolis 3,589 4.1% $120,600
69 Montpelier 3,960 9.5% $79,600
70 Paulding 3,465 4.9% $79,200
71 North Randall 1,023 6.9% $87,700
72 South Zanesville 2,253 6.2% $52,100
73 New Vienna 1,214 10.6% $76,600
74 Cadiz 3,196 6.6% $88,700
75 Dennison 2,745 7.8% $77,300
76 Byesville 2,360 11.8% $77,400
77 Mcarthur 1,522 5.9% $105,400
78 Georg 4,637 10.8% $111,800
79 New London 2,458 2.6% $83,700
80 Fayette 1,441 6.4% $71,200
81 Deshler 1,536 7.8% $90,300
82 North Baltimore 3,316 3.9% $90,900
83 Lakemore 3,085 10.6% $89,800
84 Bethel 2,770 5.5% $86,300
85 Skyline Acres 2,522 22.8% $95,800
86 Lowellville 1,142 5.6% $76,500
87 Ansonia 1,344 5.1% $76,400
88 Hebron 2,183 3.9% $103,600
89 South Charleston 1,937 4.7% $96,300
90 The Plains 3,001 5.9% $118,700
91 Brewster 2,159 8.5% $96,200
92 Bridgeport 1,651 6.0% $64,300
93 Park Layne 4,082 8.6% $82,000
94 Edgewood 4,251 6.7% $79,700
95 Sebring 4,263 7.1% $83,100
96 Obetz 4,740 7.7% $117,300
97 Yorkville 1,049 6.2% $79,600
98 Navarre 1,797 8.6% $97,200
99 Pleasantville 1,065 8.7% $106,700
100 Lodi 2,849 5.6% $112,800

How Is The Area In ?

16 thoughts on “Worst Small Towns In Ohio, 2020

  1. We live in Cecil and it’s not that bad a town. Yes it is small, and yes there is close to nothing to do, but that is because it is a farming community. Most towns in Ohio are boring, even the large city of Defiance which is 15min away can be very boring. When it comes to fun you usually need to go to a very large city to find any, it’s obvious you won’t find anything in a little village. To add, no matter where you live you will find bad neighbors and dangerous people, there’s no way of avoiding that. Don’t let this article scare you away.

  2. This article is insulting and inaccurate. For one thing the directions to Macksburg are incorrect. It is not off the first exit before WV. It isn’t even off the second exit. If you are going to post something like this please at least check your facts. Also when reporting the crime rates it would be helpful to give people an idea of how the crime ranks to other towns on an annual basis, i.e. How many murders/year, how many drug busts/year. Most of these have less than one murder a year making them still a very safe place to live. I grew up in Caldwell Ohio and am familiar with several of these small towns and the people who live there. Your article is hurtful to these people because you are mocking their way of life. Please be more considerate of people’s feelings.

    1. I hunted out of Caldwell in Violet township off rt 78.
      I like Caldwell.
      But honey, put on your big girl panties and don’t allow yourself to be offended.
      If your feelings are hurt, you must have gotten a participation trophy in little league soccer and your parents overprotected your tender self esteem.
      Toughen up! Failure teaches you more than living a sheltered unrealistic existence.

  3. None of these villages qualify as a town. How many are even incorporated and collect taxes. This looks like an attempt to just kick the residents of these communities. Is your company too stupid to know the difference between a town and villages or hamlets? And I don’t live in any of the so-called 100 worst places.
    From the English Dictionary definition: a ​place where there are a lot of ​houses, ​stores, and other ​buildings which is ​smaller than a ​city:
    [C] He was ​born in the ​small town of Elnora, Indiana.
    [U] We ​stayed at the ​best ​hotel in town.

  4. I live in rogers and where they get the crime rate surprised me. Are they counting speeding tickets and running the only red light? And by the way, where is a 75000 house? Mine was a lot more than that!

  5. I am a council member and your facts are all wrong I suggest you go to the county information and stay away from Facebook.Our population is larger and as for high school diplomas my family alone will dis credit that fact . our crime rate is lowest in the county and the state . we have had only one arrest in three years .before you spout off nonsense you need to do more research

  6. This is ridiculous. There are lots worse places to live. Let’s start with EVERY place that borders on the Cuyahoga River. When you live on a river that is so polluted it catches on fire every month or so and they have to bring the fireboat to spray foam on it, THAT is a bad place. A guy driving across the bridge flicks a cigarette out the window and it falls on the river and the water goes up in flames, and you think Irondale is a bad place to live? Get serious. But it gets worse. What about inner city Cincinnati and Cleveland, where you’re afraid to go out at night or walk down the street at noon, where if you pull up at a red light, while you’re stuck there waiting for the light to change, four guys emerge from the alley and pull off your hubcaps and disappear back into the darkness, and you think Irondale is a bad place to live?

  7. There are many “towns” that were missed! Several in Van Wert county alone. Converse, Elgin, Schumm, Glenmore, Dull Station, Dixon, Cavett, Convoy, and so on. Many of these with an even smaller population! Maybe wroth taking another look…

  8. I’ve been to many of these quaint towns. Many of these are quiet commuter towns, Ideal for the person who wants to live close to a more populated area but still live in a friendly small town. Best of two worlds. It’s all in the eye of the beholder.

  9. It ain’t right to label people as being dumb based only on their level of education. My dad was born into depression era West Virgina, and had to help support the family after completing the third grade. He farmed a lot and found he was better at fixing things. While employed at the county as a mechanic he managed to buy some cheap land, build a house and a garage on it, started a nice orchard and a big garden. My brothers and I ate very well growing up. Dad retired to his own business in the garage he built. So be careful of how you label people.

  10. As a native of ohio, I must say, don’t forget Coshocton. Sadly, Coshocton is one of the worst I’ve been too. I’m honestly surprised it didn’t make this list!

  11. You did give an abbreviated rundown as to how you collected the data in your article. One was that you had never visited any of these towns. Totally statistical driven…Hmmm.

  12. Rogers has one of the best known flea markets in US. They bring tour busses in to shop. While visiting in Florida,(being from Ohio) I was asked if I knew where the flea market was. I did. I live just 12 miles from it. ….

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