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 balanced mix of these benefits.

Living in Cincinnati, the Queen City, offers a rich cultural experience like never before and countless outdoor adventures. Plus, there are numerous job opportunities that can help you advance your career.

No wonder Cincinnati is the third most populous city in Ohio.

But does Cincinnati live only positively?

Before we pack your bags, let’s explore the pros and cons of living in Cincinnati in 2024.

Benefits of Living in Cincinnati, OH

As previously mentioned, Cincinnati offers many options at a budget-friendly price.

Among Ohio’s metropolitan areas, the Queen City has seen more favorable net urban migration since 2020, which is one reason Cincinnati Moving Companies are constantly fully booked.

Now let’s look at some of the benefits of living in Cincinnati that led many people to move here:

Cost of life

Cincinnati is popular among budget-conscious people because of its affordability. The cost of living here is about 3% lower than the national average. Although it is 6% higher than the state average, it is better compared to comparable urban cities.

Cost of Living in Cincinnati, Ohio Condition Average National average
Housing (purchase and rental) 9% higher 15% lower
Utilities (monthly) 3% higher 1% lower
Food 4% higher 2% higher
healthcare 8% higher 3% higher
Transport 3% lower 3% higher
Goods and services 7% higher 2% higher

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

Housing costs in Cincinnati are especially attractive. Many residents rent, with the average monthly cost for an 800 sq ft apartment being around $1,322, which is reasonable for a major city.

  • Average rent: $1,322
  • Median home value: $250,000

Tax environment

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

Next, Cincinnati offers several tax breaks for businesses, making it an attractive location for both startups and established companies.

Cincinnati property taxes are also reasonable, with Hamilton County’s average effective property tax rate being approximately 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 has more than 5,000 acres of parks and 50 miles of hiking and biking trails.

For example, Smale Riverfront Park is a must-visit, with 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 and employment prospects

The city’s economy is diverse and thriving!

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

On the industrious front, the healthcare industry is particularly strong, with major employers like Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and TriHealth.

But what does Cincinnati look like when it comes to job prospects? The main sectors in which you can also find paid work are retail, manufacturing and professional services.

  • Population: 309,317
  • Median household income: $49,191
  • Unemployment rate: 3.9%
  • Poverty rate: 24.8%

Teaching and learning opportunities

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

Cincinnati has more than seven school districts that provide education for its children. For example, in the Forest Hills Local School District, school quality is better than 95.2% of all U.S. school districts.

Their students perform above both the state and national averages on reading and math proficiency tests, with an average mastery of more than 80%.

Cultural heritage and culinary diversity

Expect it! It is rich in cultural and culinary experiences.

The city hosts Oktoberfest Zinzinnati, the largest Oktoberfest celebration in the US, attracting more than 500,000 visitors annually.

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

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

Cons of Living in Cincinnati, OH

As with most urban areas, there are some pitfalls to consider before moving to Cincinnati. There are the issues with traffic, extreme weather conditions and even the level of crime that you need to be aware of.

Let’s take a deeper look at some of the downsides of living in Cincinnati, OH.

Crime rates

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

The violent crime rate (per 1,000 inhabitants) is 8.39, giving a 1 in 119 chance of becoming a victim of a violent crime. Property crime per 1,000 residents is 37.95, against the national average of 20.

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

Well, it is!

Many neighborhoods, such as Hyde Park and Mount Lookout, are extremely safe. It also strengthens community efforts to improve safety and reduce crime.

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

Traffic congestion, commuting and transportation challenges

During rush hours in Cincinnati, you can expect a lot of traffic.

Yes, traffic congestion is a major problem in the city. The average commute time is about 23.2 minutes, and with Cincinnati’s limited public transportation options, this can be a real headache.

The public metro bus system only serves the areas/suburbs around the city center. It can be difficult for people living in remote suburbs and many residents rely on their cars or carpooling to get around.

Extreme weather

When considering the pros and cons of living in Cincinnati, you can’t ignore the weather.

Cincinnati experiences a range of weather conditions, sometimes with severe winters and severe thunderstorms. Winter temperatures can reach as low as -24°C and snowfall can vary between 8 and 25 inches.

Rainfall data shows that the city averages approximately 42.24 inches annually, and occasional flooding also poses a major risk. Tornado attacks aren’t exactly exempt either. Simply understand that as a resident here you must remain prepared for various weather conditions.

Inequality in education

Although Cincinnati has many excellent schools, educational inequality remains a problem. Student performance varies significantly across districts and neighborhoods.

For example, the Forest Hills Local School District has better school quality than 93.6% of all school districts in Ohio, while the Finneytown Local School District scores better than only 28.6% of all school districts in Ohio.

Additionally, schools in more affluent neighborhoods such as 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.

In short: the pros and cons of living in Cincinnati

If you’re coming here alone or with your family, keep in mind that living in Cincinnati offers a balance of affordability, rich cultural experiences, and strong job prospects.

Despite some challenges, such as traffic and education 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.

You can be sure that regardless of your choice, you will love moving to Cincinnati for the affordable lifestyle and job opportunities it offers.