7 Ohio Towns People Are Fleeing as Soon as Possible
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These Are the 7 Ohio Towns People Are Fleeing as Soon as Possible

Ohio boasts a rich history, diverse culture, and picturesque landscapes. Nevertheless, not all its towns are prospering in the 21st century. Some are grappling with population decline, economic stagnation, and social issues. The following are seven Ohio towns experiencing an exodus, as per the most recent census data.


Youngstown, formerly a thriving industrial hub celebrated for its steel production and manufacturing, faced a significant downturn in the latter half of the 20th century. The decline of these industries resulted in widespread job losses, urban deterioration, and an increase in crime.

Since 1950, Youngstown has witnessed a stark decrease in its population by over half, transforming it into one of the nation’s poorest and most crime-ridden cities. The population further declined by 6.4% from 2010 to 2020, reaching a total of 60,706 residents.


Canton, the birthplace of the National Football League and the location of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, faces challenges in retaining its population.

Despite these notable attractions, the city has grappled with persistent issues such as poverty, unemployment, and opioid addiction for many years. From 2010 to 2020, Canton’s population declined by 5.8% to 69,924.


Toledo, situated on the western shores of Lake Erie, is renowned for its glass industry and art museum. Nevertheless, the city has faced significant challenges, including the decline of manufacturing jobs, environmental pollution, and racial tensions.

Since 1970, Toledo has witnessed a population decline exceeding 25%, making it one of the most segregated and distressed cities in the state. The population further decreased by 4.5% from 2010 to 2020, reaching 272,779 residents.

7 Ohio Towns People Are Fleeing as Soon as Possible

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Dayton, known as the birthplace of aviation and a hub of inventions, has experienced challenges with the decline of its aerospace and automotive industries, along with the closure of its military base.

Unfortunately, these factors have contributed to high rates of poverty, crime, and homelessness, earning the city a reputation as one of the least desirable places to live in the country. Between 2010 and 2020, Dayton’s population decreased by 4.4% to 139,907.

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Lima, located in northwest Ohio, is recognized for its oil refinery and association with the TV show Glee. Despite these attributes, the city grapples with economic and social challenges, including low wages, high taxes, inadequate education, and issues related to drug abuse.

Since 1960, Lima has witnessed a significant decline in population, losing over a third of its residents. Presently, it stands as one of the state’s most perilous and discontented cities.

7 Ohio Towns People Are Fleeing as Soon as Possible

The population further decreased by 4.3% from 2010 to 2020, reaching a total of 36,862.

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Cleveland, the second-largest city in Ohio, serves as the cultural and economic center of northeast Ohio. Despite its historical significance, the city has faced a prolonged and substantial decline attributed to the collapse of its steel and manufacturing sectors, the departure of its middle-class residents, and the deterioration of its infrastructure and services.

Since 1950, Cleveland has witnessed a significant population decrease, losing over half of its residents. Presently, it stands as one of the nation’s poorest and most distressed cities, with a population decline of 6% from 2010 to 2020, reaching 372,624.

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East Cleveland

East Cleveland, a suburb of Cleveland, functions as an independent city as well. However, it has grappled with prolonged challenges, marked by corruption, mismanagement, bankruptcy, and deterioration.

Often labeled as a “failed city” and a “ghost town,” East Cleveland is characterized by crumbling structures, deserted residences, and a surge in criminal activities.

Since 1960, East Cleveland has witnessed a drastic decline, losing over two-thirds of its population. Presently, it stands as one of the smallest and most economically disadvantaged cities in the state. Between 2010 and 2020, its population further dwindled by 23.9%, reaching a mere 15,027 residents.

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Final Words

Seven Ohio towns are experiencing a decline in population as residents are leaving. Nevertheless, not all of Ohio is facing a decrease in population. Some towns and cities, including Columbus, Cincinnati, Dublin, Westerville, and Mason, are thriving and growing.

These places provide residents with more opportunities, amenities, and a higher quality of life. Perhaps the towns facing decline can take inspiration from the success of these areas and explore ways to revitalize themselves.


statenews.org, 10tv.com, dispatch.com

With more than two years of expertise in news and analysis, Eileen Stewart is a seasoned reporter. Eileen is a respected voice in this field, well-known for her sharp reporting and insightful analysis. Her writing covers a wide range of subjects, from politics to culture and more.