THE 10 BEST Places To Live In Ohio For 2020

We used science to determine which Buckeye State cities are the cream of the crop.

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the best places to live in Ohio.

Do you like chili dogs? What about Tony Packo's famous chili dogs? Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream anyone?

Only if you're lucky enough to live in one of the best places in Ohio!

If you're looking to relocate, look no further than Ohio. The Buckeye State may be known as a flyover state, but did you know that it houses some of the best places in America to call home? Did we mention that this state also houses a boatload of fun midwestern facts and a gigantic number of fun things to do and see?

When Ohians aren't kicking back with a chili dog and a bowl of ice cream, they are exploring places like the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toledo, riding the rails at Cedar Point amusement park in Sandusky, or feeding the penguins at the Cincinnati Zoo. There's a reason their license plates sport the slogan "So Much to Discover".

Long summer nights by the lake, idyllic winter jaunts through the woods, or just hangin' with the good 'ol people of The Buckeye State, Ohio is the best. Needless to say, it was very difficult to narrow down the top ten best places to live in Ohio.

In order to determine the best places to live in Ohio, we took a look at cities with low cost of living, gold star schools, affordable housing, and low crime. Drum roll... .Grandview Heights came out on top!

Read on to see what other Ohio cities made the top ten list.

We took a look at 250 Ohio cities with a population of more than 5,000 to determine which cities are the best to call home. While most of our top ten cities make many of our top ten lists like our Best Places to raise a Family and Best Places to Retire articles, there are some surprises.

What city is the best place to live in Ohio for 2020? Well according to the US Census and FBI data we crunched, Grandview Heights is the best place to live in Ohio if you care about home values, low crime, and a high quality of life.

Read below to see how your hometown ranked and how other amazing Ohio cities ranked. Hint: if you live in the greater Columbus or Cleveland area, consider yourself one lucky Buckeye!

If you're looking for something more national, check out the best states in America or the best places to live in America.

For more Ohio reading, check out:

The 10 Best Places To Live In Ohio For 2020

Grandview Heights, OH

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 7,681
Rank Last Year: 26 (Up 25)
Median Home Value: $342,500 (9th best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.0% (11th best)
More on Grandview Heights: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Grandview Heights is a small little city within the greater Columbus area. Despite being so small, it has its own police and fire departments and its own school district. There's low crime in Grandview Heights, and the residents here are gainfully employed.

You can make Grandview Heights your home for only $342,500.

Upper Arlington, OH

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 35,223
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $376,400 (3rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.0% (32nd best)
More on Upper Arlington: Real Estate | Data | Photos

When you're looking at things from purely a scientific standpoint, Upper Arlington is by far, the best place in the state of Ohio.

We're not saying that places where people are broke and homes lay vacant is a bad thing, inherently. But it's certainly not desirable, right? Upper Arlington is the opposite of broke. The residents here earn way above the state average in household income, and the homes are almost the most expensive in the state. Plus, the unemployment rate is as close to zero as you can get.

This Columbus suburb has it made.

Wyoming, OH

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 8,535
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 2)
Median Home Value: $314,800 (11th best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.7% (27th best)
More on Wyoming: Real Estate | Data | Photos

This tiny Cincinnati suburb has it made. Who can argue against a really low crime rate and great schools? If you love the Cincinnati lifestyle, but want to live in the burbs, you certainly can't get much better than Wyoming

That is if you can afford it. Home prices have gone up here 7% to $314,800 and the cost of living is 17% higher than the national average.

New Albany, OH

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 10,896
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 2)
Median Home Value: $494,600 (1st best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.9% (73rd best)
More on New Albany: Real Estate | Data | Photos

At an unemployment rate of 3.9%, everyone who wants a job can get one in New Albany. And the residents command high salaries ($203,194 a year combined income), and live in big fancy homes ($494,600 each).

We're not saying money is why these cities are the 'best' in Ohio. What we're implying is that money means safety and peace of mind. And there's nothing wrong with that.

Montgomery, OH

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 10,663
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $354,100 (8th best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.6% (22nd best)
More on Montgomery: Real Estate | Data | Photos

If you live in Montgomery, perhaps you've bumped into Chris Sabo, the former Reds first baseman who has roots here. No wonder; Montgomery has a stable economy where residents earn a large salary ($123,214). And the crime is really, really low (45th lowest in Ohio).

Waterville, OH

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 5,484
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $183,900 (49th best)
Unemployment Rate: 1.0% (4th best)
More on Waterville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Say what you want about cheap living. The fact is, homes are priced by demand, and there's A LOT of demand to live in Waterville.

Waterville ranked impressively high for its crime rate (8th overall) and its short commute times (209th).

We think that's worth the price of admission.

Granville, OH

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 5,766
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 3)
Median Home Value: $358,900 (7th best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.4% (18th best)
More on Granville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Granville ranks as the 7th best place in Ohio for 2020. Let's take a look at why.

Granville has a lower crime rate than the cities mentioned above. Granville's cost of living is a tick higher, but families also earn much higher salaries - to the tune of $104,698 a year.

The knock? We can't really find one 🙂

Rocky River, OH

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 20,310
Rank Last Year: 62 (Up 54)
Median Home Value: $233,900 (28th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.3% (49th best)
More on Rocky River: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Rocky River is feeling the love as it ranks as the 8th best city to live in Ohio for 2020.

It ranked highly because of its high incomes (60th overall) and low crime (5th overall and one of the best in the top ten).

We think the city should probably change its motto at this point to something like "The Place To Be In Ohio".

Perrysburg, OH

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 21,430
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $216,600 (34th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.1% (34th best)
More on Perrysburg: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The Perrysburg has the 34th lowest unemployment rate in Ohio. The population growth here has been 8% over the last 15 years, meaning a lot of people want to live here. If they can afford it; the cost of living in Perrysburg is higher than the national average and households make $91,281 per year.

We'd move to Perrysburg if we could in a heart beat.

Pepper Pike, OH

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 6,242
Rank Last Year: 9 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $428,800 (2nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.0% (10th best)
More on Pepper Pike: Real Estate | Data | Photos

There's two types of people who live in Pepper Pike. Either the old hold outs who have lived there forever and are watching their home values skyrocket, or those d who can afford to buy a $428,800 home there.

Either way, you're set. Your kids go to great schools, there's a ton of things to do, and you earn a great salary. Pepper Pike is exactly what you hoped for when you played that board game, LIFE as a kid.

Mapping The Best And Worst Places To Live in Ohio

The Pressing Question: Size

Before we even started to collect data, we had to answer a tough question: Is it fair to pit Columbus with a population of 867,628 against places with a population of 18?

We firmly decided no, that just isn't fair.

So to create our ranking, we broke places to live into three tiers:

  • Cities -- Populations over 5,000
  • Towns -- Populations between 1,000 and 5,000
  • Small Towns -- Populations below 1,000

This left us with 250 cities, 385 towns, and 482 small towns.

We then decided, no matter how much anyone loves their town, the best cities to live in Ohio have more of everything and therefore you need to have over 5,000 people to truly be 'the best'.

Now we also realize that city living might not be your cup of tea, so we ran the following analysis on towns and then again for small towns.

You can see those two top tens at the bottom of the post.

How We Calculated The Best Cities To Live In Ohio

Now that we had our set of cities, it was time to rank them.

We ranked each place in Ohio across a number of criteria from one to 250, with one being the best.

We then took the average rank across all criteria, with the city posting the lowest overall score being crowned the winner of the title "Best Place To Live In Ohio".

The criteria we looked at were:

  • Median Home Values
  • Median Income
  • Population Density (Higher better)
  • Unemployment Rate
  • Commute Time
  • Crime
  • Education Levels
  • Health Insurance Coverage
  • Poverty rates

Sources of criteria include the New Census Data and FBI Crime Data. You can download the data here.

After the dust settled, what was the best place to live in Ohio? That would be Grandview Heights.

If your city or town isn't among the top 10, jump down to the bottom of the post to see a detailed chart of the best places in Ohio.

Otherwise, buckle up for a ride down good living lane with Grandview Heights at the end of the cul-de-sac.

Wrapping Up The Best Places When It Comes To Living In Ohio

If you're looking at areas in Ohio with the best economic situations, where there's lower than average crime, and a lot to do, this is an accurate list.

Grandview Heights made a strong showing to take in the overall number one spot for the best place to live in Ohio for 2020.

Best Towns To Live In Ohio

  1. Ottawa Hills (Pop. 4,497)
  2. Silver Lake (Pop. 2,452)
  3. Mariemont (Pop. 3,400)
  4. Wetherington (Pop. 1,527)
  5. Fort Loramie (Pop. 1,375)
  6. Five Points (Pop. 1,905)
  7. Minster (Pop. 2,898)
  8. Four Bridges (Pop. 3,359)
  9. Sixteen Mile Stand (Pop. 3,185)
  10. Chagrin Falls (Pop. 4,056)

Best Small Towns To Live In Ohio

  1. Parkman (Pop. 71)
  2. Concorde Hills (Pop. 681)
  3. Riverlea (Pop. 583)
  4. Marble Cliff (Pop. 556)
  5. Shawnee Hills (Pop. 775)
  6. Burkettsville (Pop. 267)
  7. Ottoville (Pop. 923)
  8. New Knoxville (Pop. 942)
  9. Miamiville (Pop. 75)
  10. Chickasaw (Pop. 344)

If you're curious enough, here are the worst places to live in Ohio according to the data:

  1. Cleveland (Pop. 387,398)
  2. Wellston (Pop. 5,540)
  3. Trotwood (Pop. 24,361)

For more Ohio reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places To Live In Ohio?

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Grandview Heights 7,681 2.0% $342,500
2 Upper Arlington 35,223 3.0% $376,400
3 Wyoming 8,535 2.7% $314,800
4 New Albany 10,896 3.9% $494,600
5 Montgomery 10,663 2.6% $354,100
6 Waterville 5,484 1.0% $183,900
7 Granville 5,766 2.4% $358,900
8 Rocky River 20,310 3.3% $233,900
9 Perrysburg 21,430 3.1% $216,600
10 Pepper Pike 6,242 2.0% $428,800

How Is Your Town In ?

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.

3 thoughts on “THE 10 BEST Places To Live In Ohio For 2020

  1. How come Madeira is number 3 in data listing, but number 6 in your list? And no mention of how good its schools are? Your comment that the population is shrinking must be based on old data. It has been growing lately.

  2. In your cheapest place to live in Ohio what do the rating numbers mean after services, groceries and health care. Not explained well enough.

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