The 10 Worst Places To Live In Ohio For 2024

The worst places to live in Ohio are New Carlisle and Trotwood for 2024 based on Friday Night Science.

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 5,000, we came up with this list as the 10 worst places in Ohio:

Table Of Contents: Top Ten | Methodology | Summary | Table

Worst Places To Live In Ohio Map

Where are these places, you wonder? And before you get all riled up and say we’re picking on small towns in Ohio, that’s not the case.

We understand there’s a lot of good in every place. For example, the best place to live in Ohio is Madeira.

However, according to data (which doesn’t measure things like beauty and ‘friendly people’), the state has far better options for making a place home. And the worst place to live in Ohio? The worst place to live in Ohio is New Carlisle.

Read below to see how we crunched the numbers and how your city fared in 2024.

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:

The 10 Worst Places To Live In Ohio For 2024

New Carlisle, OH

Source: Wikipedia User Eric Fredericks | CC BY-SA 2.0
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 5,579
Average Home Price: $218,232
Median Income: $56,744
Unemployment Rate: 17.1%
Crime Per Capita: 0.0573
More on New Carlisle: Data | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Located in southwest Ohio, about 25 minutes outside of Dayton, New Carlisle is the site of a famous crime. Bank robber John Dillinger robbed one of the town’s institutions in 1933. That may have set a tone for town, which is today the number 1 worst location in Ohio.

Jobs are the main problem for New Carlisle’s 5,579 inhabitants. To be specific: there aren’t enough of them. The unemployment rate stands at 17.1%. Along with this, the town has a lackluster educational system, with its best school getting just a 6/10 on Great Schools.

It isn’t all gloom and doom in town, however. Residents can enjoy their weekends at the New Carlisle Pool or at the Sugar Isle Golf Course.

Trotwood, OH

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 23,125
Average Home Price: $115,023
Median Income: $46,442
Unemployment Rate: 8.4%
Crime Per Capita: 0.0383
More on Trotwood: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Trotwood is located in southwest Ohio, just outside of Dayton. The community faces a host of problems, starting with an anemic economy. This fuels challenges related to education and crime, making this the number 2 worst place to live in Ohio.

The sluggish economy can be seen in figures like a 8.4% unemployment rate and a median income of $46,442. The 23,125 residents of Trotwood also have to worry about safety. The crime rate in the area is about 30% above the national average. The schools are lackluster as well, reaching only a 5/10 on Great Schools.

The people of Trotwood have ways to forget their troubles. For instance, they can head to the beautiful Madison Lakes Park in the southern part of town.

Youngstown, OH

Source: Wikipedia User Blue80 | GFDL
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 60,048
Average Home Price: $52,826
Median Income: $34,295
Unemployment Rate: 13.2%
Crime Per Capita: 0.0355
More on Youngstown: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

When you’re looking at things from purely a scientific standpoint, Youngstown is the 3rd 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 2nd 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.

After 40 years of an economic free-fall, the best they can hope for is completely closing off demolishing the abandoned residential neighborhoods like Oak Hill and Lower Gibson.

Mill creek park is nice here. And they have Youngstown State to cheer for. Which has NEVER won the Missouri Valley Conference basketball title.

But they have a TON of Handel’s Ice Cream to take away their sorrows. Or, they can just drive to Warren and party.

Wellston, OH

Source: Public domain
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Population: 5,420
Average Home Price: $91,085
Median Income: $51,597
Unemployment Rate: 5.6%
Crime Per Capita: 0.0244
More on Wellston: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Wellston sits in the southeast part of Ohio, in a less densely populated part of the state. It’s about an hour and a half outside of Columbus and two hours away from Cincinnati. But getting away from big cities doesn’t guarantee an idyllic rural setting. Wellston ranks as the number 4 least attractive location in Ohio.

The listless job market in the area keeps residents from reaching their full potential. The unemployment rate stands at 5.6%, while median incomes hover at $51,597. These financial problems trickle down to other aspects of life. Bad schools and high crime are other major issues for the community.

Still, the folks in Wellston get some value from their rural setting. They can enjoy a host of outdoor activities, with Lake Alma State Park just outside of town.

Cleveland, OH

Source: Flickr User Tim Evanson | CC BY-SA 2.0
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Population: 370,365
Average Home Price: $100,343
Median Income: $37,271
Unemployment Rate: 11.9%
Crime Per Capita: 0.0583
More on Cleveland: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Cleveland is one of the biggest cities in Ohio, with a population of 370,365 people. Unfortunately, those folks could probably do better somewhere else. Cleveland stands as the number 5 most unappealing location in the state.

Like many large industrial cities in the Midwest,r Cleveland has suffered from economic upheavals of the last several decades. This has led to an unemployment rate of 11.9% and a whopping 31.2% poverty rate.

Along with these financial troubles, locals face a crime rate that is 140% above the U.S. average. Schools and housing are other challenges.

Of course, a city this size has its attractions. Besides its multiple pro sports teams, you can also check out the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Warren, OH

Source: Wikipedia User Jack Pearce from Boardman, OH, USA | CC BY-SA 2.0
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Population: 39,204
Average Home Price: $90,619
Median Income: $33,296
Unemployment Rate: 8.6%
Crime Per Capita: 0.0328
More on Warren: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Warren, Ohio, is unfortunately recognized as one of the worst cities in the state. With a high crime rate and safety concerns, it has earned its reputation as a dangerous place to live. The city’s violent crime rate is alarming, with 171 incidents reported in 2021 alone. This includes murders, rapes, robberies, and aggravated assaults. Additionally, property crime is a significant issue, with 1,009 reported incidents during the same period.

While Warren’s location in Trumbull County offers some advantages within the Youngstown-Warren metropolitan area, it cannot escape its challenging circumstances. Poverty levels are high, with many residents struggling financially. The median income of $30,377 falls below the state average, contributing to economic hardships for individuals and families alike. However, it is important to note that with concerted efforts and community involvement, there is hope for improvement in Warren’s future.

Mansfield, OH

Source: Wikipedia User John Siegenthaler | CC BY-SA 3.0
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 47,630
Average Home Price: $125,649
Median Income: $40,996
Unemployment Rate: 7.8%
Crime Per Capita: 0.0369
More on Mansfield: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Located in Richland County, Ohio, Mansfield has unfortunately earned a reputation as one of the worst places to live in the state. With a population of 47,630, the city grapples with numerous issues that contribute to its low ranking. One of the most concerning factors is its high crime rate, with 229 violent crimes reported in 2021 alone. This includes incidents of murder, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. These statistics paint a bleak picture of safety within the city.

Additionally, Mansfield struggles with economic challenges such as poverty and unemployment. The median income stands at just $40,996, leaving many residents struggling to make ends meet. The poverty level is alarmingly high, resulting in a poor quality of life for many individuals and families. These economic hardships are reflected in the real estate market, where the median home value is only $125,649.

Despite these challenges, there is hope for improvement. By addressing crime rates and implementing initiatives to boost employment opportunities and support local businesses, Mansfield can work towards creating a safer and more prosperous community. With its location between Columbus and Cleveland, the city has the potential to benefit from regional growth and development. With dedicated efforts and investment, Mansfield can transform itself into a place where residents can thrive.

Dayton, OH

Source: Wikipedia User | GFDL
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 137,305
Average Home Price: $110,664
Median Income: $41,443
Unemployment Rate: 10.0%
Crime Per Capita: 0.0545
More on Dayton: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Dayton is the 8th worst place you can live in the state of Ohio. This is the 8th most violent place in the state, and the place with one of the highest number of murders. Dayton also ranks high for burglaries and rapes. Two cars are stolen here every single day. For a city of 137,305 people, that’s a LOT.

This wasn’t always a bad place. There were big companies here to make good money with – like NCR, General Motors, Standard Register, Mead, Frigidaire, Panasonic, and even the railroads. But today, so many houses are boarded up and buildings have been knocked down. Once the jobs are gone, the city starts to die. Most of the burglaries and prostitution and cat thefts are all directly tied to the heroin / fentanyl problem. Although apparently, the city has improved its drug treatment program.

On a good note, when a tornado passed through town in 2019, the community got Dayton Strong about it. They came together and helped pitch in.

Springfield, OH

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 58,645
Average Home Price: $162,148
Median Income: $45,113
Unemployment Rate: 9.1%
Crime Per Capita: 0.0573
More on Springfield: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Whitehall, OH

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 20,035
Average Home Price: $180,015
Median Income: $47,879
Unemployment Rate: 10.6%
Crime Per Capita: 0.0690
More on Whitehall: Data | Crime | Cost Of Living | Real Estate

Whitehall, Ohio, is unfortunately ranked as the number 8 worst place to live in the state. One of the major factors contributing to Whitehall’s unfavorable reputation is its high crime rate. With a violent crime rate of 0.008535063638632392 per capita and a property crime rate of 0.06049413526328924 per capita, residents face safety concerns on a daily basis. These statistics make Whitehall one of the most dangerous places to live in Ohio. However, it’s important to note that with concerted efforts, things can improve. By addressing poverty, increasing income opportunities, and implementing effective community policing strategies, Whitehall has the potential to transform into a safer and more desirable place to call home.

Another aspect that should be considered when discussing Whitehall is its location within Ohio. Situated just 6.6 miles east of the state capital of Columbus in Franklin County, Whitehall is a growing suburb with a population of 20,035. The city’s median income stands at $47,879, which indicates economic challenges faced by its residents. Despite these hardships, Whitehall possesses cultural and racial diversity, with over 50% of the population identifying as black, African American, Hispanic or Latino. While it may currently be one of the worst places to live in Ohio, there is hope that through focused efforts and community involvement, Whitehall can overcome its challenges and create a brighter future for its residents.

Methodology: How we determined the worst places to live in Ohio for 2024

To figure out the worst places to live in Ohio, we used Saturday Night Science to idenift 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 the FBI Uniform Crime Report.

We broke crime down into violent crime and property crime to give violent crime a more significant weight. If you did a simple calculation of all crimes per capita, property crimes are typically 7x more common and 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 — New Carlisle. Read on for a detailed look at the ten worst cities in Ohio. This article is an opinion based on facts meant as infotainment. We updated this article for 2024. This list is our tenth time ranking the worst places to live in Ohio.

Summary: 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 little to do, this is an accurate list.

And in the end, New Carlisle ranks as the worst city to live in Ohio for 2024.

The worst cities in Ohio are .

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

  1. Wyoming (Pop. 8,720)
  2. Upper Arlington (Pop. 36,500)
  3. Madeira (Pop. 9,426)

For more Ohio reading, check out:

Worst Places To Live In Ohio

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Price Median Income Crime Per Capita
1 New Carlisle 5,579 17.1% $218,232 $56,744 0.0573
2 Trotwood 23,125 8.4% $115,023 $46,442 0.0383
3 Youngstown 60,048 13.2% $52,826 $34,295 0.0355
4 Wellston 5,420 5.6% $91,085 $51,597 0.0244
5 Cleveland 370,365 11.9% $100,343 $37,271 0.0583
6 Warren 39,204 8.6% $90,619 $33,296 0.0328
7 Mansfield 47,630 7.8% $125,649 $40,996 0.0369
8 Dayton 137,305 10.0% $110,664 $41,443 0.0545
9 Springfield 58,645 9.1% $162,148 $45,113 0.0573
10 Whitehall 20,035 10.6% $180,015 $47,879 0.0690
11 Kenton 7,685 8.3% $155,535 $46,809 0.0312
12 Middletown 50,514 7.2% $175,340 $50,457 0.0245
13 Canton 70,589 9.0% $149,414 $37,627 0.0668
14 Galion 10,378 7.2% $144,629 $44,458 0.0111
15 Lorain 65,138 6.2% $127,413 $46,562 0.0230
16 East Cleveland 13,926 19.3% $46,242 $23,004 0.0320
17 Hamilton 63,149 7.0% $260,353 $52,995 0.0256
18 Moraine 6,484 4.5% $141,385 $40,793 0.0743
19 Akron 190,273 7.7% $115,235 $46,596 0.0421
20 Uhrichsville 5,238 10.2% $123,521 $42,155 0.0237
21 Zanesville 24,772 8.5% $172,158 $40,927 0.0382
22 Franklin 11,672 3.9% $208,163 $52,966 0.0370
23 Portsmouth 18,130 11.5% $72,078 $36,051 0.0296
24 Warrensville Heights 13,659 10.2% $114,360 $43,848 0.0583
25 Cincinnati 308,870 6.9% $235,782 $49,191 0.0458
26 Circleville 14,017 9.3% $204,112 $51,830 0.0310
27 Garfield Heights 29,497 9.8% $119,737 $49,864 0.0221
28 Lima 35,555 8.6% $130,076 $41,824 0.0428
29 Mount Healthy 6,949 6.0% $178,024 $44,471 0.0471
30 Xenia 25,499 7.1% $214,927 $53,041 0.0210
31 East Liverpool 9,969 6.1% $97,552 $34,560 0.0163
32 Girard 9,565 6.5% $125,516 $43,504 0.0328
33 Rittman 6,058 7.3% $186,301 $61,331 0.0117
34 Bucyrus 11,643 7.6% $140,263 $49,021 0.0211
35 Hillsboro 6,492 5.0% $187,486 $44,731 0.0242
36 Washington Court House 14,387 6.0% $181,192 $51,601 0.0201
37 Lancaster 40,616 4.6% $237,103 $52,716 0.0244
38 Toledo 269,962 8.2% $114,512 $45,405 0.0420
39 Logan 7,168 3.0% $220,532 $46,762 0.0236
40 Coshocton 11,054 9.2% $137,158 $47,184 0.0256
41 Chillicothe 22,002 7.5% $185,408 $50,839 0.0476
42 Springdale 10,991 6.3% $219,897 $70,405 0.0340
43 Barberton 25,167 6.8% $132,446 $49,289 0.0284
44 Euclid 49,279 8.5% $129,092 $45,018 0.0213
45 Bedford Heights 10,933 6.2% $169,165 $47,528 0.0285
46 Conneaut 12,372 12.0% $127,086 $55,708 0.0123
47 North College Hill 9,602 8.8% $132,501 $51,971 0.0267
48 Brooklyn 11,259 6.6% $172,924 $59,875 0.0470
49 Ashtabula 18,003 13.6% $129,316 $39,053 0.0123
50 Obetz 5,580 8.1% $240,635 $77,171 0.0213
51 Jackson 6,222 4.8% $155,178 $51,864 0.0207
52 Elyria 52,780 4.9% $158,172 $49,569 0.0211
53 Niles 18,107 5.6% $112,455 $48,860 0.0304
54 Steubenville 18,175 7.6% $122,200 $42,725 0.0355
55 Columbus 902,449 5.2% $237,662 $62,994 0.0395
56 Reynoldsburg 40,926 5.4% $274,217 $68,778 0.0266
57 Geneva 5,935 8.1% $185,479 $47,401 0.0123
58 Wilmington 12,669 5.0% $232,900 $48,407 0.0299
59 Brook Park 18,509 5.3% $184,693 $64,046 0.0583
60 Ravenna 11,323 7.0% $185,128 $48,221 0.0247
61 Marion 35,927 8.7% $115,335 $44,879 0.0199
62 Fostoria 12,904 5.8% $100,624 $53,145 0.0192
63 South Lebanon 6,376 14.4% $364,423 $108,194 0.0370
64 Forest Park 20,005 3.8% $214,553 $63,690 0.0227
65 Richmond Heights 10,714 10.2% $215,049 $55,143 0.0189
66 Sidney 20,350 6.6% $180,610 $63,851 0.0259
67 Alliance 21,603 4.0% $144,229 $51,721 0.0279
68 Painesville 20,387 4.8% $193,999 $51,373 0.0170
69 West Carrollton 13,060 5.1% $158,212 $54,861 0.0203
70 Cheviot 8,682 6.3% $169,320 $52,461 0.0280
71 Salem 11,861 4.5% $165,214 $45,380 0.0179
72 Norwood 19,018 4.5% $224,578 $58,095 0.0308
73 Piqua 20,441 3.8% $136,582 $55,379 0.0338
74 Bryan 8,670 3.2% $175,007 $51,415 0.0346
75 Martins Ferry 6,283 20.8% $90,353 $39,195 0.0091
76 Fairfield 44,602 5.4% $251,219 $67,182 0.0197
77 Defiance 16,852 5.6% $169,196 $58,750 0.0147
78 Newark 50,062 4.0% $215,536 $56,284 0.0299
79 Urbana 11,156 4.2% $174,663 $62,628 0.0221
80 Sandusky 24,964 9.4% $127,796 $47,375 0.0187
81 Fairborn 34,494 4.9% $178,298 $53,783 0.0150
82 London 10,316 4.3% $246,284 $58,040 0.0084
83 Milford 6,556 4.7% $295,639 $69,141 0.0247
84 Maple Heights 23,473 8.3% $112,147 $49,877 0.0107
85 Massillon 32,179 3.9% $189,106 $53,699 0.0215
86 Heath 10,492 3.2% $273,300 $75,822 0.0466
87 Miamisburg 19,877 7.4% $235,066 $74,711 0.0179
88 Trenton 13,133 4.7% $240,286 $84,392 0.0256
89 Campbell 7,819 13.5% $85,264 $43,176 0.0072
90 Brookville 6,035 3.2% $193,163 $59,158 0.0060
91 Bellevue 8,210 5.3% $161,407 $55,770 0.0187
92 Sharonville 14,023 1.7% $253,038 $71,544 0.0256
93 Greenville 12,768 4.0% $150,215 $45,746 0.0168
94 Norton 11,643 4.0% $211,534 $81,034 0.0174
95 Van Wert 10,828 4.5% $156,850 $51,412 0.0271
96 Willard 6,189 4.1% $136,776 $51,846 0.0118
97 Ironton 10,597 6.4% $102,070 $43,702 0.0072
98 Norwalk 17,041 4.6% $176,444 $58,311 0.0117
99 Oregon 19,896 4.4% $199,183 $73,883 0.0448
100 Streetsboro 17,378 4.5% $245,221 $77,199 0.0163
About Nick Johnson

Nick Johnson earned his masters in Business Administration from the Drucker School At Claremont Graduate University. He has written for 39 publications across the country and ran the media relations department at Movoto, a real estate portal based in San Francisco. He has been featured in over 500 publications as an expert in real estate and as an authority on real estate trends.

Nick's the creator of the HomeSnacks YouTube channel that now has over 260,000 subscribers and is an excellent source to learn about different parts of the country.

83 thoughts on “The 10 Worst Places To Live In Ohio For 2024

      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

      1. It makes me feel really great reading you guys comments because in fact I’m looking to move to a small town to escape Detroit, Michigan; and I’ve been in a lot of small towns across Ohio and have loved them all. Now what they were saying about crime doesn’t bother me heck I’ve lived in New York and Miami as well as Chicago and lived in Detroit for years…..I also lived in Gulfport Miss and I’m from New Orleans. So whom ever is writing these articles REALLY SHOULD DO ALOT OF RESEARCH. I have lots of family in Zainesville and Circleville and I love small towns.

  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. Anyone who has had the opportunity to be anywhere near Coshocton knows it belongs in the top ten…

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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 .

    2. Yes, yes, yes! Ashtabula is a pit of despair. Median income per capita is around 17 thousand dollars a year, a whopping 35% of the population lives below the poverty level, a mere 10% of the population has obtained a bachelor’s degree or higher, drugs are rampant and it looks like a little Beirut in so many places. The crime is bad but not the worst, but it’s a town without hope, for sure.

  11. 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

  12. 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!!

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

  14. 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

  15. 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…..

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

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

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

    1. I agree I’m from south street and Thayer ave Toledo Ohio and our house was broken into 3 times in a year that was back in 96-97 I was walking home with my mom one evening from school and police had the intersection blocked off a kid I went to school with got shot and killed 3 houses down he was only 7-8 at the time Toledo is one of the worst cities in Ohio but nevertheless I grew up their and still have love for my city

  24. Where is the rest of the list? It said its at the bottom umm can’t find it. I want to know where coshocton ranked lol

  25. 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.

  26. 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.

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

  28. 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.

  29. 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.

  30. 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.

  31. 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.

  32. 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”!)

  33. 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.

  34. 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!!!

  35. 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.

  36. 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.

    1. True so true lived here twenty years moved to country had to move back to be close to work . corruption runs rampit hope to buy a houseboat on lake Cumberland ANS float between Kentucky and Tennessee .

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

  38. 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.

  39. 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.

  40. 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.

  41. 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

  42. I am shocked Coshocton is not on the list. I think they should relook at the smaller towns. They can be just as bad

  43. There is no way New Carlisle is the 2cd worst city in Ohio Your science is wrong!
    there is next to no crime as the Clark co. Sheriff has a strong presents here…
    great small town excellent schools fantastic community, no boarded up homes no homeless people, your science is dead wrong!

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