What are the most dangerous cities in Ohio?
That’s the question we set out to answer today by looking at the last three years of FBI Crime data.
Whether you are thinking of moving to Ohio, or just visiting, it’s good to have a sense of crime rates before you get there.
Here are the 10 most dangerous cities:
- Whitehall (Photos)
- Middletown (Photos)
- Cleveland (Photos)
- Springfield (Photos)
- Canton (Photos)
- Toledo (Photos)
- Portsmouth (Tie) (Photos)
- Cincinnati (Photos)
- Hamilton (Photos)
Read on to see how we did it and for more details on the top 10.
How We Determined The Most Dangerous Cities In Ohio
Everyone has opinion on what the most dangerous city in the state is, but we don’t want to rely on opinion. Instead, we gathered up the last three years of crime data from the FBI to determine which city has the most crime.
Every year the FBI releases their Uniform Crime Report, which summarizes the amount of violent crime and property crime in each city.
For this analysis, we only considered cities with populations greater than 10,000 people in 2013, the last year for which FBI data is available. This left us with 153 cities in Ohio to rank.
To create an overall crime rank, we broke it down into two criteria for each year (2013, 2012, and 2011):
- Violent crimes per capita
- Property crimes per capita
Then we weighted each year’s data giving more weight to the most recent year. The idea being that the most recent data gives a current snapshot of the location, but that recent history can also inform our future expectations.
If previous year’s data was not available, we only considered the current year.
The result was that 2013 data is 2x more important than 2012 and 6x more important than 2011 in our calculation.
Finally, we ranked each city based on their violent crime per capita and property crime per capita and took average of the two ranks.
As with all FBI Crime rankings, it is important to note this ranking is not a critique of police practices or effectiveness. It’s simply an analysis of where crimes occurred.
Violent Crime Rank: 9
Property Crime Rank: 3
White Whitehall might be the smallest town in our top ten, it packs one heck of a punch. It didn’t take the number one spot in either criteria, though, combined, its residents have the highest chance of being the victim of a crime in the entire state.
If there’s a silver lining to be had, it’s that violent crimes were down about 20% in 2013 from the previous year.
Violent Crime Rank: 11
Property Crime Rank: 2
Middletown ranked second on our list of the most dangerous cities in Ohio. It also ranked second for property crime with an average of .083 property crimes per person in the city.
The good news is that it ranked outside of the top ten for violent crime at number 11.
Violent Crime Rank: 1
Property Crime Rank: 13
Cleveland has ranked as one of the more dangerous cities in America for the past years according to various surveys.
This trend holds true today as Cleveland ranked number one over the past three years in terms of violent crime in Ohio and number three most dangerous overall.
But it’s really parts of Cleveland that you need to look out for. In 2010, Chestnut Place and Scovill Avenue ranked as two of the top 25 most violent neighborhoods in America.
Other parts of the city, like Downtown, are actually very safe.
Violent Crime Rank: 10
Property Crime Rank: 5
Springfield ranked high on our list because it had a good bit of violent crime and property crime, but did not lead in either category.
You have a 1 in 14 chance of being the victim of a property crime in Springfield and a 1 in 147 chance of being the victim of a violent crime.
Violent Crime Rank: 4
Property Crime Rank: 12
While football stars might fight to get into Canton each year, the residents have a tendency to get into fights generally.
You have a 1 in 103 chance of being the victim of a violent crime in Canton, which was the fourth highest rate in Ohio.
Violent Crime Rank: 2
Property Crime Rank: 15
Toledo was an interesting case for us.
They do not report property crime, only violent crime. But because Toledo is a major city and their violent crime is so high–second in the state–we felt it inappropriate to leave them off this list.
Therefore, we assigned Toledo the average property crime rate for two similarly sized cities (Cincinnati and Akron). The result put their property crime rate 15th overall and placed Toledo 6th on our list.
7. Portsmouth (Tie)
Violent Crime Rank: 15
Property Crime Rank: 4
Portsmouth came in at a tie for the 7th most dangerous city in Ohio.
Portsmouth ranked 4th overall for property crime, while 15th for violent crime.
7. Chillicothe (Tie)
Violent Crime Rank: 18
Property Crime Rank: 1
Chillicothe had the highest rate of property crime of any city we analyzed, 12% higher than the closest city.
Violent Crime Rank: 5
Property Crime Rank: 16
Cincinnati made it into our top ten most dangerous cities in Ohio mainly because of its violent crime rate, which ranked 5th overall.
We noticed a trend in our top ten that is exemplified by Cincinnati. Violent crime rates tend to be higher in bigger cities. This probably has to do with population density and a larger range of incomes. Smaller cities have a tendency to have higher property crime rates.
Violent Crime Rank: 13
Property Crime Rank: 9
Hamilton ranked just inside the top ten for property crime and just outside the top ten for violent crime.
We find it interesting to note that Hamilton was just as close to the 6th spot on our list as the 11th spot. That means that there’s a bit of jump between the top ten most dangerous cities in Ohio and the rest.
Wrapping It Up
While these are the 10 most dangerous cities in Ohio, we find it important to note that crime is pretty much down across the state. So while these places are relatively dangerous, they are not even as dangerous as they were last year.
And that’s a trend we can all get behind.
We also did the research on the 10 worst places to live in Ohio. Click here to read that story.