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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..
We examined the 76 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.
What's the worst suburb of Akron? Windham ranks as the worst suburb of Akron for 2022 based on the most recent Census and FBI data.
Read on to see how we determined the places around Akron that need a pick-me-up. And remember, don't blame the messenger.
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:
The 10 Worst Akron Suburbs To Live For 2022
We'll get the ball rolling with Windham, the absolute worst place to live around Akron according to the data.
And in the world of worst rankings, Windham beat the competition pretty handily thanks to scoring in the bottom 15% in three major categories. Income is the 6th worst in the Akron area, and to make matters worse, the city ranks 10th 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 Windham.
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.
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Income: $38,409 (6th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 13.0% (highest)
Median Home Value: $89,300 (10th lowest)
More on Windham: Data
Welcome to Canton. Home to KMart, Big Lots, and a lot of gas stations.
This city is 20.4 miles to Akron. Income levels here are the 2nd lowest in the metro area, where families bring in about $32,735 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 Akron suburb you can live in. You might have expected to see Sebring 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.
If you live in Cleveland, most likely you struggle to make ends meet every month. It ranks as the lowest Akron 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 Akron. Remember, we looked at 76 cities for this study.
Cleveland is about 28.7 miles to downtown.
Rittman has the distinction of being a Akron suburb. Which means that's about all it has going for it.
All snarkiness aside, Rittman has the 19th lowest home values in the metro Akron area, where the median price is $120,300. To put that into perspective, in Oakwood, the median income is $182,743, which is the best in the area.
Rittman has an unemployment rate of 9.62% which ranks 8th worst.
Alliance has 21,671 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 24.790190461832253%.
Ah, Newton Falls. You rank as the 7th worst place to live around Akron.
It's the place with the 17th most out of work residents in the Akron metro area (7.28%).
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 23rd most uninsured people, 5th worst incomes, and has the 11th highest unemployment rate (8.75%) in the entire Akron metro area.
Homes only cost $99,100 for a reason. That's cheap for Akron standards.
If you absolutely have to live near Akron, then Barberton might be a place for you to consider as it's only the 9th worst Akron suburb.
About 7.46% of residents are out of work.
Rounding out the ten worst Akron suburbs to call home is Garfield Heights.
Located 23.8 miles outside the city, Garfield Heightss is a real pit when you look at the data. Its residents have the 9th highest unemployment rate (9.45%), and poverty is far above the area average.
Methodology: Determining The Worst Suburbs Around Akron for 2022
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 2016-2020, 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 2,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 76 suburbs to evaluate around Akron.
We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 76 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, Windham. 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.
Summary: The areas around Akron where the dream is more of a nightmare for 2022
Well there you have it -- the worst of the 'burbs surrounding Akron with Windham 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.
- South Russell
- Pepper Pike
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Detailed List Of The Worst Akron Suburbs