Cleveland Neighborhood Profiles: Highlights from the Data

This week, Community Solutions released profiles for each of Cleveland’s neighborhoods. Check out the profiles here. In this blog, I’ll share some of the highlights found in the data. Look out for another blog later in the week where I will call attention to some neighborhoods to watch, for better or worse.

Cleveland’s neighborhoods vary in size, though some are very populous. Kamm’s, Glenville, and Old Brooklyn each have more residents than the city of Solon. The Downtown, University, and Edgewater neighborhoods have the lowest percentage of children (4 percent, 7 percent, and 13 percent respectively), while Cuyahoga Valley, Central, Buckeye-Woodhill, and Kinsman each are comprised of at least 30 percent children. The highest proportions of older adults (age 65+) live in Fairfax, Lee-Seville, and Lee-Harvard.

Anecdotally, many Clevelanders recognize  that the city remains residentially segregated by race; most White people live on the west side, and most Black or African American people live on the east side. The data in the profiles bear that out. The neighborhoods with the highest percentage of White residents are Kamm’s (86 percent white) and Old Brooklyn (80 percent white). Predominately African American neighborhoods are much more concentrated. Eleven neighborhoods in Cleveland are comprised of over 90 percent African American residents: Mount Pleasant, Kinsman, Lee-Seville, Lee-Harvard, Union-Miles, Glenville, Buckeye-Woodhill, Fairfax, Euclid-Green, Hough, and Central. Ten percent of Clevelanders identify as having Hispanic or Latino ethnicity, and Latino residents are most heavily concentrated on the near west side in the Clark-Fulton (48 percent Latino), Stockyards (32 percent Latino), and Brooklyn Centre (32 percent Latino) neighborhoods. While only 1.7 percent of city residents identify as Asian/Pacific Islander, a few neighborhoods have higher proportions of Asians: Goodrich-Kirtland Park (27.5 percent), University (12.6 percent), and Downtown (7.1 percent).

Employment and Income
Labor force participation, or the percent of people who are either employed or looking for a job, is highest in Tremont, Edgewater, Kamm’s, Old Brooklyn, and Jefferson. Each of those neighborhoods is also among the top ten highest median household incomes in the city with incomes ranging from just over $30,000 to nearly $48,000 annually; for reference, Ohio’s median household income is over $48,000.

Public Benefits
Not surprisingly, the percentage of people on Social Security is highest in places with a higher proportion of seniors. Lee-Harvard, Lee-Seville, and Fairfax have the highest rates of households with Social Security income. Cash Public Assistance (known in Ohio as Ohio Works First) is available for only those in very deep poverty. Fairfax, Clark-Fulton, Cudell, and Central have the highest rates of cash public assistance income, ranging from 12 to 19 percent.

Housing Affordability
We hear a lot about gentrification – the idea that as neighborhoods experience investment, they become more desirable, which raises housing prices so that residents can often no longer afford to live there. In Cleveland’s case, the data are not yet showing signs of this. Housing unaffordability is highest in neighborhoods like St. Clair-Superior, Stockyards, Buckeye-Woodhill, Mount Pleasant, and Kinsman, all of which have median household incomes of less than $23,000 annually. While it’s impossible to pinpoint the exact cause of housing unaffordability for these neighborhoods, I would hypothesize that it has more to do with low incomes than high rents. I’ll talk more about some neighborhoods that have experienced increased investment in a subsequent blog, and for the most part, they are not experiencing housing unaffordability at the same rates as some of Cleveland’s poorer neighborhoods are.

This blog is really only a snapshot of the data that can be found in our Neighborhood Profiles. I’d encourage you to check them out to see what stands out to you. Feel free to contact me with questions or comments at