If you’re thinking of moving to Cleveland, Ohio, then it’s worth doing your research to determine if the city is right for you.
While the city has a lot to offer, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good fit for everyone.
The last thing you want to do is move somewhere and then end up regretting the decision.
To ensure you’re making the best decision possible, it’s worth examining the pros and cons of moving to Cleveland.
Here’s what you need to know about the pros and cons of living in Cleveland.
20 Pros Of Living In Cleveland
1. Great Restaurants For Food Enthusiasts
If you’re someone who tends to eat out a lot, then a city with great restaurants is important.
One of the best things about Cleveland is that it has a ton of great restaurants.
In fact, the city caught the eye of Time Magazine in 2015.
The magazine put together a panel that ranked various aspects of cities.
One aspect was food.
Cleveland came in seventh place.
It ended up ranking higher than other well-known food cities like New Orleans and New York City.
If the panel decided that the restaurants and food in Cleveland are better than in New Orleans and New York City, then you can expect some incredible dining.
Along with the variety of food available, the panelists found the food to be affordably priced.
Cities like New York and New Orleans tend to be a bit more expensive.
If you want great food at great prices, then Cleveland has you covered.
Finally, Cleveland has historic bakeries and restaurants with some dating back to the early 1900s.
With that sort of family history involved, you can expect some great dishes.
Moving to or living in Cleveland is great because of the restaurant scene.
2. Great Bar Scene To Enjoy
If you’re someone who prefers to hang out at a good bar, then Cleveland is the perfect spot.
In 2019, Apartment Guide examined which cities had the most active nightlife.
They based their results on the number of bars or clubs compared to the overall population.
Cities with a lot of bars per person ranked higher.
The fact that there were a lot of bars and clubs to choose from suggests that the industry booming in that area.
It also suggests that the city has a strong and popular nightlife.
Cleveland made the list.
Apartment Guide ranked it fifth.
At the time of publication, they stated that Cleveland had 219 bars, 13 breweries, 67 clubs, and two areas where drinks, music, and live events take place.
Their results indicated that there was one place to drink for every 1,281 people.
Since it’s been a few years, there may be even more bars and clubs in the city now.
With such a strong bar presence, you can enjoy a night out with friends or loved ones.
You have no shortage of options either.
One place to consider going is Brewnuts which makes beer and donuts.
If you’re a fan of going out at night and love a good bar scene, then Cleveland is the city for you.
3. Loyal Sports Fans
Cleveland has a variety of sports teams for its residents to root for.
No matter if you’re a football, baseball, basketball, or soccer fan, you’re sure to find a passionate following for the sport.
Cleveland has a heavy-hitting NBA team.
Their NBA team is the Cleveland Cavaliers.
They have one NBA Championship under their belt, but the team has been in the playoffs several times.
They’ve even made it to the finals on numerous occasions.
No matter if they win or lose, you can always expect a great time at a Cavalier’s game.
While their NFL team, the Cleveland Browns, have yet to play in a Super Bowl, they’ve won a few divisional championships.
Much like a few other teams who struggle to make it to the Super Bowl, the fact that they’re often the underdogs means they have a passionate fan following.
The Cleveland Guardians are Cleveland’s MLB team.
They have two World Series wins under their belts.
Albeit, those games were both won decades ago.
Still, the fans love their team and root them on each time they’re on the field.
If you love sports, then you have no shortage of national, regional, and local sports to follow in Cleveland.
4. Rental Prices Are Cheap For Singles
One of the biggest expenses you need to worry about in any city is the price of rent.
If rent is too high, then it can be difficult to make ends meet.
You may find yourself needing to take on a second job just to pay the rest of your bills.
That’s why knowing the average rent in Cleveland is important.
The good news is that for a single renter, Cleveland’s rent is cheaper than the national average.
The average price of rent in Cleveland for a single person living outside of the city is $974.
That’s compared to the national average for a two-bedroom apartment which is $1,295.
Clearly, it’s a bit cheaper to live just outside of Cleveland than it is in other places in the United States.
However, if you want to live within the city, then it’s a different story.
The average price of rent for a one-bedroom apartment within the city is $1,475.
That’s above the national average.
However, there are some ways to make living in Cleveland more affordable.
If you’re on your own, then you may be able to afford to rent an apartment if it’s outside of the main downtown area.
Considering you’ll be paying lower than the national average, that’s a significant benefit.
5. Great Healthcare
If you plan to grow old in Cleveland or you have certain medical conditions, then living somewhere with a great healthcare system is vital.
One of the best things about Cleveland is that it has a highly ranked hospital system in the city.
The U.S. News ranked Cleveland’s hospitals second among the nation’s best hospitals.
In Ohio, the city came in first place for having the best hospitals.
The Cleveland Clinic was the hospital that the U.S. News specifically examined.
They rated the hospital based on patient experiences and the services that they offered.
Having a great hospital is important if you ever find yourself in dire need of one.
If you’re someone who takes your health seriously, then having a reliable hospital nearby is a great benefit.
Cleveland is worth living in because of its great hospitals.
6. Hiking Through Cuyahoga Valley National Park
One of the downsides of living in a city is that you usually can’t spend much time in nature.
Particularly large cities can sprawl for miles without anything green in sight.
That isn’t the case in Cleveland.
Cleveland has several parks in the city, but it’s the nearby Cuyahoga Valley National Park that really makes the city worth living in.
The National Park offers tons of different activities for almost every type of person.
If you prefer to spend some solitary time in the woods, then you can kayak, canoe, or even paddleboard along the Cuyahoga River.
There are also campsites that you and your family can rent for some good old-fashioned camping.
Several hiking trails weave throughout the National Park that can rejuvenate, inspire, and calm you.
Finally, there are often special events that occur in the National Park like music and festivals.
If you don’t love the idea of living in a city because of all the concrete and lack of green, Cleveland is a great choice.
It has several parks and is only a short distance from the Cuyahoga National Park.
7. Lake Erie Proximity
If you’re someone who prefers the water over a forest, then Cleveland is also for you.
The city rests right next to Lake Erie.
It’s a massive lake that offers tons of different water activities.
You can rent a dock and buy your own boat so you can use it whenever you want to sail or travel across the lake.
There are also many beaches around for when you want to sunbathe or swim in the lake.
If you like to fish, then there are plenty of great fishing spots to find, too.
Due to the proximity of the lake, Cleveland has much to offer those who prefer to spend time outdoors.
Since not every city boasts a massive lake to enjoy and explore, this special feature makes Cleveland a great place to live.
8. Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Events
While Cleveland is famous for several things, one of its most famous destinations is the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Every year, the organization chooses bands and performers that they believe have achieved musical excellence.
There’s usually a big ceremony and show that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame puts on to celebrate the new inductees.
If you live in Cleveland, then you may get the chance to see it live.
If you have a favorite band that’s getting inducted into the Hall of Fame, then you have a good shot at seeing them receive their honors in person.
Even when the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame isn’t having its big celebration, it still puts on several shows and events.
You can often discover new bands that are local to your area and independent bands from other cities and states that are playing there.
There are even free shows.
You can also tour the Hall of Fame to see all the great musical memorabilia.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a reason why living in Cleveland is great.
9. The Cleveland Institute Of Art
There are tons of different organizations that celebrate the arts in Cleveland.
One of those is the Cleveland Institute of Art.
The Cleveland Institute of Art is an independent college of art and design.
It’s been instructing students since 1882.
Not only does this make Cleveland a college town, but it also means the city is a place where artists can hone their skills.
Whether you love art or simply want to learn more about it, the Cleveland Institute of Art is a great reason to live in Cleveland.
10. Job Outlook
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Cleveland’s job growth has mostly been positive.
While there are a few industries that have seen some shrinkage, by and large, the city is seeing growth.
The unemployment rate has also decreased over the past few months.
This is great for those who are looking to move to Cleveland for work.
It means there’s a good chance that you can easily find work there.
Since jobs are growing, it means they need workers to fill those new positions.
Moving somewhere with shrinking industries means that business is bad.
They’re letting people go instead of hiring new workers.
Since Cleveland is seeing some growth in the job industry, it may be easier to find a job there.
Cleveland is a great place to live because of its growing economy and positive job outlook.
11. Visiting The Cleveland Museum Of Art
If you’re a fan of art, then Cleveland has the perfect place to visit.
The Cleveland Museum of Art has been open since 1913.
It has since become northern Ohio’s seat of culture when it comes to art.
It has several different exhibits that change regularly, so there’s always something new to see.
The museum even sponsors several events that are held in the city.
Living in Cleveland is great thanks to the culture and events that the Cleveland Museum of Art offers.
12. Learn More About The City At The Cleveland Museum Of Natural History
The Cleveland Museum of Natural History is unique when it comes to its exhibits.
Besides having the usual historical artifacts protected behind glass, the museum also brings its visitors outside.
It has several outdoor exhibits and wild animals that you can see and learn about.
You can spend lots of time in the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and never run out of exhibits to see.
If you have a love for history or animals, then living in Cleveland is great for its Natural History Museum.
13. Let Your Children Have Fun At The Children’s Museum Cleveland
If you have children, then living in Cleveland is great because of the Children’s Museum Cleveland.
The Children’s Museum is a huge facility geared toward teaching children about various things.
The museum’s “Adventure City” unlocks the imagination of children and helps them hone their problem-solving skills.
There’s also “Wonder Lab,” where children can perform water-based experiments and learn basic physics and chemistry.
Another great thing about the museum is that it offers a quieter space for young children and infants.
They can relax in a quiet environment surrounded by toys that help ignite their curiosity.
Living in Cleveland is great when you make visiting the Children’s Museum Cleveland a part of your routine.
14. Celebrate The Holidays By Visiting A Famous House
A Christmas Story is a classic holiday film that is loved by many.
The famous house from the film, which is located in Cleveland, is now open for visitors.
The house has a museum inside that features holiday decorations and movie memorabilia.
If you love the Christmas season, then living in Cleveland allows you to visit the famous house whenever you want.
15. Learn About Women At The International Women’s Air & Space Museum
The history of aviation is vast and long.
Several unsung heroes contributed to the history of aviation that many people have not heard of.
If you love aviation, then you might find living in Cleveland ideal.
That’s because it’s home to the International Women’s Air & Space Museum.
The museum has various artifacts, documents, and pictures that showcase the history of aviation with a focus on the women involved in it.
16. Learn More About Space At The Great Lakes Science Center
Cleveland is a city of science, art, and learning.
If you want to boost your knowledge about space and NASA, then you should consider living there.
That’s because Cleveland has the Great Lakes Science Center located right in the city.
It’s home to the NASA Glenn Visitor Center which is one of only 11 centers throughout the country.
While the center has plenty of other things to see and do, if you’re a space enthusiast, then living in Cleveland is ideal thanks to the Great Lakes Science Center.
17. Baseball Fans Will Love Visiting The Baseball Heritage Museum
If you love baseball, then Cleveland is the right place for you.
The Baseball Heritage Museum is a place you must visit if you want to learn about the game’s storied and diverse history.
The museum specifically collects and preserves stories from diverse players.
You can find rare artifacts and learn about things you’ll likely never hear on popular sports networks.
18. Delve Into The Magical World At The Buckland Museum Of Witchcraft And Magick
Cleveland has something for everyone, even if you’re into witchcraft or are a lover of magic.
You’ll feel right at home when visiting the Buckland Museum of Witchcraft and Magick.
The museum houses over 500 artifacts relating to witchcraft, magic, and the supernatural.
You can find items dating back to ancient Egypt and even documents from the Salem Witch Trials.
It makes living in Cleveland just a bit more fun.
19. Go Fishing At Edgewater Park
If Metroparks are important to you, then you’ll be happy to know that Cleveland has the incredible Edgewater Park.
It features 9,000 feet of shoreline that has ramps and docks to allow people to enjoy the water.
You can even find a beach reserved for dogs.
There are grills, boat ramps, and fishing docks scattered about the park for everyone to enjoy.
Thanks to the park, living in Cleveland is a lot more relaxing.
20. The Brookside Reservation Park Offers Lots Of Fun
If you’re looking for a more traditional park, then Cleveland doesn’t disappoint.
The Brookside Reservation Park has soccer fields and football fields that its visitors can enjoy.
There’s also a picnic area and rest area where hikers and cyclists can recuperate.
The “All Purpose Trail” also cuts through the park, and visitors can take it to the nearby Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.
20 Cons Of Living In Cleveland
1. High Rent For Larger Families
While living outside of Cleveland may be great for a single person, if you have a family, then living in Cleveland may be too expensive.
The average three-bedroom apartment in Cleveland’s downtown area is $2,700.
Compared to the national average of $1,509, it’s clearly more expensive to rent in Cleveland.
If you can find a three-bedroom apartment outside of Cleveland, then the average rent is $1,750.
This is still above the national average.
Because of high rental costs, it can make living in Cleveland a bit more difficult if you don’t have the right salary.
Renting a home in Cleveland may not be great for large families since you’ll be paying rent that’s higher than the national average.
2. Lower Than National Average Salaries
According to Zip Recruiter, the average salary in Cleveland is about $60,000.
That’s about $10,000 lower than the national average.
The national average salary is $70,245.
While it may not seem like much, it can make a difference when you’re trying to save money to buy a new house or put something aside for your children’s college fund.
This might also indicate that the city’s employers pay a little less than their counterparts in other cities.
It’s important to know the average salary of a city because it can indicate whether it’s a good place to live or not.
Since Cleveland’s average salary is not significantly below the national average, salary isn’t a large problem if you are considering a move.
However, for those with tight budgets, it’s certainly something to consider before making the move.
Cleveland may not be the best place to live for those with a tight budget.
3. Poor-Performing NFL Team
While there are plenty of different sports teams to support in Cleveland, you may eventually become frustrated with the lack of wins from the Cleveland Browns.
If you’re a passionate sports fan, then being stuck rooting for a team that likely won’t make it to the Super Bowl can be disheartening.
You might feel stuck with the Browns since rooting for a team from another city or state can be bad form.
When the NFL season hits, your friends in other cities and states may be excited about future Super Bowl games and celebrations.
You may not be able to share in that excitement, especially if the Browns lose early or don’t make it to the playoffs.
If you are a big football fan, then you may end up becoming ashamed of your home team.
That could lead to some resentment.
Cleveland may not be the best place for you to live if you’re a diehard football fan.
4. Higher Unemployment Rate Than The National Average
One of the biggest factors that can determine whether you should move to a city or not is its unemployment rate.
Cleveland’s average unemployment rate was 5.5% in May of 2022.
The national unemployment rate in the United States was 3.6% in June of 2022.
Clearly, Cleveland has a higher unemployment rate than many other cities and locations.
This is worrisome for someone looking to get a job in Cleveland.
If you have a job already, then it may not be as big of a concern.
However, if you’re looking to get a job in Cleveland or keep one, then the high unemployment rate should be something you consider.
It might also suggest that employers in Cleveland are quick to let employees go when something threatens their profit margins.
With a recession on the horizon, some employers may look to save on costs by letting go of their workforce.
Job stability might be in question.
Cleveland may not be the best place to live because of its higher-than-average unemployment rate.
5. High Poverty Rate
Another disturbing aspect of Cleveland is its poverty rate.
The federal government sets the poverty line at $12,060 for an individual and $24,600 for a household of four.
Anyone living below those lines is technically considered to be living in poverty.
A report based on the census taken in Cleveland in 2019 showed that about 35.2% of residents of Cleveland were living in poverty.
That’s a third of the population.
Cleveland’s child poverty rate is 48.7%.
There are a lot of people living in poverty in Cleveland.
This is even worse when you compare it to the national average.
The official national poverty rate in 2020 was 11.4%.
In 2019, it was 10.5%.
Cleveland has a higher poverty rate than the national average.
This means that a good portion of its residents are living below the poverty line.
Some of these individuals may be homeless.
Others may just be struggling to make ends meet.
This is an important statistic to consider if you want to live in Cleveland.
You want to make sure that you have a job that pays well to avoid dropping below the poverty line.
It also means you’re likely to see a good number of homeless camps or worn-down homes because people can’t afford to keep them up.
Cleveland may not be an ideal place to live for those without a job or those who work in certain industries because of its high poverty rate.
6. Higher Cost Of Living Than Other Cities In Ohio
If you know you want to move to Ohio, but you aren’t set on a city yet, then you may not want to choose Cleveland.
That’s because Cleveland tends to be more expensive than other cities and towns in the state.
According to RentCafe, Cleveland’s housing and rent prices are 8% more expensive than in the rest of the state.
While they’re lower than the national average, you’ll find cheaper options in other parts of Ohio.
Monthly utilities are also more expensive in Cleveland than in other parts of the state.
Healthcare, especially, is more expensive in Cleveland than in the rest of Ohio.
Cleveland’s healthcare costs 11% more than the rest of the state.
It’s also higher than the national average.
Because Cleveland is more expensive than the rest of Ohio, you may find living in another city or town more affordable.
If your budget is important to you, then it’s worth considering if Cleveland’s extra expenses are worth it.
7. Higher Violent Crime Rate Than The Ohio Average
If you want to live somewhere new, then safety should be something you consider.
The crime rate in Cleveland isn’t ideal.
NeighborhoodScout ranks it as safer than 2% of other cities in the United States.
That isn’t very high.
Cleveland has a violent crime rate of 16.86 per 1,000 residents.
Ohio has a violent crime rate of 3.06 per 1,000 residents overall.
As such, you have a 1 in 59 chance of becoming a victim of a violent crime in Cleveland.
In the rest of Ohio, you have a 1 in 327 chance of being a victim of a violent crime.
If you’re particularly worried about violent crime, then living in Cleveland may not be ideal.
8. Higher Property Crime Than Ohio’s Average
While Cleveland has a pretty high violent crime rate, its property crime rate is even worse.
Its property crime rate is 41.43 per 1,000 residents.
Ohio’s average property crime rate is 18.34 per 1,000 residents.
Again, Cleveland’s property crime rate is far higher than the rest of Ohio.
In Cleveland, you have a 1 in 24 chance of being a victim of a property crime.
In the rest of Ohio, you have a 1 in 55 chance of being a victim.
Cleveland may not be a great place to live for some people because of its high property crime rate.
9. Higher Murder Rate Than The National Average
Cleveland doesn’t only have a higher crime rate than the rest of Ohio.
It also has a higher crime rate than the national average.
When looking at the murder statistics for Cleveland, it has a rate of 0.43 per 1,000 residents.
The national average is 0.07 per 1,000 residents.
That’s significantly higher than the national average.
Due to its high murder rate compared to the national average, you might not want to live in Cleveland.
10. Higher Sexual Assault Crime Rate Than The National Average
The sexual assault statistics for Cleveland aren’t any better.
The rate of rape in the city is 1.05 per 1,000 residents.
The national average is 0.38 per 1,000 residents.
The chances of being a victim of sexual assault in Cleveland are higher than in other parts of the United States.
11. Higher Rates Of Robberies Than The National Average
Being robbed isn’t anyone’s idea of a great time.
Unfortunately, you’re more likely to get robbed in Cleveland than in other parts of the United States.
That’s because Cleveland has a robbery crime rate of 4.28 per 1,000 people.
The national average is 0.73 per 1,000 people.
You stand a greater chance of getting robbed in Cleveland.
That might make living in Cleveland less appealing.
12. Higher Rates Of Assault Than The National Average
When it comes to assault crime rates, Cleveland also ranks higher than the national average.
Cleveland has an assault crime rate of 11.10 per 1,000 people.
The national average is 2.78 per 1,000 people.
This is a pretty significant difference.
If you’re worried about an assault, then Cleveland may not be for you.
13. Lots Of Snow
If you’re not a fan of snow, then you may not want to live in Cleveland.
Its proximity to Lake Erie means that it’s sometimes subject to lake-effect snow.
This means you might get a sudden snowstorm that can dump a ton of snow on you in a short—or long—amount of time.
Cleveland gets, on average, 54 inches of snow each year.
The national average of snow is 28 inches a year.
That’s considerably more snow.
During the winter, you can expect to be outside and shoveling a lot.
If that doesn’t sound appealing to you, then you might not want to live in Cleveland.
14. Poor Air Quality
Another reason Cleveland may not be the best place to live is because of its poor air quality.
The American Lung Association noted that while Cleveland had improved its pollution with ozone, its particle pollution remained unchanged.
This is problematic since both ozone and particle pollution can cause serious health problems.
Those with upper respiratory issues may find it difficult to breathe in the city when the air pollution is high.
Since Cleveland hasn’t improved its particle pollution, the city’s air isn’t getting any better.
If you’re concerned about the health of your lungs, then you may not want to live in Cleveland.
15. Not A Lot Of Sun
If you’re someone who needs a lot of sun, then Cleveland is not for you.
A study looked at Cleveland’s average number of sunny days annually and found it gets an average of 168 sunny days a year.
The nation’s average is 205 sunny days a year.
Cleveland is typically at its gloomiest during the winter months.
If a lack of sun tends to affect your mood and mental health, then Cleveland may not be a good fit.
16. It Can Get Pretty Cold
Cleveland’s weather is pretty typical of the Midwest in winter.
However, if you’re coming from a state that’s typically warm year-round, then you may find its temperatures difficult.
Cleveland can sometimes drop to 0 degrees Fahrenheit.
It’s even possible for it to hit the negatives during the coldest winter nights.
During winter, it’s rare for the temperatures to get above freezing.
If you don’t think you can handle those sorts of temperatures for a few months, then Cleveland may not be a great place to live.
17. Population Decline
Another reason Cleveland may not be ideal is due to its declining population.
In 2022, there was an estimated 374,400 people living in the city.
That’s a decrease from 2010 when about 395,900 people lived in the city.
Its highest population was in 1950 when the number of inhabitants was 914,800.
If a city has a declining population, then it usually means something is pushing them out.
The job prospects could be poor, the wages may be low, or there may be any other number of reasons behind it.
Because Cleveland’s population is decreasing, it could mean problems for the city.
That might not make it the best place to live.
18. Lots Of Tourists
While having so many museums and cultural centers is great for the residents of Cleveland, it also means it attracts tons of tourists, too.
Cleveland gets, on average, 19.6 million tourists each year.
That’s a lot of tourists flooding the city.
That can lead to several problems like a lack of hotel rooms when you need them, increased traffic, and booked restaurants.
While tourism is great for the economy, it can make living in Cleveland a bit annoying.
19. Public Transportation Problems
Ohio has a public transportation problem, and that’s felt in Cleveland, too.
The problem stems from underfunding of transportation services.
Without proper funding, public transportation organizations can’t pay their drivers or keep up with the maintenance of their buses.
This usually means fewer buses on the streets and fewer routes.
This can impact people who rely on public transit to get to work.
If you don’t have a car and rely on public transit, then the underfunding problems might be cause for concern if you choose to live in Cleveland.
20. High Allergy Counts
If you have seasonal allergies related to pollen, then you may find living in Cleveland difficult.
Thanks to the forests and parks that surround it, Cleveland is no stranger to allergies.
Its poor air quality makes the problem even worse.
If you suffer from allergies or upper respiratory problems, then living in Cleveland can be difficult.
There are a lot of attractive qualities about living in Cleveland like its proximity to parks, vibrant nightlife, and relatively cheap cost of living.
However, there are some things that might cause you some concern like the high crime rate, amount of snow, and poor air quality.
Based on the information above, hopefully you can easily decide whether living in Cleveland is right for you.
Cleveland has an enormous metropolitan area with dozens of excellent communities where most of the
crime problems are greatly minimized. Good schools, good municipal transportation system to get you to work, moderate rents, Lousy weather (good news during national heat waves) and mediocre pro sports teams—but if you’re from out of town, that doesn’t matter to you. It does have pretty high local taxes, with an stiff earnings tax and pretty high property taxes. But that comes out in the wash when you purchase a house for less. It is a good place to raise a family. As is most of the state of Ohio.