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County Overview

Athens County offers a wide variety of communities, from townships and villages to our larger cities. Each community has a wealth of perks, and each is unique in special ways. Explore the City/County Overview pages to learn more about Athens’ quality of life, area maps, service providers, and community economic development efforts.


Bounty on the Bricks
Court House

Radar Hill 
White’s Mill

See the Data & Demographics, Quality of Life, Service Providers, and Workforce & Talent pages for more county-wide information.

For information on community events and services, visit the Athens County Convention & Visitor’s Bureau and Athens Area Chamber of Commerce

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Area Maps
Interactive Mapping

Choose from the below links to access interactive maps of Athens County that allow you to search a variety of criteria including property parcels, points of interest, the county index, and more.

Athens County Broadband Maps

The Ohio Broadband Availability map, developed by Reid Consulting Group on behalf of Connecting Appalachia, reveals that half of all populated areas in Ohio access the internet at less than 10 Mbps down/1 Mbps up. Two-thirds of the state is below the FCC minimum of 25 Mbps down / 3 Mbps up. That’s close to 720,000 houses without broadband, nearly 4 times what the FCC claims. Check out the tool here.

Athens County Census Map

  • Green Area – Incorporated Areas (Cities)
  • Purple Areas – Census Designated Areas (Towns)
  • Blue Lines – Census Tracts

Cost of Living
Better Quality of Life for Less
Why Athens?

“Athens County has an unbeatable work ethic. This was all coal mining territory. If you’re willing to go two miles down into the ground to work, you’ve got tenacity and commitment that any employer will benefit from,” - Dave Scholl, Diagnostic Hybrids

Athens Cost of Living Chart

Athens has a lower cost of living than many communities. As of March 2022, Athens’ cost of living index was 79.4, which is 20.6 points lower than the U.S. cost of living index (100). Home prices in Athens County have also not experienced the volatility seen in other markets.

COST OF LIVING Athens, Ohio United States
Overall  79.4 100
Grocery   104 100
Health   89.9 100
Housing 76.6 100
Utilities 104.8 100
Transportation 59.5 100
Miscellaneous   92.2 100

*Data retrieved from Sperling’s Best Places.

Occupation Snapshot report

The Adjusted Average Earnings report breaks down incomes by industry SOC codes. The legal, management, and information technology industry clusters are among the highest average earnings. Click below to download the complete JobsEQ report.

Occupation Snapshot

Cost of Living Comparison Chart

County Cost of Living Score
Athens 79.4
Hocking 85.8
Gallia 79
Fairfield 92.6
Washington 79
Licking 93.9
Franklin 90.1

*Data retrieved from Sperling’s Best Places. 


Major Industries
Athens County is the only county in Southeast Ohio that produces a base of workers attractive to both the high-technology and advanced services industries that need college graduates to operate.  Athens County’s strategic location in the middle of larger urban centers of Columbus, Pittsburgh, and Charleston creates substantial opportunities to develop high-tech and advanced services jobs as Athens is close enough to these urban centers to capitalize on national airports and other services these companies may need. Additionally, Athens County possesses a competitive edge compared to other places as there is a significantly lower cost of living and wages which are attractive to businesses.

Athens’ major and growing industries include:

  • Healthcare
  • Business and Financial Operations
  • Production
  • Management Occupations
  • Construction and Extraction
Healthcare in Athens County:

The healthcare sector in Athens County is one to pay close attention to. According to data collected in our Strategic Plan, it is the leading industry sector in the state of Ohio from an employment and growth standpoint, and is the second largest sector from an employment perspective in Athens County.  Athens County’s largest job growth from 2011 to 2016 came from the healthcare sector, which added 24 percent of jobs. Healthcare jobs typically provide higher paying, living wage jobs that the ACEDC is committed to growing for Athens residents.Healthcare-Industry-on-Map-1-768x421

The expansion of Ohio Health O’Bleness also provides opportunities to further grow the healthcare sector and become a healthcare hub for the region. The ACEDC’s strategic plan outlines plans to with partners to leverage these opportunities and secure private and public sector funds for the creation of an innovation corridor linking the university to the community’s healthcare centers. The map above shows the concentration of healthcare industry in Athens County compared to surrounding counties (data taken from EMSI).

Potential Innovation Corridor Linking OU and Ohio Health


The image is taken from Ohio University Master Plan

Business and Financial Operations

The Athens County area is rich in the business and financial operations industry, due in large part to Ohio University’s presence in the county. According to our 2020 Strategic Plan, the wages for this industry sector have continuously increased since our 2016 strategic plan and continue to grow!

Ohio University College of Business

Ohio University’s College of Business trains students to be successful in the business industry and fosters a space of mentorship and inclusion with Athens County local businesses.

The Ohio University Innovation Center

The Ohio University Innovation Center has an amazing track record of assisting local start-ups in the technology and biomedical industries in their formative years, which allows them to graduate into a full-fledged successful business. Success stories include: OsteoDxEcolibrium SolarBiolife Solutions Stirling Ultracold, amongst many many others!

Business Organizations

The Athens Area Chamber of Commerce has created and fostered a sense of inclusiveness and support for small businesses throughout Athens County. This truly ensures that professionals of all ages can enjoy a place to work and live with many financial operations businesses calling Athens County home.

Production and Manufacturing

Athens County has a well-diversified Production and Manufacturing sector representing many type of products, including advanced services and the technology and biomedical fields. Read more below!

Advanced Services

Athens County is well positioned to succeed in the advanced services industry—the highly educated population positions the county well for high-wage jobs in Healthcare, Manufacturing, Transportation and Material Moving, Life, Physical and Social Sciences, and Architecture and Engineering. Its base of advanced services jobs illustrates growth potential in these emerging industries. Athens County is also fortunate to have multiple interstate natural gas lines traveling across the county that can be a source of low cost energy for energy-intensive manufacturers. For these reasons, Athens County remains an economic powerhouse as a leading center for high-wage advanced services and manufacturing jobs.

The manufacturing sector covers a broad range of industries from food production to consumer products. American manufacturing is a long-standing tradition in Athens County, and the Athens County Economic Development Council will continue to build on its history.

Operating Advanced Services & Manufacturing Companies:

Technology & Biomedical

Athens County has a strong start in the development of jobs tied to the tech sector and its technology commercialization activity is mature. Technology-based Economic Development initiatives are attractive because they create high wage “multiplier” jobs with companies in the growth mode for the Information Age economy. The ACEDC intends to build on our already successful small business and technology-based economic development programs by developing small businesses and attracting technology jobs through the establishment of an Athens Community Fund and development of a technology accelerator. Read more about the Athens Community Fund in our Strategic Plan.

Tech Commercialization Framework


Athens also benefits from an advanced university technology commercialization process at Ohio University. Ohio University has operated a Technology Transfer Office since 1991 that is part of the Vice President for Research and Creative Activity division at Ohio University.  The Technology Transfer Office is part of the university’s entrepreneurial ecosystem that works closely with the Innovation Center business incubator, the Edison Biotechnology Institute, the Center for Entrepreneurship, and TechGROWTH Ohio, which provides funding and entrepreneurial support for tech, IT, biomedical, etc. companies in Southeast Ohio.

Operating Technology/Biomedical Companies:

Management Occupations

Athens County is a great place to live, work, and play–due in most part to the jobs, natural beauty, and cultural attractions of the region, and the affordable housing market. Some of these great jobs include management occupations which give professionals of all ages a chance to find a great career. Job seekers can find positions at a host of organizations including those in the private, public, and nonprofit sectors!

Construction and Extraction

Athens County and its proximity within the Appalachian foothills are rich in natural resources which allows the region to take advantage of the construction and extraction industries. Athens County also has a strong labor force for the Construction and Extraction industries.