Wooster Ranked one of America's Best Places to Live

This small town has got it goin' on!

street in small town wooster ohio


Madeline Adamczyk


Jan 21, 2021

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This past September, MONEY Magazine released its list of the Top 100 Places to Live in America. The magazine examined 2,400 different towns and cities with populations that ranged from 10,000 to 100,000 residents. They judged the individual locations based on factors such as public education, local economic strength, crime rates, and the cost of living. With these things in mind, the magazine whittled their list down to 100. Wooster, Ohio was impressively ranked 37th out of 100. It’s also the highest-rated Ohio city that made the list. So, what makes Wooster so livable?

View homes for sale in Wooster, OH

Economic Stability

Where businesses thrive & workers are happy

Historically, Wooster’s economy was supported by the agricultural endeavors of the area, and for the most part, it’s still that way today. The city is home to the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center and the Agricultural Technical Institute, which are both parts of the Wooster Campus of The Ohio State University. These facilities serve as Ohio’s hub for agricultural research. All are committed to finding new ways to improve agricultural production, educate students in the areas of agriculture, horticulture, engineering technology, and business, develop ways to improve environmental sustainability and create biobased products.

Aside from agricultural esteem, Wooster generally has a strong job market relative to other cities of its size. The projected job growth rate is 4.4%. The unemployment rate is low at about 4%, and the average commute for workers who live in and around Wooster is just 16 minutes.

Wooster receives a lot of public recognition for its economy and was recently recognized by Site Selection magazine as the 3rd highest ranked United States micropolitan for new business growth. And this isn’t the first year that Wooster won this title. For the past ten years, the Wooster/Wayne County area has contended for or achieved the title of highest performing micropolitan.

Part of why Wooster is such a great area for business is because of its prime location. It’s right between Cleveland and Columbus and is a cheaper option for large companies’ office and headquarter locations. Wooster hosts big-names like Frito Lay, Worthington Industries, and The Cleveland Clinic.

steel warehouse
Photo Courtesy of bluescopeconstruction.com

Affordable & Family-Oriented

Live well in Wooster

The average price of a house in Wooster is $117,166, and the average price of a house in Ohio is $190,371, which is a dramatic difference in price. If a small town atmosphere with booming businesses and research centers is the place for you, buying a house in Wooster will give you a notable return on investment.

To add to the list of positive attributes about the area, Wooster is known for being a great place to raise a family. With a population of just over 27,000 residents, many people who live there boast of a tight-knit community. Nevertheless, the farm-town is bolstered by a historic and vibrant downtown area. You’ll never be lacking ideas when it comes to planning your next family outing in Wooster.

family taking a picture
There's Something for the Whole Family in Wooster

Calling All Foodies & Shopaholics

Treat Yourself!

Whatever cuisine you’re in the mood for and whatever you’re shopping for, you’ll probably find it in Wooster. The downtown area has many local shops that you can browse at your leisure as well as numerous restaurants and cafes that you can eat at. Head on over to The City Square Steakhouse for a juicy steak, to TJ’s Restaurant for some up-scale seafood, or to Basil Asian Bistro for some sushi. There is also a highly ranked brewery in Wooster called JAFB Brewing Company, which features a spacious taproom and live music.

As you wander through the city streets, you’ll find clothing boutiques, an Amish Country Essentials store, furniture stores, antique shops, and other specialty stores. Check out the full list of shopping venues.

store sign that says open
Shop 'til you Drop in Downtown Wooster

The Arts

The Finer Things in Life

In addition to great shopping and food, Wooster offers a wide variety of art and cultural opportunities. The Wayne Center for the Arts holds many concerts and performances throughout the year and offers various art classes ranging from ceramics to visual art and dance.

The College of Wooster is the home to both the Ohio Light Opera and the Wooster Symphony Orchestra. Check out their performance schedules, and plan your cultural enrichment experience today.

woman playing cello
The Wooster Symphony Orchestra Won't Disappoint

Academic Environment

Centered Around Education

Wooster is home to the College of Wooster, The Ohio State University’s Agricultural Technical Institute, and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. These institutions provide a lot of educational and cultural opportunities for city residents. Wander on the campus grounds of the College of Wooster, or head to the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center to visit the Secrest Arboretum to check out the outdoor lab and landscape garden.

In terms of the school systems in Wooster, there are many private and public schools to choose from. Specifically, the city school system is ranked 50th out of 608 for “Best School Districts in Ohio.” Overall, the high school graduation rate is 95.9%.

chalkboard and chalk and books
Wooster Places an Emphasis on Education

Whatever you’re looking for in a city, Wooster’s definitely got it. From a unrivaled cost of living to a booming job market and plenty of family-friendly and cultural activities, this farm town has earned its rank on America’s Best Places to Live list.

View homes for sale in Wooster, OH
November 3, 2017
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