2016 Safest Places in Ohio

by Susan Gulliford

When people think about Ohio, manufacturing, farming and football usually come to mind. The ValuePenguin team analyzed FBI Crime Statistics to determine the safest cities in the seventh-most populous state. These 221 cities had populations of at least 5,000, and final crime scores that ranged from 178 to 6,021. Four of our top five cities are in the Cleveland metropolitan area. Interestingly, Cleveland itself had the highest final crime score.

5 Safest Places in Ohio

These cities have an average final crime score of 206, which is 86% lower than their typical peer in the state. Our team at ValuePenguin determined that these five are the safest cities in the Ohio.

1. Russell Township

Our first community is Russell Township, a semi-rural (34% urban, 66% rural) community 20 miles east of Cleveland. The median household income of $80,659 was well above the state median household income of $45,395. This community consists of homeowners; a mere 5% of people rent. There were only two violent crimes recorded in 2014.

2. St. Clair Township

This small community in the eastern part of the state recorded zero violent crimes in 2014. The population is a little older; the median age is 41.4 for men and 42.4 for women, compared to the U.S. median age of 37.2. St. Clair Township is in the Ohio-Pennsylvania-West Virginia tri-state area. It is the only community among the top five that is not in the Cleveland metro area and that has a median income below the state median income. However, it has a lower poverty rate than the state as a whole.

3. Brecksville

This Cleveland suburb (population of 13,505) comes in as the third-safest city. It is an affluent community with a median household income of $93,409 and only 3.3% of its residents living in poverty. There were zero violent crimes reported in 2015. ValuePenguin found it had the lowest crime rate for communities in the 10,000-to-20,000 population range.

4. Olmsted Falls

The third Cleveland suburb to make the list, Olmsted Falls is a middle-class community (median household income of $70,198; per capita income of $30,150) that affords its residents a lot of safety. Olmstead Falls had the third-lowest rate of property crimes per 100,000 people, and it recorded no murders, rapes or robberies for the surveyed year.

5. Brunswick Hills Township

This community boasts that it is a part of two school districts that earned an "Excellent" rating from the state of Ohio. About 92% of Brunswick Hills Township residents are homeowners, and the median income is $71,016. It is a peaceful community with no murders or robberies reported in 2014.

Population Breakdown

Although we adjusted for population in our crime rankings, it is still difficult to compare a small town to a large city. To account for this fact, we separated the safest cities into three categories: towns with populations between 5,000 and 10,000, midsize cities with populations between 10,000 and 20,000, and larger cities with populations greater than 20,000. Here are our findings:

2016 Safest Places in Ohio

Full List of Places in Ohio

Below is the entire list of places that we included in our “Safest Places in Ohio” study. They are listed from the safest to the least safe, according to our analysis. The calculation for the crime scores can be found in the methodology section below. Take a look at the graph and see where your hometown ranks.

Rank

CityCrime Score

1

Russell Township178

2

St. Clair Township185

3

Brecksville199

4

Olmsted Falls235

5

Brunswick Hills Township236

6

Kirtland241

7

Broadview Heights262

8

Waterville265

9

Poland Township265

10

Grafton269

11

Hudson274

12

New Franklin284

13

Seven Hills316

14

Hinckley Township322

15

Hamilton Township, Warren County323

16

Indian Hill324

17

Dover326

18

Clearcreek Township338

19

Twinsburg344

20

Olmsted Township347

21

Pepper Pike355

22

Solon381

23

Powell383

24

North Ridgeville383

25

Sagamore Hills405

26

Bellbrook453

27

Springboro457

28

Germantown461

29

Canfield471

30

Cortland472

31

Brunswick501

32

Marysville515

33

Marietta522

34

Perrysburg524

35

Columbiana524

36

Aurora530

37

Dublin532

38

Grandview Heights545

39

Upper Arlington548

40

New Albany552

41

Mentor-on-the-Lake561

42

Loveland565

43

Bath Township, Summit County574

44

Highland Heights584

45

Shawnee Township587

46

Mason606

47

Westlake607

48

Berea609

49

Rossford630

50

Brookville643

51

Montgomery657

52

Springfield Township, Mahoning County663

53

Clayton671

54

Belpre681

55

Chardon687

56

Ada689

57

Orrville693

58

Amherst697

59

American Township699

60

North Canton703

61

New Philadelphia720

62

Lawrence Township732

63

Madison Township, Franklin County732

64

Deer Park745

65

Canal Fulton761

66

Wyoming770

67

German Township, Clark County780

68

Goshen Township, Clermont County784

69

Independence787

70

Medina788

71

Vermilion791

72

Beaver Township798

73

Hubbard Township801

74

Miami Township, Clermont County835

75

Parma Heights842

76

Uhrichsville843

77

Athens844

78

Liberty Township847

79

Centerville858

80

Parma891

81

Wapakoneta894

82

Martins Ferry911

83

Worthington921

84

Rittman926

85

Hubbard926

86

Wadsworth934

87

Lakewood936

88

Napoleon948

89

Gahanna976

90

Sugarcreek Township977

91

Willoughby988

92

Delhi Township989

93

Stow992

94

Harrison1,037

95

Champion Township1,052

96

Delphos1,072

97

Oberlin1,076

98

Louisville1,087

99

Upper Sandusky1,090

100

Salem1,098

101

Kettering1,099

102

Lebanon1,103

103

Clyde1,107

104

University Heights1,108

105

Bowling Green1,112

106

Miamisburg1,117

107

Westerville1,118

108

Beavercreek1,122

109

Eastlake1,151

110

Tallmadge1,164

111

Wauseon1,165

112

Ashland1,184

113

Vandalia1,195

114

Weathersfield1,205

115

Kent1,222

116

Painesville1,224

117

London1,224

118

Blue Ash1,227

119

Norwalk1,241

120

Howland Township1,276

121

South Euclid1,292

122

Delaware1,305

123

Groveport1,318

124

Riverside1,344

125

West Chester Township1,345

126

Oregon1,347

127

Perkins Township1,381

128

Richmond Heights1,399

129

Oxford1,409

130

Ironton1,446

131

Bedford Heights1,482

132

Springfield Township, Hamilton County1,486

133

Nelsonville1,492

134

Defiance1,501

135

West Carrollton1,503

136

Shelby1,507

137

Bexley1,510

138

Port Clinton1,536

139

Greenville1,540

140

Wellston1,548

141

Austintown1,562

142

Fairborn1,602

143

Warren Township1,605

144

Conneaut1,620

145

Cheviot1,631

146

Jackson Township, Stark County1,640

147

Fairfield Township1,643

148

Bedford1,668

149

Cleveland Heights1,692

150

Northwood1,696

151

Urbana1,705

152

Hillsboro1,713

153

Huber Heights1,739

154

Troy1,745

155

Englewood1,772

156

Celina1,777

157

Xenia1,784

158

Fairfield1,790

159

Union Township, Clermont County1,797

160

Maumee1,861

161

Grove City1,881

162

Kenton1,903

163

Forest Park1,903

164

Van Wert1,911

165

Jackson1,930

166

Butler Township1,957

167

Miami Township, Montgomery County1,968

168

Findlay1,994

169

Massillon2,008

170

Wooster2,011

171

Colerain Township2,039

172

North College Hill2,046

173

Milford2,062

174

Pierce Township2,079

175

Garfield Heights2,086

176

Barberton2,145

177

Logan2,154

178

Sidney2,167

179

Washington Court House2,208

180

East Cleveland2,237

181

Bellefontaine2,248

182

Heath2,312

183

Wilmington2,328

184

Sandusky2,336

185

Beachwood2,355

186

Boardman2,396

187

Niles2,398

188

Springfield Township, Summit County2,406

189

Marion2,415

190

Alliance2,440

191

Circleville2,459

192

Newark2,490

193

Piqua2,491

194

Lancaster2,506

195

Galion2,532

196

Warren2,691

197

Lorain2,717

198

Trotwood2,729

199

Fremont2,805

200

Bucyrus2,935

201

Cambridge2,966

202

Brooklyn3,003

203

Springdale3,076

204

Zanesville3,257

205

Mount Healthy3,281

206

Norwood3,421

207

Youngstown3,627

208

Ontario3,725

209

Columbus3,818

210

Akron3,879

211

Whitehall3,907

212

Lima3,928

213

Mansfield4,057

214

Chillicothe4,117

215

Canton4,598

216

Dayton4,631

217

Middletown4,839

218

Moraine4,852

219

Springfield4,865

220

Cincinnati5,027

221

Cleveland6,021

Year-over-year Change

Small cities with less than 10,000 in population dominated Ohio's top five again in 2016, taking three out of five slots. Also, all of this year’s top five have populations of less than 20,000. This finding is consistent with last year’s study, in which four of the top five had populations of less than 10,000, and the top city’s population had between 10,000 and 20,000.

While none of the cities with populations over 20,000 made the top five, they were noteworthy for another reason. There was remarkable consistency from 2015 to 2016. Nine of the 10 safest cities for 2015 made it onto the 2016 list.

There were some changes. Only one of the top five cities from 2015 (Russell Township) made it into the top five for 2016. Brunswick Hills Township experienced a major improvement in the rankings, moving from ninth safest for cities in the "10K-20K" range into the top 5.

View the full 2015 study. Here is our overall top five for both years:

Ohio's Safest Places

Methodology

To rank these places, we collected data from the 2014 FBI crime statistics by city, which provides the most recent crime data available. Not every town participates in this report and we also excluded towns with fewer than 5,000 residents because towns with small populations are more sensitive to crime score fluctuations for fewer crimes committed. The raw data report included property crimes (burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson), and violent crimes (murder/manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault) from all law enforcement agencies that chose to partake in the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting program.

We removed the city of Toledo from consideration because the FBI determoned that it did adhere to the UCR program. We also disqualified Sylvania Township, Streetsboro, Struthers and Union from this study, either because the FBI said these cities underreported or overreported their crime data.

At this point, we standardized the data to reflect violent and property crimes per 100,000, to account for population. Then, we aggregated a “crime score” by weighting violent crime at 80% and property crime at 20%. Though property crime is more prevalent, we figured that violent crime is more concerning to town residents. Then we adjusted the crime score for population size, giving more slack to larger cities. Finally, we ranked the cities based on their crime scores.

Here is an alphabetical table of all cities included with their ranks, making it easier to compare different cities. See where your city lies!

Rank

CityPopulationViolent Crime per 100KProperty Crime per 100KFinal Crime Score
57Ada5,790103.61,416.2689

211

Akron197,891686.24,578.83,879

191

Alliance22,191338.04,263.02,440

60

American Township12,35116.21,643.6699

59

Amherst12,13324.71,607.2697

113

Ashland20,29373.92,454.01,184

78

Athens24,083108.01,494.8844

37

Aurora15,58657.71,033.0530

142

Austintown35,997175.02,728.01,562

177

Barberton26,286258.73,819.52,145

44

Bath Township, Summit County9,80571.41,152.5574

186

Beachwood11,812101.65,375.92,355

73

Beaver Township6,55145.81,908.1798

109

Beavercreek45,83552.42,197.01,122

149

Bedford12,831187.03,312.31,668

132

Bedford Heights10,681318.32,406.11,482

27

Bellbrook7,04442.61,008.0453

182

Bellefontaine13,156220.44,575.92,248

55

Belpre6,42977.81,477.7681

49

Berea18,981100.11,022.1609

138

Bexley13,543110.83,212.01,510

119

Blue Ash12,14657.62,774.61,227

187

Boardman40,047162.34,557.12,396

106

Bowling Green32,145121.31,981.61,112

3

Brecksville13,505-
481.3199

8

Broadview Heights19,318119.1134.6262

203

Brooklyn10,964264.56,375.43,003

51

Brookville5,86268.21,433.0643

32

Brunswick34,62054.9883.9501

6

Brunswick Hills Township10,20219.6509.7236

201

Bucyrus12,007241.56,229.72,935

167

Butler Township7,86476.34,717.71,957

202

Cambridge10,476477.35,469.62,966

66

Canal Fulton5,50672.61,743.6761

30

Canfield7,38627.11,110.2471

216

Canton72,3911,008.45,427.54,598

157

Celina10,370183.23,693.31,777

80

Centerville23,94996.01,574.2858

96

Champion Township9,447148.22,053.61,052

56

Chardon5,19377.01,540.5687

146

Cheviot8,313204.53,344.21,631

215

Chillicothe21,896360.88,042.64,117

221

Cincinnati297,671905.45,562.25,027

192

Circleville13,469237.65,004.12,459

54

Clayton13,20953.01,415.7671

19

Clearcreek Township14,80947.3621.2338

222

Cleveland388,6551,334.35,434.46,021

150

Cleveland Heights45,207234.52,696.51,692

104

Clyde6,27747.82,724.21,107

172

Colerain Township58,813181.93,546.82,039

36

Columbiana6,30531.71,253.0524

210

Columbus830,811549.24,253.03,818

145

Conneaut12,889419.02,265.51,620

31

Cortland6,99928.61,114.4472

217

Dayton143,217855.35,560.14,631

65

Deer Park5,69387.81,633.6745

135

Defiance16,772184.82,814.21,501

123

Delaware36,853173.72,162.61,305

93

Delhi Township29,62154.01,995.2989

97

Delphos7,03442.62,615.91,072

18

Dover12,86246.6606.4326

38

Dublin44,16318.11,073.3532

181

East Cleveland17,448768.02,200.82,237

110

Eastlake18,38176.22,393.81,151

156

Englewood13,466185.73,549.71,772

143

Fairborn33,276144.22,966.11,602

159

Fairfield42,654229.82,947.01,790

148

Fairfield Township21,895100.53,384.31,643

169

Findlay41,613192.23,547.01,994

164

Forest Park18,724304.43,236.51,903

200

Fremont16,377146.56,069.52,805

90

Gahanna34,24967.21,883.3976

196

Galion10,215186.05,570.22,532

176

Garfield Heights28,273382.03,158.52,086

68

German Township, Clark County6,94243.21,858.3780

29

Germantown5,52072.5942.0461

69

Goshen Township, Clermont County15,62664.01,612.7784

11

Grafton5,89550.9508.9269

39

Grandview Heights7,058-
1,416.8545

140

Greenville13,036306.82,516.11,540

162

Grove City37,94597.53,718.51,881

124

Groveport5,700105.33,087.71,318

16

Hamilton Township, Warren County21,92013.7688.9323

95

Harrison10,38267.42,311.71,037

183

Heath10,485200.34,949.92,312

45

Highland Heights8,31660.11,250.6584

153

Hillsboro6,598106.14,061.81,713

15

Hinckley Township7,87350.8622.4322

121

Howland Township17,008164.62,357.71,276

86

Hubbard7,724116.51,916.1926

74

Hubbard Township5,513163.31,487.4801

154

Huber Heights38,137196.73,010.21,739

12

Hudson22,52617.8559.4274

70

Independence7,14756.01,818.9787

17

Indian Hill5,814-
860.0324

131

Ironton11,045172.02,888.21,446

166

Jackson6,298206.44,255.31,930

147

Jackson Township, Stark County40,645115.63,095.11,640

116

Kent32,582233.31,774.01,222

163

Kenton8,184110.04,423.31,903

102

Kettering55,77895.01,934.51,099

7

Kirtland6,841-
628.6241

88

Lakewood50,923129.61,470.8936

195

Lancaster39,453268.74,377.42,506

63

Lawrence Township8,235145.71,287.2732

103

Lebanon20,56087.52,208.21,103

79

Liberty Township11,825143.81,505.3847

213

Lima38,265922.54,881.73,928

178

Logan7,139294.24,412.42,154

118

London9,996140.12,501.01,224

198

Lorain63,619385.14,116.72,717

99

Louisville9,150131.12,218.61,087

43

Loveland12,38764.61,122.1565

64

Madison Township, Franklin County17,948105.91,298.2732

214

Mansfield46,145455.16,878.34,057

34

Marietta14,05171.2975.0522

190

Marion36,765269.34,213.22,415

83

Martins Ferry6,815234.81,438.0911

33

Marysville22,46049.0988.4515

47

Mason31,41635.01,206.4606

170

Massillon32,196264.03,397.92,008

161

Maumee14,062120.94,003.71,861

71

Medina26,55179.11,465.1788

42

Mentor-on-the-Lake7,450134.2912.8561

75

Miami Township, Clermont County41,74671.91,518.7835

168

Miami Township, Montgomery County29,10299.64,010.01,968

107

Miamisburg20,109169.11,919.51,117

218

Middletown48,603637.87,773.24,839

174

Milford6,676224.74,493.72,062

52

Montgomery10,39519.21,558.4657

219

Moraine6,331300.111,562.24,852

206

Mount Healthy6,051661.06,032.13,281

89

Napoleon8,68746.02,221.7948

134

Nelsonville5,348149.63,403.11,492

41

New Albany9,11132.91,262.2552

13

New Franklin14,32827.9572.3284

62

New Philadelphia17,42580.31,377.3720

193

Newark47,808142.24,752.32,490

188

Niles18,848339.64,249.82,398

61

North Canton17,50368.61,382.6703

173

North College Hill9,354331.43,827.22,046

25

North Ridgeville31,70634.7712.8383

151

Northwood5,364298.33,355.71,696

120

Norwalk16,790125.12,436.01,241

207

Norwood19,027383.76,459.23,421

98

Oberlin8,389143.02,169.51,076

5

Olmsted Falls8,90133.7460.6235

21

Olmsted Township13,17875.9538.8347

209

Ontario6,13232.69,703.23,725

127

Oregon20,207138.62,573.41,347

58

Orrville8,44571.01,480.2693

130

Oxford21,426266.02,188.91,409

117

Painesville20,026249.71,847.61,224

81

Parma80,16883.61,481.9891

76

Parma Heights20,37473.61,659.0842

22

Pepper Pike6,19416.1871.8355

128

Perkins Township12,02849.93,184.21,381

35

Perrysburg21,51818.61,133.9524

175

Pierce Township11,45952.44,913.22,079

194

Piqua20,746173.55,075.72,491

10

Poland Township12,16032.9518.1265

139

Port Clinton6,029364.92,604.11,536

24

Powell12,41016.1870.3383

129

Richmond Heights10,492133.42,945.11,399

85

Rittman6,55230.52,304.6926

125

Riverside25,068191.52,289.81,344

50

Rossford6,53930.61,529.3630

1

Russell Township5,23838.2324.6178

26

Sagamore Hills11,07999.3604.7405

101

Salem12,08591.02,325.21,098

185

Sandusky25,236289.34,148.82,336

14

Seven Hills11,71351.2572.0316

46

Shawnee Township12,25632.61,305.5587

137

Shelby9,08944.03,630.81,507

179

Sidney20,961176.54,308.02,167

23

Solon23,11334.6735.5381

122

South Euclid21,895100.52,575.91,292

28

Springboro17,96666.8807.1457

204

Springdale11,216490.45,634.83,076

220

Springfield58,891750.57,196.34,865

133

Springfield Township, Hamilton County36,479227.52,346.61,486

53

Springfield Township, Mahoning County6,49777.01,431.4663

189

Springfield Township, Summit County17,673158.45,030.32,406

2

St. Clair Township7,793-
474.8185

94

Stow34,75569.11,907.6992

91

Sugarcreek Township8,16436.72,351.8977

111

Tallmadge17,533131.22,218.71,164

199

Trotwood24,193392.74,654.22,729

155

Troy25,500121.63,474.51,745

20

Twinsburg18,88226.5699.1344

77

Uhrichsville5,400148.11,666.7843

160

Union Township, Clermont County47,54279.93,523.21,797

105

University Heights13,363217.01,818.51,108

40

Upper Arlington34,60011.61,161.8548

100

Upper Sandusky6,586212.62,004.31,090

152

Urbana11,584189.93,435.81,705

165

Van Wert10,763278.73,623.51,911

114

Vandalia15,151125.42,356.31,195

72

Vermilion10,468114.61,509.4791

87

Wadsworth21,89450.21,950.3934

82

Wapakoneta9,82271.31,954.8894

197

Warren40,592445.94,055.02,691

144

Warren Township5,395426.32,595.01,605

180

Washington Court House14,072213.24,469.92,208

9

Waterville5,50654.5490.4265

112

Wauseon7,292178.32,303.91,165

115

Weathersfield8,145245.52,099.41,205

141

Wellston5,53672.33,847.51,548

136

West Carrollton13,028207.22,824.71,503

126

West Chester Township59,62992.22,446.81,345

108

Westerville37,83674.02,146.11,118

48

Westlake32,41637.01,196.9607

212

Whitehall18,587694.06,375.43,907

92

Willoughby22,50197.81,879.9988

184

Wilmington12,455152.55,074.32,328

171

Wooster26,455279.73,428.52,011

84

Worthington13,903100.71,819.8921

67

Wyoming8,41183.21,628.8770

158

Xenia25,932215.93,177.51,784

208

Youngstown64,669655.64,917.33,627

205

Zanesville25,415389.55,835.13,257

Comments and Questions