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Columbus's neighborhoods conjure up too many stereotypes to count. You've got hipster areas, preppy places, neighborhoods where college kids thrive, and of course, ghettos.
It seems as if there's a neighborhood for everyone in Columbus.
And while the city consistently ranks as one of the best places to live in the country thanks in part to a strong economy and tons of entertainment, it's not all rainbows and sunshine in Columbus. Some neighborhoods aren't as great as others.
So the question arises, which Columbus neighborhoods are the worst, and which are the best?
Today, we'll use science and data to determine which Columbus hoods need a little tender loving care - the sore thumbs of the Columbus area if you will. Realistically, you can't expect all the neighborhoods to be amazing, although Upper Arlington ranks way above the rest.
We examined 39 of Columbus's neighborhoods to find out the worst places to live. These places don't quite measure up to Columbus's reputation.
So what's the worst neighborhood to live in Columbus for 2021? According to the most recent census data, Franklinton looks to be the worst neighborhood in Columbus.
Read on to see how we determined the places around Columbus that need a pick-me-up. And remember, don't blame the messenger.
Once you're done, you can look at the bottom of the story for a complete chart of every neighborhood we looked at from worst to best. Looking for places to avoid outside of the city? You can also check out the worst suburbs of Columbus.
For more Ohio reading, check out:
The 10 Worst Neighborhoods In Columbus For 2021
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $33,033 (3rd worst)
Median Income: $21,557 (2nd worst)
More on Franklinton: Data
Franklinton is a neighborhood in Columbus, Ohio. Franklinton is the first American settlement in Franklin County, Ohio. As the city of Columbus grew, the city annexed and incorporated the existing settlement and today it exists as a neighborhood immediately west of downtown.
The neighborhood gets its nickname of "The Bottoms" because much of the land lies below the level of the Scioto and Olentangy rivers, and a floodwall is required to contain the rivers and protect the area from floods. The low-lying bottom land was well suited for farming, with the river serving as a direct connection to the Ohio River.
Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $76,300 (12th worst)
Median Income: $24,311 (5th worst)
More on Milo Grogan: Data
Milo-Grogan is an unincorporated neighborhood near Downtown, Columbus, Ohio. The neighborhood was settled as the separate communities of Milo and Grogan in the late 1870s. Large-scale Industrial Development fueled the neighborhoods growth until the 1980s, when the last factories closed. The community has received urban revitalization efforts in recent years fueled by the Columbus Department of Development and Milo-Grogan Area Commission.
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $31,675 (2nd worst)
Median Income: $28,221 (6th worst)
More on Fort Columbus Airport: Data
John Glenn Columbus International Airport, is an international airport located 6 miles east of downtown Columbus, Ohio. Formerly known as Port Columbus International Airport, it is managed by the Columbus Regional Airport Authority, which also oversees operations at Rickenbacker International Airport and Bolton Field. The airport code 'CMH' stands for "Columbus Municipal Hangar," the original name for the airport.
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $28,529 (worst)
Median Income: $23,333 (4th worst)
More on Olentangy River Road: Data
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $49,420 (4th worst)
Median Income: $21,602 (3rd worst)
More on South Linden: Data
Linden is a neighborhood in the northeastern part of Columbus, Ohio. It extends south to north from Eighth Avenue to E. Cooke and Ferris roads and west to east from Conrail tracks to Joyce Avenue/Westerville Road. The neighborhood is officially bounded on the south, west and east by Conrail-operated railroads. Hudson Street divides the neighborhood into North and South Linden. The neighborhood has a total land area of almost 5.79 square miles.
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $65,500 (7th worst)
Median Income: $33,916 (12th worst)
More on Tri-South: Data
Rank Last Year: 7 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $64,230 (6th worst)
Median Income: $31,482 (9th worst)
More on North Central: Data
Rank Last Year: 8 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $58,285 (5th worst)
Median Income: $29,952 (8th worst)
More on Near Southside: Data
Rank Last Year: 9 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $75,823 (10th worst)
Median Income: $33,791 (11th worst)
More on South Side: Data
South Columbus also referred to as the "South Side" or the "South End", consists of numerous urban and suburban areas south of Downtown Columbus, Ohio, United States. It is part of the native Columbus geographical terminology of the large residential urban communities outside Downtown, including German Village and the Brewery District. South Columbus is defined as the entire southeastern portion of Columbus, bordered by the Scioto River to the west, bounded by Interstate 70 to the north, and includes the southern city limit municipalities beyond the I-270 outerbelt, such as Groveport, Lockbourne, Obetz,and the Rickenbacker International Airport.
Rank Last Year: 10 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $74,712 (9th worst)
Median Income: $38,392 (15th worst)
More on Southwest: Data
How we determined the worst Columbus hoods in 2021
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 places have the least amount of those things. We threw the following criteria into this analysis in order to get the best, most complete results possible. We used this set of criteria for each neighborhood in Columbus:
- 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 crime (Estimated)
Then, we ranked each neighborhood in Columbus, Ohio for each of these criteria from worst to best.
Next, we averaged the individual rankings for each criteria into a "Worst Score".
The neighborhood with the lowest "Worst Score" ranks as the worst neighborhood of Columbus.
Read on below to learn more about these terrible places around Columbus to live. Or skip to the end to see the list of all 39 neighborhoods ranked from worst to best.
This list is a scientific analysis based on real data and is completely unbiased. Hold on to your pants.
The 'hoods around Columbus that are really hoods
Well there you have it -- the worst of the neighborhoods in Columbus with Franklinton landing at the bottom of the pack.
As we mentioned earlier, the neighborhoods in Columbus aren't all bad. Upper Arlington takes the cake as the best place to live in Columbus.
We ranked the neighborhoods from worst to best in the chart below.
For more Ohio reading, check out:
Where Are The Worst Neighborhoods To Live In Columbus For 2021?
|3||Fort Columbus Airport||3,184|
|4||Olentangy River Road||3,967|
|11||South Alum Creek||4,981|
|15||South Central Accord||2,511|
|25||Mckinley Avenue Corridor||5,558|
|27||West Columbus Interim||53,633|
|30||Rocky-Fork Blacklick Accord||8,709|