Dayton vs. Columbus vs. Cleveland: What’s Better for Family Living?

The word ‘community’ is essential to your human experience. Finding a local community gives you a sense of belonging and security. Your community can range from a physical location to a virtual space, or any platform that connects you to like-minded people.

If you’re raising a family and thinking about relocation to Ohio, finding the right community is essential to placing roots and meeting your fellow members. There’s no better way to become acquainted with a new city than by diving into a shared space where you can solve problems and learn new resources.

Whether you’re moving to Dayton or looking elsewhere, it’s important to weigh your options and make an informed decision on the right location. Let’s dive into some of the major differences in family living between Dayton vs. Columbus vs. Cleveland.

Where Your Family Should Relocate: Dayton vs. Columbus vs. Cleveland

Ohio has been coined “The Heart of it All” in the United States for its environmental and cultural diversity. Home to three major cities and several growing small towns, there are many reasons to move to Ohio. With 24 of the Fortune 500 companies and the seventh-largest state economy, it’s a great place to move and raise your family.

To make an informed decision for your family’s future, it’s important to do your research:


While Dayton isn’t as large as Columbus or Cleveland, Dayton is a growing community that offers great potential for new families. With plenty of housing downtown and in the surrounding areas, Dayton provides you several options to live comfortably. Residents can enjoy an affordable cost of living, ample parks, and unique dining experiences.

Academically, the public school system serves nearly 14,000 students and continues to improve their performance in the state’s report card. Dayton is also ranked 5th in the state for attractions and offers several family-friendly activities such as:

Families who move to Dayton will find that the city has much to offer with popular parks, schools, businesses, and more. If you’re considering Dayton, look at popular family-friendly neighborhoods like Englewood, Centerville, Bellbrook, and Oakwood.


As Ohio’s state capital, Columbus offers families a thriving community that includes big-city attractions, family-friendly amenities, well-ranked schools, and more to keep everyone entertained. Columbus schools have an 18:1 student-to-teacher ratio and an 85% graduation rate—providing several opportunities to help your student succeed. As for entertainment, the city also boasts more than 200 parks and is home to the Ohio State Buckeyes.

With its low cost of living,  families can purchase homes at a lower cost than in the surrounding areas while still enjoying all the city has to offer. Check out these top Columbus neighborhoods to raise your family in:

  • Bexley
  • Clintonville
  • Gahanna
  • Hilliard
  • Upper Arlington

With quality schools, museums, sports, and more, Columbus is a family-orientated community that makes an excellent location to relocate.


Nestled on the shores of Lake Erie, Cleveland is home to over 380,000 residents and has the 32nd largest metro area in the country. With a diverse community and plenty of attractions, you’ll experience the grit of an industrial aesthetic with big-city flair.

Here are a few family-friendly features of Cleveland to consider:

  • The cost of living is ranked at 77 and has some of the most affordable housing available (65% less than Chicago and 259% less than NYC).
  • Their quality private and public education options offer unique academic opportunities for your children.
  • A reliable public transportation system helps you get around downtown and surrounding areas.
  • For foodies, the city is a culinary gem full of rich food and cultural experiences.
  • Exciting sports teams like the Cleveland Cavaliers and activities like the Buckeye Trail provide your family with different ways to stay active.

If relocating to Cleveland catches your eye, you can rest assured that you will have access to exciting entertainment, recreational activities, and affordable neighborhoods that will give your children endless opportunities to thrive.

Discover the Right Ohio Community for Your Family

Whether you’re moving for a job or better schools, finding the right community in Ohio is key to your family’s future. When deciding between Dayton vs. Columbus vs. Cleveland, it all comes down to your family’s preferences and needs. Wherever you choose, you will feel confident knowing that Ohio offers your family a wealth of education, entertainment, recreation, and more to enjoy.

Ready to settle down in your dream home? Find your perfect fit with Oberer Homes today.

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