Poorest Cities In Ohio For 2020


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

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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 poorest places in Ohio.

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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 255 places in Ohio with more than 5,000 people.

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.

What's the poorst city in Ohio? According to the facts, East Cleveland is the poorest place in Ohio for 2020.

Rich people more 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.

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

For more Ohio reading, check out:

The 10 Poorest Cities In Ohio For 2020

East Cleveland, OH

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 17,321
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Income: $21,439 (1st lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 20.1% (1st highest)
Poverty Rate: 38.9% (3rd highest)
More on East Cleveland:  Data | Photos

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 17,321 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.

Youngstown, OH

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 64,734
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Income: $26,951 (2nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 14.5% (5th highest)
Poverty Rate: 36.2% (4th highest)
More on Youngstown:  Data | Photos

The second poorest city in Ohio is Youngstown.

The city ranks as having the 4th highest incidence of poverty and 2nd lowest median household income. However, the unemployment rate 'only' ranks as the 5th highest in the Buckeye State.

Cleveland, OH

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 387,398
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 1)
Median Income: $29,008 (7th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 14.7% (4th highest)
Poverty Rate: 34.6% (7th highest)
More on Cleveland:  Data | Photos

Placing as the third poorest city, Cleveland's median income ranks as the 7th 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 34.64695656789501% 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.

Campbell, OH

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 7,964
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 1)
Median Income: $30,484 (10th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 18.0% (2nd highest)
Poverty Rate: 31.9% (12th highest)
More on Campbell:  Data | Photos

Campbell ranks as the fourth poorest place in Ohio.

The town ranks as having the 10th lowest median household income and the 12th 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.

Portsmouth, OH

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 20,366
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 3)
Median Income: $29,016 (8th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 11.0% (11th highest)
Poverty Rate: 34.5% (8th highest)
More on Portsmouth:  Data | Photos

The fifth poorest city in Ohio is Portsmouth.

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 8th highest in Ohio.

Still not the best news for Portsmouth.

Dayton, OH

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 140,782
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 4)
Median Income: $31,395 (12th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 11.9% (7th highest)
Poverty Rate: 32.1% (11th highest)
More on Dayton:  Data | Photos

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

It ranks as having the 11th highest incidence of poverty and the 7th highest unemployment rate.

Zanesville, OH

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 25,376
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 6)
Median Income: $28,258 (6th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 11.0% (12th highest)
Poverty Rate: 29.3% (16th highest)
More on Zanesville:  Data | Photos

Zanesville places as the seventh poorest city in Ohio.

The city of over 25,376 ranks as having the 16th highest incidence of poverty in the state. However, it has a very low cost of living which helps to pay the bills each month.

Ashtabula, OH

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 18,243
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 1)
Median Income: $29,338 (9th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 10.1% (19th highest)
Poverty Rate: 34.9% (6th highest)
More on Ashtabula:  Data | Photos

Ashtabula ranks as the eighth poorest city in Ohio.

The big issue for the town is the unemployment rate which ranks as the 19th highest in the state.

Canton, OH

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 71,313
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 3)
Median Income: $31,735 (13th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 11.5% (9th highest)
Poverty Rate: 31.5% (13th highest)
More on Canton:  Data | Photos

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

While the median income is the 13th lowest, there are a substantial number of people that live below the poverty line. Overall, Canton ranks as having the 13th most people living in poverty of all the places we analyzed in Ohio.

Athens, OH

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 24,771
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 3)
Median Income: $27,435 (4th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.0% (33rd highest)
Poverty Rate: 48.2% (1st highest)
More on Athens:  Data | Photos

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

The city of 24,771 people ranks in the bottom 20% for both median income and poverty rate in the Buckeye State.

How We Determined The Poorest Places In Ohio for 2020

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 2014-2018 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 255 places with more than 5,000 people in Ohio, we ranked each place from 1 to 255 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 2020". You can download the data here.

There You Have It - The Poorest Places In Ohio For 2020

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: Independence
    2nd Richest: Madeira
    3rd Richest: Mason

For more Ohio reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Poorest Places To Live In Ohio

Rank City Population Poverty Rate
1 East Cleveland 17,321 38.9%
2 Youngstown 64,734 36.2%
3 Cleveland 387,398 34.6%
4 Campbell 7,964 31.9%
5 Portsmouth 20,366 34.5%
6 Dayton 140,782 32.1%
7 Zanesville 25,376 29.3%
8 Ashtabula 18,243 34.9%
9 Canton 71,313 31.5%
10 Athens 24,771 48.2%
11 East Liverpool 10,762 27.9%
12 Cambridge 10,432 33.2%
13 Trotwood 24,361 27.0%
14 Warren 39,668 35.6%
15 Steubenville 18,095 26.3%
16 Warrensville Heights 13,258 23.8%
17 Lorain 63,773 25.7%
18 Mansfield 46,638 23.5%
19 Lima 37,335 26.5%
20 Fostoria 13,249 31.1%
21 Springfield 59,305 24.3%
22 Kent 29,824 30.0%
23 Wellston 5,540 23.4%
24 Toledo 278,193 25.6%
25 Cincinnati 300,357 27.2%
26 Alliance 21,927 24.0%
27 Euclid 47,456 22.0%
28 Middletown 48,449 25.4%
29 Bowling Green 31,541 33.4%
30 Marion 36,268 20.5%
31 Uhrichsville 5,370 27.3%
32 Akron 198,314 23.3%
33 New Lexington 5,189 28.0%
34 Maple Heights 22,539 22.4%
35 Struthers 10,325 19.7%
36 Toronto 5,298 21.2%
37 Ravenna 11,552 19.1%
38 Wilmington 12,403 18.4%
39 Kenton 8,296 21.4%
40 Sandusky 25,012 22.0%
41 Geneva 5,989 17.6%
42 Galion 10,089 19.4%
43 Logan 6,846 17.4%
44 Whitehall 18,874 21.9%
45 Salem 11,870 20.4%
46 Oxford 22,612 47.2%
47 Garfield Heights 28,001 18.4%
48 Fremont 16,171 23.6%
49 Xenia 26,364 20.7%
50 Elyria 53,910 22.7%
51 Mount Vernon 16,669 21.9%
52 New Carlisle 5,622 22.9%
53 Urbana 11,434 19.6%
54 Cheviot 8,318 20.3%
55 Hillsboro 6,520 23.0%
56 Willard 6,060 18.9%
57 Greenville 12,824 14.9%
58 Hamilton 62,259 19.4%
59 Mount Healthy 6,076 12.8%
60 Conneaut 12,659 18.6%
61 Bucyrus 11,906 16.0%
62 Newark 49,070 19.3%
63 Fairborn 33,433 21.2%
64 West Carrollton 12,954 17.2%
65 Barberton 26,189 16.2%
66 Jackson 6,274 18.0%
67 Oberlin 8,299 23.6%
68 Lancaster 39,942 19.3%
69 Washington Court House 14,135 19.7%
70 Coshocton 11,067 16.5%
71 North College Hill 9,307 15.3%
72 Ironton 10,912 21.5%
73 Niles 18,606 18.2%
74 Rittman 6,541 16.7%
75 Wellington 5,249 13.7%
76 Chillicothe 21,717 18.6%
77 Tiffin 17,599 16.9%
78 Moraine 6,445 15.7%
79 Martins Ferry 6,703 17.9%
80 Eaton 8,195 16.6%
81 Piqua 20,941 14.1%
82 Bedford Heights 10,633 14.7%
83 Bryan 8,285 17.0%
84 Marietta 13,718 26.6%
85 Massillon 32,366 17.1%
86 Painesville 19,828 18.8%
87 Norwood 19,796 21.8%
88 Bellefontaine 13,531 18.0%
89 New Philadelphia 17,432 18.8%
90 Van Wert 11,077 17.8%
91 Shelby 8,809 13.4%
92 Girard 9,465 15.1%
93 Columbus 867,628 20.4%
94 Circleville 13,853 23.1%
95 Norwalk 16,881 16.9%
96 Brooklyn 10,862 10.4%
97 Franklin 11,734 15.4%
98 Bedford 12,705 11.4%
99 Cleveland Heights 44,865 17.6%
100 Port Clinton 5,939 13.4%

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