Poorest Cities In Ohio For 2021


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 2021. This is our seventh time ranking the poorest places in Ohio.

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 253 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 2021.

Rich people more your cup of tea? Feel free to check out the best 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 2021

1. East Cleveland

East Cleveland, OH

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 17,200
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Income: $20,743 (lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 18.8% (highest)
Poverty Rate: 37.5% (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 17,200 people averages the 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, OH

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 64,783
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Income: $28,822 (2nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 14.3% (3rd highest)
Poverty Rate: 35.2% (5th highest)
More on Youngstown:  Data | Photos

The second poorest city in Ohio is Youngstown.

The city ranks as having the 5th highest incidence of poverty and 2nd lowest median household income. However, the unemployment rate 'only' ranks as the 3rd highest in the Buckeye State.

3. Portsmouth

Portsmouth, OH

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 20,311
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 2)
Median Income: $28,840 (3rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 11.2% (5th highest)
Poverty Rate: 36.5% (4th highest)
More on Portsmouth:  Data | Photos

Placing as the third poorest city, Portsmouth'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 36.47818554103009% 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. Campbell

Campbell, OH

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 7,889
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Median Income: $31,702 (9th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 16.4% (2nd highest)
Poverty Rate: 32.7% (9th highest)
More on Campbell:  Data | Photos

Campbell ranks as the fourth poorest place in Ohio.

The town ranks as having the 9th lowest median household income and the 9th 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. Cleveland

Cleveland, OH

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 385,282
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 2)
Median Income: $30,907 (7th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 13.2% (4th highest)
Poverty Rate: 32.7% (10th highest)
More on Cleveland:  Data | Photos

The fifth poorest city in Ohio is Cleveland.

The city ranks as having the 7th 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 10th highest in Ohio.

Still not the best news for Cleveland.

6. Canton

Canton, OH

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 71,243
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 3)
Median Income: $32,287 (12th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 11.1% (6th highest)
Poverty Rate: 30.8% (12th highest)
More on Canton:  Data | Photos

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

It ranks as having the 12th highest incidence of poverty and the 6th highest unemployment rate.

7. Zanesville

Zanesville, OH

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 25,200
Rank Last Year: 7 (No Change)
Median Income: $30,345 (6th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 10.2% (12th highest)
Poverty Rate: 30.1% (14th highest)
More on Zanesville:  Data | Photos

Zanesville places as the seventh poorest city in Ohio.

The city of over 25,200 ranks as having the 14th 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. Dayton

Dayton, OH

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 140,569
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 2)
Median Income: $32,540 (14th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 10.7% (7th highest)
Poverty Rate: 30.6% (13th highest)
More on Dayton:  Data | Photos

Dayton ranks as the eighth poorest city in Ohio.

The big issue for the town is the unemployment rate which ranks as the 7th highest in the state.

9. East Liverpool

East Liverpool, OH

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 10,692
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 2)
Median Income: $32,119 (11th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 10.4% (9th highest)
Poverty Rate: 27.9% (17th highest)
More on East Liverpool:  Data | Photos

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

While the median income is the 11th lowest, there are a substantial number of people that live below the poverty line. Overall, East Liverpool ranks as having the 17th most people living in poverty of all the places we analyzed in Ohio.

10. Warren

Warren, OH

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 39,307
Rank Last Year: 14 (Up 4)
Median Income: $28,898 (4th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.2% (32nd highest)
Poverty Rate: 35.0% (6th highest)
More on Warren:  Data | Photos

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

The city of 39,307 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 2021

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 2015-2019 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 253 places with more than 5,000 people in Ohio, we ranked each place from 1 to 253 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 2021". You can download the data here.

There You Have It - The Poorest Places In Ohio For 2021

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: Montgomery
    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 17,200 37.5%
2 Youngstown 64,783 35.2%
3 Portsmouth 20,311 36.5%
4 Campbell 7,889 32.7%
5 Cleveland 385,282 32.7%
6 Canton 71,243 30.8%
7 Zanesville 25,200 30.1%
8 Dayton 140,569 30.6%
9 East Liverpool 10,692 27.9%
10 Warren 39,307 35.0%
11 Athens 24,984 47.3%
12 Ashtabula 18,171 32.2%
13 Galion 10,074 24.8%
14 Cambridge 10,360 32.9%
15 Trotwood 24,375 25.7%
16 Kent 29,811 29.6%
17 Toledo 276,614 25.5%
18 Wellston 5,520 25.0%
19 Lorain 63,801 25.1%
20 Uhrichsville 5,348 27.0%
21 Warrensville Heights 13,203 21.9%
22 Springfield 59,132 23.1%
23 Steubenville 17,988 24.6%
24 Mansfield 46,576 23.0%
25 Lima 37,117 24.3%
26 Euclid 47,159 21.8%
27 Marion 36,188 20.4%
28 Alliance 21,842 24.4%
29 Middletown 48,621 25.2%
30 Geneva 5,978 18.9%
31 Cincinnati 301,394 26.3%
32 Akron 198,051 23.5%
33 Hillsboro 6,534 23.8%
34 Salem 11,774 21.1%
35 Bowling Green 31,526 33.0%
36 Wilmington 12,392 20.3%
37 Ravenna 11,485 21.8%
38 Fostoria 13,316 27.2%
39 Sandusky 24,829 21.3%
40 Maple Heights 22,383 21.6%
41 Struthers 10,242 20.1%
42 Whitehall 18,915 21.0%
43 Kenton 8,284 18.4%
44 Oxford 22,700 47.5%
45 Elyria 53,821 23.1%
46 Garfield Heights 27,814 17.6%
47 Jackson 6,239 19.0%
48 Toronto 5,280 19.5%
49 Logan 6,836 16.3%
50 Conneaut 12,613 19.5%
51 Circleville 13,928 22.4%
52 Xenia 26,534 20.0%
53 Washington Court House 14,114 19.3%
54 Barberton 26,098 17.3%
55 West Carrollton 12,913 16.7%
56 Greenville 12,766 16.4%
57 Fairborn 33,462 20.3%
58 Martins Ferry 6,646 18.4%
59 Mount Vernon 16,667 19.0%
60 Cheviot 8,254 16.6%
61 New Carlisle 5,584 17.5%
62 Newark 49,470 18.3%
63 Fremont 16,073 17.9%
64 Painesville 19,845 18.2%
65 Chillicothe 21,719 18.8%
66 Lancaster 40,159 18.5%
67 Urbana 11,496 17.7%
68 North College Hill 9,335 16.4%
69 Willard 6,041 15.8%
70 Moraine 6,486 16.0%
71 Hamilton 62,182 17.1%
72 Girard 9,368 17.1%
73 Marietta 13,588 26.6%
74 Piqua 21,028 13.7%
75 Oberlin 8,296 28.1%
76 Mount Healthy 6,767 12.8%
77 Niles 18,468 15.3%
78 Coshocton 11,063 15.2%
79 Van Wert 11,045 18.3%
80 Massillon 32,415 17.3%
81 Cleveland Heights 44,571 18.2%
82 Bellefontaine 13,574 16.5%
83 New Philadelphia 17,446 17.9%
84 Ironton 10,599 22.4%
85 Bedford Heights 10,565 16.0%
86 Norwood 19,883 23.1%
87 Tiffin 17,577 13.6%
88 Columbus 878,553 19.5%
89 Richmond Heights 10,406 13.5%
90 Brooklyn 10,773 12.1%
91 Port Clinton 6,197 17.7%
92 Norwalk 16,857 16.9%
93 Belpre 6,421 15.1%
94 Troy 25,961 12.4%
95 Brook Park 18,617 12.2%
96 Bucyrus 11,853 13.2%
97 Ada 5,941 18.4%
98 Shelby 8,866 11.7%
99 Rittman 6,503 15.3%
100 Bedford 12,631 10.8%

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