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 2018:
- Lockland (Photos)
- Middletown (Photos)
- Lincoln Heights (Photos)
- New Miami (Photos)
- Aurora (Photos)
- Covington (Photos)
- Williamsburg (Photos)
- Bethel (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.
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.
Determining The Worst Suburbs Around Cincinnati for 2018
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, 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.
Population: 3,435Unemployment Rate: 11.4%
Median Home Price: $81,100
Median Income: $31,742
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 3rd 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.
Population: 48,527Unemployment Rate: 13.1%
Median Home Price: $91,300
Median Income: $36,898
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 7th lowest in the metro area, where families bring in about $36,898 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.
3. Lincoln Heights
Population: 3,360Unemployment Rate: 29.4%
Median Home Price: $75,400
Median Income: $23,494
Back up the highway we go for the third worst Cincinnati suburb you can live in. You might have expected to see Lincoln Heights 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.
4. New Miami
Population: 2,126Unemployment Rate: 9.8%
Median Home Price: $73,500
Median Income: $40,625
If you live in New Miami, most likely you struggle to make ends meet every month. It ranks as the 17th lowest Cincinnati suburb when it comes to residents making money.
Not only that, but this is the 9th 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.
Population: 3,697Unemployment Rate: 13.1%
Median Home Price: $120,300
Median Income: $38,094
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 27th lowest home values in the metro Cincinnati area, where the median price is $120,300. To put that into perspective, in Mariemont, the median income is $145,625, which is the best in the area.
Aurora has an unemployment rate of 13.1% which ranks 2nd worst.
Population: 4,983 Unemployment Rate: 9.5%
Median Home Price: $136,100
Median Income: $40,309
Lawrenceburg has 4,983 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 17.8%.
Population: 40,766Unemployment Rate: 9.8%
Median Home Price: $99,100
Median Income: $37,391
Ah, Covington. 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 (9.8%).
Population: 2,543Unemployment Rate: 5.1%
Median Home Price: $106,700
Median Income: $48,102
Williamsburg is a city about 25.3 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. Williamsburg has the 10th most uninsured people, 25th worst incomes, and has the 44th highest unemployment rate (5.1%) in the entire Cincinnati metro area.
Homes only cost $106,700 for a reason. That’s cheap for Cincinnati standards.
Population: 15,321 Unemployment Rate: 9.2%
Median Home Price: $121,700
Median Income: $33,008
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 9.2% of residents are out of work.
Population: 2,763Unemployment Rate: 8.6%
Median Home Price: $84,700
Median Income: $40,677
Rounding out the ten worst Cincinnati suburbs to call home is Bethel.
Located 25.7 miles outside the city, Bethels is a real pit when you look at the data. Its residents have the 17th highest unemployment rate (8.6%), and poverty is far above the area average.
The areas around Cincinnati where the dream is more of a nightmare for 2018
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.
For more Ohio reading , check out:
- These Are The 10 Dumbest Cities In Ohio
- These Are The 10 Snobbiest Places In Ohio
- These Are The 10 Most Ghetto Cities In Ohio
Detailed List Of The Worst Cincinnati Suburbs
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