Is Cleveland Safe To Visit? Everything You Need To Know (Stats, Maps And Tips)


is cleveland safe

If you are thinking about visiting Cleveland and have some qualms about the safety of the city, we got you covered.

We are going to deep dive into the statistics, look at some maps, graphs and talk to the residents of the city to give you a better understanding of how safe Cleveland really is.

Is Cleveland Safe To Visit?

Cleveland is not a safe place to visit. It consistently ranks on the list of most dangerous cities in the United States. In 2020 it had the 10th highest violent crime rate and it had the 9th highest murder rate in the country.

Cleveland’s Population

The population for the Cleveland in 2020 was 372,624

Cleveland Crime Stats

Here’s a breakdown of all the crimes in Cleveland for 2019 and 2020.

2019

2020

2019 vs 2020

Murder

123

177

+43.90%

Rape

594

501

-15.66%

Robbery

2,081

2,015

-3.17%

Aggravated Assault

2,664

3,176

+19.22%

Burglary

4,573

4,084

-10.69%

Larceny/Theft

12,746

10,993

-13.75%

Motor Vehicle Theft

2,997

3,157

+5.34%

Arson

166

188

+13.25%

TOTAL

25,944

24,291

-6.37%

*All data is from the Cleveland Police Department

Cleveland Violent Crime Rate

In 2020 Cleveland reported 5,869 violent crimes and had a violent crime rate of 1,575 per 100,000 people.

  • The national average for violent crime is 398.5 per 100,000 residents. Cleveland’s violent crime rate is 4x greater than the national average.
  • Ohio’s violent crime rate is 308.8 per 100,000. Cleveland’s violent crime rate is 5x greater than the state national average.
  • Cleveland had the 5th highest violent crime rate in the country in 2020.

*Violent crimes include; homicides, rape, robbery and aggravated assaults and the violent crime rate is calculated by dividing the number of reported crimes by the total population; the result is multiplied by 100,000.

Cleveland Property Crime Rate

In 2020 Cleveland reported 18,422 property crimes and had a property crime rate of 4,943.9 per 100,000 people.

  • The national average for property crime is 1958.2 per 100,000 residents. Cleveland’s property crime rate is 252% greater the national average.
  • Ohio’s property crime rate is 1850.3 per 100,000. Cleveland’s property crime rate is 267% greater than the state national average.
  • Out of the 100 most populous cities in the United States, Cleveland’s property crime rate ranked 17th highest.

**Property crimes include; arson, burglary, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft are classified as property crimes. The property crime rate is calculated by dividing the number of reported crimes by the total population; the result is multiplied by 100,000.

Cleveland Murder Stats

In 2020 Cleveland reported 177 homicides, which was a 15.8% increase over 2019, where 123 homicides were reported.

  • 177 is the most number of homicides reported in Cleveland since 1991 where 175 homicides were recorded.
  • In 2020 Cleveland had a murder rate of 47.5 per 100,000 residents and had the 7th highest murder rate in the nation.
  • The national murder rate is 6.5 per 100,000 people. Cleveland’s murder rate is 7x greater the national average.
  • As of November 5, 2021, there have been 152 homicides reported and is a slight decrease year over year from 2020.

Cleveland vs The Most Dangerous Cities In The United States

Here’s a list of the top 11 most dangerous cities in the United States ranked by violent crime rates. Cleveland ranks 10th on most dangerous cities in the United States.

crime rate most dangerous cities in the us

CityPopulationNumber of violent crimes in 2020Rate per 100,000 people
Memphis633,10415,3102,418.24
Detroit639,11114,3702,248.44
Baltimore609,0329,2732,027.01
St. Louis301,5786,0171,995.17
Little Rock202,5913,6571,805.11
South Bend103,4531,7651,706.09
Cleveland372,6246,2811,685.61
Milwaukee577,2229,4071,629.70
Birmingham200,7333,1661,577.21
Cleveland372,6245,8691,575
Kansas City508,0907,9191,558.58
Lansing112,6441,6991,508.29
Springfield169,1762,5451,504.35

*All data is from the 2020 FBI Crime Stats Report**

Cleveland’s Worst Neighborhoods

Here’s a map showing you the where gangs are most active in Cleveland.

Most Dangerous Neighborhoods In Cleveland

east cleveland chapman ave

(East Cleveland – Chapman Ave)

  • East Cleveland
  • Kinsman
  • Woodland Hills
  • Fairfax
  • Union-Miles
  • Glenville
  • Mount Pleasant
  • South Collinwood
  • Hough
  • Central
  • Corlett
  • Slavic Village

Safest Neighborhoods of Cleveland

gordon square cleveland

(Gordon Square)

  • Kamm’s Corners
  • Edgewater
  • Detroit Shoreway
  • Ohio City
  • Old Brooklyn
  • Jefferson
  • Tremont
  • Downtown
  • University
  • Gordon Square
  • Coventry
  • Little Italy
  • Cleveland Hights

What do residents of Cleveland say about its safety

  1. "All the tourist attractions are pretty safe to visit. You aren’t going to be in high crime areas unless you seek them out."
  2. "The vast majority of the west side is relatively safe. The east side is generally unsafe except for a few pockets that are nice."
  3. " Don’t stop in east Cleveland."
  4. "Don’t slow down in East Cleveland or you’ll die!"
  5. "I don’t think anyone would ever use “East Cleveland” and “positive” in the same sentence unless the sentence was ” I’m positive that I never want to live there”. "
  6. "The worst neighborhoods in the city are on the East Side"
  7. "In East Cleveland, you can literally own a house for less than $10,000, granted it will be a complete shithole and in a desolate area, but you would own your own house!"
  8. "The stuff worth seeing in Cleveland for a tourist is pretty safe."
  9. "Most of the east side is very poverty stricken and crime ridden."
  10. "The west side is definitely safer than east side."
  11. "Do not even think about going to East Cleveland, it is a dangerous city. "

Tips to stay safe while visiting Cleveland

  • Do you research before you travel. Know which part of the city to avoid. Don’t go to the places you should avoid.
  • Plan out your trips before you leave. Know exactly where your hotel is and know how to get back to your hotel.
  • Don’t walk around alone at night. Use an Uber or Taxi to get to your destination.
  • Don’t flash your wealth. Whether it be expensive watches, jewelry, purses, etc.
  • Avoid giving out contact or accommodation information to strangers.
  • Save the sightseeing for the daytime.
  • Don’t carry a lot of cash around and especially don’t flash your cash.
  • Walk with confidence and purpose, even if you are slightly unaware of where you are going.
  • Don’t look like a tourist.
  • Don’t engage with people trying to stop you on the street. Just keep walking.

Is Cleveland safe at night? / Is it safe to visit alone?

Cleveland can be a safer place to visit if you study the layout of the city and avoid the problem areas and also follow the safety tips posted above. Safety is never guaranteed in a high crime city.

Is Downtown Cleveland Safe?

The main downtown area is pretty safe, especially during the day time. However, the further away from downtown you go, the sketchier it gets.

We recommend that you stay within the vicinity of the main downtown area and avoid wandering outside that area.

Final Thoughts

Statistically speaking, Cleveland is not a safe place to visit. It consistently ranks high on lists regarding violent crime and murder rates. Most of the east side of Cleveland should be avoided, except for a few small pockets and East Cleveland is a dystopian wasteland.

If you are traveling to Cleveland we recommend that you find accommodations on the west side of the city and in the areas mentioned above. You should also, at minimum, research the layout of the city and orient yourself with which places you should avoid.

Quick Facts About Cleveland

  Cleveland, Ohio United States

Population, percent change – April 1, 2010 (estimates base) to July 1, 2019,  (V2019)

-3.9%

6.3%

Population, Census, April 1, 2020

372,624

331,449,281

Population, Census, April 1, 2010

396,815

308,745,538

Black or African American alone, percent

48.8%

13.4%

American Indian and Alaska Native alone, percent

0.5%

1.3%

Asian alone, percent

2.6%

5.9%

Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone, percent

0.1%

0.2%

Two or More Races, percent

4.4%

2.8%

Hispanic or Latino, percent

11.9%

18.5%

White alone, not Hispanic or Latino, percent

33.8%

60.1%

Foreign born persons, percent, 2015-2019

5.9%

13.6%

Median value of owner-occupied housing units, 2015-2019

$69,600.00

$217,500.00

Median selected monthly owner costs -with a mortgage, 2015-2019

$998.00

$1,595.00

Median gross rent, 2015-2019

$719.00

$1,062.00

Language other than English spoken at home, percent of persons age 5 years+, 2015-2019

14.7%

21.6%

High school graduate or higher, percent of persons age 25 years+, 2015-2019

80.8%

88.0%

Bachelor’s degree or higher, percent of persons age 25 years+, 2015-2019

17.5%

32.1%

In civilian labor force, total, percent of population age 16 years+, 2015-2019

59.1%

63.0%

Total accommodation and food services sales, 2012 ($1,000)

950,855

708,138,598

Median household income (in 2019 dollars), 2015-2019

$30,907.00

$62,843.00

Per capita income in past 12 months (in 2019 dollars), 2015-2019

$21,223.00

$34,103.00

Persons in poverty, percent

32.7%

11.4%

*All data is from the U.S. Census

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Mariska Lee

Mariska is a recovering attorney who gave up her professional job to discover new perspectives of life while traveling in a 2009 Ford Transit. She has been living the van life for 3 years and has not looked back since.

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