This website previously identified twelve major cities that are experiencing their worst homicides rates in history. The three largest cities in the state of Ohio were all on our list.
The state government has not released an official homicide total for 2020 yet. However, we can tell you that it is going to be very bad. The total for 2021 is on pace to be even far worse than 20202.
Cincinnati broke all records for homicides in 2020. However, they are on pace for a slightly lower homicides rate in 2021. Columbus was at a historic high in 2020 and is on pace to break all records in 2021. Cleveland set a new all-time record homicide rate in 2020 and is on track for an even higher rate in 2021. Toledo shattered all records in 2020 with the highest number of homicides and the highest homicides rate by large margins. The city is on pace for a similar amount of homicides this year.
Dayton had their highest homicide rate ever in 2019 when a left-wing activist murder nine people. However, 2020 was their second-highest. Homicides in 2021 are on pace to beat the 2020 rate.
In every major city in Ohio, Blacks are the majority of both the perpetrators and victims. A majority of homicide suspects for the entire state are Black, despite making up only 14-15% of the population. The black homicide rate appears to be increasing at a pace that far exceeds any other race. For example, Columbus, Ohio, is on track to have the highest homicide rate in the city’s history for 2021. Of the 2021 homicide suspects, 85% are Black, despite Blacks making up only 29% of the city’s population. In 2020, 82.3% of homicide suspects in Columbus, Ohio, were Black. In 2019, 76% of Columbus’ homicides suspects were Black.
From 1960 to 1974, the statewide homicide rate steadily grew. Then it declined until a brief spike in the early 90s. By the mid-90s homicides were in a rapid decline. Between 1998 and 2002, Ohio had statewide homicide rates of less than four. The lowest homicide rates since the early 60s. There was a spike in 2017, but homicides went back down in 2018 and 2019 again.
Statewide homicides for Ohio:
1974: 952 homicides, 8.87 homicides per 100k (all-time highest homicide rate, 8.8 homicides per 100k)
1980: 871 homicides, 8.09 homicides per 100k (highest spike in the 80s)
1991: 783 homicides, 7.16 homicides per 100k (largest spike in the 90s)
1999: 397 homicides, 3.53 homicides per 100k (lowest homicide rate since 1964)
2017: 741 homicides, 6.35 homicides per 100k (highest spike in the 10s, 6.4 homicides per 100k)
The state government has not released any official statewide figures for 2020 yet. However, there were 652 homicides in the five largest cities, plus suburban Cuyahoga County. The Gun Violence Archive documented 651 shooting homicides, and they do not catch all of them. They do not track non-firearm-related homicides. Using these numbers we can extrapolate that the total number of homicides was probably in the range of 850-900.
Ohio’s average statewide homicide rate by decade:
The average yearly homicide rate in the 10s was the lowest since the 60s, even though the average age was roughly eight to ten years younger in the 60s.
Everything falls apart in 2020:
1991: 139 homicides, the former all-time high (estimate population 641k, 21.7 per 100k)
2017: 143 homicides, this was the most homicides since 1991, but was a much lower rate (estimated population 852k, 16.8 per 100k)
2018: 103 homicides
2019: 105 homicides
2020: 175 homicides, the new record (estimate population 901k, 19.4 per 100k)
2021 (first six months) 99 homicides, approximately 30.9 homicides per 100k if homicides continue at the same pace for the second half of the year.
Columbus had 25 homicides in July of 2021, one of the highest single-month totals in history. This gives Columbus, Ohio 124 homicides in the first seven months of 2021. In 2020, the city had 74 during the same time period. This is a 67.5% increase over the same time period in 2020.
1982: 195 homicides, the all-time record (estimated population 582k, 33.5 homicides per 100k)
2019: 118 homicides
2020: 175 homicides (estimated population 396k, 44.2 homicides per 100k)
During the first seven months of 2021, Cleveland had even more homicides than the same time period in 2020.
1971: 81 homicides, the former all-time record (estimated population 453k, 17.8 homicides per 100k)
1995: 50 homicides, highest number in the 90s (estimated population 348k, 14.4 homicides per 100k)
2020: 94 homicides, the all-time record (estimated population 301k, 31.2 homicides per 100k)
In 2020, Cincinnati beat its all-time homicide record set in 1971, despite having a significantly smaller population. Cincinnati is also experiencing a homicide rate far higher than what the city experienced in the 90s. For the first six months of 2021, homicides in Cincinnati were down compared to the same time period in 2020, but still very high relative to the city’s history
Suburban Cuyahoga County (outside Cleveland):
2021 (first six months): 36
1996: 45 homicides (estimated population 172k, 26.2 homicides per 100k)
2018: 37 homicides
2019: 53 homicides, but 9 are all from left-wing activist Conner Betts (140k, 37.9k homicides per 100k)
2020: 47 homicides (estimated population 140k, 33.6 homicides per 100k)
During the first six months of 2021, homicides were up in Dayton over the same time period in 2020.
1994: 35 homicides, the former all-time record (estimated population 325k, 10.8 homicides per 100k)
2016: 39 homicides
2019: 42 homicides
2020: 63 homicides (estimated population 277k, 22.7 homicides per 100k)
During the first seven months of 2021, homicides were even higher than in the same time period in 2020.
1974: 48 homicides, the former all-time record (estimated population 255k, 18.9 homicides per 100k)
2019: 33 homicides
2020: 50 homicides, the new record (estimated population 199k, 25.1 homicides per 100k)
During the first four months of 2021, homicides in Akron were up over the same period in 2020.