Two Ohio cities ranked among the ‘Worst-Run Cities in America’

Sav McKee

What makes a city great or horrible is, of course, very subjective. Plus, how a city is run doesn’t necessarily negate how good or bad they are. I moved here from Chicago, and although it’s considered one of the worst run cities in the U.S., I absolutely loved living there. 

Nevertheless, it still doesn’t feel great when a financial institution places two Ohio cities on the list of the Worst Ran Cities in the nation. But hey, I know a lot of people who live in these cities and love them!

WalletHub compiled a list of the best vs. worst run cities, measuring effectiveness of local leadership through operating efficiency, which basically means how well city officials manage and spend public funds by comparing the quality of services residents receive against the city’s total budget. They compared the operating efficiency of 149 of the largest U.S. cities, scoring them based on six service categories:  1) Financial Stability 2) Education 3) Health 4) Safety 5) Economy and 6) Infrastructure & Pollution.


Unfortunately, good ol’ Toledo and Cleveland right here in Ohio are on this list, among other notorious cities like Chicago & Detroit. Cleveland ranked #4 worst-run city overall, with the 13th worst quality of city services, while Toledo was ranked #38, and having the 8th worst quality of city services.

Engineer Your Finances had something to say about these worst-run cities after analyzing, and seemingly agreeing, with Wallethub’s findings.

“Cleveland rocks, but besides the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame, there’s no reason to visit or live in the city. Across the board, from education to safety and transit, Cleveland isn’t the worst city in America, but it doesn’t do anything right. Residents agree, with more people fleeing Cleveland every year. According to the 2020 census, the city was down to a population of only 320,000, losing 600,000 people over the past 70 years!” said Engineer Your Finances.

And for Toledo, they said, “Toledo, Ohio, has a lot in common with other mid-size cities throughout the Midwest; it was once booming, but now that factories have been shutting down and industries are moving overseas, it’s a shell of what it once was. Name a category, and Toledo is towards the bottom of the country for reasons unrelated to the population or the local government. There’s little opportunity in Toledo, which is why the population is decreasing alarmingly. With no job prospects, people are leaving, bringing down the cities’ income, which means less money for education, health, and safety. It’s a vicious cycle with no good solutions, but it does mean Toledo is one of the worst cities in America.”

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