Cleveland and Columbus Rank in Top 10 Gloomiest Metro Areas, Cincinnati Not Far Behind at 13


Best Places ranked Cleveland fourth and Columbus seventh in their list of the top 10 “Gloomiest Places.” Cincinnati came close to the top ten at thirteenth.

The 50 largest metro areas in the United States were used as the pool for the rankings. The research site wrote,

The data team at determined each metro area’s Gloom Score by looking at three key environmental factors for the months of November, December, and January:

  • Percentage of Cloud Cover
  • Average Hours of Daylight
  • Days with Precipitation”

A central Ohio newspaper, the Columbus Dispatch, tweeted the story about their home town, “Columbus ranked among ‘gloomiest’ US cities in winter.”


The entire list began with Seattle at #1 for gloomiest place in America, followed closely by Portland, Oregon. Buffalo, New York was third, then Cleveland, then Pittsburgh in fifth place.

Detroit was the sixth most gloomy, Columbus the seventh, then Milwaukee, then Chicago in ninth place. Boston came in at number ten.

All fifty metro areas were rated from most gloomy to least. The least gloomy was Phoenix, preceded by Las Vegas then Riverside, California. Rounding out the top five of the least gloomy places in the United States were Los Angeles and San Diego.

The data site provided more than just the results of their research. They expressed concern for those forced to live in the gloomiest areas of the country and provided some recommendations.

“If you live in a Gloomy Place you may be at risk for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), symptoms of which include feeling down, having low energy, and disruption of your sleep patterns. Although the specific cause of SAD remains unknown, reduced levels of sunlight can disrupt your circadian rhythms, reduce serotonin, and affect melatonin levels,” they shared.

“It’s important to take active steps to counteract these tendencies. Exercise, healthy eating, light therapy, and regular social interaction are some of the basics,” added the authors. “It’s normal to have “down” days, but if you have extended periods like this you should see your doctor.”

Best Places’s website provides, “Info on Best Place to Live, Cost of Living, Schools, Crime Rates, Climate, House Prices, and more.”

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Beth Lear is a reporter at The Ohio Star.  Follow Beth on Twitter.  Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Cleveland Skyline” by Jon Dawson. CC BY-ND 2.0.






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