The 10 Worst Neighborhoods In Columbus For 2021

We used data and science to identify the neighborhoods in Columbus that are the real pits.

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Editor’s Note: This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out we updated this article for 2021. This is our fifth time ranking the worst neighborhoods to live in Columbus.
Worst Neighborhoods In Columbus

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

Franklinton Columbus, OH

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 7,306
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.

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Population: 1,513
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.

Fort Columbus Airport Columbus, OH

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Population: 3,184
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.

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Population: 3,967
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $28,529 (worst)
Median Income: $23,333 (4th worst)
More on Olentangy River Road:  Data

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Population: 8,700
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.

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Population: 4,051
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $65,500 (7th worst)
Median Income: $33,916 (12th worst)
More on Tri-South:  Data

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Population: 9,534
Rank Last Year: 7 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $64,230 (6th worst)
Median Income: $31,482 (9th worst)
More on North Central:  Data

Near Southside Columbus, OH

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Population: 16,697
Rank Last Year: 8 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $58,285 (5th worst)
Median Income: $29,952 (8th worst)
More on Near Southside:  Data

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Population: 14,750
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.

Southwest Columbus, OH

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Population: 19,909
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?

Rank Neighborhood Population Home Value Median Income
1 Franklinton 7,306 $33,033 $21,557
2 Milo Grogan 1,513 $76,300 $24,311
3 Fort Columbus Airport 3,184 $31,675 $28,221
4 Olentangy River Road 3,967 $28,529 $23,333
5 South Linden 8,700 $49,420 $21,602
6 Tri-South 4,051 $65,500 $33,916
7 North Central 9,534 $64,230 $31,482
8 Near Southside 16,697 $58,285 $29,952
9 South Side 14,750 $75,823 $33,791
10 Southwest 19,909 $74,712 $38,392
11 South Alum Creek 4,981 $95,450 $49,726
12 Far South 13,301 $78,615 $39,897
13 Weinland Park 5,611 $76,000 $18,133
14 Northeast 29,406 $81,032 $34,150
15 South Central Accord 2,511 $151,800 $53,556
16 Greater Hilltop 65,257 $74,258 $37,375
17 Whitehall 18,878 $77,695 $39,753
18 University 35,689 $77,338 $28,806
19 Near East 17,159 $93,138 $32,468
20 Westland 36,756 $113,830 $49,688
21 North Linden 27,282 $77,991 $38,485
22 Brice-Tussing 27,035 $113,760 $51,585
23 Southeast 20,601 $111,900 $53,235
24 Northland 122,528 $123,442 $54,666
25 Mckinley Avenue Corridor 5,558 $129,933 $50,635
26 Downtown 8,760 $256,457 $44,875
27 West Columbus Interim 53,633 $162,432 $72,645
28 Italian Village 2,937 $244,800 $61,624
29 Far North 33,986 $189,350 $77,465
30 Rocky-Fork Blacklick Accord 8,709 $186,386 $80,400
31 Northwest 79,502 $176,663 $71,352
32 Brewery 1,967 $331,050 $75,120
33 Worthington 14,074 $235,220 $87,419
34 Southside 5,487 $271,671 $75,000
35 Clintonville 30,675 $209,483 $76,688
36 Bexley 13,485 $337,683 $114,868
37 Harrison West 1,347 $254,550 $79,066
38 Victorican Village 3,989 $264,575 $69,438
39 Upper Arlington 43,520 $335,316 $102,607

23 thoughts on “The 10 Worst Neighborhoods In Columbus For 2021

  1. I think this list is asinine and classist. Or is this list so you push the poor and or people of color out to make the “hood”cool. You know like what happened with Victorian Village and Short North. Hold out concern,care and resources until the rich youth start to live there.

  2. There is no Fort Columbus Airport. There is a PORT Columbus Airport. Also, what is the difference between the South Side which is listed at #6, and the Southside which is listed at #36?

  3. North Linden between Weber and Hudson is a bombed out ghetto worthy of Detroit status. They should rename Cleveland Ave as Martin Luther King Blvd there. And Weber should be renamed Rosa Parks Ave. You know you’re in a bad neighborhood when you have a mosque across from a Caribbean Kitchen, and everything else is boarded up because of the bullet holes. Our own little East St Louis.

    1. Damn you are one sick individual dude.. But with a name like Donald Trump says it all.. Come and stop by have a plate of the best Caribbean food Columbus has to offer. And come an enjoy the beautiful souls that are at Madrid sahaba before you write us off my friend, I promise you would have a change of heart. My name is Hamsa and I invite you to the “ghetto”. I promise it wont disappoint once you see the great people that call this side of town home. Peace and love my friend!!!

      1. I got offered cocaine from a stranger on the street as I waited at a traffic light. Take off your rose-colored glasses dude and stop glossing over the problems that exist there. I grew up in poor neighborhoods like that so don’t you dare tell me I can’t relate.

      2. many people are way quick to judge. although the bullet holes (unless he exaggerated) would sort of be an issue.

    2. This is hilarious. I Love it. Because due to depression and poor planning. I now live. In the ghetto south side of Columbus.

  4. Franklinton has began to get better while areas like northwest columbus and whitehall have gotten worse. Almost all neighborhoods in columbus tend to go up and down most dont stay ghetto like german village used to be considered slums and now its considered one of the best neighborhoods.

  5. Columbus east-side is the worst, pound for pound, in murders, crime, and just over negrosity. The north side (161 to Shrock Rd) has been overtaken by section 8 and the trash that came with it.

    1. “Negrosity” Wow really are you serious right now? Like this article has showed me some really really sad people do live in Columbus. Look this city is beautiful and among one of the best places to live in the world and I am happy to call it home. But I see you are in sad man. I hope you will get thru what ever you are going thru and I will pray for you my friend because what you said says a whole lot about what can of person you are and you are hurt so I will pray for you. Get well soon buddy….

      1. its called ignorance…. some people have no upbringing. I grew up in Columbus and now currently live in the southeastern part of the United States. People from both races where I live get along and we do not have the racial problems that one would think being as it is a “southern” town. It amazes me how I ran into more prejudice up north than I have down south.

  6. The worst place to go at night is easily Livingston Ave in the summer at night. Be alone, any color, look like you have something, and you will get stomped. Forget neighborhoods, streets wise? Livingston at night in the summer. Worst part is South Park apartments. Be white, dont know anyone, dare you.

  7. Does anyone have tips for someone moving to Columbus from out of state? We are being relocated for work. I have 2 young children so I’m not looking to be near the slum areas but not looking for hatred and bigotry either. Is there a happy medium??

  8. I grew up in what they call the Short North and Victorian Village area now. I went to Hubbard Elementary, Everett Jr High and Central and guess what I was a poor white kid. I saw alot! And yes they have cleaned up the buildings. Sandy Woods
    was a smart man. He saw the opportunity to make a lot money on a area that had lost its life,
    Its funny I drive down there now and I have to laugh thinking about what people are paying to
    Live there. Still drunks, gays, prostitutes. Just people with more money that brains.

  9. From out of town family: low budget ($750 per month) north Linden north of Huy. High budget – Upper Arlington, Hilliard, Dublin, Grove City. Diversity – Clintonville and German Village (also high budget). Wanting open mind – Avoid Bottoms, Hilltop, Parsons Ave.
    If you are working for a larger company, ask for advice before you pick a neighborhood. There are edge cases. If kids are K-12 age, go high budget if possible.

    1. Thank you for this list. I’m considering a move to Columbus and am looking for potential locations. Like the OP for this question, I want a diverse neighborhood, but one that is safe as I live alone. I appreciate the guidance. (And yes, I will also be checking with my employer) Thanks again.

      1. Look at the school district “Hamilton meadows” in Columbus or it may be obetz not sure. It used to be fairly good although all areas are plagued with drugs now. It knows no socioeconomic factor. You definitely do not want to be around kids who drive nicer cars to school than you could ever afford to own in your wildest dreams. Those kids tend to make less affluent children feel insignificant. Same with some of the private schools. Look up the public report of the schools and see the makeup of the scores the children get on their tests and also you can make sure it is adequately diversified so your children receive a well rounded education and are not learning prejudices or snotty attitudes towards others. My goal was to always have children who were accepting and tolerant of all people, yet still had the morals we instilled in them. There are many different religions and ethnic people in Columbus. It is a beautiful city

  10. WHAT ABOUT GAHANNA?.l grew up there in the late 60′ s and early 70’s and it’s still a great place. More businesses. More housing. More apts. But boy did me and my friends love growing up there!! Yesss!

  11. I’ve worked in Columbus most of my life, although I come from a small community in Union County, I finally moved to Columbus 2 weeks ago boys wanted to move here it’s got everything I always considered Columbus my hometown. Live in the Linden area as long as you get along with different types of people mind your business not prejudiced racist we should have no problems if we all work together things boys seem to be more smooth, I did 9 years in prison 15 years ago now I work an live an honest life, love Columbus Ohio go Buckeyes.

  12. If you have the money, try living in one of the suburbs that are just outside of Columbus or surrounded by it, like Gahanna, Reynoldsburg, Pickerington, Lewis Center, Powell, etc. Most people are going to find Bexley out of their price range. Neighborhoods do change. German Village used to be a ghetto; now it’s filled with very high priced homes. Whitehall used to be family friendly; now it’s a horrible place to live, yet it’s adjacent to Bexley. All larger cities have their good and bad sections and those sections have their good and bad points. You’ll find great people in Franklinton and bad people and crime in Bexley. But overall, Columbus is a great place to live with a lot to see and do. It’s affordable, and is quickly becoming the IT mecca of the Midwest and Great Lakes regions. It has many parks and places of interest. It has many beautiful homes, and housing is affordable. Crime is lower than in cities half its size. Food is affordable. OSU is there. The Gallery of Fine Art. The Center of Science and Industry. I think the Ohio State Fair is the second largest in the country. Just choose your location carefully. Columbus has a great relationship with its very good police force. The worst thing about Columbus is the weather. Very cold in the long winters, and very hot and humid in the equally long summers. Very changeable weather, too. But better than droughts, earthquakes, and hurricanes!

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