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The 20 Most Dangerous Cities in Ohio


The State of Ohio is a typical Midwestern state in the United States of America. The area developed as early settlers spread west. Ohio, as other Midwestern states grew with industrialization and immigration. Ohio had great resources including oil and coal and easy access to Lake Erie and the Ohio River. As the railroads and the Erie Canal developed, so did Ohio's economy. Through the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Ohio developed as a center of the steel and automotive industry. As with other Midwestern states with great resources, Ohio fell into the rust boat during the later twentieth century. The fallout is an increase of crime in blighted towns across the state. Of course, the largest metropolitan areas are not surprisingly high in crime, many of Ohio's quaint small towns have suffered the same fate. Here are the 20 most dangerous cities in Ohio based on one in a thousand chances of being affected by property or violent crime.

20. Euclid - 27 per 1,000 residents

Euclid is an eastern suburb of Cleveland, Ohio. It's located along two railroad tracks, but its economy has never really flourished. The main employment industries include construction, transportation, manufacturing and warehousing. Unemployment is high in Euclid and job growth is slow. The chances of being a victim of violent crime is 1 in 30.

19. Elyria - 28 per 1,000 residents

The city of Elyria, Ohio is located south of Lorain and 25 miles west of Cleveland along the Black River. When nearby automobile manufacturing plants closed, Elyria's economy dropped. Businesses including Bendix, 3M and Riddell moved out of the city to other towns. The once popular Midway Mall which opened in 1967 is pretty much deserted. The city's population is 55,000 and the average household income is $50,000. Elyria is trying hard to revitalize but crime remains high.

18. Garfield Heights - 30 per 1,000 residents

Garfield Heights is a suburb of Cleveland that once had a big economy. Today it's still headquarters of a gas tank manufacturer, the district's Ohio Department of Transportation and the Ohio Catholic Federal Credit Union. Unfortunately, crime has always been high in the city of just 29,000 residents and has increased. There are at least 11 crimes reported each day. The median household income is just $40,000 and poverty is high.

17. Lorain - 32 per 1,000 residents

Known as the "International City", Lorain had an influx of immigrants from Europe during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Jobs were abundant at the city's steel mill and ship building yard. Located 30 miles west of Cleveland on the banks of Lake Erie and at the mouth of the Black River, Lorain's manufacturing industry was big. Ford Motor Company also supplied many jobs throughout the last half of the twentieth century before closing. Like many other rust belt cities, Lorain's economy declined. Today poverty and crime is high in the city of Lorain.

16. Warren - 38 per 1,000 residents

Warren, Ohio is located 55 miles south of Cleveland and 15 miles north of Youngstown. Major employers include Trumble Memorial Hospital, Tribune Chronicle and Delphi Packard Electrical but the average income is just $30,000. Warren's population is 55,000. The rate of crime is one of Ohio's highest making it one of the top twenty most dangerous places to live in the state.

15. Youngstown - 38 per 1,000 residents

Youngstown is the ninth largest city in Ohio located along the Mahoning River about 65 miles southeast of Cleveland. Youngstown is the midway point between New York City and Chicago. The city's population grew during the early twentieth century with an influx of eastern European immagrants looking for work. Youngstown was home to car manufacturing including the Lordstown Genteral Motor Plant which closed this year. Youngstown's iron ore was exhausted by the mid twentieth century. There was a strong Ku Klux Klan presence in Youngstown during the 1920's and became a center for organized crime during he twentieth century. Youngstown's crime rate remains high.

14. Marietta - 40 per 1,000 residents

Marrietta is located in southeastern Ohio along the Ohio River. Its connection to Parkersberg, West Virginia by the B & O Railroad and also the Pennsylvania Road helped the city flourish during the nineteenth century in the railroad and oil industry. Unfortunately, the small town with a population of just 14,000 is also crime ridden. Poverty is high with a median income of $34,000. The chances of being a victim of crime in Marietta are 1 in 23

13. Portsmouth - 43 per 1,000 residents

Portsmouth is located inn southern Ohio, 40 miles south of Chillacothe and along the Ohio River. The population of this small town is dense at about 21,000. The city thrived during the mid twentieth century with nuclear power plants. During the last few decades, Portsmouth has had a high rise in crime mostly due to a prescription drug epidemic. It's also home to the Ohio Correctional Facility and Northern Southern Railroad.

12. Akron - 43 per 1,000 residents

Akron is the fifth largest city in Ohio. It's located 30 miles of Cleveland in Summit County. Akron's population grew during the nineteenth century along with other cities located along the Ohio and Erie Canal. Known as the "Rubber Capital of the World", Akron is home to Goodyear Tire, Firestone and Good Rich. There is also a strong bio medical, banking and energy presence in the city which is also home to basketball legend LaBron James. The population is about 200,000 and the median income is $35,000. Unfortunately crime is high in Akron.

11. Columbus - 45 per 1,000 residents

Columbus is the capital of Ohio and located near the center of the state. Columbus is the fourteenth most populated state in the country with 890,000 residents. It's the home of Ohio State University and several large hospitals. Columbus is also a center for the insurance, banking, defense, food and steel industry. Columbus also has a one of the highest rates of crime for a city its size. The chances of being a victim of property or violent crime is 1 in 22.

10. Cambridge - 46 per 1,000 residents

Cambridge is a small town located in southern Ohio on part of the Appalachian Plateau. The town of just 12,000 residents is dense. It's known for its "S" shaped bridges and Cambridge and Mosser Glass plants. Unfortunately, poverty in Cambridge is high and so is crime. The chances of being a victim of crime are 46 in 1,000 which is one of the highest crime levels in the state of Ohio.

9. Toledo - 53 per 1,000

Toledo is located in northwestern Ohio on the banks of Lake Erie and the Maumee River. With the railroad system and the Miami and Erie Canal, Toledo's industry grew during the twentieth century and Toldeo was home to GM, Chrysler and Jeep plants. Toledo was also once known as the "Glass City" because windows and bottle manufacturing was a big industry in the city. Today the city with a population of 288,000 is high in crimes including murder, burglary, assault and car theft. The crime seemed to peak in 2010 but continues to be prevalent.

8. Middletown - 61 per 1,000 residents

The city of Middletown, Ohio was established in 1833 and boomed during the twentieth century due to its steel mills. The city is located 30 miles from Cincinnati and is the home of Miami University. The population is 50,000 in 26 and a half square miles. The average income is $40,000. Despite its once booming steel industry and being the location of one of Ohio's finest universities, crime is high in Middleton. The chances of being a victim of crime is 61 for every 1,000 residents.

7. Lima - 61 per 1,000 residents

Lima is located in western Ohio between Dayton and Toledo in Allen County. It was the location of the fictional high school in the television show "Glee". The city has a long history of crime. Famous gangster John Dillinger was jailed in Lima for a bank robbery in 1933. The city had a large Ku Klux Klan presence during the early twentieth century. The city had a population boom during after World War II because of the presence of oil. Cleveland Standard Oil had a refinery in Lima that flourished through the twentieth century. However, the city has declined over the past couple of decades. It currently has a population of 40,000 with a median income of $50,000. The chance of being a victim of property or violent crime in Lima is 61 per 1,000 residents.

6. Cincinnati - 62 per 1,000 residents

Cincinnati, Ohio is the third largest city in Ohio by population. The city's population is currently about 305,000. During the nineteenth century, Cincinnati was booming as a city located in Southern Ohio along the Ohio River. Cincinnati became a huge cultural and industrial hub in Ohio during the last two centuries. Located on the Ohio River and Licking River, how could Cincinnati go wrong? The city is one of the fasted growing in population of all of the Midwestern cities. Today, Cincinnati's economy continues to go well, but it's a big city. Therefore, the crime rate continues to be high.

5. Canton - 65 per 1,000 residents

If you live in Canton, Ohio, you have a 1 in 85 chance of being a victim of crime each day. Canton , Ohio remains a manufacurting and healthcare hub of the State of Ohio. Yet, the city located 60 miles south of Cleveland and just 20 miles south of Akron has a large crime rate. The city with a dense population of about 73,000 with a median income of about $51,000 is encouraging an urban renaissance. The city on the edge of rural Amish country is also the home of the Professional Football Hall of Fame. Today the city suffers about 65 crimes per 1,000 residents a year which is high, but hopefully the city of Canton's revitalization program works well.

4. Cleveland - 70 per 1,000 residents

Cleveland, Ohio is the second largest city in Ohio. Located on Lake Erie at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River and along Erie Canal and the railroads that connected the major cities of the United States of America, New York City and Chicago to the Midwest, Cleveland, Ohio quickly became a hub for industry, transportation and immigration during the late eighteenth century. As with any big city, Cleveland, Ohio has a history of crime. Cleveland's "Hay Day" was the home of the Carnegie family and the Rockefeller family. It was the home of Standard Oil and the Steel Industry. Today, the city has revitalized itself with the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, The Cleveland Indians, The Cleveland Browns and The Cleveland Cavaliers. The city is also home to the largest cultural center outside of New York's Broadway, Cleveland's Playhouse Square. It is also home to the Cleveland Clinic and University Hospital Healthcare. Yet, as a large city, crime persists.

3. Whitehall - 74 per 1,000 residents

The town of Whitehall, Ohio has a population of 20,000, yet a dense population in a city that was just under 5.5 square miles. The city is located east of the State's capital at Big Walnut Creek. During the mid-twentieth century, Whitehall was filled with working farms. The town was incorporated in 1947 and was one of the first of the United States of America's towns to build aa shopping strip the following year. Unfortunately, Whitehall hit hard times a few decades later. The town was plagued by department store robberies and even car bombs during the 1970's. The median income today in Whitehall is $30,000.

2. Springfield - 75 per 1,000 residents

Springfield, Ohio seems like the perfect place to live. The city located at Mad Creek, Beaver Creak and Buck Creek just 45 miles south of the State capital of Columbus and 25 miles northeast of Dayton. The city has a population of 60,000 people today. In 1983, Springfield was voted as one of "America's Dream for Families" in Newsweek's 50th Anniversary Issue. In 2004 the quaint town was named an "All American City". Today, the citizen's average income is just $25,000. Crime in the city of Springfield seems to have peaked during the past decade. Hopefully, the city will adjust to the times, and once more, will become the great town it was meant to be. The chances of being a victim of crime in Springfield is high, especially auto theft.

1. Chillacothe - 85 per 1,000 residents

The small town of Chillacothe, Ohio is the most dangerous place to live in Ohio. The town is located just 45 miles south of the State's capital, Columbus and is on the Scioto River. Sadly, Chillacothe's crime rate is among the highest in the United States for a city its size. Chillacothe's population is just 22,000 in a 10.5 square mile area and has yet the average income is $45,000. Chillacothe was recognized as a "Tree City" in the USA by the National Arbor Day Foundation. Chillacothe is now home to the Pixell Paper Mill and the Chillacothe Correctional Institution. The town's average income today is about $25,000 with an unfortunate amount of violent crime.

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Liz Flynn

Written by Liz Flynn

Liz Flynn has worked as a full-time writer since 2010 after leaving a career in education. She finds almost all topics she writes about interesting, but her favorite subjects are travel and food. Liz loves the process of researching information, learning new things, and putting into words what others who share her interests might like to read. Although she spends most of her time writing, she also enjoys spending time with her husband and four children, watching films, cooking, dining out, reading, motorsports, gaming, and walking along the beach next to her house with her dog.

Read more posts by Liz Flynn

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