The most dangerous city in Ohio is Cleveland. The city has a population of 367,991 and a very high violent crime rate. Cleveland’s crime rate is 5.5 times the Ohio state average and 4.3 times the national average. Cleveland suffers from mass poverty, a high unemployment rate, and problems stemming from the drug trade, all contributing to the city’s crime rate. In addition, Cleveland has one of the highest murder rates in the nation, with residents having an overall 1 in 59 chance of becoming the victim of a violent crime. In 2022 there were 164 murders, 1,505 robberies, and 4,280 assaults, making Cleveland the worst city in Ohio for violent crimes.
Another one of the most dangerous cities in Ohio is Chillicothe, which has an extremely high crime rate which is 4 times the state average and 3.7 times the national average. Chillicothe only has a population of 22,000, but there are numerous violent crimes in the city. It has a terrible problem with sexual assault, the rate of which is 2.8 times the national average. In 2020 there were 111 violent crimes and 1,432 property crimes. Chillicothe has numerous problems stemming from the drug trade and has a disproportionately high number of overdose deaths. The city suffers from a high poverty rate of 18%, and residents overall have a 1 in 13 chance of becoming victims of any type of crime.
Another one of the most dangerous cities in Ohio is Athens. The crime rate in Athens is 2,279 per 100,000 people. While Athens may not be the most dangerous city in Ohio, it is one of the poorest cities in the state due to its 48.7% poverty rate, which is more than three times the US national average. The median household income in Athens is only about $32,000, which is nearly 60% lower than the US average; the median home value is $196,000, which is just 10% lower than the national average. The city’s House price to income ratio in 2022 was nearly 6.3 compared to the national 3.6.
Canton is also one of the worst cities in Ohio due to its high crime rate. With a population of 70,000, Canton has a crime rate of 6,293 per 100,000 making it 168% higher than the national average. In 2022 Canton had over 1,000 violent crimes, including 16 murders, 155 robberies, and 729 assaults. Overall, residents have a 1 in 16 chance of becoming the victim of a crime. Canton is one of the poorest cities in Ohio with a poverty rate of 30% and an unemployment rate of 10%.
Dayton is another one of the most dangerous cities in Ohio. Dayton is Ohio’s 6th largest city, with a population of 140,000. The city’s crime rate is 4,932 per 100,000 people making the city 110% higher than the national average. The chance of becoming the victim of any type of crime is 1 in 21. In 2020, there were 1,523 violent crimes in the city, including 46 murders, 300 robberies, and 1,040 assaults. Montgomery County, which Dayton is a part of, has the 8th highest rate of drug overdose deaths in the United States. Property crime in Dayton was recorded at 5,391 incidents in 2020. Much of the violent and property crime directly stems from issues regarding the drug trade in the city. The city’s poverty rate stands at 29.6% with an unemployment rate of 29.6%.
Another one of the most dangerous cities in Ohio is Portsmouth. This city is located on the north bank of the Ohio River. It has a population of 20,000 residents and a crime rate of 5,360 per 100,000 residents making the city 128% more dangerous than the national average. Portsmouth is also one of the poorest cities in Ohio due to its 35% poverty rate, which is more than 105% higher than the national average. The unemployment rate is also very high at 10%, which is 5th highest in the state. Portsmouth’s Scioto county drug overdose rate is number one in the state. Problems stemming from drug use have caused a significant uptick in Hepatitis C cases in the county. Other issues include a spike in drug-related deaths, higher rates of robberies, murders, and a higher incidence of children born addicted to prescription drugs. All of this makes the city of Portsmouth one of the worst places to live in Ohio.
Mansfield has a population of 46,500 and a crime rate of 4,703 per 100,000, making the city 100% more dangerous than the US average. Residents have a 1 in 22 chance of becoming the victim of a crime. Located in America’s rust belt, Mansfield has been dramatically affected by the decline of manufacturing and retail jobs. Mansfield has a staggering unemployment rate of 10.3% and a poverty rate of 24.5%. In 2020, Mansfield had 199 violent crimes and 1,816 violent crimes.
With a population of 39,000, Warren has a crime rate of 3,240 per 100,000 people and is 38% more dangerous than the national average and 50% more dangerous than the Ohio average. Residents have a 1 in 31 chance of becoming victims of any crime. The overall poverty rate is 34.4%, and the economy has been greatly affected by manufacturing jobs leaving the area. Warren suffers from problems stemming from the drug and opioid epidemic which contribute to much of the crime in the area. Trumbull County, which Warren is a part of, had the 9th highest overdose rate in the state in 2021.
Out of a population of 58,736, Springfield has a crime rate of 5,711 per 100,000 people making the city 143% more dangerous than the US average and 164% more dangerous than the Ohio average. As with many other Ohio cities, sparse job opportunities and poverty affect the city. Springfield has an 8.9% unemployment rate and a 23% poverty rate which contributes to the steadily increasing crime rates in the city. In 2020 Springfield had 338 violent crimes, including 8 murders, 107 burglaries, and 171 assaults. The overall chance of becoming the victim of a crime in Springfield is 1 in 18.
Whitehall is another one of the most dangerous cities in Ohio due to its staggeringly high violent crime rate. Whitehall’s crime rate is 124% higher than the national average; residents have a 1 in 20 chance of becoming victims of any type of crime. Although Whitehall has a population of less than 19,000, in 2020, there were 157 violent crimes in the city, including 2 murders, 50 robberies, and 95 counts of assault. Considering the city’s small population, the violent crime rate is disproportionately high.
Large parts of Ohio (and the Midwest in general) have been greatly affected by the opioid crisis and lack of economic opportunity, which contribute significantly to the crime rates in these cities. Overall, Ohio is becoming more dangerous, which is a worrying trend. Due to these factors, among others, Ohio’s population decreased in 2021 for the first time in its history. Ohio certainly earns its reputation as a rust belt state that faces many challenges.
While Ohio may still have great things to offer, there are many cities in the state which have been especially hard hit by these problems. And if you want a great place to live, you should avoid the cities on this list as they are the worst places to live in Ohio regarding violent crime.