Commonly known as “The Buckeye State,” but also less-commonly known as “the Birthplace of Aviation,” Ohio is kind of a big deal. It's the seventh-most populous state in the country and home to sizable cities such as Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Toledo, Akron, and Dayton. Meanwhile, Canton remains home to the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Sandusky boasts the beloved Cedar Point amusement park. Ohio also has the nation's tenth-largest highway network, and its central location makes it a transportation and business hub.
Named after the Ohio River, which was in turn named after the Iroquois word for “great river,” Ohio technically did not become a state until August 7, 1953. It was then that president Eisenhower finally signed the papers to retroactively declare March 1, 1803 as the state's admittance to the union. Since then, Ohio has become the birthplace of seven different presidents: Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, William McKinley, Benjamin Harrison, James A. Garfield, William Howard Taft, and Warren G. Harding. Residents are proud of this rich presidential tradition, as well as the state's many sports teams, which include The Ohio State Buckeyes, Cleveland Cavaliers, Cleveland Indians, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Browns, and Cincinnati Bengals. Additionally, Ohio has a reputation as a safe state, as evidenced by its five safest cities.
Safety has always been an important factor when searching for a new place to call home, but a wavering political system combined with an increase in violent crime has made safety the number one priority for many Americans. Because navigating through crime statistics can be a difficult and time-consuming process, we’ve done it for you.
1. RUSSELL TOWNSHIP
Located about 20 minutes east of downtown Cleveland, Russell Township is a classic Middle American town - people remember your name and keep an eye out for funny business. Perhaps that's why it's also the safest town in a state full of them—Russell Township experienced a mere 9 reported property crimes and 1 violent crime last year. You might need a microscope to dive into those crime stats, but instead of doing that you should probably check out the headquarters of ASM International, formerly known as the American Society for Metals. The stunning building features a huge geodesic dome, which looks like something straight out of a sci-fi movie.
2. CHESTER TOWNSHIP
Also located east of Cleveland, and within a buckeye's throw of the previously mentioned Russell Township, lies Chester Township. This town is actually one of five Chester Townships found statewide, but locals will tell you that this one is by far, 100%, for sure, the best Chester Township in Ohio. It's also the safest, seeing only 1 violent crime and 35 property crimes last year. Originally established in 1801, Chester Township today boasts more than 150 miles of roads, as well as a water system that's composed of individual water wells.
A great American football town, Dover loves its Friday night lights. This city of 12,867 people and its Dover High School Tornadoes football team have been battling it out with the nearby New Philadelphia Quakers every year for more than a century, a feat that's known as the third-longest football rivalry in the state. That's pretty impressive, but Dover also piles on the accolades by being known as the third-safest city in Ohio, experiencing only 7 violent crimes and 47 property crimes each year. Besides throwing the pigskin around and being super safe, locals look forward to attending the Tuscawaras County Italian-American Festival in the summer.
4. BAY VILLAGE
On the freshwater shores of Lake Erie, just 15 miles west of Cleveland, you'll find Bay Village, which feels so safe that it may as well have put padding on all its street signs. And while it hasn't, it still only saw 7 violent crimes and 47 property crimes in an entire year. The city is also home to Bay High School, which has received praise as one of the best high schools in the country. Besides boasting about the beautiful beach sunsets, locals will likely brag about how Bay Village was home to the famed Cleveland Browns quarterback Otto Graham, as well as the legendary Prohibition agent Eliot Ness, who led “The Untouchables” against Al Capone.
Named after James H. Bell, a railroad official, the city of Bellevue has remained a railroad hub since the first half of the 1900s. These days, it also has a reputation for its safety, as evidenced by its tiny crime numbers—only 1 reported violent crime and 31 property crimes last year. Bellevue and the surrounding area boasts several attractions, including the Mad River & NKP Railroad Museum, which opened in 1976, and Seneca Caverns, a fascinating geologic wonder consisting of underground caves. History buffs can also check out the Heter Farm, Tremont House, and the John Wright Mansion, all of which are on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Top 50 Safest Cities in Ohio, 2017
1. Russell Township
11. Hamilton Township, Warren County
21. Clearcreek Township
2. Chester Township
12. Olmsted Township
32. St. Clair Township
13. North Ridgeville
23. Pepper Pike
33. Munroe Falls
43. Springfield Township, Mahoning County
4. Bay Village
24. Sylvania Township
34. New Philadelphia
44. Lawrence Township
15. Sagamore Hills
45. Shawnee Township
6. Hinckley Township
46. Madison Township, Franklin County
7. Poland Township
49. Indian Hill
10. Seven Hills
To identify the safest cities in Ohio, we reviewed the most recent FBI Uniform Crime Report statistics along with our own population data and internal research. We eliminated any cities that failed to submit a complete crime report to the FBI and removed cities with populations under 5,000. Note that our use of the word "cities" is versatile, refers to populations of 5,000 and over, and thus includes places with the words "town" and "township."
The remaining cities were ranked based on the number of reported violent crimes (aggravated assault, murder, rape, and robbery) and property crimes (burglary, arson, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft) per 100,000 people. These variables were then weighted, with violent crimes accounting for 70% of the total (due to their severity) and property crimes accounting for 30%. Finally, we moved the decimal point over a few spots to show rates per 1,000 people.