These Are The 10 Poorest Cities In Ohio For 2018


We analyzed the cities and towns in Ohio to determine which ones are at the bottom of the income ladder.

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Ohio brings to mind images of Columbus, beautiful landscapes, and some of the best people you’ll find in the good ole US of A.

However, like all states, Ohio has certain places that are going on hard times. These places have an above average percent of people that are living in poverty, out of work, or not making as much as they should be.

With all the talk about income inequality going on around the country, we thought it prudent to take a look at the places in each state that are struggling to make it even as the economy continues to improve. So we set our sites on bringing attention to the places in Ohio that could use a helping hand.

To do so, we analyzed the newest Census data from the American Community Survey for the 254 places in Ohio with more than 5,000 people.

We were left with this set of the ten poorest places in the Buckeye State for 2018:

  1. East Cleveland (Photos)
  2. Youngstown (Photos)
  3. Nelsonville (Photos)
  4. Cleveland (Photos)
  5. Dayton (Photos)
  6. Campbell (Photos)
  7. Portsmouth (Photos)
  8. Athens (Photos)
  9. Ashtabula (Photos)
  10. Cambridge (Photos)

Again, this isn’t a commentary on the people that live there or the vibrant culture and traditions of these places. Instead, it’s just a look at the facts.

And according to the facts, East Cleveland is the poorest place in Ohio for 2018.

Rich people not your cup of tea? Feel free to check out the richest places in Ohio or the most dangerous.

For more on how we calculated the top ten, and for more information about these places, read on.

How We Determined The Poorest Places In Ohio For 2018

The first thing that comes to most people’s minds when they think about determining the poorest places is to simply the poverty rate. That is, the number of people living below a federally established level of income for a household of a certain size.

However, we don’t think that one statistic wholly encompasses what it means to be one of the ‘poorest places’. So we looked at this set of criteria from the newly released 2012-2016 American Community Survey:

  • Poverty Level
  • Median Household Income adjusted for the cost of living
  • Unemployment Rate

The ‘median household income adjusted for the cost of living’ attempts to gauge how expensive it is to live in a place and how that impacts the quality of life. For example, a town might have fewer people living below the official poverty line, but the cost of living is so high they’d still feel poor.

The unemployment rate tries to capture the prospects for improvement in the city or town. If more people are employed, the brighter the future looks and vice versa.

After we collected the data for all 254 places with more than 5,000 people in Ohio, we ranked each place from 1 to 254 for each of the criteria, with 1 being the poorest.

We then averaged all the rankings for a place into a ‘Poor Score’ with the place having the lowest overall Poor Score, East Cleveland, crowned the ‘Poorest Place In Ohio For 2018’.

You can learn more about the top ten below or skip to the end to see the rankings for all 254 places.

1. East Cleveland

East Cleveland, Ohio

Source: Public domain

Population: 17,413
Median Income: $19,953
Unemployment Rate: 24.9%
Poverty Rate: 41.8%
More on East Cleveland: Add A Comment | Data | Jobs

East Cleveland, unfortunately, ranks as the poorest place in Ohio thanks to combination of low pay and and a lack of jobs.

The city of 17,413 people averages the 1st lowest median household income in Ohio and the 3rd highest poverty rate. At the very least, the cost of living ranks in the bottom 15% of place in the state, so things like housing are relatively affordable.

User comment that mentions East Cleveland: East cleveland

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2. Youngstown

Youngstown, Ohio

Population: 65,161
Median Income: $24,448
Unemployment Rate: 16.8%
Poverty Rate: 38.0%
More on Youngstown: Add A Comment | Data | Jobs

The second poorest city in Ohio is Youngstown.

The city ranks as having the 5th highest incidence of poverty and 3rd lowest median household income. However, the unemployment rate ‘only’ ranks as the 4th highest in the Buckeye State.

User comment that mentions Youngstown: This dude talks like he has my Youngstown dick in his mouth.

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3. Nelsonville

Nelsonville, Ohio

Population: 5,249
Median Income: $25,735
Unemployment Rate: 15.0%
Poverty Rate: 40.0%
More on Nelsonville: Add A Comment | Data | Jobs

Placing as the third poorest city, Nelsonville’s median income ranks as the 4th lowest.

And that’s a sign that there’s a relatively substantial jump in the quality of the economy from second to third place on our list. The poverty rate is 40.0% and ranks near the bottom of places in the state.

But what makes up for the relatively low incomes of the city is its low cost of living. The income you do make here goes further than in most parts of the Buckeye State.

User comment that mentions Nelsonville: Nelsonville wasn’t a steel town.

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4. Cleveland

Cleveland, Ohio

Population: 389,165
Median Income: $26,583
Unemployment Rate: 17.3%
Poverty Rate: 36.0%
More on Cleveland: Add A Comment | Data | Jobs

Cleveland ranks as the fourth poorest place in Ohio.

The town ranks as having the 6th lowest median household income and the 6th highest incidence of poverty in the state.

That being said, there’s still a ton of cultural diversity in the city as it hosts many events throughout the year.

User comment that mentions Cleveland: Beachwood is a wealthy Cleveland suburb with a large Jewish population. Never heard of rich, Jewish rednecks. Do you visit the places you mock-

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5. Dayton

Dayton, Ohio

Population: 141,143
Median Income: $28,745
Unemployment Rate: 13.3%
Poverty Rate: 34.5%
More on Dayton: Add A Comment | Data | Jobs

The fifth poorest city in Ohio is Dayton.

The city ranks as having the 8th lowest median income in the state. However, an extremely low cost of living prevents a good number of folks from living in poverty as the poverty rate only ranks as the 9th highest in Ohio.

Still not the best news for Dayton.

User comment that mentions Dayton: Springfield, a suburb of St. Louis,. Unless you are writing about some other state, St. Louis is more than 500 miles away in Missouri. The last I checked there were two states inbetween Ohio and Missouri. Now Springfield, Ohio is small city halfway inbetween Dayton and Columbus and is not considered a suburb of either although it is considered to be in the Dayton CSA

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6. Campbell

Campbell, Ohio

Source: Public domain

Population: 8,040
Median Income: $28,952
Unemployment Rate: 18.0%
Poverty Rate: 29.2%
More on Campbell: Add A Comment | Data | Jobs

Campbell ranks as the sixth poorest place in the Buckeye State.

It ranks as having the 19th highest incidence of poverty and the 2nd highest unemployment rate.

7. Portsmouth

Portsmouth, Ohio

Population: 20,393
Median Income: $27,769
Unemployment Rate: 13.0%
Poverty Rate: 34.2%
More on Portsmouth: Add A Comment | Data | Jobs

Portsmouth places as the seventh poorest city in Ohio.

The city of over 20,393 ranks as having the 12th highest incidence of poverty in the state. However, it has a very low cost of living which helps to pay the bills each month.

User comment that mentions Portsmouth: Drugs, drugs oh and drugs and also the small handful of rich people who has prevented any major businesses from coming in. Portsmouth could have been a growing community but they closed the doors and only let the drug dealers in.

Your comment could be here. Add a comment on a city or town.

8. Athens

Athens, Ohio

Population: 24,365
Median Income: $22,204
Unemployment Rate: 10.9%
Poverty Rate: 54.7%
More on Athens: Add A Comment | Data | Jobs

Athens ranks as the eighth poorest city in Ohio.

The big issue for the town is the unemployment rate which ranks as the 33rd highest in the state.

9. Ashtabula

Ashtabula, Ohio

Source: Public domain

Population: 18,540
Median Income: $28,865
Unemployment Rate: 12.8%
Poverty Rate: 34.3%
More on Ashtabula: Add A Comment | Data | Jobs

Ashtabula couldn’t stay out of the top ten poorest places in Ohio; it ranks number 9.

While the median income is the 9th lowest, there are a substantial number of people that live below the poverty line. Overall, Ashtabula ranks as having the 11th most people living in poverty of all the places we analyzed in Ohio.

User comment that mentions Ashtabula: I lived in Ashtabula for 60 plus years and moved away from the hell’ hole and never looked back. Best thing anyone can do is get out of there. It will be the best day of your life.’

Your comment could be here. Add a comment on a city or town.

10. Cambridge

Cambridge, Ohio

Population: 10,495
Median Income: $30,795
Unemployment Rate: 13.3%
Poverty Rate: 31.2%
More on Cambridge: Add A Comment | Data | Jobs

And rounding out the top ten poorest cities in Ohio is Cambridge.

The city of 10,495 people ranks in the bottom 20% for both median income and poverty rate in the Buckeye State.

There You Have It – The Poorest Places In Ohio For 2018

Like we said earlier, when we set out to identify the poorest places in Ohio, we weren’t sure what we’d encounter, but it ended up being some of the best places to live in Ohio.

When you look at the data, the cities and places mentioned above meet the criteria for being at the very bottom of the income ladder for everyone that lives there.

If you’re curious enough, here are the richest cities in Ohio, according to data:

Richest: Powell
2nd Richest: Grandview Heights
3rd Richest: The Village Of Indian Hill

For more Ohio reading , check out:

  • 10 Worst Places To Live In Ohio
  • 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Ohio
  • 10 Most Ghetto Cities In Ohio
  • Detailed List Of The Poorest Cities In Ohio

    Rank City Poverty Rate
    1 East Cleveland 41.8%
    2 Youngstown 38.0%
    3 Nelsonville 40.0%
    4 Cleveland 36.0%
    5 Dayton 34.5%
    6 Campbell 29.2%
    7 Portsmouth 34.2%
    8 Athens 54.7%
    9 Ashtabula 34.3%
    10 Cambridge 31.2%
    11 Canton 31.8%
    12 East Liverpool 26.3%
    13 Lima 28.5%
    14 Zanesville 30.8%
    15 Springfield 27.9%
    16 Warren 34.9%
    17 Trotwood 25.9%
    18 Alliance 23.4%
    19 Mansfield 25.6%
    20 Lorain 26.2%
    21 Logan 22.6%
    22 Toledo 27.5%
    23 Cincinnati 29.9%
    24 Uhrichsville 30.7%
    25 Hillsboro 25.5%
    26 Fostoria 30.6%
    27 Middletown 24.2%
    28 Kent 34.4%
    29 Akron 25.4%
    30 Steubenville 26.9%
    31 Bowling Green 35.8%
    32 Sandusky 22.4%
    33 Wellston 25.4%
    34 Ravenna 22.3%
    35 Martins Ferry 22.8%
    36 Marion 21.9%
    37 Fremont 23.8%
    38 Galion 17.7%
    39 Euclid 21.5%
    40 Maple Heights 21.1%
    41 Willard 23.2%
    42 Whitehall 22.9%
    43 Mount Vernon 23.5%
    44 Warrensville Heights 19.9%
    45 Toronto 20.9%
    46 Wilmington 21.4%
    47 Conneaut 18.4%
    48 Marietta 25.8%
    49 Xenia 24.6%
    50 Salem 23.3%
    51 Eaton 22.8%
    52 Bedford Heights 16.4%
    53 Greenville 17.7%
    54 Chillicothe 22.5%
    55 New Carlisle 20.8%
    56 Struthers 15.6%
    57 Elyria 22.2%
    58 Newark 21.8%
    59 Kenton 18.6%
    60 Hamilton 21.9%
    61 Garfield Heights 17.4%
    62 Cheviot 20.7%
    63 Oxford 46.1%
    64 Piqua 19.8%
    65 Lancaster 20.5%
    66 Urbana 20.7%
    67 West Carrollton 19.9%
    68 Niles 19.8%
    69 Jackson 20.8%
    70 Ada 23.4%
    71 Barberton 18.0%
    72 Mount Healthy 19.4%
    73 Ironton 21.0%
    74 Bucyrus 17.8%
    75 Circleville 20.4%
    76 Fairborn 22.1%
    77 Washington Court House 22.4%
    78 Moraine 18.6%
    79 North College Hill 19.2%
    80 Rittman 16.2%
    81 Massillon 18.3%
    82 Van Wert 20.0%
    83 Painesville 21.7%
    84 Defiance 18.8%
    85 Tiffin 17.0%
    86 Norwood 22.0%
    87 Riverside 14.9%
    88 Bryan 16.2%
    89 Coshocton 15.6%
    90 Upper Sandusky 17.3%
    91 Oberlin 20.6%
    92 Girard 15.5%
    93 Bellefontaine 20.9%
    94 Norwalk 17.2%
    95 New Philadelphia 16.4%
    96 Columbus 21.2%
    97 Cleveland Heights 20.2%
    98 Franklin 16.9%
    99 Vermilion 15.1%
    100 Milford 21.2%

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