10 Pros and Cons of Living in Cleveland, Ohio Right Now

In Case You’re Questioning: Should I Move To Cleveland?

Living in Cleveland always seems to get a bad rap. But is it justified? Maybe. By examining the pros and cons of living in Cleveland, we will know for sure.

So, let’s get started…

Pros And Cons Of Living In Cleveland

Starting with our list of the top living in Cleveland pros and cons for your consideration…

  • Moderate cost of living
  • Excellent educational options
  • Good public transportaion
  • Tons of things to do
  • Access to quality health care
  • Tough weather conditions
  • Poor air quality
  • A mixed bag of economic factors
  • High poverty and crime rates
  • Declining population

Before I go through each of the moving to Cleveland pros and cons in detail. Allow me to answer the big question of the day…

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Disclosure: At no cost to you, I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

Is Cleveland A Good Place To Live?

Located in the Midwestern United States on Lake Erie, Cleveland is a good place to live for anyone who desires a diverse urban area for settling down. Without having to over-extend financially to afford a big city lifestyle.

The downtown and surrounding neighborhoods are quite livable. Access to quality health care is outstanding. All while the economy is improving, solid higher educational options are available, and there are plenty of fun things to do.

But the Cleveland lifestyle won’t be for everyone. Since the good life here is not shared by all.

So, let’s address the advantages and disadvantages of Cleveland living. Starting with the pros…

Moderate Cost Of Living In Cleveland

For an urban lifestyle, the cost of living is quite reasonable. Based on cost data at BestPlaces.net, living here is almost 30% cheaper when compared to the average across the United States.

Across the city and all of Cuyahoga County, the cost of houses and median home prices lead the way for big savings. So, you can get more living space and amenities for your money.

But other costs are reasonable too. With groceries, health care, utilities, and transportation all less. Versus the national average.

On the other hand, dining and entertainment can put a dent in your budget. When experiencing the Cleveland lifestyle. Because there are so many options to choose from.

More on that later. But for now, suffice it to say, after moving to Cleveland be sure to reserve some dollars for the fun side of life.

Hopefully, that won’t be a problem. Because everything else is so affordable.

Plus, you can always save a little more on the things you buy online every day. By using the money-back app from Rakuten.

Wondering where to live in Cleveland? That’s next…

Different Cleveland Neighborhoods For Lifestyle Choices

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Select Cleveland neighborhoods and attractions

Of course, your costs will depend on exactly where you choose to settle down. After all, real estate is all about location.

And like other livable places in the Midwest and beyond. Cleveland is a collection of different neighborhoods.

All with their unique personality and vibe. And a price tag that goes along with it.

For reference, residents refer to east and west Clevland. While the Cuyahoga River serves as the dividing line between the two.

So, here are some spots you may want to explore. First, living in downtown Cleveland and its surrounding neighborhoods…

Select Cleveland Neighborhoods

The Flats. A great place to play and live.

Tremont. One of the hippest neighborhoods in town.

Ohio City. Has been gaining in popularity. Home to the popular West Side Market.

And other areas a little further away from the city center…

University Circle. Home to Case Western University.

Olmstead Falls. For a more suburban experience.

Finally, as you look to secure your new home and a mortgage for it. Make sure your credit score is in good shape.

You can check your credit for free using CreditKarma.

Okay. We are just getting warmed up.

So, here is another one of the benefits of living in Cleveland…

Excellent Educational Options

I have always felt that education leads to a better quality of life. So, what does this city have to offer in that regard…

Living in Cleveland With School-Age Children

If you have school-age children, choosing your exact location becomes even more important. Because not all school districts are rated equally.

According to Cleveland.com, five of the top 10 highest-rated school districts in the state of Ohio are located in the greater Cleveland metropolitan area.

They are:

  • Solon
  • Hudson
  • Beachwood
  • Rocky River
  • Orange City

However, these school districts aren’t in the city proper. Which is serviced by the Cleveland Metropolitan School District.

Some of the schools in the city are good too. But, you have to choose your location wisely. To guarantee the best education for your children here.

Higher Education In And Around Cleveland

Also, the area has some good options for higher education. Whether you desire to increase your educational credentials. Or, keep the kids close to home for college.

You will have options ranging from community college to elite research-based institutions. Such as…

  • Cuyahoga Community College
  • Cleveland State University
  • Case Western Reserve University

Next, the great things about living in Cleveland do not end with education. So, let’s continue…

Good Public Transportation

Unlike a lot of cities in the country. There is a pretty decent public transportation system.

The Greater Cleveland Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) offers rail, bus, and trolley services. What sets the city apart from others of its size is the high-speed rail system.

Coverage is good specifically for commuting to certain areas. Such as the airport, around the downtown area, and other close-in city neighborhoods.

So, it is possible to live here and not need a car. However, the service gets much more limited the farther away you get from downtown.

Thus, just like the cost of housing and public schools, location is everything.

Next up, is probably the best thing about living in Cleveland…

Tons Of Things To Do

Because there are so many fun things to see and do. Allow me to hit some of the highlights…

Living In Cleveland Means Being Near Lake Erie

First, understand after moving you will live close to one of the Great Lakes. Specifically, Lake Erie.

The shoreline downtown is beautiful. For strolling, jogging, biking, or just watching the waves roll in.

And the beaches are ready. For cooling off on those hot and humid Midwest summer days.

Also, by traveling west along the lake’s shoreline. You are only a short distance away from the Marblehead Peninsula. Along with the natural beauty of the Lake Erie islands.

You will find the Marblehead area, just before arriving at the state of Michigan border.

Moving To Cleveland Is A Foodie’s Dream Come True

Amazing restaurants for fine dining have flourished here.

And there is the West Side Market. A historic destination for excellent meats, produce, and specialty items.

But what kind of food is the city known for? You know, the stuff locals have been eating for decades.

Well, here are a few favorites to try after you settle in…

  • Polish boy sandwiches
  • Perogies
  • Corned beef sandwiches
  • Pizza bagels

…just to name a few.

Looks like good comfort food. For warming up on a cold winter day.

The Playhouse Square Theater District Is One Of A Kind

Outside of New York City, Cleveland has the largest performing arts center in the United States.

With 5 main theaters, it hosts more than 1,000 Broadway shows, dance acts, comedy routines, and live music concerts per year.

Museums And Art Galleries To Round Out Cleveland Living

For museums and art, this city is a mecca. Get a load of these options for art, history, and much more.

There is so much to see and learn. Here’s a short list of area attractions to start your exploration…

  • The Museum Of Art in University Circle
  • Cleveland Museum Of Natural History in Unversity Circle
  • The Children’s Museum in Goodrich-Kirtland Park
  • International Women’s Air & Space Museum in downtown
  • Great Lakes Science Center in downtown
  • Baseball Heritage Museum in Hough
  • Buckland Museum Of Witchcraft And Magick in Old Brooklyn
  • Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum in downtown
  • The city aquarium located downtown
  • Cleveland Metroparks zoo in Old Brooklyn

Cleveland Life Means Sports

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Cleveland’s Progressive Field

First, The Ohio State University located in Columbus, Ohio is only 2 hours away. So you may end up taking an interest in their elite college athletic programs.

Just make sure to root against their arch enemies!

You know, those teams from the little school holding up in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

But closer to home, the city plays host to 3 out of the 4 major professional sports leagues. Including…

  • Baseball’s Guardians
  • Basketball’s Cavaliers
  • Football’s Browns

Sports fans here are known to be on the rowdy side. Especially in the “Dawg Pound” at the Browns games.

Also, you will want to develop a strong dislike for the pro sports teams hailing from Pennsylvania. Specifically, Pittsburg.

Here’s another one of the good reasons to move to Cleveland…

Living In Cleveland Means Getting Outdoors

Check out the abundance of Cleveland Metroparks around the city. Where you will find plenty of local and community green spaces.

Also, know that you are only a short distance away from Cuyahoga National Park. Merely minutes from the city, but you will feel like you are in a different world many miles away.

The park is great for hiking, biking, fishing, birding, and more.

To sum it up, there is a load of great recreational options in and around this city. So, save a little room in your budget for the fun side of life.

To do so, I recommend the free money management app from Personal Capital.

Because Personal Capital takes the chore out of managing your finances. By pulling your spending, budget, and investments all together in one place online.

Last, but not least, on our list of reasons to live in Cleveland…

Access To Quality Health Care

This is a great place to live for access to high-quality healthcare. Because there are many elite healthcare providers here. Such as…

Cleveland Clinic Medical Center. A leader in research, clinical and hospital care, education, and health information.

University Hospitals. One of the countries leading health care systems.

Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital. For pediatric acute care and a children’s teaching hospital.

Okay. That’s it for the pros. Now, let’s move to the cons of Cleveland living…

10 living in Cleveland pros and consPin

Tough Weather Conditions

Let’s face it. The weather isn’t so great here.

First of all, winters are tough. With very cold temperatures and lots of snow. The wind off Lake Erie will cut right through you.

Sometimes it doesn’t warm up until July.

Also, the region experiences an unusually low number of sunny days. Important for anyone who needs to see the sun regularly.

Sticking with environmental conditions, I have more reasons not to move to Cleveland in the first place…

Poor Air Quality

According to the American Lung Association, the air quality is substandard here. Specifically, because of the ozone levels and particle pollution.

Ranking it as one of the most polluted cities in the country.

Also, spring rains and the budding flowers and trees produce plenty of pollen. So, this isn’t the best place to live for seasonal allergy sufferers.

Okay. We know you can find affordable living arrangements here. But what about jobs and the economy?

That is next on our list of negatives about Cleveland life…

A Mixed Bag Of Economic Factors

On a positive note, the city is slowly shedding its rust belt reputation. It is starting to grow again and create new jobs.

However, the economic landscape is a bit of a mixed bag. Especially when compared to the other 2 largest cities residing in the state of Ohio.

Unemployment And Cleveland Living

For starters, the unemployment rate is unusually high. Whenever I check, the percentage of people unemployed runs nearly twice the national average. Not quite, but close.

Furthermore, it represents one of the highest unemployment rates among cities with at least 1 million residents. Also, the average household income lags behind national levels.

Jobs And Economic Diversity In Cleveland

Jobs are certainly available in this city. Especially for anyone who has skills and is willing to work.

But certain industries here tend to be better represented than others. Such as…

  • Healthcare and life sciences
  • Manufacturing
  • Education

Thus, it only makes sense to present your qualification in the best way possible. For this, check out MyPerfectResume.

So, if you are looking for a job after moving to Cleveland. Know that the economy is not as diverse as in other cities. And unemployment tends to run high.

Also, if you have your heart set on Ohio living. But what an area with a more robust economy.

Then be sure and look into Cincinnati and Columbus. The other 2 of the state’s 3 C’s.

This leads me to more reasons not to move to Cleveland…

High Poverty And Crime Rates

As I have said, the good life is not shared by all here…

Poverty When Living In Cleveland

First, because of the level of poverty. The city has been ranked as one of the poorest cities in our nation. With nearly 1 in 3 people living below the poverty line.

Unfortunately, Cleveland competes with the city of Detroit located across Lake Erie. For the dubious distinction of being one of the most impoverished cities in our country.

Is Cleveland Safe To Live In?

And, as is office the case, poverty and crime tend to go hand in hand. Yes. You can find a safe place to live here.

But understand the city ranks poorly for the levels of violent crime, property crime rate, robberies, and assault. As a result, CrimeGrade.org gives the city a grade of C.

To put this in perspective, here is a quote from one of my friends

“My brother and sister-in-law loved living in Tremont until they got robbed 3 times one year. So, they moved to the Cleveland suburbs.”

As a result, be sure to seriously consider your personal safety and the security of your property. Prior to moving to Cleveland.

Finally, one more thing to help you decide: is Cleveland a nice city to live in?

Declining Population

By connecting some of the dots around the pros and cons of living in Cleveland you start to get a picture of some of the problems.

High unemployment, low incomes, poverty, crime, and cold snowy winter weather. Thus, it should come as no great surprise that the population is declining here.

Yes, demographic trends show that Americans are moving to warmer winter climates. Also, getting away from big city living. As remote work gains in popularity.

Unfortunately, these trends do not play in the city’s favor. Regardless of the reasons, a falling population is never a good sign.

Okay. That concludes today’s review of the pros and cons of moving to Cleveland.

So, allow me to wrap up with some parting thoughts…

Pros And Cons Of Living In Cleveland

Let’s step back and consider what we have learned. Doing so by revisiting the question I started with…

Is Cleveland A Good Place To Live?

For anyone with solid employment prospects providing a decent income. And able to choose one of the better neighborhoods here.

Then, yes. Cleveland is a good place to live for its accessible entertainment, education, and health care options.

But the good life is not shared by all…

Evidenced by higher levels of poverty, crime, and unemployment. Add these factors to the challenging winter conditions. And it’s easy to see that living in Cleveland won’t be for everyone.

Thanks for reading. I hope this article has helped you address the burning question: Should I move to Cleveland?

Best of luck. No matter where you decide to settle down.

Finally, after your review, if this city doesn’t appear to be your perfect place. Be sure to check out all of our…

Blog Posts About the Best Places to Live

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Author Bio: Tom Scott founded the consulting and coaching firm Dividends Diversify, LLC. He leverages his expertise and decades of experience in goal setting, relocation assistance, and investing for long-term wealth to help clients reach their full potential.

The Pros And Cons Of Living In Cleveland Explained