These Are The 10 Worst Akron Suburbs For 2018


We used science and data to determine which Akron 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 Akron.

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

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

We examined the 55 biggest suburbs of Akron 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 Akron in terms of quality of life.

Here are the 10 worst suburbs around Akron for 2018:

  1. Canton (Photos)
  2. Cleveland (Photos)
  3. Alliance (Photos)
  4. Rittman (Photos)
  5. Bedford Heights (Photos)
  6. Barberton (Photos)
  7. Garfield Heights (Photos)
  8. Ravenna (Photos)
  9. Maple Heights (Photos)
  10. Warrensville Heights

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

Additionally, we limited the analysis to places that have over 5,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 55 suburbs to evaluate around Akron.

We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 55 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 Akron.” We’re lookin’ at you, Canton.

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.

1. Canton

Canton, Ohio

Population: 72,163
Unemployment Rate: 12.9%
Median Home Price: $71,000
Median Income: $30,444
More on Canton: Data | Jobs

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

And in the world of worst rankings, Canton beat the competition pretty handily thanks to scoring in the bottom 15% in three major categories. Income is the 2nd worst in the Akron 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 Canton.

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. Cleveland

Cleveland, Ohio

Population: 389,165
Unemployment Rate: 17.3%
Median Home Price: $67,500
Median Income: $26,583
More on Cleveland: Data | Jobs

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

This city is 28.7 miles to Akron. Income levels here are the 1st lowest in the metro area, where families bring in about $26,583 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. Alliance

Alliance, Ohio

Population: 22,121
Unemployment Rate: 13.1%
Median Home Price: $79,600
Median Income: $32,058
More on Alliance: Data | Jobs

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

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

4. Rittman

Rittman, Ohio

Population: 6,528
Unemployment Rate: 10.0%
Median Home Price: $105,600
Median Income: $42,227
More on Rittman: Data | Jobs

If you live in Rittman, most likely you struggle to make ends meet every month. It ranks as the 13th lowest Akron suburb when it comes to residents making money.

Not only that, but this is the 10th worst unemployed suburb you can live in if you choose to live near Akron. Remember, we looked at 55 cities for this study.

Rittman is about 15.6 miles to downtown.

5. Bedford Heights

Bedford Heights, Ohio

Population: 10,640
Unemployment Rate: 12.2%
Median Home Price: $97,800
Median Income: $37,692
More on Bedford Heights: Data | Jobs

Bedford Heights has the distinction of being a Akron suburb. Which means that’s about all it has going for it.

All snarkiness aside, Bedford Heights has the 9th lowest home values in the metro Akron area, where the median price is $97,800. To put that into perspective, in Oakwood, the median income is $164,471, which is the best in the area.

Bedford Heights has an unemployment rate of 12.2% which ranks 5th worst.

6. Barberton

Barberton, Ohio

Population: 26,266
Unemployment Rate: 9.7%
Median Home Price: $85,800
Median Income: $39,456
More on Barberton: Data | Jobs

Barberton has 26,266 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 18.0%.

7. Garfield Heights

Garfield Heights, Ohio

Population: 28,207
Unemployment Rate: 11.7%
Median Home Price: $73,600
Median Income: $40,376
More on Garfield Heights: Data | Jobs

Ah, Garfield Heights. You rank as the 7th worst place to live around Akron.

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

8. Ravenna

Ravenna, Ohio

Population: 11,582
Unemployment Rate: 11.1%
Median Home Price: $99,600
Median Income: $36,087
More on Ravenna: Data | Jobs

Ravenna is a city about 15.6 miles from Akron, but Akron 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. Ravenna has the 28th most uninsured people, 5th worst incomes, and has the 7th highest unemployment rate (11.1%) in the entire Akron metro area.

Homes only cost $99,600 for a reason. That’s cheap for Akron standards.

9. Maple Heights

Maple Heights, Ohio

Source: Public domain

Population: 22,685
Unemployment Rate: 12.6%
Median Home Price: $71,800
Median Income: $37,911
More on Maple Heights: Data | Jobs

If you absolutely have to live near Akron, then Maple Heights might be a place for you to consider as it’s only the 9th worst Akron 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
More on Warrensville Heights: Data | Jobs

Rounding out the ten worst Akron suburbs to call home is Warrensville Heights.

Located 24.8 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 Akron where the dream is more of a nightmare for 2018

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

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

For more Ohio reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst Akron Suburbs

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Median Home Price Median Income
1 Canton 72,163 12.9% $71,000 $30,444
2 Cleveland 389,165 17.3% $67,500 $26,583
3 Alliance 22,121 13.1% $79,600 $32,058
4 Rittman 6,528 10.0% $105,600 $42,227
5 Bedford Heights 10,640 12.2% $97,800 $37,692
6 Barberton 26,266 9.7% $85,800 $39,456
7 Garfield Heights 28,207 11.7% $73,600 $40,376
8 Ravenna 11,582 11.1% $99,600 $36,087
9 Maple Heights 22,685 12.6% $71,800 $37,911
10 Warrensville Heights 13,293 10.8% $80,400 $35,733
11 Massillon 32,268 9.4% $98,700 $42,808
12 Brooklyn 10,936 7.7% $103,400 $45,102
13 Orrville 8,351 5.2% $116,500 $45,883
14 Kent 29,761 10.4% $139,900 $36,539
15 Wooster 26,773 4.5% $126,300 $41,703
16 Bedford 12,782 6.4% $91,500 $41,285
17 Brook Park 18,875 7.6% $111,800 $48,813
18 Grafton 6,075 9.5% $135,000 $52,545
19 Parma 80,088 7.0% $107,500 $51,383
20 Canal Fulton 5,464 7.5% $138,400 $44,711
21 Norton 12,044 5.7% $131,900 $62,355
22 Parma Heights 20,311 6.2% $110,700 $44,564
23 Louisville 9,318 7.4% $131,900 $54,087
24 Cleveland Heights 45,160 8.8% $127,700 $53,901
25 Cuyahoga Falls 49,353 5.1% $120,000 $51,586
26 Streetsboro 16,224 4.5% $144,300 $58,511
27 Berea 18,949 5.8% $129,000 $57,896
28 Tallmadge 17,488 6.3% $156,400 $59,863
29 Munroe Falls 5,055 5.6% $160,200 $62,855
30 New Franklin 14,195 5.2% $134,600 $68,161
31 North Royalton 30,302 4.4% $193,100 $66,189
32 Green 25,713 4.2% $173,600 $66,656
33 Wadsworth 22,578 5.4% $162,300 $62,607
34 Middleburg Heights 15,724 5.7% $157,500 $58,810
35 Medina 26,445 3.3% $160,700 $60,706
36 Brunswick 34,578 4.3% $159,400 $64,706
37 Olmsted Falls 8,889 5.2% $145,700 $62,058
38 North Canton 17,422 3.1% $136,600 $55,874
39 Aurora 15,712 5.0% $241,800 $84,135
40 Seven Hills 11,697 5.8% $164,100 $73,948
41 Stow 34,746 4.5% $166,200 $66,079
42 University Heights 13,273 4.3% $154,600 $65,143
43 Fairlawn 7,477 3.2% $174,700 $65,521
44 Twinsburg 18,851 3.9% $210,100 $73,314
45 Broadview Heights 19,257 3.7% $217,600 $77,480
46 Strongsville 44,622 5.3% $194,000 $80,323
47 Macedonia 11,595 5.4% $189,700 $86,061
48 Shaker Heights 27,773 5.7% $213,100 $79,519
49 Independence 7,115 3.8% $222,600 $84,900
50 Hudson 22,282 5.1% $313,300 $126,618
51 Brecksville 13,470 3.8% $256,000 $98,345
52 Solon 23,085 3.2% $273,800 $96,976
53 Pepper Pike 6,150 3.1% $421,500 $164,471
54 Beachwood 11,786 2.2% $274,400 $88,287
55 Oakwood 9,077 1.4% $228,700 $96,790

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60 thoughts on “These Are The 10 Worst Akron Suburbs For 2018

    1. Thanks for the thoughtful response!

      We got our classification for the suburbs of Akron from the census. Just another classic case of government interference in your definition of suburbs.

      1. Ravenna was founded in 1808. Akron was founded in 1825. Ravenna is the county seat of Portage County. It has the main courthouse, jail, dog pound, hospital (there is only one by the way), county services, and sheriff’s office. It is NOT a suburb of anything. In fact, it HAS a suburb itself called Blackhorse. Ravenna is 26 miles away on the other side of Kent. Speaking of Kent, founded in 1805. Kent has a suburb called Brady Lake. You are missing Ellet, Lakemore, Springfield, Goodyear heights, Firestone Park, Northhill, and Chapel Hill. Just look at any map and you will see these suburbs are right there next to Akron, not 26 miles away. Akron is part of a metropolis that extends up to Lake Erie to a town called Cleveland. Using your logic, Akron is then a suburb of Cleveland. Portage County is not and never has been part of the Cleveland metropolis.

    2. Hmmmm…you don’t have to be in the same county as the large municipality…that’s what makes it a suburb. i.e. Marietta is in Cobb County but Atlanta is in Fulton. Guess where everyone works and experiences culture & goes to the hospital or to university education though? ATLANTA. Different counties though go figure…

  1. “Portage Lakes” is not a separate suburb. It is an area consisting of Coventry Twp, New Franklin, and Green. You listed New Franklin and Green separately. So whose drop out rate did you use? median income? etc.

    1. Hi Jennifer,
      We used data from the 2010-2014 American Community survey that lists Portage Lakes as a CDP, so not something you would normally consider city colloquially.

      All the rates are for people living in the census designated area. These aren’t reflective of the schools — it’s the 16-19 year old kids living there.

      1. So from the other comments, I would ask, where are you even from? You don’t know Portage Lakes isn’t a town (no elected officials, no taxing body, no nothing). Portage Lakes are lakes. Population: Fish. Median Income: $0. Avg. Home Value: $0. Basing your “conclusions” on census tracts? That means you didn’t even follow the geographical boundaries of the actual towns you listed. What a wasted article that could have been insightful. But I guess that would have required actual journalistic skills and a knowledge of the area.

          1. Where you live has plenty of relevance in a “study” like this. Useless data- no matter where the source- is useless, and you would have realized just how worthless this information is if you lived in the area.

            One: Nine of these communities – Kent, Streetsboro, Aurora, Ravenna, Uniontown, Doylestown, Brimfield, Wadsworth and Rittman – aren’t even in the same county as Akron. Ravenna is the county seat for Portage County. These communities have little to no shared history with Akron.

            Two: Calling Portage Lakes a suburb of Akron is a bit of a stretch; it’s not a township nor a municipality, so it doesn’t have a governing body. It’s located (mostly) in Coventry Township- which is NOT on this list. Coventry is a lot closer and has more shared history than several of the communities listed (see my number one point).

            Three: Calling Montrose-Ghent a suburb of Akron is an even bigger stretch. I looked up “suburb” and the general consensus is that a suburb is defined as a residential area on the outskirts of the main hub. The problem with calling Montrose (which is primarily in Fairlawn) a suburb is that it is largely commercial.

            Four: There are communities outside of Summit County listed as suburbs of Akron, but several communities – including cities – in Summit County are missing. Communities that are closer to some of the areas listed in Point One and have more shared history with Akron. This includes Macedonia, Northfield Center, Northfield Village, Sagamore Hills, Twinsburg city, Twinsburg Township and Reminderville. Other puzzling omissions are the village of Clinton (near New Franklin), Bath Township and Copley Township (near Fairlawn), Springfield (to the southeast of Akron), Peninsula, Boston Heights and Boston Township.

            I know I know… “but I used the Census” you have said repeatedly. So what? As I said earlier- useless information is useless. I don’t care what the source is. There are good stories to be had using data, but even the best data needs context, and you – by virtue of you obviously not being familiar with the area- have no context. You wasted your time with this project. Better luck next time.

          2. Since you’re so hellbent on the census data, and seemingly only that I suggest you put as much “research” into writing a similar article about the city you grew up in, and see if all that information “jives” with your own personal knoweldge. Chances are you’ll have a better understanding as to why all these people are challenging this article. I’m not trying to be mean, but with all due respect its a joke to anyone familiar with the area (and the definition of a suburb, or village, or areas that actually surround Akron which aren’t in different counties.) what you should do is evaluate the individual zip codes that “define” most of Akron, and then compare crime, schools, property values, etc against the areas you’ve mentioned. This time however I’d try to keep it all within the actual county that Akron is located in; NOT portage, Wayne, or otherwise.

          1. I don’t understand why you’ve taken such offense and gone to great lenght to vilify the author, his sources and rip it apart from all fronts! It IS rude and it doesn’t make me sit back and marvel at your deep thought or intellectual prowess! You’ve come across as a bitter and/or lonely person berating the author for”wasting his time on the project”, as if the time you’ve spent tearing this apart was so much more valuable or entertaining!

            You repeated the word useless to describe the information and the data and I am sure you’re aware this is considered trivia and is generally an acceptable source of entertainment and, yes, knowledge. It is considered not only HARMLESS but lighthearted and potentially fun! In case you’ve never noticed, trivia is the basis of board games, bar entertaiment , TV game shows and books. Most of the folks I’ve known in my life have a reserve of useless information that they use to entertain, make “small talk”, compete or “break the ice” in conversation! Although most trivia is useless for practical living, it IS a fun little piece of most people’s everyday life, breaking the monotony, taking our minds of the real hard facts of wars, bills, health issues, fears of the hard news we all live with daily!

            Further, this is a site called RoadSnacks NOT The New York Post! Did you read the “About Us” section? Heck, the name itself implies “lighter fare” NOT heavy info to digest! Taken one step further, I came to this link through Facebook.com NOT Encyclopedia.com….I am able to discern what this site is and am sure most people can as well! They state that their mission IS ““Friday Night Science” — how’d you argue at a bar’! Clearly they aren’t working on a Pulitzer, this is to be read this as an entertaining article NOT a dissertation on Akron’s geo-political and socio-economic place in Ohio’s ever expanding role as depressing place to winter!

            Rittman, clearly isn’t what would be considered a suburb of Akron for numerous reasons, most of which have been preciously stated and/or obvious to anyone that knows this region. I can state with no debate though, it IS one of the worst places to live within a 25 mile radius of Akron, so while the term suburb is technically wrong, the fact of WHATEVER we are in regards to the “Great AK, we ARE one of the worst places to live in the tri-county area!.

            Now that I’ve added MY long tirade of useless information, opinion and trivia, I wish everyone a happy healthy weekend in lovely Northeast Ohio! AKathleen, I especially hope that you are a happier person than you were when you wrote all that…life’s short and this was just a RoadSnack!

  2. Theses are not all Akron. Ravenna is Portage county. Kent, Brimfield and Streetsboro too. Most of the cities mentioned aren’t even Akron.

    1. I’m not sure about the second half of your statement, but we let the census define what were the suburbs of Akron since there is no “official” list. Some people consider places to be suburbs and some don’t.

      1. I think the problem is you are using census tract data. Some of the towns you listed are independent towns that had the city of Akron grow out to them. That does not make them suburbs per se. Some people would consider them satellite cities as they are wholly independent with their own “downtown” areas, shopping, etc. When you say suburbs, some people think “bedroom communities” dependent on Akron for entertainment, shopping, etc. None of this can be captured in a census. Faulty data equals faulty conclusions.

      2. The fact of the matter is that your using junk research to write an article about a place that you have absolutely no real knowledge about; that’s why people are asking where you’re from. It’s relevant because if you had any (for lack of better words) “valuable” information or intelligence about the area you too would challenge most of the information you’ve provided.

  3. “Terrible”…..Ravenna is not a terrible place to live in. Obviously you used your idiotic opinion to twist things to make these towns sound horrible. There is far more to Ravenna then some numbers. And p.s. being low income does mean people or where they live are undesirable!

    1. Normally, home prices are the best indicator for how desirable a place is. It shows what people are actually willing to pay to live there. And you need decent wages to pay higher prices.

      1. So what you are saying is because Ravenna is not wealthy, it is a “terrible”? Perhaps you should have stuck with facts and left out you obvious bias opinions.

        1. I’m not saying it’s terrible; the data is saying it ranks worse than every other place around Akron across these criteria.

          1. As an exResident of Ravenna, i can honestly say that Ravenna DOES suck. Horribly. We probably have more heroin addicts and homeless than we do highschool graduates. I do agree that since Ravenna is the mainplace to go for benefits like welfare, judicial presidings, etc in Portage County, it honestly cannot be considered a suburb of Akron since Akron is considered Summit County. Someone who has never lived in either county would never know these kinds of things so i dont know why everyones whining so much. Ravenna SUCKS people! So i agree with this list. And its for entertainment anyway…. why do u all care so much

      2. Who says home prices are the best indicator of desirability? Many people desire to live in a place because it is affordable. Otherwise everyone would desire to live in NYC or San Fran or wherever. But they don’t, even those who could afford it. As far as wages, so many people live in one city and work in another that this is pretty meaningless. Regardless, do you believe wage level or net worth correlate to satisfaction with lifestyle?

      3. I do agree with most of what you have written,Alot of Pol need to look at Top worst places to Live in Ohio and 10 worst, use same data you referred to.

  4. With all do respect the “where you don’t want to live” is a bit silly. While I think you could list these as economically depressed areas, that’s quite a leap to telling people not to live there. I see you used some selected data, but where is this science you speak of?

    If nothing else, this list seems a bit elitist. You’ve basically said don’t live in a town where people aren’t wealthy.
    Like · Reply · Just now

    1. It’s prefaced by “probably” and it’s obviously just an opinion based on the facts we presented. You’re encouraged to draw your own conclusions.

        1. Exactly Justin…I can’t wait to see how he responds to my posts…This article is ridiculous; and good call as to challenging the “science” element that was highlighted so in the article!!!

  5. Silver Lake has NOTHING to do! At least Hudson has things to do and regular events. Silver lake is for old people and golfers.

      1. To Bev’s point, there is literally no businesses and no schools in Silver Lake. They attend Stow or Cuyahoga Falls, and any businesses besides the private country club, are run out of a personal residence.

        I guess you have a pretty great unemployment and drop out rate with zero people to fire or educate.

        1. Guess I wasn’t clear.

          The numbers are for the people that live there, not the schools in the area. So if a 16yr old lives in an area and drops out, it’s included as a dropout for that area. S/he could be attending a school in Montana and it would still be considered a dropout.

          Same for unemployment. They don’t have to actually work in the same town in which they live.

          1. With a median age of 50, and 20% over 65, its safe to say 30% of the males and 50% of females are retired, and most do not have children in a school.

            Either way you data and results are inaccurate. Which you would have found when you applied science.

  6. Norton is great! It’s close enough to Akron that you can get there in under 20 minutes, and it’s quiet. The houses have plenty of land and the amount of people being murdered here is way lower than Akron.

    Plus we have a great park, with awesome trails, and a decent sized lake. You can’t decide an area is bad to live in just because it’s rural. Different people want different things out of where they live!

  7. It completely shocks me that you have the nerve to think these communities need a “pick me up” over Akron. Yes akron has some entertainment, but it is the city. It should. I would like you to have those stats listed for akron as well. My gut tells me the might be worse than many of the suburbs. You have a lot of nerve to say the suburbs are the sore thumb to Akron- You said it yourself this is an opinion. We are proud of our community and would much rather live here than Akron any day

  8. Apparently one of the big reasons for Chris to create these this is for him to self grandize in front of others… wherever you choose to live is your own decision For a very long time, hard working people have lived in these communities and done very well. Due to public housing welfare and other democratic programs we have watch the fall of most of America so what else is new Chris you could do this around every city throughout the nation and it still won’t matter. We don’t care what you think… in the meantime most of the people I know are at least two times to three times above the medium income that you project. And once again due to the failure of democratic lending programs the housing values have decreased considerably. And that still doesn’t make it a non desirable place to live and or raise a family.. so Chris go back to your New York City Los Angeles or whatever big stupid town you come from brother, it don’t matter, we enjoy our lives and where we live at least us working folks do.. of course those on the dole don’t give a crap where they live..

    1. I think the data is interesting and I don’t live in a major city. Again, I don’t see how any of this impacts the actual data.

  9. You never did say where you are from. Have you ever even been to any of these places or are you from the West coast somewhere just wasting everyone’s time? you need to visit these places and enter more data before putting these places and people down. wealth and expensive houses don’t always make the best places to live. I have been all over the world and returned back here to portage county because of the PEOPLE who live here.

    1. My location has nothing to do with facts. I clearly stated the methodology. Sorry if the data doesn’t line up with your perception.

      Additionally, you to remember I ONLY looked at the places around Akron. I say very clearly in the intro these places can all be good places to live, some are just worse than others.

  10. You definitely should have added 1. Crime 2. Schools 3. Walkability Scores. You should have looked at a geographic map, as well. Some independent cities, such as Streetsboro, Ravenna, and Kent are not even in the same county, and as a local growing up in the area, they are certainly NOT considered suburbs of Akron.
    Also, you cannot assume that one hard definition from one source (Census) is accurate. If you think that is scientific, then where is your ‘control’ ? You could have checked Realtor.com, Trulia.com and Zillow.com to give you a better result in regards to “neighborhoods’ and ‘suburbs’ in the real sense that is in touch with the market of people who live and work in these independent and thriving communities.
    These other sources of data that I mentioned are kept up to date in real time, as well. Isn’t the ‘Census’ completed every 10 years? So, in fact, you are looking at numbers from 2010, which is just following the largest economic crash in America since the Great Depression.
    By now, the city of Kent, for example, has undergone some huge development in their downtown. Billions of dollars of investment brought thousands of jobs into what is now a very vibrant downtown community.
    And scraping some pics from Google Maps? Cheap budget, huh? This report is amateur at best.

    1. Thanks Chip for the first thoughtful response, until the cheap shot at the end.

      I didn’t do anything with neighborhoods, just suburbs. Why are they (real estate sites) better sources? I used to work at a major online real estate company and I can tell you they just plot all the government data on a map — it’s not proprietary.

      I used the 2010-2014 American Community Survey which was released only several months ago. It’s fresher than the decennial census. Most websites don’t even have this data up yet. Seems pretty fresh to me.

      Images are actually incredibly hard to come by, if you have some to share, please do.

      Additionally, this is basically the first study of its kind for Akron. If you can point me to something more authoritative, I’d love to see it.

      1. Thanks for the reply.. and no cheap shot intended. What I’m saying is that instead of the wording of the headline being “worst” a more accurate Headline might have read: “Here’s how these communities ‘ranked’ in these areas:
        High unemployment (Less jobs)
        Low median income (Less pay)
        Low population density (No things to do)
        Low home values (No one’s willing to pay to live here)
        High number of high school drop outs
        Because what you are doing is using only these criteria to make a subjective call, and using an adjective “worst” in which the connotation does not seem befitting to the article’s point.
        In fact, some of these points are considered awesome, depending on the personal values you place on them.
        For example, a low home value may mean to some that it’s a great place to invest, and a good value for the money.
        Also, a low population density may mean that the area is more rural in nature, giving a lot of people the freedom and space that they like, along with the quiet, and the nearness of farms for a more organic living with food and lifestyle choices.
        High unemployment is not completely indicative of a geographic area’s “worth” This could show you many things: Perhaps there are not that many businesses in the area, so the unemployment you are finding is actually people who live in “affordable” areas when THEY CAN’T FIND A JOB IN AKRON.
        Less median income is also relative the the number of businesses in that geographic area as well. Understand that most people don’t live and work in the same town.
        A high number of school dropouts point to the culture, and the parenting skills, as well as quality of the schools, (or lack of funding, cancellation of programs, etc) a score that is highly relying on Federal & State assistance, being public schools only.
        I do say that I commend you on your creating this table. It is interesting to see my hometown areas being looked at. Call it nostalgia, or whatever, however, this is not accurate in the sense that you cannot place a subjective term to objective numbers, while leaving out many factors such as crime, schools, and walkability.
        I recommended the Real Estate sites, as they do pull info from gov. sources, but not just the census, and not just gov sources. They have independently developed from programming certain algorithms to suit their applications for their specific niche visitors needs: home buyers looking for a “good” neighborhood, for example, may consider the 3 areas I mentioned first, before they consider the 5 area you listed.
        The thing I am noticing in research like this is really about a generation thing. I mean, it’s an age thing nowadays, where the millennials are favoring city life. Therefore, research like this seems to be skewed in favor of making the case for living and working in the city.
        Lastly, you didn’t take into consideration demographics at all in your report, ie: age, race, gender, religion, creed, etc. etc.. but you can’t because that would place bias in the results as well, because after all, calling something “worst” for sticky headline’s sake is just that, and merely an opinion based on a small subset of criteria with no ‘control’ in place. That’s not scientific, its just statistical.

        But I have to say THANK YOU for your fine research, as I don’t want to beat you up.. (you’re already taking a beating with that headline) May I suggest a follow up report, based on the many suggestions you have found from your readers here? We would be interested in more like this, as you can see that we love our hometowns and will defend their honor to the death. ; ) or at least on the internet.

        1. Chip just for the record I’ve been reading this post and commented a couple times myself. I personally commend you on your commentary as you covered serval things that I too was thinking (only to get a “heartfelt” response back….Basing these areas the “worst” only on that criteria is ridiculous. While he is correct in property values playing a big role (which you obviously didn’t dispute) there are so many other factors that should have been weighed – ESPECIALLY when rating an area “the worst!!!” And, I also agree that the article should be labeled to better reflect the information therein that is actually noteworthy. However he apparently doesn’t feel that doing so would catch as many readers. So that being said takes me back to the very beginning of your response, in that I feel this cat is just wasting everyone’s time, but I digress….

  11. Hey genius, are you saying you used home prices to determine desirability? These are some of the best neighborhoods in the area considering schools, crime, income, employment, job growth, education level, racial and religious diversity, access to higher education facilities, hospitals, and the list goes on. This is not at all the least bit informative. You are obviously a novice in these types of studies.

  12. Where’s Kenmore on that list? Or did you just lump it in with Barberton? Kind of insulting as the two are one of the biggest football rivalries in the city.

  13. Your “data” is utterly bogus. First, there is no such politically defined village, city or township known as “Portage Lakes” so accordingly there can be no official census data for such. The Portage Lakes “area” is comprised by Coventry Township, and the cities of New Franklin and Green. Coventry alone has a population of over 10,000, and New Franklin / Green has far more people so how could the so-called Portage Lakes have less than 7,000 people? Data and science, INDEED!!

  14. I was born & rasied in Tallmadge. Moved around through the military and returned to Tallmadge is a great place to live. As far as the research… You can use that to factor in the desirables of a community. However, there is a lot of charm, character and other factors to these places that cannot be pulled from a census. As far as Akron itself… Doesn’t even compare to the quality of life you get in these suburbs. We have a lot of quality suburbs of Akron. The standard is high. So this list is the “worst” of some pretty great places to live. Maybe, there is more to life then the value of your home or the income that you make. Maybe these suburbs provide the “best” options for the middle class.

  15. Chris Kolmer,
    Your assessment of Akron suburbs is inaccurate. Hudson? Chip, obviously he’s a hack getting paid peanuts to write these articles. They advertize these positions all the time in ads like the ones gracing this page. Hudson? Silver Lake? Kent? Really? Have you ever visited these villages and cities? Hudson is a beautiful, historical Western Reserve township that is home to the oldest center of education in the Western Reserve. Silver Lake is exclusive and very high income, with a private lake. The City of Kent is not, nor will it ever be, a suburb of another city which is located in another county. Next time, before you hack out another article based on your “opinion”, please inform it by verifying- or better yet- visiting these locations.

  16. Roadsnacks.net = data that has been collected for the sole purpose of writing a mindless internet site that is hopeful to garner attention by bigger third party sites in hopes of earning a paycheck someday. Your information is irrelevant when you have no first hand knowledge of the areas that you’re writing about. Your collected data has no real substance since you hide behind a keyboard compiling all of your asinine judgements without ever visiting the places – all for the sake of writing trendy little “best of, worst of articles”. Your site is sub par and your writing has no value other than to promote how the internet is a waste of our time. If that’s your goal I guess you’ve succeeded.?.

  17. I do wish that everyone would read what the “About Us” page has to say! This is my first encounter with RoadSnacks ever and I don’t see how it hasn’t fallen short of it’s own Mission…“Friday Night Science” — how’d you argue at a bar!

    It’s a tad ironic to me that there are so few people questioning why certain communties AREN’T on the list and it’s equally puzzling to me that the dictionary is being pulled out to debate what each word “technically” means. Americans are infamous for that fluidity of word meaning in short periods of time! One of the things I marvel at is how in less than 25 years words have almost no similarity in use or in definition as it began.
    I think I’ve found a thought provoking, interesting and fun new site to follow! Thanks Chris!

    ps…Do you have thick skin or what? The crowd was rough on you on this one!!!!

  18. I was curious when I read this. When did the cities/towns of Barberton, Portage Lakes, and Lakemore become suburbs of Akron? The rest are in totally different counties that are east, south, or north of Summit county.

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