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The last time we talked about the state of Ohio, it was a happier time. We went over all of the Buckeye State's charms. We talked about the grittiness of the folks in the bigger cities and the warm, friendly people in Ohio's smaller towns.
But today, we're going in the opposite direction. Because, like in any other state in America, there are bad places just like there are good places. And today, we're going to address the worst of Ohio's cities and towns.
So, Who Dey?
After analyzing all 250 cities with a population over 5,100, we came up with this list as the 10 worst places in Ohio:
What? Where are these places you wonder? And before you get all riled up and say we're picking on small town America, that's not the case.
We understand there's a lot of good in every place.
However, according to data (which doesn't measure things like beauty and 'friendly people'), there are far better options in the state for making a place home. And the worst place to live in Ohio? That would be Trotwood.
Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and see how your city fared in 2020.
For more Ohio reading, check out:
The 10 Worst Places To Live In Ohio For 2020
When you're looking at science and data, Trotwood is by far the worst place you can live in Ohio. Let's see why.
The unemployment rate in Trotwood is 12.3%. In terms of comparing Ohio cities to one another, that's the 6th highest in the state.
And while a lot of folks in Trotwood are out of work, the ones who have jobs earn $34,948 a year, which doesn't leave a lot of wiggle room. And the crime in Trotwood is the 54th highest in the state, where 1 in 27.3 people have a chance of being the victim of a property crime, according to the latest FBI numbers. That's really high.
Wellston is the smallest city to make the top of this list. It's right next door to Jackson, and it has some of the same issues with 'things to do' as Jackson does.
It's just generally lousy in Wellston. It doesn't really stand out as being really bad in any category outside of the fact that its residents earn low salaries ($38,730). The schools and the crime are far below average, but not horrible.
When you're looking at science and data, the city of New Carlisle is the 3rd worst place you can live in the state of Ohio. Let's see why.
Residents who live in New Carlisle, located in Clark County, have the 14th most crimes in the state committed against them. Factor in a much-lower income level--per resident--and homes valued around $91,400, and you've got yourself a crummy place to live. In terms of comparing it to the rest of Ohio, that is.
Sure, it's in a beautiful area, and there's lots of culture, especially in terms of music. But, if you're measuring desirability, it's the 4th worst in Ohio.
Cleveland residents had a 1 in 22.8 chance of being the victim of a property crime. Meaning lots of stolen laptops, cell phones and sports jerseys.
The unemployment rate in Cleveland is through the roof, as more than 14.7% of the population can't get a job. At least their mortgages aren't too high; at $68,500, Cleveland has the 10th-lowest home prices in the state of Ohio.
Middletown has some of the same issues that the cities above have. The crime is statistically the 42nd-highest in the state of Ohio. And residents earn far less than it takes to live a normal life. The unemployment rank is also higher than almost every other city in the state at 9.7%.
Additionally, 25.4% of the population lives below the poverty line.
Mansfield is one of the poorest cities in the state of Ohio. This city has 10.8% of its residents out of work, and those who have jobs earn under $35,697 a year.
Cities can be charming, but not when they are dangerous. Mansfield has the 39th highest crime rate in Ohio. While the numbers aren't staggering (Ohio is a relatively safe place when you compare it to the rest of the country), it's still undesirable when you consider that there are far safer (and more stimulating) places to make your home in the Buckeye State.
Moraine's situation is very similar to others on the list; bottom of the barrel scores in unemployment, income, and crime, with decent education statistics keeping it from the very top of this list.
Moraine has the 32nd worst crime index of any place in Ohio, and has the 111th lowest income.
When you're looking at science and data, Dayton is the 8th worst place you can live in the state of Ohio. Let's see why.
First off, the crime here is really high, in comparison to the rest of Ohio. Dayton is the 32nd most dangerous place you can live in the state, where you have a 1 in 22.3 chance of being the victim of some type of property crime. Meaning lots of people are getting robbed here.
Homes here average $66,500, which is the 8th lowest in the state. You can defend 'cheap living' all you want, but the fact is, homes are priced by demand, and there's not a lot of demand to live in Dayton.
Income levels are just about $31,395, the 12th lowest in Ohio.
When you add it all up, Dayton really is quite an undesirable place to live. The people who have to live in here could use a big hug right about now.
When you're looking at things from purely a scientific standpoint, Logan is the 9th worst place in the state of Ohio.
The U.S. defines the poverty line at $24,600 a year for a family of four. Logan is right on the verge of that when you look at what the average citizen there earns a year. And the home values are eye-opening low. On average, the home value in Logan are the 97th lowest in the entire state.
And when you factor in high crime and a high tax rate, it really can't get much worse in Ohio.
Situated along the Ohio river in central Ohio, Portsmouth residents don't have it much better than in Youngstown. The unemployment rate is the 11th-highest here than anywhere else in Ohio. Plus, the crime is almost as high as you get in the state, and people who live here earn the 8th-lowest salaries of all Buckeye State residents.
Plus, it's out in the middle of nowhere, so unless you want to cross over the Ohio River and go to...Olive Hill, Kentucky, you're gonna be bored living here.
How we determined the worst places to live in Ohio for 2020
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 don't think it's a stretch to assume that people like the following things:
- Good education
- Lots of jobs
- Low crime
- Low poverty
- Nice homes
- High incomes
- High population density (Lots of things to do)
- Short work commutes
- Health insurance
We broke crime down into violent crime and property crime to give violent crime a larger weight -- if you did a simple calculation of all crimes per capita, property crimes are normally 7x more common and really bias that ranking.
Furthermore, only cities with at least 5,000 people were considered -- leaving 250 cities.
We then ranked each city from 1 to 250 for all the criteria with a #1 ranking being the worst for the particular criteria.
Next, we averaged the rankings into one "Worst Place To Live Score".
Finally, we ranked every city on the "Worst Place To Live Score" with the lowest score being the worst city in Ohio -- Trotwood. Read on for a detailed look at the 10 worst cities in Ohio. You can download the data here.
This list is a scientific analysis based on real data and is completely unbiased.
Wrapping Up The Worst In Ohio
If you're looking at areas in Ohio with the worst economic situations, where there's higher than average crime, and not a lot to do, this is an accurate list.
And in the end, Trotwood ranks as the worst city to live in Ohio for 2020.
If you're curious enough, here are the best cities to live in Ohio:
- Wyoming (Pop. 8,535)
- Upper Arlington (Pop. 35,223)
- Grandview Heights (Pop. 7,681)
For more Ohio reading, check out:
- Best Places To Retire In Ohio
- Richest Cities In Ohio
- Safest Places In Ohio
- Best Cities For Singles In Ohio
Where Are The Worst Places To Live In Ohio?