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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
Trotwood ranks as the 1st-worst place in Ohio due to a variety of factors, placing in the bottom third for unemployment, median income, and crime.
On top of that, residents have the 37th-worst commute of any place in the state.
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.
If you live in New Carlisle, this might not be a surprise, but you have the 14th highest crime rate, per capita in the state of Ohio. Every year you spend here, you have a 1 in 18.9 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 80 violent crimes in the last FBI reporting year. That means if you spent a year there, you'd have a 1 in 176 chance of being raped or attacked.
Finally, the folks who live here earn the 63rd lowest salaries in Ohio At $41,772 a household, that's simply not enough to get by for most folks.
Yes, every dog has a few fleas. But the crime in Cleveland is actually quite atrocious. Some of the punks there who are causing trouble need a time out. It's that simple.
Residents here have a 1 in 69 chance of being the victim of a violent crime, meaning raped, attacked or murdered. And they have a 1 in 22.8 chance of being robbed each year. That's off the charts high.
And the unemployment rate is at 14.7%, which isn't horrible, but the 4th-highest in the state. Plus, residents here earn about $29,008 a year in combined household income.
Middletown ranks as the 5th worst city in Ohio. Located in Butler County, Middletown has the 50th lowest income levels in the state of Ohio ($39,520), and some of the lowest number of doctors in the state. Crime is above average, and the unemployment rate is 9.7%.
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 6th worst in Ohio.
Mansfield residents had a 1 in 22.3 chance of being the victim of a property crime. Meaning lots of stolen laptops, cell phones and sports jerseys.
The unemployment rate in Mansfield is through the roof, as more than 10.8% of the population can't get a job. At least their mortgages aren't too high; at $76,300, Mansfield has the 21st-lowest home prices in the state of Ohio.
Moraine is the 32nd most dangerous place in the state of Ohio. That's part of the reason it's the 7th worst place in Ohio.
The fact remains, that when you're within Moraine city limits, you have a 1 in 22.3 chance of being robbed or having something you own vandalized.Does that sound like a fun place to live?
Did you know Moraine also has the 35th highest unemployment rate in the state at 8.7%? Or that homes are only valued at $88,600?
Say what you want about cheap living. The fact is, homes are priced by demand, and there's little demand to live in Moraine.
When you're looking at things from purely a scientific standpoint, Dayton is the 8th worst place in the state of Ohio.
The U.S. defines the poverty line at $24,600 a year for a family of four. Dayton 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 Dayton are the 8th 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.
Tthe small town of Logan has the 37th lowest income levels in the entire state. At $37,612, many of the people are having trouble making ends meet, and the unemployment rate is 9.0%. Additionally, 17.4% of the population lives below the poverty line.
The cost of a home here is bottom barrell at $110,400.
At least the crime is very minimal here.
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?