Worst Cincinnati Suburbs For 2020


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 2020. This is our sixth 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 Wyoming 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.

What's the worst suburb of Cincinnati? Aurora ranks as the worst suburb of Cincinnati for 2020 based on the most recent Census and FBI data.

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:

The 10 Worst Cincinnati Suburbs To Live For 2020

Aurora, IN

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 3,678
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 4)
Median Income: $34,743 (5th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 13.8% (2nd highest)
Median Home Value: $114,500 (19th lowest)
More on Aurora:  Data | Photos

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

And in the world of worst rankings, Aurora beat the competition pretty handily thanks to scoring in the bottom 15% in three major categories. Income is the 5th worst in the Cincinnati area, and to make matters worse, the city ranks 19th 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 Aurora.

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.

Lockland, OH

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 3,459
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Median Income: $30,101 (3rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.4% (8th highest)
Median Home Value: $81,300 (3rd lowest)
More on Lockland:  Data | Photos

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

This city is 6.6 miles to Cincinnati. Income levels here are the 3rd lowest in the metro area, where families bring in about $30,101 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.

Middletown, OH

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 48,449
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 1)
Median Income: $39,520 (9th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.7% (4th highest)
Median Home Value: $97,000 (9th lowest)
More on Middletown:  Data | Photos

Back up the highway we go for the third worst Cincinnati suburb you can live in. You might have expected to see Middletown 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.

New Miami, OH

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 2,416
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 1)
Median Income: $40,612 (11th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 11.3% (3rd highest)
Median Home Value: $71,100 (1st lowest)
More on New Miami:  Data | Photos

If you live in New Miami, most likely you struggle to make ends meet every month. It ranks as the 11th lowest Cincinnati suburb when it comes to residents making money.

Not only that, but this is the 3rd worst unemployed suburb you can live in if you choose to live near Cincinnati. Remember, we looked at 74 cities for this study.

New Miami is about 20.2 miles to downtown.

Bethel, OH

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 2,770
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 3)
Median Income: $39,224 (8th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.5% (26th highest)
Median Home Value: $86,300 (6th lowest)
More on Bethel:  Data | Photos

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

All snarkiness aside, Bethel has the 6th lowest home values in the metro Cincinnati area, where the median price is $86,300. To put that into perspective, in Wyoming, the median income is $163,958, which is the best in the area.

Bethel has an unemployment rate of 5.48% which ranks 26th worst.

Covington, KY

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 40,552
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Median Income: $41,254 (12th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.5% (7th highest)
Median Home Value: $105,900 (14th lowest)
More on Covington:  Data | Photos

Covington has 40,552 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 23.865285237889164%.

Lincoln Heights, OH

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 3,337
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 3)
Median Income: $23,931 (1st lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 18.3% (1st highest)
Median Home Value: $80,800 (2nd lowest)
More on Lincoln Heights:  Data | Photos

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

It's the place with the 1st most out of work residents in the Cincinnati metro area (18.29%).

Hamilton, OH

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 62,259
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 1)
Median Income: $43,280 (14th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.0% (11th highest)
Median Home Value: $102,900 (13th lowest)
More on Hamilton:  Data | Photos

Hamilton is a city about 17.8 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. Hamilton has the 17th most uninsured people, 14th worst incomes, and has the 11th highest unemployment rate (7.97%) in the entire Cincinnati metro area.

Homes only cost $102,900 for a reason. That's cheap for Cincinnati standards.

Williamsburg, OH

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 2,535
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 3)
Median Income: $49,688 (23rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 3.9% (41st highest)
Median Home Value: $125,500 (28th lowest)
More on Williamsburg:  Data | Photos

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

About 3.89% of residents are out of work.

North College Hill, OH

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 9,307
Rank Last Year: 20 (Up 10)
Median Income: $43,977 (15th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 8.1% (9th highest)
Median Home Value: $82,100 (4th lowest)
More on North College Hill:  Data | Photos

Rounding out the ten worst Cincinnati suburbs to call home is North College Hill.

Located 5.9 miles outside the city, North College Hills is a real pit when you look at the data. Its residents have the 9th highest unemployment rate (8.14%), and poverty is far above the area average.

Determining The Worst Suburbs Around Cincinnati for 2020

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 2014-2018, 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, Aurora. You can download the data here.

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.

The areas around Cincinnati where the dream is more of a nightmare for 2020

Well there you have it -- the worst of the 'burbs surrounding Cincinnati with Aurora casting itself ahead of the pack.

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

  • Wyoming
  • Mariemont
  • Lakeside Park

For more Ohio reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst Cincinnati Suburbs

Rank City Population Median Income Median Home Values
1 Aurora 3,678 $34,743 $114,500
2 Lockland 3,459 $30,101 $81,300
3 Middletown 48,449 $39,520 $97,000
4 New Miami 2,416 $40,612 $71,100
5 Bethel 2,770 $39,224 $86,300
6 Covington 40,552 $41,254 $105,900
7 Lincoln Heights 3,337 $23,931 $80,800
8 Hamilton 62,259 $43,280 $102,900
9 Williamsburg 2,535 $49,688 $125,500
10 North College Hill 9,307 $43,977 $82,100
11 Newport 15,152 $35,164 $134,600
12 Silverton 4,767 $39,959 $115,100
13 Lawrenceburg 4,979 $30,735 $134,800
14 St. Bernard 4,355 $52,364 $107,600
15 Norwood 19,796 $44,570 $129,200
16 Dayton 5,422 $48,629 $101,500
17 New Richmond 2,666 $53,889 $159,300
18 Springdale 11,228 $54,329 $125,300
19 Cheviot 8,318 $46,134 $93,300
20 Mount Healthy 6,076 $38,250 $85,700
21 Ludlow 4,515 $49,917 $107,400
22 Rising Sun 2,091 $42,560 $99,300
23 Elsmere 8,570 $53,697 $107,600
24 Milford 6,861 $46,188 $159,700
25 Golf Manor 3,549 $44,662 $93,000
26 Forest Park 18,703 $54,974 $113,800
27 Highland Heights 7,136 $48,670 $123,800
28 Crittenden 3,861 $47,061 $125,200
29 Woodlawn 3,319 $56,667 $98,300
30 Reading 10,286 $51,171 $122,700
31 Cleves 3,394 $68,906 $154,200
32 Greendale 4,165 $61,521 $131,700
33 Southgate 3,859 $52,917 $123,900
34 Walton 4,281 $68,854 $156,800
35 Wilder 3,083 $61,705 $122,900
36 Oxford 22,612 $27,238 $198,700
37 Amelia 5,074 $65,417 $145,400
38 Florence 31,940 $57,041 $146,400
39 Park Hills 2,983 $57,969 $201,400
40 Taylor Mill 6,746 $65,598 $152,400
41 Fairfield 42,636 $61,042 $150,900
42 Erlanger 18,776 $60,124 $130,700
43 South Lebanon 4,622 $66,034 $181,500
44 Sharonville 13,942 $62,908 $151,100
45 Lebanon 20,584 $66,754 $174,300
46 Harrison 11,521 $60,688 $141,800
47 Trenton 12,755 $73,297 $133,600
48 Independence 27,183 $79,224 $165,700
49 Deer Park 5,688 $64,531 $129,200
50 Greenhills 3,596 $62,250 $118,200
51 Bellevue 5,828 $58,750 $130,900
52 Alexandria 9,211 $80,313 $172,400
53 Monroe 14,013 $83,275 $169,400
54 Loveland 13,082 $69,691 $193,400
55 Fort Mitchell 8,237 $66,754 $258,500
56 Fort Wright 5,724 $74,798 $195,800
57 Cold Spring 6,319 $64,479 $195,600
58 Villa Hills 7,410 $89,393 $220,500
59 Glendale 2,228 $100,781 $265,500
60 Fort Thomas 16,313 $76,837 $226,300
61 Crescent Springs 4,035 $70,196 $223,500
62 Blue Ash 12,150 $83,079 $265,900
63 Crestview Hills 3,281 $76,179 $203,400
64 Edgewood 8,723 $99,183 $222,300
65 Evendale 2,859 $121,750 $281,500
66 Mason 32,749 $96,511 $249,000
67 Union 5,815 $113,194 $261,300
68 Amberley 3,780 $131,307 $307,400
69 Terrace Park 2,350 $163,958 $503,600
70 Madeira 9,091 $112,513 $281,100
71 Montgomery 10,663 $123,214 $354,100
72 Lakeside Park 2,749 $79,063 $198,300
73 Mariemont 3,429 $101,161 $366,200
74 Wyoming 8,535 $121,071 $314,800

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