12 Pros & Cons of Living In Cleveland, OH

Cleveland, Ohio, located in the Midwest region of the United States, is the second-largest city in Ohio, with a population of over 360,000 people.

It is situated on the southern shore of Lake Erie and is known for its bustling downtown, historical landmarks, and sports teams.

Being a major metropolitan area, Cleveland provides numerous job opportunities, cultural offerings, and entertainment options.

However, like every city, Cleveland has its advantages and disadvantages when living there.

From affordable housing and great healthcare to harsh winters and high crime rates, there are various pros and cons of living in Cleveland that potential residents should consider before moving.

MORE: 11 Pros And Cons Of Living In Columbus, OH

Pros of Living In Cleveland

Cleveland, Ohio, is an amazing place to live for various reasons. From the thriving food scene to the abundance of cultural attractions, Cleveland has something for everyone. 

Cost of Living

Cleveland’s living cost is 6% lower than the national average. Housing, groceries, utilities, and transportation are all reasonably priced.

You can easily find an affordable apartment or home to rent or purchase without exceeding your budget. Cleveland is an ideal city for young professionals or families who are starting and wish to save more money.

Entertainment and Recreation

There are several entertainment and recreational activities available in Cleveland.

There are a variety of parks, trails, museums, theaters, and sports teams, such as the Cleveland Browns, Cavaliers, and Indians. If you are into to the art scene, Cleveland is home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Cleveland Museum of Art, and the Great Lakes Science Center.

The city also has beautiful green spaces like the Cleveland Metroparks and the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

Culinary Scene

Cleveland has an impressive food culture. It’s famous for its pierogies, corned beef sandwiches, and craft beer. So many delicious eateries, cafes, and restaurants are scattered throughout the city.

The West Side Market, which has operated since 1912, is a must-visit destination where you can easily find a variety of unique foods to take back home and try.

From the famous Michael Symon’s B Spot burgers to the grilled cheese at Melt Bar and Grilled, it is impossible to be disappointed by Cleveland’s food scene.

Job Opportunities

Cleveland offers a thriving employment market, with many job opportunities in various sectors, such as healthcare, education, and technology.

Cleveland has various nationally recognized companies like Sherwin-Williams, Progressive Insurance, and Key Bank.

There are also hotspots for startups, entrepreneurs, and freelance opportunities, making it a perfect location for those who want to start a business or obtain a career in one of the multiple areas of employment.


Cleveland presents its unique educational landscape. It is home to some of the best in-state and nationally recognized universities, which include Case Western Reserve University, John Carroll University, and Cleveland State University.

The Cleveland metropolitan area offers an array of quality school choices for children of all age groups, including high-quality private, public, and charter schools.


Cleveland is known for its great healthcare system. The city has some of the best healthcare facilities in the country, with world-renowned hospitals like the Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center.

There is a variety of health centers to choose from, offering quality medical care in multiple areas of expertise, making it a compelling reason to relocate to Cleveland.

SEE: 13 Pros And Cons Of Living In Cincinnati, OH

Cons of Living In Cleveland

While the city has much to offer, there are also some drawbacks to living in Cleveland

High Unemployment

Cleveland’s unemployment rate is higher than the national average, at around 3.8%. Despite the city’s efforts to attract new businesses and industries, many Clevelanders have struggled to find steady employment.

The lack of job opportunities has made it harder for residents to pay their bills, leading to increased poverty rates in some areas of the city.

Low Incomes

The median household income in Cleveland is around $33,000, significantly lower than the national average.

Many Clevelanders have to work multiple jobs to make ends meet, and the high cost of living in some neighborhoods makes it even harder to save money.

You are guessing it, the low wages make it harder for residents to afford healthcare, education, and housing, making everyday life a struggle for many.


Cleveland has been struggling with a high poverty rate for a long time. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, an estimated 29.3% of the city’s residents live in poverty, compared to the national poverty rate of around 12.8%.

Many people in Cleveland struggle to make ends meet, relying on government assistance or food banks to get by. The concentration of poverty in certain areas of the city exacerbates economic and social inequality and makes it difficult for residents to improve their lives.


Cleveland Metropolitan has a 142% higher crime rate than the national average. While there has been a decrease in violent crime in recent years, property crimes such as theft and burglary remain prevalent.

Many residents feel uneasy about their safety, especially in certain neighborhoods. The city’s efforts to address the crime issue include hiring more police officers and investing in crime prevention programs, but the problem persists.

Even though the crime rate is high, you can still find safe areas in Cleveland.

Cold Winters

If you do not like cold weather, Cleveland may not be the best place for you. The city experiences harsh winters with temperatures that can drop well below freezing and snow that can pile up quickly.

The cold weather can make traveling, driving, or even moving around outside difficult.

The snowplows and salt trucks work hard to keep the roads clear, but sometimes it is impossible to avoid a snow-covered commute or a winter backup due to icy conditions.

Run-down neighborhoods

Cleveland has some beautiful neighborhoods with historic homes and well-manicured lawns.

However, the city also has its share of run-down neighborhoods with poorly maintained homes, buildings, and vacant lots. In some areas, abandoned homes and buildings pose safety hazards and attract crime.

The lack of investment in certain neighborhoods exacerbates social and economic inequalities, with some parts of the city suffering from disinvestment, lack of jobs or services, and blight.

Is Cleveland a Good Place to Live?

Cleveland is a nice place to live, work, raise a family and even retire.

This city offers all the perks of big-city living – think top-tier amenities and entertainment – but without the overwhelming crowds.

Plus, your wallet will thank you; the cost of living here is more than reasonable.

Now, I won’t sugarcoat it; Cleveland faced its fair share of hardships, especially during the recession.

The Slavic Village neighborhood, in particular, was hit hard.

But like any proud city with a rich history, Cleveland bounced back. Its blue-collar spirit has powered through, pushing Northeast Ohio forward despite various obstacles.

For those who prioritize safety and a sense of community, neighborhoods like Tremont, Ohio City, and University Circle won’t disappoint.

They’re not only safe but also are walkable environment close to the heart of downtown.

And while some areas still deal with the challenges of poverty, there are plenty of pockets in the city where you can lay down roots without a worry.

One of Cleveland’s unsung benefits? Affordability. Whether you’re looking at housing or insurance, the rates here are hard to beat, especially when compared to states like Florida.

So, if you’re a young professional on the hunt for opportunities, a family wanting a welcoming place to settle, or even thinking about where to enjoy your golden years, Cleveland’s mix of urban allure and cost-effectiveness might be just what you’re looking for.

More From Dollar Sanity:

10 Pros & Cons of Living In Detroit, MI

10 Pros and Cons of Living in Pittsburgh, PA

12 Richest Towns In Indiana