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)
- Cleveland (Photos)
- Nelsonville (Photos)
- New Carlisle (Photos)
- Dayton (Photos)
- Mansfield (Photos)
- Wellston (Photos)
- Youngstown (Photos)
- Portsmouth (Photos)
- Middletown (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.
Trotwood needs some tough love as it ranks as the 1st worst city to live in Ohio for 2019. There’s not a lot to do here, and when you factor in some of the lowest student support in the state and some of the worst weather, it’s not a place you might want to move to.
And the crime in Trotwood is the 71st 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.
Cleveland ranks as the 2nd worst place to live in Ohio for 2019.
The issues Cleveland has is with its local economy. The unemployment rate is the 4th highest in Ohio (16.0%), and as you might expect, the household salaries and home prices are both towards the bottom of Ohio.
If, by some reason, you were driving through Nelsonville, after stopping to ask for directions, you may have noticed that things aren’t so peachy keen here.
It’s tough out there for people to stay afloat when their income levels are so low ($26,139) and they can’t get good jobs (13.4% unemployment rate).
Nelsonville ranks as the 3rd wost place in Ohio.
New Carlisle seems to be the have’s and have not’s. While the annual average income levels here are respectful ($39,800), about 1 in 9.9 people here are without jobs. Homes are valued at only $92,400.
But the biggest eye opener is the sheer crime here. It seems as if just about everyone in town without a job is pillaging the community. New Carlisle has the 6th highest crime rate in Ohio, where 1 in 160 people has a statistic chance of being attacked, raped or murdered each year.
Plus, 1 in 14.8 people are robbed.
If you’re headed past New Carlisle and stop for gas, make sure you lock your doors.
When you’re looking at science and data, Dayton is the worst place you can live in Ohio. Let’s see why.
The unemployment rate here is 12.9%. The schools are underfunded, and property values are well below the state average. A home costs $66,500, which is a sure sign of lack of demand.
You have a 1 in 23.2 chance of being the victim of some type of property crime here every year. That’s not fun, either.
Dayton is a far drive south from Louisville.
Mansfield is the 6th worst city in Ohio for 2019. When you’re comparing other cities to Mansfield, things just don’t look great, at least according to science.
Mansfield is the 33rd most dangerous place in Ohio, according to FBI statistics. And the residents here have a hard time keeping a job — at least in comparison to the rest of the state. The unemployment rate is 10.6%, worse than the state average.
Home values are really low ($77,000), and residents earn just $34,219 a year.
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.
When you’re looking at things from purely a scientific standpoint, Youngstown 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. Youngstown 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 Youngstown are the 1st 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 18th-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.
If you live in Ohio, you may or may not be surprised that Middletown ranked, at least on paper, as the 10th worst place to live in the state. It has the 24th highest unemployment rate in the state, and the 11th most dangerous.
Incidentally, Middletown is the 114th most densely populated city in Ohio. Draw your own conclusions.
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:
- Granville (Pop. 5,721)
- Upper Arlington (Pop. 34,943)
- Wyoming (Pop. 8,476)
For more Ohio reading, check out:
- 10 Most Ghetto Cities 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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