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 43 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:
- Middletown (Photos)
- Covington (Photos)
- Newport (Photos)
- Hamilton (Photos)
- Dayton (Photos)
- Norwood (Photos)
- North College Hill (Photos)
- Cheviot (Photos)
- Springdale (Photos)
- Milford (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.
For more Ohio reading, check out:
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 5,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 43 suburbs to evaluate around Cincinnati.
We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 43 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, Middletown.
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.
We’ll get the ball rolling with Middletown, the absolute worst place to live around Cincinnati according to the data.
And in the world of worst rankings, Middletown beat the competition pretty handily thanks to scoring in the bottom 15% in three major categories. Income is the 4th worst in the Cincinnati area, and to make matters worse, the city ranks 5th 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 Middletown.
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.
Welcome to Covington. Home to KMart, Big Lots, and a lot of gas stations.
This city is 7.3 miles to Cincinnati. Income levels here are the 5th lowest in the metro area, where families bring in about $37,391 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.
Back up the highway we go for the third worst Cincinnati suburb you can live in. You might have expected to see Newport 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.
If you live in Hamilton, most likely you struggle to make ends meet every month. It ranks as the 9th 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 43 cities for this study.
Hamilton is about 17.8 miles to downtown.
Dayton has the distinction of being a Cincinnati suburb. Which means that’s about all it has going for it.
All snarkiness aside, Dayton has the 3rd lowest home values in the metro Cincinnati area, where the median price is $90,100. To put that into perspective, in Wyoming, the median income is $120,676, which is the best in the area.
Dayton has an unemployment rate of 7.6% which ranks 10th worst.
Norwood has 19,462 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 22.0%.
7. North College Hill
Ah, North College Hill. You rank as the 7th worst place to live around Cincinnati.
It’s the place with the 5th most out of work residents in the Cincinnati metro area (9.2%).
Cheviot is a city about 5.9 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. Cheviot has the 17th most uninsured people, 10th worst incomes, and has the 2nd highest unemployment rate (10.3%) in the entire Cincinnati metro area.
Homes only cost $90,100 for a reason. That’s cheap for Cincinnati standards.
If you absolutely have to live near Cincinnati, then Springdale might be a place for you to consider as it’s only the 9th worst Cincinnati suburb.
About 5.6% of residents are out of work.
Rounding out the ten worst Cincinnati suburbs to call home is Milford.
Located 12.2 miles outside the city, Milfords is a real pit when you look at the data. Its residents have the 27th highest unemployment rate (4.7%), 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 Middletown 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.
For more Ohio reading, check out:
- 10 Most Ghetto Cities In Ohio
- These Are The 10 Richest Cities In Ohio
- 10 Safest Places In Ohio
- 10 Worst Places To Live In Ohio
Detailed List Of The Worst Cincinnati Suburbs
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