These Are The 10 Worst Cleveland Suburbs For 2018


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

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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 Cleveland.

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 Cleveland ‘burbs need a little tender loving care – the sore thumbs of the Cleveland area if you will. Realistically, you can’t expect all the suburbs to live up to Cleveland proper, although Beachwood certainly tries.

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

We examined the 83 biggest suburbs of Cleveland 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 Cleveland in terms of quality of life.

Here are the 10 worst suburbs around Cleveland for 2018:

  1. Lorain (Photos)
  2. Akron (Photos)
  3. East Cleveland (Photos)
  4. Bedford Heights (Photos)
  5. Elyria (Photos)
  6. Painesville
  7. Garfield Heights (Photos)
  8. Euclid (Photos)
  9. Maple Heights (Photos)
  10. Warrensville Heights

Read on to see how we determined the places around Cleveland 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 Cleveland 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.

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Determining The Worst Suburbs Around Cleveland 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 Cleveland.

Additionally, we limited the analysis to places that have over 2,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 83 suburbs to evaluate around Cleveland.

We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 83 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 Cleveland.’ We’re lookin’ at you, Lorain.

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.

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1. Lorain

Lorain, Ohio

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 63,714
Unemployment Rate: 13.6%
Median Home Price: $85,700
Median Income: $35,753
We’ll get the ball rolling with Lorain, the absolute worst place to live around Cleveland according to the data.

And in the world of worst rankings, Lorain beat the competition pretty handily thanks to scoring in the bottom 15% in three major categories. Income is the 4th worst in the Cleveland area, and to make matters worse, the city ranks 7th 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 Lorain.

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.

2. Akron

Akron, Ohio

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 198,508
Unemployment Rate: 11.2%
Median Home Price: $80,000
Median Income: $35,240
Welcome to Akron. Home to KMart, Big Lots, and a lot of gas stations.

This city is 28.7 miles to Cleveland. Income levels here are the 2nd lowest in the metro area, where families bring in about $35,240 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. East Cleveland

East Cleveland, Ohio

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 17,413
Unemployment Rate: 24.9%
Median Home Price: $58,500
Median Income: $19,953
Back up the highway we go for the third worst Cleveland suburb you can live in. You might have expected to see East Cleveland 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 Cleveland suburbs.

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

4. Bedford Heights

Bedford Heights, Ohio

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 10,640
Unemployment Rate: 12.2%
Median Home Price: $97,800
Median Income: $37,692
If you live in Bedford Heights, most likely you struggle to make ends meet every month. It ranks as the 7th lowest Cleveland suburb when it comes to residents making money.

Not only that, but this is the 5th worst unemployed suburb you can live in if you choose to live near Cleveland. Remember, we looked at 83 cities for this study.

Bedford Heights is about 10.5 miles to downtown.

5. Elyria

Elyria, Ohio

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 53,928
Unemployment Rate: 9.9%
Median Home Price: $94,800
Median Income: $40,967
Elyria has the distinction of being a Cleveland suburb. Which means that’s about all it has going for it.

All snarkiness aside, Elyria has the 9th lowest home values in the metro Cleveland area, where the median price is $94,800. To put that into perspective, in Beachwood, the median income is $164,471, which is the best in the area.

Elyria has an unemployment rate of 9.9% which ranks 11th worst.

6. Painesville


Population: 19,735
Unemployment Rate: 7.2%
Median Home Price: $100,300
Median Income: $41,652
Painesville has 19,735 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 21.7%.

7. Garfield Heights

Garfield Heights, Ohio

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 28,207
Unemployment Rate: 11.7%
Median Home Price: $73,600
Median Income: $40,376
Ah, Garfield Heights. You rank as the 7th worst place to live around Cleveland.

It’s the place with the 6th most out of work residents in the Cleveland metro area (11.7%).

8. Euclid

Euclid, Ohio

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 47,863
Unemployment Rate: 10.7%
Median Home Price: $80,700
Median Income: $35,949
Euclid is a city about 11.4 miles from Cleveland, but Cleveland 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. Euclid has the 7th most uninsured people, 5th worst incomes, and has the 9th highest unemployment rate (10.7%) in the entire Cleveland metro area.

Homes only cost $80,700 for a reason. That’s cheap for Cleveland standards.

9. Maple Heights

Maple Heights, Ohio

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 22,685
Unemployment Rate: 12.6%
Median Home Price: $71,800
Median Income: $37,911
If you absolutely have to live near Cleveland, then Maple Heights might be a place for you to consider as it’s only the 9th worst Cleveland suburb.

About 12.6% of residents are out of work.

10. Warrensville Heights


Population: 13,293
Unemployment Rate: 10.8%
Median Home Price: $80,400
Median Income: $35,733
Rounding out the ten worst Cleveland suburbs to call home is Warrensville Heights.

Located 8.6 miles outside the city, Warrensville Heightss is a real pit when you look at the data. Its residents have the 8th highest unemployment rate (10.8%), and poverty is far above the area average.

The areas around Cleveland where the dream is more of a nightmare for 2018

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

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

For more Ohio reading , check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst Cleveland Suburbs

City Rank Population Unemployment Rate Median Home Price Median Income
Lorain 1 63,714 13.6% $85,700 $35,753
Akron 2 198,508 11.2% $80,000 $35,240
East Cleveland 3 17,413 24.9% $58,500 $19,953
Bedford Heights 4 10,640 12.2% $97,800 $37,692
Elyria 5 53,928 9.9% $94,800 $40,967
Painesville 6 19,735 7.2% $100,300 $41,652
Garfield Heights 7 28,207 11.7% $73,600 $40,376
Euclid 8 47,863 10.7% $80,700 $35,949
Maple Heights 9 22,685 12.6% $71,800 $37,911
Warrensville Heights 10 13,293 10.8% $80,400 $35,733
Fairport Harbor 11 3,081 14.6% $104,700 $48,346
Brooklyn 12 10,936 7.7% $103,400 $45,102
Brook Park 13 18,875 7.6% $111,800 $48,813
Bedford 14 12,782 6.4% $91,500 $41,285
Kent 15 29,761 10.4% $139,900 $36,539
Grafton 16 6,075 9.5% $135,000 $52,545
Parma 17 80,088 7.0% $107,500 $51,383
Richmond Heights 18 10,476 9.8% $137,700 $51,212
Eastlake 19 18,342 5.9% $122,300 $51,462
Northfield 20 3,679 6.6% $135,900 $57,344
Parma Heights 21 20,311 6.2% $110,700 $44,564
Sheffield Lake 22 9,055 6.3% $109,500 $58,153
Lagrange 23 2,357 6.9% $153,800 $58,088
Cuyahoga Falls 24 49,353 5.1% $120,000 $51,586
Lakewood 25 50,866 6.0% $134,000 $47,145
Cleveland Heights 26 45,160 8.8% $127,700 $53,901
South Euclid 27 21,865 7.2% $100,100 $59,734
Mentor-On-The-Lake 28 7,404 4.6% $125,400 $50,040
Mayfield Heights 29 18,878 8.5% $141,700 $45,875
Streetsboro 30 16,224 4.5% $144,300 $58,511
Berea 31 18,949 5.8% $129,000 $57,896
Amherst 32 12,058 5.9% $146,200 $66,731
Tallmadge 33 17,488 6.3% $156,400 $59,863
Willowick 34 14,131 6.6% $117,400 $54,493
Wickliffe 35 12,718 4.9% $117,200 $51,018
Willoughby Hills 36 9,497 5.0% $244,100 $61,276
Munroe Falls 37 5,055 5.6% $160,200 $62,855
Willoughby 38 22,495 4.4% $144,300 $53,324
Fairview Park 39 16,473 6.3% $145,500 $54,431
North Olmsted 40 32,108 5.1% $146,900 $61,444
Chardon 41 5,194 4.3% $167,500 $60,845
North Royalton 42 30,302 4.4% $193,100 $66,189
Middleburg Heights 43 15,724 5.7% $157,500 $58,810
North Ridgeville 44 31,832 5.3% $160,300 $68,778
Brunswick 45 34,578 4.3% $159,400 $64,706
Medina 46 26,445 3.3% $160,700 $60,706
Olmsted Falls 47 8,889 5.2% $145,700 $62,058
Sheffield 48 4,045 3.9% $183,200 $75,461
Walton Hills 49 2,236 3.6% $206,600 $69,167
Mentor 50 46,896 4.0% $167,100 $70,058
Aurora 51 15,712 5.0% $241,800 $84,135
Stow 52 34,746 4.5% $166,200 $66,079
University Heights 53 13,273 4.3% $154,600 $65,143
Seven Hills 54 11,697 5.8% $164,100 $73,948
Lyndhurst 55 13,736 4.3% $138,800 $65,921
Fairlawn 56 7,477 3.2% $174,700 $65,521
Twinsburg 57 18,851 3.9% $210,100 $73,314
Richfield 58 3,651 3.1% $225,900 $67,875
Gates Mills 59 2,229 2.1% $437,400 $132,167
Strongsville 60 44,622 5.3% $194,000 $80,323
Broadview Heights 61 19,257 3.7% $217,600 $77,480
Rocky River 62 20,211 4.6% $215,800 $65,226
Avon 63 22,289 6.0% $262,100 $90,846
Shaker Heights 64 27,773 5.7% $213,100 $79,519
Macedonia 65 11,595 5.4% $189,700 $86,061
Kirtland 66 6,802 3.9% $271,400 $76,691
Mayfield 67 3,401 2.9% $234,200 $72,156
Reminderville 68 3,862 2.5% $172,700 $71,417
Westlake 69 32,408 3.8% $236,400 $80,989
Independence 70 7,115 3.8% $222,600 $84,900
Moreland Hills 71 3,297 5.8% $379,400 $139,539
Highland Heights 72 8,366 3.9% $246,700 $101,875
Hudson 73 22,282 5.1% $313,300 $126,618
Solon 74 23,085 3.2% $273,800 $96,976
Brecksville 75 13,470 3.8% $256,000 $98,345
Avon Lake 76 23,221 2.4% $225,600 $80,884
Silver Lake 77 2,452 2.4% $198,100 $94,500
South Russell 78 3,839 4.2% $317,800 $107,250
Orange 79 3,288 2.9% $291,800 $102,109
Pepper Pike 80 6,150 3.1% $421,500 $164,471
Oakwood 81 9,077 1.4% $228,700 $96,790
Chagrin Falls 82 4,056 2.4% $328,100 $75,260
Beachwood 83 11,786 2.2% $274,400 $88,287

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11 thoughts on “These Are The 10 Worst Cleveland Suburbs For 2018

  1. I don’t understand how a community can appear twice in the list. I’m curious how this is a valid survey of suburban communities if the survey data doesn’t actually represent the appropriate geography in the list??

    The ACS obviously splits a place like Madison Township into 2 separate entities, while there is simultaneously an incorporated village within the township. Painesville data has similar issues. While its combined score may not fare better, it seems that it is misrepresented “scientifically” in the study. Begs the question, what is this list actually?

  2. This list lacks a command of knowledge for the cities that are being reviewed. Some of these suburbs belong to other cities, not Cleveland. The ‘science’ is completely absent and there is no mention of things people supposedly like to do versus what is available to do in these suburbs.

  3. First off, if Cleveland Heights isn’t #1 on the list your “science” obviously didn’t work. Secondly you say “low unemployment (less jobs)” which would actually mean the opposite. Low unemployment means MORE jobs.

  4. Here, as a long-time Clevelander and prior resident of 4 of the suburbs below, I’ll fix this list for you:

    1) East Cleveland
    2) Maple Heights
    3) Garfield Heights
    4) Warrensville Heights
    5) Cleveland Heights
    6) South Euclid
    7) Euclid
    8) Parma
    9) Bedford Heights
    10) Newburgh Heights

    You’re welcome.

  5. Newburgh Heights is getting old (housing) like many inner-ring suburbs and losing some population but is far from the worst Cleveland suburb. It is actually a tiny village .6 miles which is probably the reason you haven’t had any replies from them.

  6. You show Euclid Ohio in this list. IN FACT Euclid Ohio maybe one of the premier cities in the country.
    This city cannot be beat 70 year resident of Euclid says so.Euclid is the city that other cities are trying to be.

  7. All coded racism here. Move on. Note: lived in Bedford and now South Euclid. Haven’t seen a crime in my neighborhood in 12 years I’ve lived in these places. But see a lot of black people, with some cultural differences appearing more frequently (different music choices, different color choices for houses, large,noisy family gatherings on holidays, preference for a different look for cars). These cultural differences are interpreted as “more crime” by many suburban whites; they then start scanning the police bloggers and notice the crime that’s always been there which they never thought about–usually minor things, like occasional auto theft and domestic arguments that get out of hand–and wail about the terrible crime rate in their racially diverse inner ring suburb, even though they’ve never had a crime happen to them. Meanwhile, the “deteriorating housing” most often attributed to the influx of black residents actually most commonly belongs to elderly white residents who no longer can afford to repair their homes, whereas the racially diverse renters houses are kept by city ordinance in much better shape. I lived with black renters on one side of me in Bedford and an older white homeowner on the other side. The black renters were wonderful neighbors; although the landlord didn’t splurge on the property and it was simple looking, it was at least clean, and the renters were great people who we came to love. And although we loved the older white guy, as I’d grown up with him, his home was in deplorable condition, literally falling apart, a blight in the neighborhood. Most of the deplorable homes in Bedford were lived in by white elders, who no longer had the capacity (both financially and physically) to care for them. But the fear of seeing those black faces and hearing that loud music leads white folks in Bedford and South Euclid to believe that they have to live with a gun under the bed, a patent fallacy. It’s the same fear that causes white women to clutch their purses when a young black man walks past them vs. a young white man. It’s called racism–and most people who are racist don’t realize that’s what they are.

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