About Akron

Akron, Ohio is just south of Cleveland in the northeastern portion of the state. The city has long been an industry hub. It’s known for tires. Firestone, Goodyear, Uniroyal-Goodrich and GenCorp all call Cleveland home. There is a still a strong pro business climate in the area, despite the fact that many jobs have gone overseas.

Current population stands at around 200,000, down from prior years by 8.2%. Average age is 35.7 and the median home price is $68,000. Unemployment in Akron is 5.6%, lower than the overall Ohio rate. However median income is $34,200, which is almost $10,000 less than the Ohio average.

The city has struggled to overcome urban blight. Job losses from factory reductions hit the area hard after the 1990s and it has never fully recovered. Downtown Akron still has abandoned factories and dilapidated homes that need renovated. Like many industry and manufacturing cities, there has been a population migration to the suburbs. Violent crime in Akron is 20% higher than the national average.

But there are signs that the city is coming back. There’s been an influx of jobs recently that are higher than the national trend in employment growth. Future job expansion is predicted along with an increase in the income per capita. According to the Chamber of Commerce website, Akron has placed second in Site Selection magazine for new and expanded construction projects. More than $2.5 billion in private capital has been infused into the area in the last couple years.

But the outward migration to the suburbs has continued in large part because these areas are surprisingly lovely, clean, with lower crime than the city itself and very good school systems. Raising a family in these suburbs is not only conceivable; it is desirable to many residents seeking a better life for their kids.

If you’re considering moving to an Akron suburb, we’ve picked the best ones for your consideration.

Most Desirable Akron Suburbs to Raise a Family

neighborhoods in Akron Ohio


Cuyahoga Falls has a population of nearly 50,000 and an average age of 40 years old. The racial makeup of the Falls is 96% white across 21,655 households. The Cuyahoga Falls School District received decent marks from greatschools.org. Population in the area is steadily increasing, along with the median income. The current numbers lie at 51,007 and $61,479, respectively. The population of the area has primarily graduated high school, and 21% have some level of college. Area Vibes gives the area a “B” for crime, and an “A+” for amenities and cost of living. There is 10% less crime in this area than the rest of the nation. In the “things to do” category, we like the Falls River Square District for its emphasis on reused and rehabbed vintage clothes, furniture and jewelry. The district has the number one rated vintage shop in the state. It also has great walkability, fine dining and art galleries.

Fairlawn, Ohio, is a very pretty city just outside Akron. We say “city” because the population is around 7,300 and growing. But Fairlawn has a hometown feel that is very appealing to families. Stretching five miles wide, Fairlawn is home to five parks and a community gardens where, for $75, neighbors can work side-by-side cultivating their own crop of tomatoes and corn. Area Vibes gives Fairlawn high marks: an overall 83% liveability score, with an “A+” on crime and amenities, a “B+” on cost of living, and an “A” on education. Residents are highly education with 78.6% having some college-level training and 14.6% holding an MBA. This area has easy access to some of the largest employers in the region, from the Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals to The University of Akron.

If you like outdoor water fun, Portage Lakes is an excellent choice for your family. Created by glaciers, these lakes flow into Lake Erie to the north and the Ohio River to the south. The Portage Lakes State Park likes at the highest elevation near the city, and it attracts thousands in the summer months who want to explore boating, swimming, fishing and hiking in its 411 acres. Numerous seasonal lake homes dot the area, but living here permanently is highly desirable; the community has a lower cost of living than the rest of the state, but the median home price is higher, at $97,900. Per capita income is $43,698. The population is 6,847 and growing and unemployment is lower than the state median. Homeowners commute to Akron or the surrounding area to work; the average commute is 20 minutes. The public school system received an “A” from Area Vibes, crime is very low and the cost of living is manageable. The only drawback is that you will probably have to leave the area to go to work; local jobs are scarce and fairly tourist driven.

The village of Silver Lake, as Area Vibes puts it, is “exceptionally livable.” In the 1800s the area hosted an amusement park but was subdivided into residential development around 1918. Today there are 2,500 people in 1,000 households. The racial make up is 96% White and the average age is 49.9 years old. This is an exceptionally pretty area and a very coveted home site for anyone that enjoys nature and outdoor recreational activities. There is a swim club and a garden club, a local PTO and historical society. The pace is a little slower here, with a small town feel. The schools are great; Silver Lake students attend the City of Cuyahoga Falls School System, which gets an “A+” from Area Vibes. There is very little crime in this area, but the cost of living is a bit higher than you’ll find in the rest of the state.