4 Reasons You Should Think Twice About Moving to Cincinnati

Ohio’s state motto is the “heart of it all” and that’s true in many different and surprising ways.

Cincinnati is the state’s third-largest city, but we’re also the city that Mark Twain (in an inaccurate quote attribution, but the sentiment is legit) said was twenty years behind the times.

We just got a streetcar in the city center, but it came to life only after ugly local political skirmishes and lots of route-adjustment. We have racial divides that have made national news in recent years.

On the other hand, we have (purportedly) the largest intact concentration of Italianate architecture in Over-the-Rhine, which itself has seen a cultural sort of renaissance over the last ten years. Our cost of living is very affordable, and our network of highways make suburban living and urban working a reality for many residents.

We are a city of pros and cons that should be weighed equally if you’re considering taking the plunge and moving out here.

1. Political divisions run deep.

After years of being considered a bonafide swing state, Ohio has turned the corner in the most recent presidential election to the conservative realm of politics. Cincinnati’s home base of Hamilton County, however, according to the New York Times, went to Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election, by just over 40,000 votes.

The Pew Research Center shows Cincinnati leaning just left of center politically, but overall, Cincinnati tends to have liberal aspirations while retaining a lot of conservative attitudes. That push-and-pull between the two ideologies can lead to awesome things, like Cincinnati being the first city in the country to ban so-called “conversion therapy”, but, the recent no-confidence vote in the Cincinnati police union president Dan Hils by the Sentinels Police Association, the advocacy group for African-American police officers, points to the city’s still-current racial tension.

2. Gentrification is a four-letter word.

In 2001, riots sprung out in Over-the-Rhine following the shooting of Timothy Thomas, an unarmed black man. The racial divide in the city accelerated over the next few years, with Over-the-Rhine earning the dubious distinction of being named one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in the country in 2009 according to WalletPop.com, but starting in the late 2000s, a renaissance in the same urban district began, which led to an economic boom in the same region, though many have grown wary of the after-effects, including gentrification of the neighborhood.

A recent article by Politico examines the trend in Over-the-Rhine in great reporting detail.

3. We have a roller coaster climate.

If you want climate consistency, a city where the forecast almost never varies beyond what time and season should dictate, then Cincinnati is not the right place for you. The weather in the Midwest is generally varied, but in Cincinnati, it’s down right unpredictable. In fact, Cincinnati was recently named the fourth-most unpredictable city in the country for weather trends. We’ve had blizzards in October and April, and 70-degree December days. Take a look at the roller coaster climate you could be in for here.

4. Heroin is a major problem.

Much of America is in the midst of a ravaging heroin epidemic. In October, President Trump named the country’s ongoing opioid epidemic a national public health emergency.

In Cincinnati, it’s come to a head, as reported by the Cincinnati Enquirer in an eye-opening seven-day research endeavor by 60 local journalists. The city is making strides to combat the epidemic, with Hamilton County increasing efforts to infuse a wider swath of the community with Narcan, an overdose antidote, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.

There are many problems facing Cincinnati today, just as there are in cities across the country, but it also has many positives in practice and in the pipeline. We welcome newcomers with open arms and affordable cost-of-living. Check out our tips on moving to Cincinnati to learn more.

Leyla Shokoohe