Akron is located in Northeast Ohio, just one hour and 15 minutes south of Cleveland. It has the charm of a small town and the bustle and energy that comes with a big city. Akron has affordable housing and lots of amenities. It also offers convenient access to high-quality health care.

Akron Demographics

In 2010, Akron had a population of just over 200,000, but it is part of a larger urban region with more than 569,000. Akron’s median resident age is 35. A little under 7 percent are under 5-year-olds, and 22 percent are between the ages of 5 and 18. The population comprises 12 percent of residents aged 18-24. Residents aged 25-44 and 45-64 make up almost 26 percent each. Only 12,6 percent of residents are older than 65. Akron does not attract a lot of retirees because the weather can be quite extreme at times. Many people who reach their golden years move south. In the 2010 census of 83,712 households, 31% were married couples, and nearly 44% were multi-person households without family members. About 29 percent of Akron’s households have at minimum one child. The homeownership rate is about 54 percent in Akron.

However, many rentals remain, especially in the University of Akron region, which could explain the high number of multi-person, non-family households. Akron is home to 21 distinct neighborhoods. The higher-income areas are usually located on the north or south edge of the city. Fairlawn Heights or Merriman Valley are great neighborhoods in which to raise your family. Remember that the average real estate and residential home price in Akron is $87,200. Some real estate and properties sell for over $200,000. Home prices will become cheaper as you move closer to the city center. 

Akron is also home to 99 public schools as well as 27 private schools. Many of these are parochial. The city’s high graduation rate may be due to the low student-to-teacher ratio. Nearly 85% of Akron residents have graduated high school, and 20% have attained a bachelor’s in post-secondary education. The median household in Akron earns just under $34,000. This is roughly 30 percent lower than the median income of the state of Ohio. The city’s low living costs give residents more buying power for every dollar they earn. The city’s economy is now supported by health care, manufacturing, and education.

Quality of Life in Akron

ohio akron football

Residents of Akron love the low cost of living. Housing costs are almost half of what they would be in the US. Health care is also 10 percent cheaper. The affordability of Akron allows residents to shop more and find bargains, as most items cost 9 percent less than national averages. The majority of Akron’s residents commute within the city. However, some commute to Canton or to Cleveland. There are few bike lanes in the town, and walking or biking is not an option more than half of the year because Akron experiences freezing temperatures or rainy weather. Metro RTA offers public transportation, but most residents prefer to drive. Residents of Akron enjoy all four seasons. The best times to enjoy parks and outdoor activities are late summer and early fall. The summers are mild, with temperatures averaging 72 degrees in July and August. Winters are cold, with temperatures that hover around freezing. Akron’s location is so far south that the city misses out on most of the lake-effect snow. However, it’s common to see several feet of snow each year. Akron’s residents have plenty of entertainment options, no matter what Mother Nature throws them. Residents can go to the Summit Mall or Chapel Hill Mall when the temperatures drop below freezing in the spring. Also, there are many specialty shops and boutiques in the area. The Akron Zoo, Stan Hywet Gardens, and Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens are popular attractions when the weather is dry.

What Akron is best known for

Akron has been dubbed the “Rubber Capital of the World,” Goodyear still maintains its world headquarters in the city. Akron’s growth was primarily attributed to tire manufacturing, a significant part of its history and identity. It is also the home of the Soap Box Derby at Derby Downs, where events are held throughout the year, and the Goodyear Blimp, seen in the sky on clear days. Residents are drawn to Akron by the low cost of living and access to high-quality health care (such as Cleveland Clinic).