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 251 cities with a population over 5,000, we came up with this list as the 10 worst places in Ohio:
- Trotwood (Photos)
- New Carlisle (Photos)
- Cleveland (Photos)
- Wellston (Photos)
- Mansfield (Photos)
- Middletown (Photos)
- Nelsonville (Photos)
- Dayton (Photos)
- Conneaut (Photos)
- Logan (Photos)
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 2019.
For more Ohio reading, check out:
How we determined the worst places to live in Ohio for 2019
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 251 cities.
We then ranked each city from 1 to 251 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.
This list is a scientific analysis based on real data and is completely unbiased.
Say what you want about how beautiful Trotwood might be. The fact is that the economy here is one of the worst in the state.
The unemployment rate rankss 10th highest in the state at 12.9%. Homes are the 19th lowest priced ($73,200), and the median income per household is just a tad over $32,977.
The fact is most of the people who live here are having a hard time making ends meet, when you consider their earned incomes and lack of jobs.
When you’re looking at science and data, New Carlisle is the worst place you can live in Ohio. Let’s see why.
The unemployment rate here is 10.1%. The schools are underfunded, and property values are well below the state average. A home costs $92,400, which is a sure sign of lack of demand.
You have a 1 in 14.8 chance of being the victim of some type of property crime here every year. That’s not fun, either.
New Carlisle is a far drive south from Louisville.
Cleveland is a hot mess right now. There are some big economic problems here AND crime is really high. In fact, Cleveland is the 19th most dangerous place you can live in Ohio.
Residents in Cleveland have a 1 in 20.5 chance of being the victim of a property crime. That’s a lot of stolen laptops, cell phones and sunglasses.
When you’re considering home prices, you can’t do much lower than in Cleveland, where average homes are valued at only$67,600. That’s the 9th-lowest in the state. But residents earn far less than in other cities, so their mortgage payments might still seem overwhelming.
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 ($38,293). The schools and the crime are far below average, but not horrible.
Now we can get to some actual cities that might have some normal numbers. In this case, Mansfield ranks high mainly due to the low economic numbers. Homes are the 23rd cheapest in the state here at $77,000. Say what you want about low cost of living. What the data says is that cheaper homes means less demand. And there isn’t a lot of demand to live in Mansfield.
The median income levels here are the 25th lowest in the state of Ohio, at $34,219. Crime is above average, but not horrible like some of the cities we’ll talk about in a minute. And almost 10.6% of people in Mansfield were without jobs according to the latest numbers.
The same problems that plague other cities on the list also affect Middletown. The only real difference is Middletown is a tiny bit safer, and the schools are rated a lot higher in terms of resources for students.
However, the unemployment rate in Middletown is at 10.8%, which is the 24th worst in Ohio. And households earn a combined $39,116 a year, which is far below the state average. An average home in Middletown is merely $93,800.
Middletown is across the Tangier Sound on Route 50.
The city of Nelsonville is the 7th worst place you can live in the state of Ohio in 2019.
It’s unlucky for Nelsonville, which has the 7th highest unemployment rate (13.4%), the 3rd lowest household incomes ($26,139) and the 18th lowest home prices in the state ($72,600).
Basically, a lot of people in Nelsonville are out of work. And crime is certainly a factor here as well. Although it’s not one of the most dangerous places we’ll look at, it’s in the top 20%.
Add it all up, and this is truly one of the worst places you could live in Ohio.
If you live in Dayton, this might not be a surprise, but you have the 40th highest crime rate, per capita in the state of Ohio. Every year you spend here, you have a 1 in 23.2 chance of being the victim of a property crime like a car break in or home invasion robbery.
That’s a lot of stolen cell phones, laptops and black license plates.
Plus there were 1,232 violent crimes in the last FBI reporting year. That means if you spent a year there, you’d have a 1 in 114 chance of being raped or attacked.
Finally, the folks who live here earn the 12th lowest salaries in Ohio At $30,128 a household, that’s simply not enough to get by for most folks.
Conneaut, a smallish place right on the banks of Lake Erie, would be considered by most a less than desirable place to live. Besides the fact that it’s very sparsely populated, residents have a hard time earning a decent living. And, you get the brunt of the lake’s storms for 6 months a year.
Logan, OH needs a big hug right now. The unemployment rate here is 11.9%, the median income is just above the poverty line, and the crime is the 60th highest in the state. You have a 1 in 24.3 chance of being robbed here every year.
You could find a much better place to call home.
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 2019.
If you’re curious enough, here are the best cities to live in Ohio:
- Bellbrook (Pop. 7,103)
- Upper Arlington (Pop. 34,943)
- Wyoming (Pop. 8,476)
For more Ohio reading, check out:
- These Are The 10 Best Places To Retire In Ohio
- These Are The 10 Richest Cities In Ohio
- 10 Safest Places In Ohio
- 10 Best Cities For Singles In Ohio
Detailed List Of The Worst Places To Live In Ohio
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