13 Pros and Cons of Living in Akron, OH

Updated On November 15, 2023

Nestled in the heart of Ohio, Akron stands as a city with a rich industrial history and a diverse community.

From its thriving arts scene to its affordable housing, Akron has its share of advantages.

However, like any place, it comes with its own set of drawbacks.

In this exploration of Akron, we will delve into the pros and cons of living in this unique city, examining factors such as housing options, cost of living, dining and entertainment, green spaces, sports culture, and local traditions.

Akron, OH
Akron, OH

Pros of Living in Akron, Ohio

1. Affordable Housing Options

One of the primary attractions of Akron is its affordable housing market.

Compared to the national average, Akron’s housing costs are notably lower, making it an appealing destination for those looking to purchase their first home or upgrade to a larger space.

The city offers a diverse range of neighborhoods, each with its own character, from historic districts with charming, tree-lined streets to modern developments with all the amenities.

2. City Size

While larger cities may have some things that attract many people, there is something to be said for smaller cities.

These include the lack of hustle and bustle that can cause frustrations during your day.

Better public transportation and walkability through the city.

Smaller cities also offer a sense of community through the friendships you build.

There are still parks, theaters, and museums without the crush of people.

In the Great Lakes region, small cities are receiving more attention lately as they show signs of new growth.

This includes job growth, urban renewal projects, redevelopment of economically depressed areas and projects to better the environment and air quality.

These are qualities that are attracting new residents to the area.

3. Cost of Living

Unlike other larger cities in Ohio, the cost of living in Akron is manageable for most families.

The median home price is $80,000 which is more budget friendly than many cities.

Many people are attracted to the area for the opportunity to purchase their first home.

Also, other costs such as groceries, transportation, utilities, and healthcare are affordable.

This makes it easier for residents to save money, have a better quality of life, and allocate more of their budget to entertainment, leisure activities, and enjoying local restaurants.

4. Dining and Entertainment

Akron’s culinary scene is a pleasant surprise for residents and visitors alike.

The city boasts a diverse array of dining options, ranging from local diners serving up classic American fare to trendy eateries experimenting with global flavors.

In recent years, Akron has witnessed a surge in craft breweries and distilleries, adding a vibrant touch to its social scene.

If you’re looking for an after-work drink with a friend in a casual bar, you’ll find what you are looking for.

The same is true if you are looking for a place to celebrate a special occasion.

There are many options to choose from.

Whether you’re in the mood for a casual night out or a sophisticated dining experience, Akron’s culinary landscape caters to a variety of tastes.

5. Green Spaces and Parks

Akron places a strong emphasis on green spaces, offering residents a welcome respite from the urban hustle.

The city’s parks are well-maintained and provide opportunities for outdoor activities, picnics, and community events.

The Towpath Trail, which follows the historic Ohio & Erie Canal, is a popular spot for walking, jogging, and biking, allowing residents to stay active while enjoying nature.

6. Sporting Events

Sports enthusiasts will find Akron to be a haven, particularly with the presence of the Akron RubberDucks, the city’s minor league baseball team.

The excitement of game day, coupled with the family-friendly atmosphere at Canal Park, creates a memorable experience for fans of all ages.

Additionally, the city is in close proximity to Cleveland, home to major league teams like the Indians (now Guardians) and the Cavaliers, offering Akronites easy access to top-tier sporting events.

7. Cultural Activities

Akron has cultivated a burgeoning arts and culture scene.

The Akron Art Museum, with its striking architecture, showcases a diverse collection of contemporary and modern art.

The city also hosts numerous cultural events and festivals throughout the year, celebrating everything from music and film to literature and ethnic heritage.

This rich cultural tapestry adds vibrancy to Akron’s identity, providing residents with ample opportunities to participate in musical events, explore new foods, and discover art in museums and throughout the city.

Cons of Living in Akron, Ohio

1. Job Market Challenges

While Akron offers an affordable cost of living, its job market can be a challenge for some residents.

Historically known for its rubber and tire industry, the city has undergone economic shifts, leading to a decline in manufacturing jobs.

Although efforts are being made to diversify the economy, the job market remains competitive in certain sectors.

Prospective residents may need to carefully consider employment opportunities before making the move.

If you already have a job before moving, great!

If not, do your research beforehand to see if there are viable prospects for you and your family.

2. Limited Public Transportation

Akron’s public transportation system is not as robust as in some larger cities, making owning a car almost a necessity for residents.

While efforts have been made to improve public transit, including bus routes and ride-sharing services, the city’s layout can be challenging for those without private transportation.

This may pose a hurdle for individuals who prefer or rely on public transit for daily commuting.

If possible, consider bringing your car or truck if you decide to move to the city.

3. Nightlife Constraints

While Akron has made strides in developing its dining scene, its nightlife offerings may not match the intensity of larger urban centers.

The city is certainly not devoid of bars and entertainment venues, but the options may be more limited compared to nearby metropolitan areas.

Those seeking a bustling nightlife scene may find themselves traveling to neighboring cities like Cleveland for a more diverse range of options.

Luckily, Cleveland is not far away if the mood strikes for the option of more bars, active clubs, and higher-end restaurants.

4. Weather Variability

Akron experiences the full spectrum of seasons, from snowy winters to hot and humid summers.

While the changing seasons contribute to the city’s picturesque landscapes, the weather can be a consideration for those who prefer a more temperate climate.

Residents should be prepared for winter weather conditions, including snow and cold temperatures, which can impact daily life and transportation.

One main attraction though, is that there is the opportunity to experience all the seasons.

The changing of the leaves on trees in the fall is a sight to see.

5. Education System Challenges

Akron’s public education system faces challenges, with some schools struggling to meet state standards.

While there are quality educational institutions in the area, prospective residents with school-aged children may need to carefully research and select neighborhoods with access to reputable schools.

Private school options are available, but this may add another expense for families.

Again, this is an area where families with school-age children really need to research the areas that they want to live in.

6. Crime Rates

In general, Akron is a safe city.

Certainly, there are areas that are more prone to crime.

That is why it is important to research different areas before you decide to buy or rent a home.

The concentration of higher crime is in the inner city. Most of the surrounding areas are mostly safe.

On a listing of the most dangerous cities in the United States, Akron comes in at 47th.

There was a significant rise in crime during the COVID-19 pandemic which scared many potential new residents off.

This is not new, Akron has had high crime problems in the past but in recent years, efforts have been made to reduce violent crime, robberies, and home invasions.

The efforts of urban revitalization combined with the work of law enforcement agencies, this is changing things.

Akron is once again becoming a safe, thriving city where families can grow and be safe.

Akron, Ohio
Akron, Ohio

Pros and Cons of Living in Akron, OH – Summary Table

Pros of Living in Akron, OhioCons of Living in Akron, Ohio
1. Affordable Housing Options1. Job Market Challenges
2. City Size2. Limited Public Transportation
3. Cost of Living3. Nightlife Constraints
4. Dining and Entertainment4. Weather Variability
5. Green Spaces and Parks5. Education System Challenges
6. Sporting Events6. Crime Rates
7. Cultural Activities

Akron Safety Overview

READ THE FULL REPORT: Akron Safety Review

Safety Index:

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Akron, Ohio safe?

Akron has had high crime problems in the past.

Law enforcement is working to make the city a safer place for everyone.

Also, the city’s revitalization projects are bringing new life to neighborhoods that were affected by poverty and blight.

Together, these efforts are addressing and reducing the crime levels throughout the area.

What are the poverty rates like in Akron, and how do I find a safe neighborhood?

Throughout Ohio, many cities have suffered the effects of industrial downturns.

This includes the whole manufacturing arena, including the rubber that the area is known for.

This has also led to reduced trade and layoffs as many companies shifted their operations abroad or simply went out of business.

This, of course, led to many people out of work with few options.

Currently, the state poverty rate is 14.8%.

In Akron, it’s about 24.1%.

While those numbers are daunting, efforts are being made to revitalize business in the area.

Also, projects are underway to address the number of abandoned houses and poorly maintained buildings that once filled the city.

While there are still areas where blight is still visible, every effort is being made to rehabilitate the city.

Do your research before you move!

Not all neighborhoods are equal.

Are there many things to do in Akron, Ohio?


There are green spaces to enjoy.

There are also many outdoor entertainment events to explore.

Look at the many restaurants, the art museum, and sporting events.

Everyone will find something that interests them.

What is the weather like in Akron, Ohio?

One of the advantages of the area is that you get to experience all four seasons.

However, winter can be especially tough and cold.

There is a lot of snow that will need to be shoveled.

Also, you and your family will need appropriate clothing for each of the seasons to be comfortable.

Making sure that your home or apartment is appropriately heated is another consideration.

However, springtime and summer are beautiful and comfortable.

Also, you can’t beat the beautiful fall colors that come with the changing of the leaves.

What is the food scene like in Akron, Ohio?

If you are looking for restaurants with classic Ohio food, you’ll find many options.

The restaurant and bar scene though has been growing in recent years so you’ll find imaginative, cutting-edge culinary options at many restaurants.

1 Comment on 13 Pros and Cons of Living in Akron, OH

  1. Akron, Ohio offers affordable housing options and a strong sense of community, but its job market may be challenging and the weather can vary greatly.

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