These Are The 10 Worst Places To Live In Ohio For 2018

We used science to determine which Buckeye State cities are the real pits.

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This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out that we updated it for 2018.

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O-H-I-Oh no!

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:

  1. Trotwood (Photos | Jobs)
  2. Cleveland (Photos | Jobs)
  3. Dayton (Photos | Jobs)
  4. Wellston (Photos | Jobs)
  5. Youngstown (Photos | Jobs)
  6. Middletown (Photos | Jobs)
  7. Nelsonville (Photos | Jobs)
  8. Mansfield (Photos | Jobs)
  9. New Carlisle (Photos | Jobs)
  10. Hillsboro (Photos | Jobs)

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. Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and see how your city fared in 2018.

If you’re looking for something more national, check out the worst cities in America or the worst states in America.

For more Ohio reading, check out:

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How we determined the worst places to live in Ohio for 2018

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

The data comes from the Census’s most recent American Community Survey and from the FBI Uniform Crime Report.

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 5,100 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.

This list is a scientific analysis based on real data and is completely unbiased.

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1. Trotwood

Trotwood, Ohio

Source: Public domain

Population: 24,372
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Home Values: $75,800 (20th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 13.6% (7th worst)
More on Trotwood: Data | Photos
While numbers in Ohio are clearly better when you compare them to the rest of the nation, the fact is when you compare Ohio cities against one another, you see big differences.

Home values in Trotwood average $75,800, which is the 20th lowest in the state. Say what you want about ‘cheap living,’ the fact is homes are priced by demand, and there’s not a lot of demand to live in Trotwood.

Plus, 2590.0% of the population here lives below the poverty line.

Plus, the crime rate is the 64th highest in the state here. Every year, when you’re within Trotwood city limits, you have a 1 in 25.3 chance of being robbed. That’s a lot of broken into cars and homes.

2. Cleveland

Cleveland, Ohio

Population: 389,165
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 7)
Home Values: $67,500 (9th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 17.3% (3rd worst)
More on Cleveland: Data | Photos
Now we can get to some actual cities that might have some normal numbers. In this case, Cleveland ranks high mainly due to the low economic numbers. Homes are the 9th cheapest in the state here at $67,500. 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 Cleveland.

The median income levels here are the 6th lowest in the state of Ohio, at $26,583. Crime is above average, but not horrible like some of the cities we’ll talk about in a minute. And almost 17.3% of people in Cleveland were without jobs according to the latest numbers.

3. Dayton

Dayton, Ohio

Population: 141,143
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Home Values: $66,600 (7th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 13.3% (10th worst)
More on Dayton: Data | Photos
Dayton needs some tough love as it ranks as the 3rd worst city to live in Ohio for 2015. 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 Dayton is the 36th highest in the state, where 1 in 19.5 people have a chance of being the victim of a property crime, according to the latest FBI numbers.

4. Wellston

Wellston, Ohio

Source: Public domain

Population: 5,595
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 3)
Home Values: $85,700 (48th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 12.9% (15th worst)
More on Wellston: Data | Photos
When you’re looking at things from purely a scientific standpoint, Youngstown is the 4th 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.

5. Youngstown

Youngstown, Ohio

Population: 65,161
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 3)
Home Values: $43,300 (1st worst)
Unemployment Rate: 16.8% (4th worst)
More on Youngstown: Data | Photos
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 ($39,398). The schools and the crime are far below average, but not horrible.

6. Middletown

Middletown, Ohio

Source: Public domain

Population: 48,527
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 5)
Home Values: $91,300 (61st worst)
Unemployment Rate: 13.1% (12th worst)
More on Middletown: Data | Photos
Welcome to Middletown, Ohio, where 1 in 7.6 people is without a job, and families bring in a combined $36,898 a year.

Crime is the 10th highest in Ohio, where you have a 1 in 14.7 chance of being the victim of a property crime, and every year, you have a 1 in 190 chance of being raped, attacked or murdered when you’re within Middletown city limits.

7. Nelsonville

Nelsonville, Ohio

Population: 5,249
Rank Last Year: 15 (Up 8)
Home Values: $77,700 (25th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 15.0% (5th worst)
More on Nelsonville: Data | Photos
Nelsonville is a hot mess right now. There are some big economic problems here AND crime is really high. In fact, Nelsonville is the 71st most dangerous place you can live in Ohio.

Residents in Nelsonville have a 1 in 26.9 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 Nelsonville, where average homes are valued at only$77,700. That’s the 25th-lowest in the state. But residents earn far less than in other cities, so their mortgage payments might still seem overwhelming.

8. Mansfield

Mansfield, Ohio

Population: 46,902
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 2)
Home Values: $77,500 (24th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 11.8% (25th worst)
More on Mansfield: Data | Photos
If you’re looking to live in Ohio, Mansfield might not be the best choice as it places 8th in our ranking of the worst places to live in the Buckeye State for 2015.

The average family earns $33,257 a year out here, and 2560.0% of the population is below the poverty line. Nearly 11.8% of the population is out of work.

And when you consider the crime, it’s just crazy to think of how dangerous it is to live way out here. When you’re in Mansfield, every year, you have a 1 in 18.0 chance of being robbed. Can you imagine? Perhaps it’s an economic factor, or the fact that the people out there are so isolated, but the fact remains, it’s the 39th most dangerous place in the state, per capita.

9. New Carlisle

New Carlisle, Ohio

Population: 5,690
Rank Last Year: 19 (Up 10)
Home Values: $90,800 (60th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 9.6% (58th worst)
More on New Carlisle: Data | Photos
The same problems that plague other cities on the list also affect New Carlisle. The only real difference is New Carlisle is a tiny bit safer, and the schools are rated a lot higher in terms of resources for students.

However, the unemployment rate in New Carlisle is at 9.6%, which is the 58th worst in Ohio. And households earn a combined $37,798 a year, which is far below the state average. An average home in New Carlisle is merely $90,800.

New Carlisle is across the Tangier Sound on Route 50.

10. Hillsboro

Hillsboro, Ohio

Population: 6,572
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 4)
Home Values: $85,000 (46th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 10.3% (44th worst)
More on Hillsboro: Data | Photos
If, by some reason, you were driving from Mt. Orab to Circleville, you might have passed through Hillsboro. 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 ($33,051) and they can’t get good jobs (10.3% unemployment rate).

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 2018.

If you’re curious enough, here are the best cities to live in Ohio:

  1. Grandview Heights (Pop. 7,191)
  2. Upper Arlington (Pop. 34,675)
  3. Powell (Pop. 12,436)

For more Ohio reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst Cities In Ohio

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Trotwood 24,372 13.6% $75,800
2 Cleveland 389,165 17.3% $67,500
3 Dayton 141,143 13.3% $66,600
4 Wellston 5,595 12.9% $85,700
5 Youngstown 65,161 16.8% $43,300
6 Middletown 48,527 13.1% $91,300
7 Nelsonville 5,249 15.0% $77,700
8 Mansfield 46,902 11.8% $77,500
9 New Carlisle 5,690 9.6% $90,800
10 Hillsboro 6,572 10.3% $85,000
11 East Cleveland 17,413 24.9% $58,500
12 Canton 72,163 12.9% $71,000
13 Lima 37,836 13.4% $66,600
14 Moraine 6,343 10.7% $81,000
15 Logan 7,205 12.4% $98,600
16 Portsmouth 20,393 13.0% $72,700
17 Zanesville 25,467 11.3% $76,600
18 Springfield 59,761 12.0% $77,000
19 Whitehall 18,596 10.0% $83,200
20 Warren 40,433 10.3% $61,200
21 Akron 198,508 11.2% $80,000
22 East Liverpool 10,919 13.9% $55,300
23 Hamilton 62,259 9.8% $99,900
24 Conneaut 12,782 10.5% $87,900
25 Kenton 7,719 11.5% $74,300
26 Galion 10,245 11.6% $68,600
27 Euclid 47,863 10.7% $80,700
28 Ashtabula 18,540 12.8% $70,600
29 Alliance 22,121 13.1% $79,600
30 Garfield Heights 28,207 11.7% $73,600
31 Cincinnati 298,011 11.4% $120,300
32 Maple Heights 22,685 12.6% $71,800
33 Lorain 63,714 13.6% $85,700
34 Toledo 280,854 12.0% $77,800
35 Fostoria 13,397 10.6% $62,900
36 Warrensville Heights 13,293 10.8% $80,400
37 Washington Court House 14,115 6.3% $95,600
38 Chillicothe 21,748 8.6% $98,900
39 Circleville 13,761 8.2% $121,600
40 Girard 9,615 6.7% $81,200
41 Steubenville 18,305 9.7% $86,800
42 Lancaster 39,483 9.1% $117,100
43 Marion 36,568 10.6% $73,200
44 Cambridge 10,495 13.3% $85,000
45 Barberton 26,266 9.7% $85,800
46 Fremont 16,388 8.9% $80,900
47 Willard 6,105 11.9% $83,000
48 Wilmington 12,441 8.5% $98,800
49 Salem 12,071 9.1% $93,500
50 Newark 48,477 9.5% $114,500
51 Sandusky 25,338 10.7% $81,600
52 Bedford Heights 10,640 12.2% $97,800
53 North College Hill 9,351 9.2% $83,400
54 Cheviot 8,318 10.3% $90,100
55 Franklin 11,802 8.0% $102,500
56 Xenia 26,105 8.7% $93,800
57 Campbell 8,040 18.0% $61,600
58 Jackson 6,346 7.7% $94,500
59 Bucyrus 12,011 7.9% $79,600
60 Piqua 20,743 9.9% $85,800
61 Elyria 53,928 9.9% $94,800
62 Uhrichsville 5,399 10.0% $68,800
63 Struthers 10,445 12.1% $71,900
64 Massillon 32,268 9.4% $98,700
65 Niles 18,877 9.1% $78,700
66 Geneva 6,077 5.1% $95,500
67 Rittman 6,528 10.0% $105,600
68 Greenville 12,979 10.2% $87,600
69 Mount Healthy 6,054 7.1% $84,600
70 West Carrollton 13,012 8.6% $90,700
71 Van Wert 10,738 8.3% $82,400
72 Ravenna 11,582 11.1% $99,600
73 Painesville 19,735 7.2% $100,300
74 Norwood 19,462 6.0% $118,700
75 Wellington 5,063 8.0% $130,900
76 Brooklyn 10,936 7.7% $103,400
77 Urbana 11,586 8.0% $98,500
78 Mount Vernon 16,777 8.6% $101,900
79 Brook Park 18,875 7.6% $111,800
80 Columbus 837,038 6.9% $131,800
81 Bellefontaine 13,211 6.4% $101,300
82 Fairborn 33,487 7.7% $109,700
83 Shelby 8,751 5.5% $90,100
84 Eaton 8,274 8.3% $96,700
85 Ironton 11,049 6.2% $91,400
86 Riverside 25,036 10.0% $84,900
87 Martins Ferry 6,813 9.5% $76,000
88 Heath 10,471 6.3% $128,700
89 Springdale 11,205 5.6% $126,300
90 Milford 6,833 4.7% $152,700
91 Bryan 8,480 6.0% $94,100
92 Toronto 5,087 10.8% $82,200
93 Marietta 13,912 7.0% $98,700
94 Parma Heights 20,311 6.2% $110,700
95 Upper Sandusky 6,917 7.4% $95,800
96 Wauseon 7,059 5.7% $119,100
97 Forest Park 18,679 6.4% $111,300
98 Belpre 6,450 3.0% $98,500
99 London 10,058 8.1% $125,700
100 Sharonville 13,782 4.3% $141,900

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73 thoughts on “These Are The 10 Worst Places To Live In Ohio For 2018

      1. The article says “But hey, there’s a Walmart! At least you have that”. Wilmington would suck even if it had a Target.

    1. Kind of makes me wonder about the validity of this whole article. There is a Wal-Mart in Wilmington. Also it states that Hillsboro is the 6th lowest in spending per student in the state of Ohio which is also not accurate. While spending per pupil is approximately $1200 dollars less than the state average, it is far from the bottom 6. Hillsboro spends $7855 per pupil according the ODE state report card for that district. If you look at the graphic comparing all districts in the state you will see just how inaccurate this piece of data is. Another point in validity is the non-reporting of data by stating “lowest in Ohio” or “not to great” rather than giving an actual number. The same data is not presented in every description which really botched up the comparison. Someone needs to learn how to report accurate and consistent data.

    2. The article said it had a walmart. Not that a Walmart improves anything about the shit hole. Wilmington is the worst place I have ever lived.

  1. I appreciate the collection of stats and data-driven decision making. Numbers make everything better!

    However, I would question the assumptions that (1) high population density and (2) high home values are generally considered desirable. Would you be willing to defend these assumptions?

    1. I agree. I don’t see a high population density as a good thing at all. I think a desireable population density would be “medium”. Low density means there will not be much in the way of services or business, while high density puts housing at a premium, increases crime, and disease/sanitation issues. I agree about high home values as well. What is more important is why a home has the value it does, not necessarily what the value is.

      1. High population density usually means jobs, good housing, things to do that don’t involve getting robbed, hence why people are there, this article isn’t to suit your personal preference. Zanesville is a shithole filled with drugs, lowlifes, and crackwhores. Glad to see it made the top 5. Toodles.

        1. well where i live made 6th and at least my town has a light show on the old courthouse and a dickens victorian village

        2. “Zanesville is a shithole filled with drugs, lowlifes, and crackwhores.”

          Your describing all of Ohio. Ohio is the worst state in the nation for heroin (United Nations report 2014) and the second highest drug overdose death rate (CDC report) in the whole of USA.

          Worse place I have ever lived, biggest mistake I have ever made to move here.

          A lot of corruption to, to go along with the drug problem.

          1. Charlie. You are 100 percent correct. Streetsboor and portage county is all meth and heroin. And they do nothing about it. Instead they encourage their violent behavior.s

  2. Hi. I just wanted to let you know that Wilmington does have a Walmart and has had one for at least 30 years that I myself know of. It’s on the east end of town. I’m not a big fan of town myself but I just wanted the facts to be straight.

  3. Zanesville offers Tom’s Ice Cream Bowl! Steak n Shake blows. Another impersonal chain. People come from miles away to get Tom’s homemade ice cream. Steak n Shake? Give me a break.

  4. I’m not sure how you compiled your data, but before you release such a damning report, you might want to dig a little deeper.
    Jackson is a great place to raise a family.
    1) we have beautiful new schools.
    2) our school system is top notch, despite the lower state funding and teacher pay scale.
    3) we have more to do than shop at Walmart. We have new fun restaurants, quaint locally owned shops.
    4) we have more than ONE lake, in fact we have 3, two of which offer camping, fishing and swimming.
    5) we have a newly renovated cultural arts center which offers many classes, events, exhibits and NOW a beautiful theatre to enjoy live performances.
    6) we can still sit on our front porches or take a leasurely walk without fear of being mugged.
    7) you can walk down the street and see a friendly face.
    8) and the best thing about living here…is our community bands together to help one and other. they donate time, hard work and money to anyone who needs it.

    We may not have the top paying jobs and employment is low…but we are working hard to bring new jobs in and continuing to make it a safe, friendly and fun place to raise a family.
    I can think of many towns that would be worse to live in than Jackson.

    1. Beautifully stated Brenda I agree 100%. I lived in several
      large cities before moving to Jackson and would not trade
      any of them for our little city and what we have here. Good
      schools ,good government and best of all mostly good

  5. I have no idea where and when you took this picture, but our historic downtown business district when through a several million dollar downtown revitalization. We have a beautiful streetscape that includes new sidewalks, streets, streetlights, street lamps, sitting areas, hanging flower baskets, beautiful banners, and a vibrant and busy 6 blocks of both traditional and trendy shops, boutiques and eateries. As for our ‘poverty level’ average income, we have been experiencing and oil & gas boom for 3 years, every major hotel chain is now located here, with each property experiencing an average 90% occupancy rate, several new chain restaurants including Buffalo Wild Wings, and our real estate values been on a steady rise, with some properties currently enjoying $1000 per month/per bedroom rents.
    We may have some crime/drug issues, but we are certainly not alone as this is a national epidemic, and it is still a safe place to work and live, to raise a family or start a business, and the best place to call home. Perhaps you should actually interview people and do a bit of fact checking before printing such random, inaccurate and extremely outdated information.

    1. There has never been real change in Guernsey that causes one to turn their head. The good people that struggle daily here are the real testament. Time stands forbiddingly still there. One simply drives through Cambridge and should be uninspired. For every story told to pump this town up by using paper mache’ (Dickens) characters and a courthouse light show during the winter there are two stories why people that experience Cambridge are far from impressed.

  6. How dare you write this. You have no idea the community pride Wellston has. There are actually people in this community who try to do the best the can to make this a great place to live. As a teacher in this community, you are making it very hard for my colleagues and I to change the mentality of our student body. And the more students I can help get a sense of community pride, the closer we get to making it a better place. Shame on you. Your ignorance is sickning.

  7. Been to Jackson, done that, hated that. Jackson WAS a great little place to live. My mother grew up there when Globe Furnace was running. A lot has changed. The Apple Festival and Pig Iron Festival still take place, and Kroger grew to become a Super Kroger. WalMart is still there, as with McDonald’s, and the three lakes. Unless you’re Amish or work for the A-Plant, you’re not getting a good paying job. But Jackson does have a hospital, albeit a “hangnail” hospital, named Holzer Hospital, where they killed my father. But I digress. Jackson is the only little bright spot in a cirlce of drug-infested towns, like Wellston, Oak Hill, and yes, Portsmouth. Wheelersbrurg is also a small town and left clinging for life. But Portsmouth is still living in the past, the days of old when Branch Ricky was around and Roy Rogers visited. Instead of progressing forward, they are stuck in Nuetral and rolling faster and faster down hill. I will say that Shawnee State University is about the only good thing going there, as even the hospitals are acting suspicious with their books and practices.

  8. Perhaps you should stop and visit while driving through Hillsboro. It was a lovely place to grow up and now rear my children. You sell us too short.

    1. Hillsboro is awful and should actually be higher up in the list. Also, Greenfield is waaayy too far down on that list. Worst town I ever been in or lived in.

  9. I lived in Ashtabula for 60 plus years and moved away from the “hell” hole and never looked back. Best thing anyone can do is get out of there. It will be the best day of your life.

    1. You are so right I have lived in Ashtabula County for 53 years now and can not wate to move . The good old boy politics here suck our children are nothing but hate tools for the Judges to use to feed there click of lawyers . The drug addiction and abuse is on a rise so bad our kids are being found in the streets dead with neadles still stuck in them. I blam the court’s they have most all residents income restricted in there controls , no man can afford to do anything with the wage attachments . The housing is going to shit no one can do any repairs . The Judges and lawyers are nothing more then coming thieves and the people are there victims. The State needs to step in and and stop the rain of destruction in Ashtabula County Ohio. We have had Judges here that never seen a case Huage is one , children go there entire growing up period in time with out ever seeing their father wile the father fights to see their child the entire time men that have worked 30+ years with no rights to their children. It is just a dollar to the court and the family’s are looked at as trash buy the system of Ashtabula County. I say if you are a working man or family Ashtabula would be the worst place for you to move in Ohio this county will stick you in there system and destroy you and your family’s lifes at there profit. To see a doctor for stress and mental issues caused buy the court will be average of 4 months to get an appointment . It is one big joke for them to use the children as hate tools do your family a favor and stay away from Ashtabula County Ohio .

  10. Conneaut is a junk city theft is terrible ..if a cop pulls over a drunk person and needs back up .. youcould easily rob a bank .. our pokice force is five guys and a dog .. The only thing we have goimg for us is 1. The WWII reinactment that is pretty much the only time anyone comes from out of state to visit as they pull on average 10 -15 thousand ppl and ppl start reserving hotel roomes almost imediatly following the event itsepf to prepare for next year .2.the townsfolk are generally nice and have great morals . If our city council wasn’t full of itailian family and handshakes behind closed doors this city would be a smalk version of pittsburgh withmain street filled with booming hole iin the wall restraunts and stops.. but instead its cluttered with 4 secoond hand stores and rotting building that the owners won’t sell and also will make the renter pay to repurpose and upkeep the building so they sit empty with no incentive to rent.

    1. Your wrong I don’t even like Conneaut, but if the police pulled over someone for driving drunk. You couldn’t Rob a bank. Put down the crack pipe dude.I lived in Conneaut for 5 yrs got divorced moved back to kingsville. So don’t sit there and put down Conneaut like that. Your right about the Italian BS but the powers that be just need voted out and someone that wants industry instead of prisions.

      1. He has every right to put down Conneaut, you must be young and like living in a small Podunk town, I live there for 46 years befor I finally got the hell out of dodge and moved south to where there are JOBS, fun things to do, no snow, or cold weather 9 months of the year. Do you have a good job WITH a retirement, probably not for there are none in Conneaut

  11. Cambridge.Well..your picture is probably 20 years old.Cambridge is a great town.We have a wonderful school system with brand new schools.Our park is huge with new playgrounds,ballparks,top notch pool.In winter we have The Dickens Charactors,a light show nightly with horse drawn carrages.A state park is 5 miles down the road…police are taking care of business…get your facts straight.

    1. I agree Linda…Cambridge has an awesome Downtown…the Park is big clean and beautiful…Best Christmas for a downtown in the state..I live in New Phila and we love Cambridge…whoever wrote this has obviously never been there!!

  12. Population density being included skews the list towards picking small towns, as though having a yard is somehow a bad thing.

  13. I’ve lived in youngstown or it’s suburbs all my life. I am happy with youngstown but is it just I do not know a different way or is there problems any place you go. Home is what we made it along with many of success stories came from youngstown also

  14. I moved from Lima 8 years ago to a small community about 15 miles away. The people that would argue the points you make about Lima are in extreme denial of Lima’s problems. Crime is OUT OF CONTROL in Lima. The police are afraid of the black population and the mayor lets the criminals run rampant because he is one of these politically correct idiots that does not want to “pick on” those that race bait. The school system is in shambles. Lima has ALL NEW SCHOOL BUILDINGS. However, they are ranked among the LOWEST in Ohio. They receive a failing grade. There are HUNDREDS, maybe THOUSANDS of un-occupied houses used as drug houses and flop houses for homeless people. Hardly a week goes by that one of these dumps mysteriously burns down. Lima has been nicknamed “The Emerald City” by those that know Lima’s problems but can do nothing to fix them because the mayor & city council believe (?) Lima is wonderful and has no problems. Lima COULD BE a great place to live, but if they can’t admit their problems, they can’t fix them. Lima has a crime index that is equal to or sometimes surpasses that of Cleveland. Lima’s crime index is MORE THAN DOUBLE the national average. I sure am glad I no longer live there. Google “Ohio Bigger Cities” and check Lima’s statistics. Numbers don’t lie…..

  15. In my opinion. I do agree that Cambridge actually does kind of suck. After living there for many years, I finally moved my family out of that area (a year ago, even after the gas and oil ppl came to town). That isn’t the area I want to raise my children in. Maybe one day, it will be a better place. But everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

  16. You clearly did not use “science” or facts and you for sure don’t have updated pictures. You should probably think about including the history of these small towns. You should also rewrite or delete this as its wrong and insulting to the people of these home town’s. Since when did money buy happiness? Please let us all know.

  17. Guys I live in Zville. I’ve Bennett to all towns/cities listed and I’m not saying anything negative about anything. Bottom line is there do have to be least desirable places in Ohio. Perhaps we live in them. The colorful commentary is that of people who haven’t visited them all… that’s obvious. But honestly these are not the “most” desirable places and we who live in these cities can’t rebuttle that.

  18. Based on your ‘science’ and criteria, traffic gridlock would be utopia in your population density. Personally, I like living 5 miles from work and being able to get there in 10 minutes.

  19. Youngstown is bad, full of murders, drugs, etc. I live right outside of it, like 10 min. No good jobs unless u know someone.

  20. If you travel and know even a little bit about the cities on this list you know this author is full of crap… at least you don’t have to sit in stand still freeway freeway traffic for 2 or 3 hours and work your ass off most of your life to to pay for a small hunk of dirt in any of the towns on this list…

    1. Really? No, there may not be freeway traffic, but Portsmouth and Jackson are terrible places to live. And, you could work your entire life and never afford a “small hunk of dirt.”

      1. Very true. Very poor communities you mentioned and the semi higher paying jobs are at the hospital, medical fields, dentists, attorney’s anything with a degree pays well. But I think what jerks my chains is in some cases of certificates… like STNA’s / health Aids. They are taken advantage of a lot. I have found they travel all over the place and they get paid practically nothing. My sister in law has been at her company for six years and makes only $11 bucks an hour. 6! And she thinks that good money. But for a company she’s had been working for 6 years it’s not. What a waste of time and energy working all of those years for a company who doesn’t value or appreciates her hard work or time. These areas mentioned below, from South Webster, Portsmouth, oak Hill and Jackson, A LOT of folks live in poverty. Not all of them, but many people do. These areas use to be farm land, but not many farm now anymore due to bigger companies buying and local farmers can’t compete. Factories shut down creating the emplyoment rates to go up. I moved away years ago and never moved back, however I still visit family. NOTHING has changed much in the job market in 25 years. And Wal-Mart is not out to pay people to make a good living to get ahead because of Walt’s greedy kids. Read about it. Most people in the surrounding areas I mentioned above, live in poor, run down trailers they purchase because it’s a cheaper way of living or they have to try and live on land contracts. And some folks get taken advantage of, why? A vast majority of folks in These areas have a poverty mentality. Their not educated in reading the fine line print of things. Remember, I said some …Not all . SO that’s why, “businesses” see them coming a mile away. Cha-ching! The one working like a dog can’t get his slice of the pie,
        Nor will he get ahead. In these areas, folks won’t or don’t speak up for more pay because of fear. They want to keep their small paying jobs in fear they’ll be replaced. Very mice towns, but but mit a place to make a living and get ahead. The good thing I can say about these towns , is this, they are friendly places. And, there is a lot to see and do. You just gotta know where and how to find it. And, make NO mistake about it, poor communities do pull together when there’s a need for other families. They have big hearts in that way. I just wish businesses would be fair in their pay to people who are hard working and want better. Why should living in a small community and wanting to raise your kids out in the country cost so much hardship if businesses would just stop lining their pockets and share, things could get better.

  21. Springfield should be higher on the list. where I reside on the south side the police will not even respond to calls and refused to file reports. the Springfield Technology Center has been vandalized, my neighbors auto body shop has been vandalized, mini houses burglarized, a recent carjacking and kidnapping, drug houses are open for business 24/7, must I go on?
    We have several churches in the downtown area which have been beautifully restored, our library system is spectacular, there is an Ivy League school called Wittenberg which probably brings an insurmountable amount of money to the town, and the older people are very nice.
    Forget most of the younger generation, who embrace the thug ghetto lifestyle.

  22. Let’s look at Toledo compared to, “the worst city” Youngstown shall we… Per capita, higher overall crime rate – between double and triple for assault, rape, burglary and arson than Youngstown. Only 1% lower unemployment rate than Youngstown. Average household income is only $4,000 /year more while housing costs are triple that of Youngstown. Oh and to top it off, we have the highest number of abandoned and dilapidated houses in Ohio so there’s a fairly high chance that your over-inflated costing home sits between two crack houses waiting to be burned down. The average student to teacher ratio is 36:1 with graduation rates usually in the 65% range. The roads are notoriously bad and nearly always in a state of disrepair to the point there was 6 sink holes in the past 2 years alone. Youngstown sounds like a vacation to me.

  23. My husband and I happened upon Zanesville on a cross-country trip once and loved it. Maybe it’s the contrast with living in California, but we found the people friendly and helpful, the city clean. While the downtown looks like most midwestern downtowns, we did find a couple wonderful galleries, a marvelous library, and a couple lovely parks. We actually discussed what a nice place it would be to live were it not for humidity and snow.

  24. I wouldn’t put much in store by this person’s statistics. They are incorrect and outdated. As a homeowner living in Youngstown, I can tell you this:

    1. The population fluctuates drastically due to the fact it’s a college town. If you add the additional 13,000-15,000 college students to that population statistic, the crime rate drops dramatically.
    2. The median income is low because of the influx of college students. They don’t make more than minimum wage (usually) and therefore the median income statistic is incorrect, as is the unemployment.
    3. Home value–well, this is probably based on comps, which are skewed due to the fact there are so many foreclosures and abandoned properties owned by the city. I venture to say that the houses that are owner-occupied (or owned by decent landlords) are more in the $60-75k range.

    And for the snarky comment about the “high taxes/crime rate,” are you serious? The property taxes are less than 1% of the Assessor’s appraised value, depending on the area of Youngstown, and even then, unless you are in one of the houses on Fifth Avenue, you are still paying way less than national average. It’s not like we’re in Detroit, which SERIOUSLY has some problems with property taxes.

    1. It’s cute the way Youngstonians defend there little “paradise”. Youngstown pretty well died in the late 60’s when the Steel Mills shut down and perhaps because they can’t see over the hills many there never leave the valley. Presidential candidates always visit there making big promises before an election. They get elected, and then ignore the place. Sorry for you.

  25. Wow, surprised Middletown wasn’t higher on the list. Must be the influx of tattoo parlors and 2nd hand stores popping up?

  26. I appreciate all the comments from everyone. It helps to see the views and opinions of the people that live in and around Ohio. I was trying to see what would be a better area to move to from Detroit and came along this post. Thank you all. Hopefully more comments will follow.

    1. I’m extremely confused by this statement in your write up about Dayton, Ohio: “Dayton is across the Tangier Sound on Route 50.”

      Dayton, Ohio is not even close to Route 50. In Ohio that’s down by the Ohio River. Dayton is 50 minutes north of there. And where is this Tangier Sound you spoke about? The one I’m familiar with is in the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland.

  27. Youngstown is on top because it still has the highest corruption of any place in Ohio.
    First of all, the media in “the valley” has learned to only report on “good news”, and not the bad news.
    Stories of the “rust belt” has been replaced by stories of the “tech belt”. A term coined by Obama a few years ago describing Akron, Cleveland And Pittsburgh, but someone those in Youngstown included themselves in that.
    Youngstown has a large (very large) Italian background and those who are left all think they are mafia, and with that, most deals are done behind closed doors in good ole mafia style.
    Most of the big dealership lots are owned by the same guy, and the guy down the street selling tires is the guy who owns the car dealerships. So, you’re not really getting a good deal.
    The real estate is a big “to do” in Youngstown, so much so, that they make enough money to donate to every democrat running for local, state and federal office in the area.
    Goes to show, that the top 1% of “The Valley” owns 99% of the land, and they vote democrat!
    Lastly, people in Youngstown think they know everything there is to know about cars because a local auto resto shop made the discovery channel. If you ever want to be turned off and never go to a car show again, even if you love cars, attend a car show in Youngstown. Their arrogance will have you running away.
    Oh, yea and no one there is welcoming to outsiders.

  28. The one question no one has asked is why? These were all ‘steel’ towns. We lost our steel industry to foreign countries who sold it cheaper. Each one of the worst cities in Ohio were all once thriving, booming steel towns. Ask Detroit, MI who is to blame, they made it on Michigan’s worst city list. We have our government to blame for this terrible situation. The downfall of our country has been outsourcing.

  29. Canfield is in the middle of the list, but you know what, I would take Boardman, Austintown, or any other area before I picked Canfield again. I lived there for awhile. Everyone there thinks they are better than everyone else. Snob nose people. And the kids are learning this from the parents and the school system. The school system is the worst. The sports are nothing more than who’s who and what parent gave more money, and do not care about the kids at all. The coaching staff is there only for their own career statistics. I would raise my kids in Youngstown before Canfield. Absolutely hated it there as most that live there do.

  30. The logic in this so called “scientific” analysis is both simple and simplistic: communities where rich people live are wonderful and communities where poor people live are awful. There is considerable social judgement and racism embedded in the criteria used here. It provides little insight and enforces prejudices against those communities most in need, further undermines them and it is just the kind of thinking that perpetuates the decline of so many cities in Ohio.
    **So thanks for nothing “HomeSnacks” “RoadSnacks” (How do you come up with dumb web site names like that?) and Chasing Chains,LLC. (And you deserve nothig buy contempt for calling some Ohio cities “real pits”!)

  31. I cant believe Newcomerstown isn’t at the top of the list. shithole village has no job growth. kids and families hate that place.everyone who has the education to leave does at first chance. the village sits on a perfect location. rt77-rt 36. major thouroghways. well known for its corrupt governing and judicial profiling. the village rolls the sidewalks up at 6:30. 1 grocerie store monopolizes, nothing whatsoever for the children, except police harassment. 1 opinion of a former resident.

  32. The article states that Dayton is across the Tangier Sound on Route 50 — what the heck is that? Born and raised in Dayton (70 years old) and have never heard of this. There is no Route 50 anywhere near here nor any Tangier Sound!!!

  33. There is a lot of missing “data” in this report. There are multiple people with professional, Doctoral and Professional degrees in Wellston, as well as a few families of Hispanic and Asian culture. The income ranges are also incorrect.

  34. Unless you want to work for $8 -$12 an hour in a restaurant, or factory dont move to Mansfield Ohio. Corruption abound here also, just read the classic “Rotten To The Core” about how this city is operated by the select. Cops here are inconsiderate rude and vile often asking for your social security number when they come to take a report. Nothing but trailer trash with pitbulls moved in here when the housing market crashed in 08-16. Probably because our local news paper reports on nothing but heroin related stories that go out to the associated press advertising this place as some kind of opiate utopia. It could be a nice place and it used to be great but the people here are so aggressive and have the absolute worst attitudes like they are better and above everyone. Driving here is the worst also, if you drive through be cafeful. Lots of road raging doped up nuts cutting corners on turns and driving while nodding out at the wheel. So much crime here that every gas station and conveniece store sells a $2 newspaper called mugshots that is a dozen pages full of arrests with mugshots and charges before the alleged offenders have even been convicted. The public school system here is a massive failure. When you have to have a police station inside Mansfield Senior Highschool thats a real problem. I could write a book on why not to move here, if you dont believe me come check out this ghetto utopia for yourself.

  35. You must of never heard of Portsmouth, OH. I have family in Hillsboro, and Portsmouth. No comparison. Portsmouth is hell on earth.

  36. You don’t make things better with articles like these. They’re judgmental and don’t take into consideration the opinions of the residents. All of these towns are poor. If you want to do something to help, build them up, and find their good points (there really are some) and encourage people, not knock them down.

  37. Toledo is an absolute sh*thole. Cannot wait to move away and never look back. Should be number one with a bullet. Not sure why anyone would be proud to live in that dump. “You’ll Do Better In Toledo.” Best joke I’ve heard in years.

  38. New Carlisle Ohio does not sit any where near a route 50 and tangier sound (you got Maryland and Ohio confused). Major routes that go through out town is 571, 235, 40 (near) and 41 (near).Please do correct research. We are a small country town with very few stores and most our folks work in surrounding cities.

  39. Cincinnati Ohio sucks you walk around downtown and God knows what could happen it should be higher up on the list just a couple weeks ago there was a shooting at the 5/3 this city is super unsafe

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