Moving to Cleveland, OH? Here’s Everything You Need to Know

The Second-Biggest City in Ohio is Calling Your Name!

Cleveland at sunrise


Alexandra Ross


Jan 21, 2021

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If you know Ohio, then you know Cleveland. This city is the second-largest in the entire state, home to over 300,000 residents, four major sports teams, and your next adventure.

Cleveland is a super-affordable city with a lot to offer. But you might want more information about the area before you decide to make the move.

Here’s what you should know about moving to Cleveland:

  • History of Cleveland
  • Facts and figures about Cleveland
  • Local favorite things to do in Cleveland
  • And more!

History of Cleveland

Before Moving to Cleveland, Get to Know the History of Your New Home

On July 22, 1796, the history of Cleveland began as the Connecticut Land Company laid out the state's Western Reserve into townships and a capital city. This new settlement was named “Cleaveland,” after General Moses Cleaveland, who led the group. 

General Cleaveland oversaw the design and creation of what is now downtown Cleveland, centered on the still-present plaza known as Public Square. The first permanent European settler in “Cleaveland” was Lorenzo Carter, who built a cabin on the Cuyahoga River in 1797. 

The city was an important supply post during the Battle of Lake Erie — part of the War of 1812 — because of its advantageous location on the southern shores of Lake Erie. This location continued to serve the city well, giving it access to trade on the Great Lakes, especially after the construction of the Ohio and Erie Canal in 1832. Later, railroad tracks also increased trade opportunities.

The Village of Cleaveland was incorporated in December of 1814. Its name did not change until 1831, when the town’s local newspaper decided to drop the first “a” so that they could fit the name on the newspaper’s masthead. The official change came years later. Cleveland was officially incorporated as a city in 1836. 

Prior to and during the Civil War, Cleveland was home to many proud abolitionists. The city itself was a major stop on the Underground Railroad, code-named “Station Hope.” It was also an important location for the Union Army during the war. The values of liberty and equality have been essential to the residents of Cleveland for centuries. 

Cleveland saw rapid growth after the end of the Civil War. It was booming with trade and business — including trade of coal and iron ore and major manufacturing. John D. Rockefeller originally founded Standard Oil in Cleveland in 1870, where the headquarters remained for fifteen years.

This economic growth attracted many new residents, including European immigrants and African-American migrants from the rural south. The population boomed in the early- to mid-1900s, and Cleveland became the fifth-largest city in the U.S. for an extended period of time. 

Nowadays, the economy is more diversified than ever and Cleveland has gained a reputation as a center for the arts and for the healthcare industry. The downtown Cleveland area in particular has experienced explosive growth in the past decade. 

Cleveland by the Numbers

Learn About Cleveland’s Economy, Demographics, and What It’s Really Like to Live Here

Cleveland is one of the biggest cities in Ohio, so you have probably heard at least a little bit about it! But in case you don’t know much about the city, we have a rundown of all the facts and figures you’ll need to know before moving. 

Your New Neighbors

You’ll have no shortage of new neighbors to meet when you move to Cleveland — there are over 388,000 people living in the city, with a population density of 5,004 people per square mile! 

Of the estimated 168,500 households in Cleveland, around half are family households. The average household size is 2.3 people, and the median age is 35.9. This is younger than the median average in the U.S., driven by the high numbers of 25- to 34-year-olds in the city.  

The city of Cleveland is very diverse compared with other areas in Ohio. According to the 2019 census estimate, Cleveland was 40% white, 48.8% African-American, 0.5% Native American, 2.6% Asian, and 4.4% bi- or multi-racial. Additionally, an estimated 12% of the population was Hispanic or Latino (of any race).

This combination of races and ethnicities makes Cleveland a very special place to be. You are sure to learn a lot about other cultures, cuisines, and traditions here!

Economy and Jobs

Currently, the unemployment rate in Cleveland sits at 6.8%, close to the national average. This is due in large part to the COVID-19 outbreak — in December of 2019, the unemployment rate was just 4.5%. 

In fact, Cleveland is already showing strong recovery from the pandemic, with the job market actually increasing over the past year. Job growth is expected to continue into the future; ten-year growth is predicted to be 21.4%. 

Living in a city like Cleveland offers lots of job opportunities in many different fields. For example, many Cleveland residents are working in manufacturing, retail trade, healthcare, food services, and educational services.

The median family income in Cleveland is $34,166 per year, and the median home cost is $53,500. Home appreciation in Cleveland is up 8.4%, a promising sign for the future of the housing market! Rent is also very affordable, and renters make up about 44% of the population.

These low housing costs contribute to a lower overall cost of living in Cleveland. The city is quite affordable, with a cost of living lower than the Ohio and U.S. averages! This applies to many categories, including groceries, healthcare, housing, and transportation. 

Weather and Climate

Just like the rest of Ohio, Cleveland sees all four seasons each year. In July, the high is around 82 degrees, and in January, the low is around 22 degrees. In all, Cleveland’s average temperatures closely mirror those of the Ohio state average.

Best Places has given Cleveland a rating of 6.8/10 on its Comfort Index. June, August, and September are the most pleasant months in this city, while January and February are the least comfortable.

On average, Cleveland sees 166 days of sun and 149 days of precipitation each year. On those precipitation days, there are about 38 inches of rain and about 54 inches of snow each year. That’s just about twice the U.S. average amount of snow in one year — make sure to pack your warmest winter coat!

Get to Know Cleveland Like a Local

Where People Shop, Dine, and Hang Out in Cleveland

There are lots of touristy sights to see in Cleveland — the Cleveland Museums of Art and Natural History, the West Side Market, and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame are absolutely must-sees for any visitor!

But if you’re moving to Cleveland permanently, you want to do more than just visit tourist attractions. You want to mingle with the locals, getting to know your new neighbors and getting the best the city has to offer. 

Here we’ve listed some of the many unique, locally-owned spots that Cleveland has to offer!

Flying Fig

Farm to Table, Vineyard to Glass

2523 Market Avenue | Ohio City |

Flying Fig is a restaurant located in the neighborhood of Ohio City, super close to downtown Cleveland. “The Fig,” as it is lovingly known by Cleveland residents, is a neighborhood-friendly spot with friendly service and a warm, welcoming atmosphere. 

This restaurant, which has been a Cleveland staple since its establishment in 1999, serves brunch, lunch, and dinner. Its menu changes seasonally, and its ingredients mostly come from local vendors. Outdoor seating is very popular with locals!

Next door, the Fig has its own neighborhood pantry called Market at the Fig. This shop sells artisan sandwiches, fresh breads, and locally-sourced cheeses, meats, and eggs. In addition, wine and retail products are sold. 

“Your typical mood lighting, date-night ambiance you wanna take a partner to. Everything is fresh and made to order. I love all of the drink varieties to offer and service was very welcoming… This is the perfect place to stop in, enjoy a high-class meal and then take a stroll with a cutie to explore one of Ohio City's busiest areas.” — Yelp Review

CLEveland Clothing Co

Spreading Cleveland Pride, One T-Shirt at a Time

342 Euclid Ave | Downtown |

Once you move to the city, you’re gonna want to show off your Cleveland pride! Luckily, CLEveland Clothing Co. makes that super easy by producing stylish and fun merchandise for all ages and sizes.

Come to CLEveland Clothing Co., also known as CLE Clothing Co., to pick up unique Cleveland-, Lake Erie-, and Ohio-themed T-shirts, tank tops, sweatshirts, socks, accessories, collectibles — you name it, they make it! 

CLE Clothing Co. is the quintessential American small business success story. In 2008, two ambitious friends decided to start a T-shirt company together. What started with one screen printing press, some blank shirts, and some business cards has become a hugely popular company with four locations and an online store.

Don’t just take our word for it — CLE Clothing Co. has been named Best T-Shirt Company by Cleveland Magazine and Scene Magazine multiple times over the past decade!

“Really cool Cleveland clothing store.  This store has really neat local clothing and art.  I loved the wide selection of tee shirts that you guys carry.  The local art in the downtown location was an added bonus that I really enjoyed!” — Google Review

Small Screen Studios

Home, Holiday, Apparel, and Everything In Between!

2017 Murray Hill Road | Little Italy |

Small Screen Studios is your one-stop shop for everything artsy and unique. They sell home decor, accessories, apparel, seasonal products, jewelry, cards, houseware, books, and MORE! In addition to the products they sell in store, they have a wide variety of products available on their website.

The store is owned by Cleveland native Sara Hoover, who has personal ties to the Little Italy community where she opened Small Screen Studios. “It’s been my dream to open a combined shop and studio space in Little Italy where my mother’s Italian grandparents settled almost 100 years ago,” she says.

This is the perfect place to go for artwork, gifts, and decorating your new home. Many products are made by local artists, including the owner herself. In fact, Small Screen Studios is known for  wedding invitations.

“You will love this store!!! Every item is carefully selected and adorable. There’s a great selection of cards, and unique gifts for all ages. Sara is incredibly helpful and also available for freelance design work. She designed the stationery for my daughter’s wedding and it is beautiful!” — Google Review


Here, Good Food Is Never a Guilty Pleasure

1909 W 25th St | Ohio City |

Sometimes, going out to eat can feel bittersweet. The food tastes amazing, and it can be a great way to spend quality time with family and friends, but sometimes a 1,500-calorie meal can leave you feeling overly stuffed and guilty.

Food is fuel, and you shouldn’t have to choose between tasty and healthy. That balance is the philosophy behind Cleveland’s TownHall. They serve delicious meals — mostly organic and with no GMOs — in their contemporary indoor-outdoor restaurant. 

Unlike many other health-conscious restaurants, TownHall won’t break the bank. Their reasonably priced menu has so many things to try, you’ll be coming back again and again with your friends and family!

“This place is absolutely amazing! The food is delicious, the quality is perfection and not to mention the service is always top notch... Great atmosphere! A favorite!!! Hats off to the TownHall team!” — Yelp Review

So there you have it! Cleveland has everything you could want in a city — low cost of living, great neighbors, and a wide variety of shops, stores, restaurants and more to explore. 

In fact, there are so many amazing things about Cleveland that we couldn’t cover in one article — reach out to one of our representatives today for more information, and we’re sure you’ll find that it’s the right city for you!

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