These Are The 10 Poorest Cities In Ohio For 2019


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 2019. This is our fourth 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 256 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 2019:

  1. East Cleveland (Photos)
  2. Youngstown (Photos)
  3. Nelsonville (Photos)
  4. Cleveland (Photos)
  5. Campbell (Photos)
  6. Cambridge (Photos)
  7. Athens (Photos)
  8. Portsmouth (Photos)
  9. Ashtabula (Photos)
  10. Dayton (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 2019.

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.

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:

How We Determined The Poorest Places In Ohio for 2019

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 2013-2017 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 256 places with more than 5,000 people in Ohio, we ranked each place from 1 to 256 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 2019”.

You can learn more about the top ten below or skip to the end to see the rankings for all 256 places.

East Cleveland, OH

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 17,375
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Income: $21,184 (1st lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 19.9% (1st highest)
Poverty Rate: 40.5% (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 17,375 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: 64,852
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Income: $26,295 (4th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 15.4% (5th highest)
Poverty Rate: 36.8% (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 4th lowest median household income. However, the unemployment rate ‘only’ ranks as the 5th highest in the Buckeye State.

Nelsonville, OH

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 5,005
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Median Income: $26,139 (3rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 13.4% (7th highest)
Poverty Rate: 35.2% (6th highest)
More on Nelsonville:  Data | Photos

Placing as the third poorest city, Nelsonville’s median income ranks as the 3rd 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 35.2% 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.

Cleveland, OH

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 388,812
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Median Income: $27,854 (7th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 16.0% (4th highest)
Poverty Rate: 35.2% (6th highest)
More on Cleveland:  Data | Photos

Cleveland ranks as the fourth poorest place in Ohio.

The town ranks as having the 7th lowest median household income and the 5th 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.

Campbell, OH

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 7,986
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 1)
Median Income: $29,728 (11th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 16.9% (3rd highest)
Poverty Rate: 30.6% (15th highest)
More on Campbell:  Data | Photos

The fifth poorest city in Ohio is Campbell.

The city ranks as having the 11th 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 15th highest in Ohio.

Still not the best news for Campbell.

Cambridge, OH

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 10,491
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 4)
Median Income: $30,856 (15th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 13.2% (8th highest)
Poverty Rate: 34.1% (9th highest)
More on Cambridge:  Data | Photos

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

It ranks as having the 9th highest incidence of poverty and the 8th highest unemployment rate.

Athens, OH

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 24,486
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 2)
Median Income: $24,326 (2nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 10.5% (29th highest)
Poverty Rate: 51.6% (1st highest)
More on Athens:  Data | Photos

Athens places as the seventh poorest city in Ohio.

The city of over 24,486 ranks as having the 1st highest incidence of poverty in the state. However, it has a very low cost of living which helps to pay the bills each month.

Portsmouth, OH

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 20,343
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 1)
Median Income: $27,943 (8th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 11.5% (18th highest)
Poverty Rate: 35.1% (7th highest)
More on Portsmouth:  Data | Photos

Portsmouth ranks as the eighth poorest city in Ohio.

The big issue for the town is the unemployment rate which ranks as the 17th highest in the state.

Ashtabula, OH

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 18,385
Rank Last Year: 9 (No Change)
Median Income: $29,421 (10th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 11.9% (14th highest)
Poverty Rate: 33.7% (11th highest)
More on Ashtabula:  Data | Photos

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

While the median income is the 10th 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.

Dayton, OH

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 140,939
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 4)
Median Income: $30,128 (12th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 12.9% (10th highest)
Poverty Rate: 32.7% (13th highest)
More on Dayton:  Data | Photos

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

The city of 140,939 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 2019

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

For more Ohio reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Poorest Places To Live In Ohio

Rank City Population Poverty Rate
1 East Cleveland 17,375 40.5%
2 Youngstown 64,852 36.8%
3 Nelsonville 5,005 35.2%
4 Cleveland 388,812 35.2%
5 Campbell 7,986 30.6%
6 Cambridge 10,491 34.1%
7 Athens 24,486 51.6%
8 Portsmouth 20,343 35.1%
9 Ashtabula 18,385 33.7%
10 Dayton 140,939 32.7%
11 East Liverpool 10,817 26.5%
12 Canton 71,763 31.7%
13 Zanesville 25,378 28.5%
14 Lima 37,592 25.8%
15 Trotwood 24,348 25.6%
16 Alliance 22,036 23.9%
17 Warren 40,244 34.6%
18 Toledo 279,455 26.5%
19 Springfield 59,436 25.6%
20 Wellston 5,560 25.3%
21 Lorain 63,731 25.4%
22 Mansfield 46,720 23.8%
23 Cincinnati 298,957 28.7%
24 Steubenville 18,194 26.5%
25 Uhrichsville 5,385 30.3%
26 Kent 29,771 33.1%
27 Bowling Green 31,529 33.9%
28 Fostoria 13,211 30.5%
29 Akron 198,252 24.1%
30 Marion 36,399 20.8%
31 New Lexington 5,049 28.0%
32 Middletown 48,350 24.1%
33 Ravenna 11,530 22.4%
34 Logan 7,030 20.4%
35 Sandusky 25,139 22.9%
36 Whitehall 18,749 23.5%
37 Euclid 47,698 21.9%
38 Warrensville Heights 13,278 19.3%
39 Cheviot 8,308 23.8%
40 Toronto 5,131 22.4%
41 Maple Heights 22,630 22.1%
42 Wilmington 12,396 21.5%
43 Galion 10,169 20.2%
44 Mount Healthy 6,072 17.4%
45 Fremont 16,265 23.2%
46 Struthers 10,372 17.6%
47 New Carlisle 5,626 20.3%
48 Urbana 11,519 20.5%
49 Conneaut 12,708 19.1%
50 Willard 6,060 20.6%
51 Eaton 8,219 19.9%
52 Mount Vernon 16,681 21.6%
53 Hillsboro 6,528 23.3%
54 Greenville 12,892 17.9%
55 Elyria 53,944 22.1%
56 Garfield Heights 28,122 18.2%
57 Kenton 8,265 22.1%
58 Martins Ferry 6,747 18.1%
59 Newark 48,640 20.5%
60 Marietta 13,795 26.3%
61 Hamilton 62,216 20.2%
62 Xenia 26,193 22.8%
63 Jackson 6,293 19.2%
64 Bucyrus 11,950 18.2%
65 Salem 11,939 20.2%
66 Oxford 22,624 47.0%
67 Chillicothe 21,598 21.7%
68 Lancaster 39,732 19.6%
69 Bedford Heights 10,662 13.9%
70 Barberton 26,230 18.1%
71 West Carrollton 12,963 19.0%
72 Ada 5,902 21.9%
73 Geneva 6,030 20.6%
74 Fairborn 33,344 20.9%
75 Oberlin 8,317 23.5%
76 Niles 18,613 18.2%
77 Massillon 32,320 17.7%
78 Tiffin 17,638 17.7%
79 Circleville 13,780 21.3%
80 Piqua 20,793 15.1%
81 Moraine 6,433 18.3%
82 Bellefontaine 13,418 19.0%
83 Painesville 19,843 20.5%
84 Van Wert 10,946 19.7%
85 New Philadelphia 17,408 16.7%
86 Washington Court House 14,136 20.1%
87 Bedford 12,766 10.9%
88 Coshocton 11,062 14.7%
89 Norwalk 16,790 19.2%
90 Columbus 852,144 20.8%
91 Bryan 8,415 17.5%
92 Wellington 5,139 11.5%
93 Shelby 8,878 12.7%
94 Norwood 19,611 20.6%
95 Brooklyn 10,891 14.7%
96 Richmond Heights 10,456 12.6%
97 North College Hill 9,322 16.5%
98 Wauseon 7,075 12.5%
99 Sidney 20,777 14.6%
100 Girard 9,535 16.7%

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