Home News Living in Cincinnati, Ohio: Pros and Cons

Living in Cincinnati, Ohio: Pros and Cons [2024]

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The state of Ohio is popular for its relative affordability, access to modern amenities, and overall high quality of life. Yet, among its cities, Cincinnati offers a particularly well-balanced blend of these advantages.

Living in Cincinnati—Queen City—provides a rich cultural experience like never before and numerous outdoor adventures. Plus, there’s a wealth of job opportunities that can help you advance your career. 

Little wonder Cincinnati is the third-most populous city in Ohio. 

But is Cincinnati living all positive? 

Let’s explore the pros and cons of living in Cincinnati in 2024 before packing your bags.

Pros of Living in Cincinnati, OH

As mentioned earlier, Cincinnati offers many opportunities at a budget-friendly price. 

Among metro areas in Ohio, Queen City has had a more favorable net urban migration since 2020, which is one reason Cincinnati moving companies are constantly booked out. 

Now, let’s look at some of the pros of living in Cincinnati that lead a lot of people to move here:

Living costs 

Cincinnati is popular among budget-conscious people for its affordability. The cost of living here is about 3% lower than the national average. Even though it is 6% higher than the state average, it’s better compared to similar urban cities.

Cost of Living in Cincinnati, OH State Average National Average
Housing (Buy and Rent) 9% higher 15% lower
Utilities (Monthly) 3% higher 1% lower
Food 4% higher 2% higher
Healthcare 8% higher 3% higher
Transportation 3% lower 3% higher
Goods and Services 7% higher 2% higher

 

If you think this isn’t good enough, ask, ‘Why move to Cincinnati?’ The answer is housing costs. 

Cincinnati housing costs, in particular, are attractive. A lot of the residents rent, with the average monthly cost for an 867 sq. ft. apartment being around $1,322, which is fair for a big city.

  • Average Rent: $1,322
  • Median Home Value: $250,000

Tax environment

Ohio’s tax climate is quite favorable. The state income tax rate ranges from 0% to 3.75%, which is relatively low. 

Then, Cincinnati offers various tax incentives for businesses, making it an appealing location for startups and established companies alike. 

Property taxes in Cincinnati are also reasonable, with Hamilton County’s average effective property tax rate at about 1.96%

  • Income Tax Rate: 1.8%
  • Sales Tax Rate: 6.5%

The best outdoor adventures

Cincinnati is a gem for outdoor enthusiasts. The city boasts over 5,000 acres of parkland and 50 miles of hiking and biking trails. 

An example, Smale Riverfront Park is a must-visit, featuring beautiful river views and interactive fountains. 

For a more rugged experience, Mount Airy Forest, the largest park in Cincinnati, offers nearly 1,500 acres of forested land, including hiking trails and a treehouse.

Other top attractions in Cincinnati include:

  • Cincinnati Art Museum
  • Great American Ball Park
  • Krohn Conservatory
  • Oktoberfest
  • Findlay Market
  • Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden

Economic outlook and job prospects

The economy in the city is diverse and flourishing!

It’s home to six Fortune 500 companies, including Procter & Gamble and Kroger. In the first quarter of 2024, the unemployment rate in Cincinnati reduced from 4.2% to 3.9%, indicating a tilt towards a more stable economy.

Industriously, the healthcare sector is particularly strong, with major employers like Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and TriHealth. 

But for job prospects, what is Cincinnati like? Major sectors you can also find gainful employment are retail, manufacturing, and professional services.

  • Population: 309,317
  • Median Household Income: $49,191
  • Unemployment Rate: 3.9%
  • Poverty Rate: 24.8%

Education and learning opportunities

Living in Cincinnati gives you access to its high-quality hub for education. The city has top-tier public schools like Walnut Hills High School, which consistently ranks among the best in the state—average tuition per student is $13,051.

Cincinnati has over 7 school districts that see to the education of its children. For instance, in the Forest Hills Local School District, the school quality is better than 95.2% of all U.S. school districts. 

Their students perform above both state and national averages in reading and math proficiency tests, averaging above 80% mastery.

Cultural heritage and culinary diversity

Expect it! It’s rich in cultural and culinary experiences.

The city hosts Oktoberfest Zinzinnati, the largest Oktoberfest celebration in the U.S., drawing over 500,000 visitors annually. 

With its stunning 19th-century architecture, the Over-the-Rhine district is a cultural hotspot featuring galleries and craft breweries. 

Another great sense of pride amongst the residents is the diverse culinary scene. From the famous Cincinnati chili at Skyline to innovative eateries like Sotto and Boca or the legendary Goetta, your taste buds will thank you.

Cons of Living in Cincinnati, OH

Like with most urban areas, there are some pitfalls you should consider before making that move to Cincinnati. There’s the trouble with traffic, weather extremes, and even levels of crime you should know about. 

Let’s look in-depth at some of the cons of living in Cincinnati, OH.

Crime rates

Cincinnati has areas with higher crime rates, which can be a concern for residents. According to recent data, the city’s crime rate is higher than the national average, particularly for property crimes. 

The violent crime rate (per 1,000 residents) is 8.39, yielding a 1 in 119 chance of being a victim of a violent crime. Property crime per 1,000 residents is 37.95, against the national median of 20. 

So, which begs the question, is Cincinnati a good place to live? Is it safe? 

Well, yes, it is!

Many neighborhoods, such as Hyde Park and Mount Lookout, are extremely safe. Also, community efforts are being strengthened to improve security and reduce crime.

 

Safe Cincinnati Neighborhoods Dangerous Cincinnati Neighborhoods
Hyde Park North Fairmount
Mount Lookout South Fairmount
Oakley South Cumminsville
Kennedy Heights East Westwood

Traffic congestion, commuting challenges, and transportation

During peak hours in Cincinnati, expect a lot of congestion. 

Yes, traffic congestion is a notable issue in the city. The average commute time is around 23.2 minutes, and with the limited public transportation options in Cincinnati, this can be a real headache. 

The metro public bus system only services the areas/suburbs around the city center. It can be inconvenient for those living in outlying suburbs and many residents have to rely on their cars or carpool to get around.

Extreme weather conditions

When considering the pros and cons of living in Cincinnati, you cannot ignore the weather either.

Cincinnati experiences a range of weather conditions, with sometimes biting winters and severe thunderstorms. Winter temperatures can go as low as -24°, and snowfall can range between 20 and 25 inches. 

Data on rainfall suggest the city averages about 42.24 inches annually, and occasional flooding is also a major risk. Tornado strikes aren’t exactly exempted as well. Simply understand that as a resident here, you have to stay prepared for diverse weather outcomes.

Education inequality

While Cincinnati has many excellent schools, educational inequality remains an issue. Students’ performance varies significantly across districts and neighborhoods. 

For instance, Forest Hills Local School District has better school quality than 93.6% of all Ohio school districts, while Finneytown Local School District ranks better than only 28.6% of all Ohio school districts.

Moreover, schools in more affluent neighborhoods like Hyde Park receive more funding and resources, leading to better educational outcomes. 

Conversely, schools in lower-income areas often face challenges such as overcrowding and limited resources. 

Bottom Line—the pros and cons of living in Cincinnati

While coming here alone or with your family, you should note that living in Cincinnati offers a balance of affordability, rich cultural experiences, and strong job prospects. 

Despite some challenges like traffic and educational disparities, Cincinnati is a city with a lot to offer. Know this; your experience of the Queen City will largely depend on the neighborhood you move to. 

Rest assured that regardless of your choice, you will love moving to Cincinnati for the affordable lifestyle and job opportunities it offers.