These Are The 10 Worst Cincinnati Suburbs For 2019


We used science and data to determine which Cincinnati suburbs are the real pits.

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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 worst suburbs around Cincinnati.

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Not everyone is cut out for city life. Some people would prefer to live in the cities and towns that surround Cincinnati.

So the question arises, do the suburbs maintain a semblance of the larger-than-life appeal of their more famous neighbor?

Today, we’ll use science and data to determine which Cincinnati ‘burbs need a little tender loving care – the sore thumbs of the Cincinnati area if you will. Realistically, you can’t expect all the suburbs to live up to Cincinnati proper, although Mariemont certainly tries.

Of course, not all suburbs of Cincinnati are created equally, which is precisely why we set out to find the best ones. So without further ado…

We examined the 74 biggest suburbs of Cincinnati to find out the worst places to live. And while you won’t necessarily find them on the worst places to live in Ohio lists, these ten places are a little too far downwind of Cincinnati in terms of quality of life.

Here are the 10 worst suburbs around Cincinnati for 2019:

  1. Lockland (Photos)
  2. Middletown (Photos)
  3. New Miami (Photos)
  4. Lincoln Heights (Photos)
  5. Aurora (Photos)
  6. Covington (Photos)
  7. Hamilton (Photos)
  8. Bethel (Photos)
  9. Newport
  10. Dayton (Photos)

Read on to see how we determined the places around Cincinnati that need a pick-me-up. And remember, don’t blame the messenger.

Or, if you’re thinking of moving to elsewhere in Ohio check out the best places in Ohio overall or the worst.

And remember, there are some good places to live around Cincinnati too.

Editor’s Note: If you see a slight difference between the worst in state rankings and this suburb ranking, it’s because of the methodology. We needed a way to include more places, so we eliminated crime and commute times as criteria for this analysis.

For more Ohio reading, check out:

Determining The Worst Suburbs Around Cincinnati for 2019

To figure out how bad a place is to live in, we only needed to know what kinds of things people like and then decide what cities have the least amount of those things.

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using the most recent American Community Survey data from 2013-2017, this is the criteria we used:

  • High unemployment rate
  • Low median household incomes
  • Low population density (no things to do)
  • Low home values
  • A lot of high school drop outs
  • High poverty
  • High rate of uninsured families

FYI: We defined a suburb as being within 30 miles of Cincinnati.

Additionally, we limited the analysis to places that have over 2,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 74 suburbs to evaluate around Cincinnati.

We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 74 in each category, where 1 was the “worst”.

Next, we averaged the rankings for each place to create a quality of life index.

And finally, we crowned the city with the worst quality of life index the “Worst Suburb near Cincinnati.” We’re lookin’ at you, Lockland.

Read on below to learn more about what it’s like to live in the worst of the worst. Or skip to the end to see the list of all the suburbs ranked from worst to best.

Lockland, OH

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 3,456
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Income: $31,875 (3rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.9% (8th highest)
Median Home Value: $79,000 (2nd lowest)
More on Lockland:  Data | Photos

We’ll get the ball rolling with Lockland, the absolute worst place to live around Cincinnati according to the data.

And in the world of worst rankings, Lockland beat the competition pretty handily thanks to scoring in the bottom 15% in three major categories. Income is the 3rd worst in the Cincinnati area, and to make matters worse, the city ranks 2nd worst when it comes to home values.

But hey, at least it’s cheap to live there. But there’s a reason for that… it’s Lockland.

You won’t feel bad about not having a great income for the area, there aren’t a bunch of places to spend your money anyway.

Middletown, OH

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 48,350
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Income: $39,116 (10th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 10.8% (4th highest)
Median Home Value: $93,800 (10th lowest)
More on Middletown:  Data | Photos

Welcome to Middletown. Home to KMart, Big Lots, and a lot of gas stations.

This city is 26.2 miles to Cincinnati. Income levels here are the 10th lowest in the metro area, where families bring in about $39,116 a year, which doesn’t go a long ways even on a shoestring budget.

But on the bright side, there are a lot of fast food joints in the area.

New Miami, OH

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 2,270
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 1)
Median Income: $42,469 (14th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.2% (10th highest)
Median Home Value: $73,600 (1st lowest)
More on New Miami:  Data | Photos

Back up the highway we go for the third worst Cincinnati suburb you can live in. You might have expected to see New Miami on here. While the cost of living is low, your entertainment and work options are limited. And that’s an understatement.

In terms of numbers, it’s in the worst 15% for insurance, and the adult high school drop out rate is poor compared to other Cincinnati suburbs.

But at least there are nice parks to bring the kids during the day.

Lincoln Heights, OH

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 3,336
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 1)
Median Income: $24,055 (1st lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 21.7% (1st highest)
Median Home Value: $81,500 (3rd lowest)
More on Lincoln Heights:  Data | Photos

If you live in Lincoln Heights, most likely you struggle to make ends meet every month. It ranks as the 1st lowest Cincinnati suburb when it comes to residents making money.

Not only that, but this is the 1st worst unemployed suburb you can live in if you choose to live near Cincinnati. Remember, we looked at 74 cities for this study.

Lincoln Heights is about 7.6 miles to downtown.

Aurora, IN

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 3,770
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Median Income: $37,808 (8th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 12.8% (2nd highest)
Median Home Value: $127,700 (34th lowest)
More on Aurora:  Data | Photos

Aurora has the distinction of being a Cincinnati suburb. Which means that’s about all it has going for it.

All snarkiness aside, Aurora has the 34th lowest home values in the metro Cincinnati area, where the median price is $127,700. To put that into perspective, in Mariemont, the median income is $160,000, which is the best in the area.

Aurora has an unemployment rate of 12.8% which ranks 2nd worst.

Covington, KY

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 40,578
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 1)
Median Income: $38,346 (9th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.2% (10th highest)
Median Home Value: $100,800 (14th lowest)
More on Covington:  Data | Photos

Covington has 40,578 residents that probably know it’s a pretty crummy place to live when you look at the data. (Or, if you’ve ever been there, you don’t need to look at the data.)

Incomes are towards the bottom and the poverty rate sits at 24.7%.

Hamilton, OH

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 62,216
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 4)
Median Income: $42,360 (12th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.3% (9th highest)
Median Home Value: $102,300 (15th lowest)
More on Hamilton:  Data | Photos

Ah, Hamilton. You rank as the 7th worst place to live around Cincinnati.

It’s the place with the 9th most out of work residents in the Cincinnati metro area (9.3%).

Bethel, OH

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 2,760
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 2)
Median Income: $44,167 (18th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.9% (23rd highest)
Median Home Value: $84,000 (6th lowest)
More on Bethel:  Data | Photos

Bethel is a city about 25.7 miles from Cincinnati, but Cincinnati probably wishes it was further away. It ranks as the 8th worst burb for 2018.

You’d be hard pressed to find a worse place to live. Bethel has the 23rd most uninsured people, 18th worst incomes, and has the 23rd highest unemployment rate (5.9%) in the entire Cincinnati metro area.

Homes only cost $84,000 for a reason. That’s cheap for Cincinnati standards.

9. Newport

Newport Location In Kentucky

Newport, KY

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 15,219
Rank Last Year: 9 (No Change)
Median Income: $33,363 (4th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.8% (13th highest)
Median Home Value: $122,700 (30th lowest)
More on Newport:

If you absolutely have to live near Cincinnati, then Newport might be a place for you to consider as it’s only the 9th worst Cincinnati suburb.

About 8.8% of residents are out of work.

Dayton, KY

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 5,378
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 2)
Median Income: $42,436 (13th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.5% (17th highest)
Median Home Value: $96,500 (11th lowest)
More on Dayton:  Data | Photos

Rounding out the ten worst Cincinnati suburbs to call home is Dayton.

Located 3.1 miles outside the city, Daytons is a real pit when you look at the data. Its residents have the 17th highest unemployment rate (7.5%), and poverty is far above the area average.

The areas around Cincinnati where the dream is more of a nightmare for 2019

Well there you have it — the worst of the ‘burbs surrounding Cincinnati with Lockland casting itself ahead of the pack.

As we mentioned earlier, the suburbs around Cincinnati aren’t all bad. Mariemont takes the cake as the best place to live around Cincinnati.

  • Mariemont
  • Wyoming
  • Montgomery

For more Ohio reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst Cincinnati Suburbs

Rank City Population Median Income Median Home Values
1 Lockland 3,456 $31,875 $79,000
2 Middletown 48,350 $39,116 $93,800
3 New Miami 2,270 $42,469 $73,600
4 Lincoln Heights 3,336 $24,055 $81,500
5 Aurora 3,770 $37,808 $127,700
6 Covington 40,578 $38,346 $100,800
7 Hamilton 62,216 $42,360 $102,300
8 Bethel 2,760 $44,167 $84,000
9 Newport 15,219 $33,363 $122,700
10 Dayton 5,378 $42,436 $96,500
11 New Richmond 2,647 $48,424 $152,300
12 Williamsburg 2,528 $51,006 $111,000
13 Mount Healthy 6,072 $36,098 $83,800
14 Springdale 11,203 $51,538 $121,600
15 Ludlow 4,523 $50,282 $104,900
16 Lawrenceburg 4,981 $37,123 $133,000
17 Cheviot 8,308 $40,949 $90,400
18 Norwood 19,611 $42,820 $122,200
19 Rising Sun 2,219 $44,286 $100,700
20 North College Hill 9,322 $44,265 $82,800
21 St. Bernard 4,366 $51,029 $99,900
22 Milford 6,829 $43,514 $153,900
23 Forest Park 18,675 $53,972 $112,100
24 Reading 10,277 $48,701 $116,800
25 Elsmere 8,555 $55,054 $108,700
26 Cleves 3,407 $66,354 $159,400
27 Crittenden 3,843 $44,469 $121,800
28 Silverton 4,757 $36,871 $114,300
29 Golf Manor 3,548 $43,944 $89,700
30 Highland Heights 7,128 $51,705 $119,800
31 Walton 4,189 $66,250 $150,300
32 Wilder 3,093 $55,473 $118,300
33 Amelia 5,172 $61,556 $146,900
34 Woodlawn 3,295 $57,213 $88,400
35 Oxford 22,624 $26,816 $186,900
36 Greendale 4,537 $56,302 $124,900
37 Southgate 3,831 $53,096 $117,600
38 Erlanger 18,674 $56,563 $123,200
39 Florence 31,603 $56,670 $142,800
40 Fairfield 42,589 $62,198 $149,300
41 Sharonville 13,974 $61,477 $144,500
42 Lebanon 20,500 $64,700 $166,700
43 Park Hills 2,985 $53,586 $189,000
44 Taylor Mill 6,739 $62,154 $150,000
45 South Lebanon 4,393 $67,292 $219,200
46 Bellevue 5,838 $57,038 $121,000
47 Greenhills 3,599 $56,587 $113,900
48 Trenton 12,601 $67,975 $129,800
49 Independence 26,772 $75,647 $159,700
50 Harrison 11,093 $59,472 $138,900
51 Alexandria 9,022 $72,721 $159,800
52 Deer Park 5,701 $60,639 $125,400
53 Monroe 13,946 $81,442 $164,200
54 Blue Ash 12,096 $75,775 $243,100
55 Villa Hills 7,397 $85,230 $209,100
56 Loveland 12,884 $70,469 $191,800
57 Fort Wright 5,718 $70,360 $192,100
58 Fort Mitchell 8,239 $64,229 $257,300
59 Crescent Springs 4,019 $66,821 $220,700
60 Crestview Hills 3,321 $71,696 $192,100
61 Fort Thomas 16,254 $71,956 $214,000
62 Glendale 2,158 $101,359 $247,200
63 Cold Spring 6,283 $68,701 $193,000
64 Mason 32,317 $93,872 $235,000
65 Terrace Park 2,341 $160,000 $507,100
66 Edgewood 8,688 $93,958 $212,500
67 Union 5,751 $107,361 $249,400
68 Evendale 2,857 $115,882 $267,300
69 Amberley 3,766 $124,750 $310,300
70 Lakeside Park 2,743 $86,776 $253,200
71 Madeira 8,993 $97,292 $266,400
72 Montgomery 10,587 $115,489 $343,800
73 Wyoming 8,476 $118,947 $305,300
74 Mariemont 3,404 $98,208 $372,700

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