FBI data: Lower rate of violent crime in Columbus than other major Ohio cities

Ohio

A memorial to the nine people killed in the August 2019 mass shooting of 27 people in the Oregon District of Dayton, Ohio, sits along the sidewalk on Aug. 6, 2019. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Violent crimes like murders, rapes and robberies are more common in Ohio’s larger cities than smaller ones, according to federal per-capita data.

The FBI defines violent crimes as those that “involve force or threat of force,” and they include four offenses: murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, rape, robbery and aggravated assault.

Ohio’s largest cities – like Cleveland, Cincinnati and Toledo – ranked near the top in violent crimes per person in 2019, the most recent year that data is available from the FBI.

Cleveland and Canton led Ohio with around 140-150 violent crimes per 10,000 people. Dayton, Toledo, Akron and Cincinnati, ranked right below with between 84-96 per 10,000.

Canton, which has a population just over 70,000, was the only city in the per-capita top six with a population less than 140,000. Lima, population 37,000, and Moraine, population 6,500, ranked seventh and eighth.

Columbus, despite being Ohio’s most populous city, ranked just 14th in violent crimes per capita. Whitehall, a suburb with fewer than 20,000 people, ranked five spots higher.

The FBI estimates 1,203,808 violent crimes occurred in the U.S. in 2019. It was the third straight year with a decline from the previous year, although 2019 was slightly higher than the 1,199,310 violent crimes in 2015.

In a larger view, however, violent crime in the U.S. has dropped dramatically in the 21st century. 2019 saw 36.67 violent crimes per 10,000 Americans, which was a drop of more than 27% from the 50.65 violent crimes per 10,000 in 2000.

The FBI collects this data from local law enforcement, and not all Ohio cities reported data. NBC4’s analysis looked only at cities, which Ohio law defines as having more than 5,000 people.

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