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Is moving to Ohio right for you? We’re here to help you figure that out.
If you are considering moving to Ohio, you might have some concerns. Especially if you don’t know what it has to offer.
That’s why we’ve created this blog to answer all your questions about Ohio, in hopes that it will become your next adventure!
If you’re reading this right now, you’re either considering moving to Ohio or you just really love learning about new states. Regardless, we’re glad you’re here, and we have a lot to share with you.
Kick your feet up and let’s explore the incredible state of Ohio (oh, and by way of introduction, we’re Bellhop—Cincinnati movers, Cleveland movers, Columbus movers, Hamilton movers and movers throughout the country).
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A Brief Overview of Ohio
Anyone who has ever called Ohio a “Flyover State” finds themselves eating their words if they ever visit. To say Ohio is breathtaking is an understatement. When Winston Churchill paid Ohio a visit, he fell in love with what he saw in Cincinnati, the third largest city in the state, describing it as, “the most beautiful of the inland cities of the union.”
Ohio as a whole lives up to Churchill’s bold statement, decorated picture perfectly with tiny towns, lovely foliage, waterfalls (and more waterfalls), flowing rivers and streams and 110 natural lakes. But, Ohio’s stunning natural landscape is just the beginning of the many aspects that make this state a hidden gem in the Midwest. Not to mention, many Ohioans claim that their state does “Autumn” the best… a quick Google search, and we can’t argue with them.
It’s ironic to hear folks call Ohio a “Flyover state” because if they have ever stepped foot in a plane, they have the “Flyover State” to thank. That’s right. Wilbur and Orville Wright, the fathers of flight, were born and raised in Dayton, Ohio where together they dreamed of putting a man in the air. This longing for flight seems to be a gene unique to Ohioans… twenty-five of NASA’s astronauts hail from The Buckeye State… and yes, this includes Neil Armstrong.
What are the pros and cons of moving to Ohio?
As with any state, there are some great aspects about Ohio, and then there are some not so great ones. Thankfully, the good heavily outweighs the bad in The Buckeye State. We’ll give you the bad news first, that way we can end with the good stuff.
Drawbacks of Moving to Ohio
A good while back, The Thrillist ranked Ohio as the thirst worst state in the United States, behind Florida at position number one and Delaware at the number two spot. As you can imagine, this hurt Ohioans… and to rub some serious salt in the wound, The Thrillist named Ohio’s arch-nemesis… Michigan as the “best state” in the United States. Their reasoning for Ohio being the third worst? And we quote, “Getting LeBron back only further cemented its position as the Florida of the North.” Come on guys; you’ve got to give us something better than that…
Anyway, we’re not blind, Ohio isn’t perfect. And, while there are a lot of great things about it, the winter’s are as cold as your ex-lover, and the sport’s teams have had a history of being quite bad. But, and this is a very big but, they’re making a comeback… in 2016 the Cavaliers won the NBA championship and Baker Mayfield looks like he might be the QB the Browns have been waiting for.
Not the most diverse state
One downside of Ohio is that there’s not a lot of diversity. In fact, one report called Ohio the “ninth-least diverse state in the country,” with all factors considered. While diversity isn’t prevalent throughout the state, you are sure to find it in Cuyahoga County, which is considered to have the most diversity out of the 88 counties in the state of Ohio.
High crime rates in some spots
Crime is not extremely bad in Ohio, with a crime rate of 24.5 per 1,000 residents. However, some cities score not-so-great in the crime arena. We’re talking about Cleveland specifically. While this is a great city overall with lots of opportunities, 98% of cities throughout the nation are considered safer. While you have a 1 in 297 chance of becoming a violent crime victim in Ohio, the chance is 1 in 58 in Cleveland.
However, let’s say you just got a job in Cleveland, and the option to *not* move is just, well, not there. If so, don’t worry. You can still move to Cleveland and find a safe, nice neighborhood. Some of the safest places to live in the city include Kamm’s Corners North, River Edge, Jefferson, and Buckeye Shaker Square East.
Public transportation can be hard to find
It’s no secret that Ohio is a massive state with several cities you can choose from to call home. However, if you’re moving to Ohio for work (particularly to a place like Cincinnati), there’s a good chance you’ll rely on the public transportation system to get you around, particularly if you’re moving with a family and only have one vehicle.
This might not be a problem in the big cities, which have quite a few transportation options, from buses to taxis. (Cincinnati alone has the Cincinnati Metro Bus, ride-sharing, Bikeshare, Cincinnati Bell Connector, Zipcars, and counting.)
However, it can be tricky if you move to a smaller part of the state. That means that if you lack a car now, you’ll probably have to end up getting one by the time you move, unless you move downtown in one of the major cities or in close proximity to public transportation.
Benefits of Moving to Ohio
The list of pros of moving to Ohio could go on forever. So, we’ll just highlight the most impressive aspects about the state. For one, the state has some pretty stellar cities in Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Columbus (more on all of those down below) and it offers a relatively reasonable cost of living, even in the larger cities that we just named.
Then, of course, Ohio is filled with little gems scattered across the state. For example, there is an entire island dedicated to total awesomeness. It’s called Put-in-Bay, and it sits in Lake Erie. Thousands of folks visit the island every year to ride around on golf carts, eat great food and drink. And, we can’t forget about Cedar Point… the roller coaster capital of the world… it has set a world record with 71 rides and 17 roller coaster that will scare the living daylights out of you.
Ohio schools and universities
Did you know Ohio takes the cake as the seventh-biggest school system nationwide? It’s true! There are roughly 3,538 public schools as of this year, with 1,643,345 students. The math proficiency is 50%, and the reading proficiency is 57%, which are both above the national average.
The high-school graduation rate is 85% as of the most recent school year, which is just below the national average of 87%. There are also many schools in Ohio with a graduation rate in the upper 90s, including but not limited to Granville High School, which graduates more than 99% of students.
All in all, if you’re going to pick a state for your kids to get a good education, Ohio is a suitable choice. Not to mention, there are many universities in the area that they can transfer to and potentially get in-state tuition for if they want to live near home. Some of the best universities in Ohio include Ohio State University, Case Western Reserve University, and the University of Dayton.
Affordable housing in Ohio
Ohio is one of the most economical states to buy a home in, with the median home costing only $179,700 ($112,000 less than the national average). If you’re looking to rent before you purchase a home and start putting down roots, you can find a place for pretty cheap.
The average rent in Columbus is $1,184, Cincinnati is $1,259, and Cleveland is $1,316. Of course, those aren’t the only places to move to in the state. You can also cut your rent down even more by moving to a place like Kettering, which has an average rent of $992.
Fast and simple to get to the big cities
Ohio is a unique state in that it has three thriving metropolitan areas: Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Columbus. Even if you live in the suburbs or in a rural community in the Buckeye State, it’s usually just a quick drive to get to the big city. That means you have tons of activities, amenities, entertainment, and more just minutes away–more often than not.
The job market and the economy: what does the money look like in Ohio?
Okay, so we know Ohio is a stunning state aesthetically and offers plenty of fun to be had, but is it realistic economically? What’s the cost of living in Ohio? How’s the job market? These are all questions we explore below.
An economy that’s in the midst of a revolution.
Ohio’s economy has long been focused on manufacturing. In fact, it offers more careers in manufacturing than every state, behind two, bringing in 680,000+ jobs for prospective employees. With that said, it’s currently experiencing an exciting transition as young creatives, entrepreneurs, and tech-savvy college grads are moving into the workforce.
Columbus, the state capital of and the largest city in Ohio, has a culture and workforce bursting at the seams with creativity. In fact, behind New York City and Los Angeles, Columbus has more fashion designers than anywhere else in the U.S. This, along with the presence of the renowned Columbus College of Art & Design, has bred a creative mindset shared by clothing designers, painters, makers, artists, and entrepreneurs.
Not to mention, massive brands like Kroger, Macy’s, P&G, Goodyear, Cintas, Sherwin-Williams, Nationwide, and Speedway all call Ohio home. So, whether you want to start a career in manufacturing, hope to get your foot in the door at a Fortune 500 company, or plan to start a business, Ohio isn’t a bad place to be.
Just keep in mind that the unemployment rate in Ohio is higher than the national average, coming in hot at 4.2% as of December 2022, with approximately 244,000 people without a job. That means that if you want to move to Ohio, you’re best off securing employment beforehand.
That way, you don’t go without if you move there, especially if you don’t work in manufacturing or one of the state’s other major industries. Of course, if you like to fly by the seat of your pants, just make sure to at least set up some interviews before you move and have somewhat of a nest egg!
What’s the cost of living like in Ohio?
We’d argue that this might be Ohio’s greatest strength. It’s one inexpensive state to live in. Ohio’s largest cities (Cincinnati, Columbus, and Cleveland) are far more affordable than other Midwestern cities like Chicago. You can find a nice apartment in all of the cities we listed above for under $1,500, no problem–something we can’t say about many places.
What are the best places to live in Ohio?
If you’re sold on moving to Ohio then we recommend you make a jump to this article where we highlight the best places to live in Ohio. We also have moving guides to Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Columbus and delve deep into why each of these cities are just so wonderful. But, we’ll give you a concise synopsis here, too.
Get your creative fix in Columbus.
Columbus is a hidden gem in the Midwest. It is home to the Buckeyes, which sports an undergrad of 66,000 students that attend the university, giving the place a lovely energetic youthfulness. Of all the Ohio cities, it is by far the most creative, ranking behind only New York City and Los Angeles as the city with the most fashion designers in the United States. Not to mention, with the average rent for an apartment in Columbus being $1,074 and the average salary in the city sitting right around $51,000, it’s very doable too.
For breathtaking landscape, Cincinnati is your place.
To put it short, Cinci is stunning. It’s nestled by the Mississippi River and has lovely hills that give the place a pleasant character. Cincinnati also has a surprising number of sports teams for only sporting a population of 300,000… both the Cincinnati Bengals and the Reds call the city home. Average rent for an apartment in Cincinnati is going to cost you $1,132, and a one bedroom can get as low as $900-ish.
For the very cheapest living, head to Cleveland.
We see quite a few strengths in Cleveland. What’s most impressive to us are the opportunities in the city for young professionals and entrepreneurs. The city was actually ranked one of the top fifty entrepreneurial-friendly cities in the world.
Rent can drop as low as $655 for a two bedroom in certain parts of Cleveland… which is a huge plus if you’re looking to start your own business. And, the money that is saved on rent can be spent on some of the best food you’ll find. Cleveland has long been known as a great city for exceptional food. Thrillist considers the city to not only have one of the best food scenes in the country but one that is constantly getting better. Time Magazine seems to agree with them, calling Cleveland the seventh best food city in the United States. Whether you’re looking for killer BBQ or fine dining, it’s all there in Cleveland, Ohio.
Interested in mountain biking? No trip to Cleveland is complete without visiting Ray’s Indoor MTB Park.
Cost of moving:
The costs of moving to Ohio can depend on a variety of factors. How far are you moving? Do you need more than one truck? Do you need to storage? One way to gauge the costs of moving to Ohio is to use a moving cost calculator to begin to plan within your budget.
Wondering if you should move to Ohio? Just do it.
If we’ve learned anything in this article, it’s that Ohio is anything but a “flyover state”. It is home to stunning landscape, plenty of history, lovely cities and a level of affordability tough to find in other states.
What are you waiting for? And, if you find yourself needing help moving, don’t hesitate to give us a call. We offer Cleveland moving services, Columbus moving services, Cincinnati moving services – and more.
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