Ohio is the seventh most populous state in America. How does it stack up in terms of safety? We pored over the most recent FBI crime statistics to determine how the towns stack up to each other. Our analysis of nearly 230 municipalities in the Buckeye State left us with some interesting results. Predictably, many of the largest cities in the state ranked low on our list by fairly wide margins (the scores ranged from 67 to 5,381), but the safest town in our study fell into the "midsized" bucket, unlike the four small cities that rounded out the top five.
Take a look at some of our findings below:
The top 5 safest places in Ohio
Almost all of our five safest cities have populations less than 10,000, with the notable exception being our safest city. Lyndhurst has a population of approximately 14,000 overall. The adjusted crime scores for these towns range by about 30 points overall.
According to our calculations, Lyndhurst takes first place by a slim margin. The city saw five violent crimes and no property crimes in 2013. The town is in Cuyahoga County in northeastern Ohio. The median Lyndhurst resident earns about $10,000 more than the median Ohio resident.
- Population: 13,769
- Adjusted crime score: 67.63
This town takes second place with an adjusted crime score of 71.45, 92% more favorable than the average city in Ohio. Businessweek deemed Madeira one of the "Best Places to Raise Kids – For Less" in 2007. Violent crime is negligible, and there is remarkably little property crime in proportion to the city's population. Madeira is located in southwestern Ohio.
- Population: 8,837
- Adjusted crime score: 71.45
This northwestern town ranks third, losing out to Madeira by two points. Bryan is the seat of Williams County. The city has less property crime in proportion to population than Madeira, but its slightly higher rate of violent crime relegates it to third place on our list.
- Population: 8,512
- Adjusted crime score: 73.87
4. Russell Township
Russell Township is the least populated town in our top five. It takes fourth place with a score of 81.96. Its overall low rates of violent and property crime contribute to its high ranking. The township is located in Geauga County in northeastern Ohio.
- Population: 5,216
- Adjusted crime score: 81.96
Though Kirtland has a slightly higher incidence of property crime in proportion to its population, its lack of violent crime puts it in our top five. The city is located in Lake County, which borders Geauga County. Property values in Kirtland are about double those of the typical Ohio city.
- Population: 6,851
- Adjusted crime score: 100.78
Ohio's safest places by population
Generally, larger cities tend to have more crime than smaller cities. We broke out three separate population categories (small under 10,000, midsized between 10,000 and 20,000 and large greater than 20,000) to make fair comparisons between the various municipalities.
Featured small city (under 10,000) - Olmsted Falls
This Cuyahoga County town is our fifth-safest small town in Ohio. Its nearly negligible violent crime and relatively little property crime also secure its place as the sixth safest town in the state overall. The median income in Olmsted Falls exceeds the state median by about $20,000.
- Population: 8,910
- Adjusted crime score: 104.18
Featured midsized city (10,000-20,000) - Broadview Heights
Located in Cuyahoga County, Broadview Heights is the second-safest midsized city on our list. Its adjusted crime score is almost double that of Lyndhurst, our safest midsized city and safest city overall. This can be attributed to its higher rate of violent crime.
- Population: 19,277
- Adjusted crime score: 110.03
Featured large city (over 20,000) - Hudson
Hudson ranks as the safest large city and 12th-safest town overall in our study, with a crime score that is 83% more favorable than the average city in Ohio. The town is located in northeastern Ohio, in Summit County. The town has very little violent crime proportionate to its population, and a property crime figure that’s on par with many other safe small towns in the state.
- Population: 22,340
- Adjusted crime score: 154.77
We collected data from the 2013 FBI crime statistics by city, which provide the most recent crime data available. We excluded towns with populations less than 5,000 because towns with smaller populations than that are much more sensitive to crime score fluctuations. The raw data report included violent crimes (murder/manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault) and property crimes (burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft and arson) from all law enforcement agencies that participate in the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting program.
We standardized the data to reflect violent and property crimes per 100,000, to account for population. We then aggregated a "crime score." In order to calculate this, we weighted violent crime at 90% and property crime at 10%; though property crime is far more prevalent, we figured that the violent crime data points are more relevant when calculating the relative safety of these cities. To account for the fact that smaller cities with very slight upticks in crime are penalized more severely, we applied a logarithm to the population and multiplied it by the "crime score" to arrive at an "adjusted crime score." We then ranked the cities relative to each other based on their adjusted crime scores.
Full list of cities and towns in Ohio
If you're looking for an alphabetical list of the cities in Ohio and how they compare, here is a table so you can look up your town:
Violent crime per 100,000
Property crime per 100,000
|Bath Township, Summit County||9,724||21||1,481||332|