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.

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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.

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1. East Cleveland

East Cleveland, Ohio

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 17,413
Median Income: $19,953
Unemployment Rate: 24.9%
Poverty Rate: 41.8%
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.

2. Youngstown

Youngstown, Ohio

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 65,161
Median Income: $24,448
Unemployment Rate: 16.8%
Poverty Rate: 38.0%
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.

3. Nelsonville

Nelsonville, Ohio

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 5,249
Median Income: $25,735
Unemployment Rate: 15.0%
Poverty Rate: 40.0%
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.

4. Cleveland

Cleveland, Ohio

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 389,165
Median Income: $26,583
Unemployment Rate: 17.3%
Poverty Rate: 36.0%
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.

5. Dayton

Dayton, Ohio

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 141,143
Median Income: $28,745
Unemployment Rate: 13.3%
Poverty Rate: 34.5%
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.

6. Campbell

Campbell, Ohio

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 8,040
Median Income: $28,952
Unemployment Rate: 18.0%
Poverty Rate: 29.2%
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

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 20,393
Median Income: $27,769
Unemployment Rate: 13.0%
Poverty Rate: 34.2%
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.

8. Athens

Athens, Ohio

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 24,365
Median Income: $22,204
Unemployment Rate: 10.9%
Poverty Rate: 54.7%
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: Wikipedia

Population: 18,540
Median Income: $28,865
Unemployment Rate: 12.8%
Poverty Rate: 34.3%
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.

10. Cambridge

Cambridge, Ohio

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 10,495
Median Income: $30,795
Unemployment Rate: 13.3%
Poverty Rate: 31.2%
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:

  • These Are The 10 Dumbest Cities In Ohio
  • These Are The 10 Best Places To Live In Ohio
  • These Are The 10 Most Ghetto Cities In Ohio
  • Detailed List Of The Poorest Cities In Ohio

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

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