What Are The 8 Safest Neighborhoods in Cleveland, Ohio?

Mary Newman
by Mary Newman

Cleveland Rocks! At least, that’s what Drew Carey would have you believe. With nearly 400,000 residents, Cleveland is a vibrant, engaging community with a surprising amount of history. But sometimes, it can get a reputation for being unsafe, so where are the safest neighborhoods in Cleveland, OH?

The safest neighborhoods to live in Cleveland are Tremont, Ohio City-West Side, Downtown, University District, and Edgewater. These neighborhoods feature crime rates that are 50 to 60% lower than Cleveland’s crime rate, and Tremont’s crime is 2% below the national average. Other areas that are safer in Cleveland include Riverside, Old Brooklyn, and Buckeye Shaker.

Yes, you can live Downtown in Cleveland and be completely safe. Whether you want to live near a busy college and experience that bar-and-restaurant nightlife, or in the bustling Downtown district, there are some great options for you.

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The Safest Neighborhoods in Cleveland, Ohio

Founded in 1796, Cleveland is a city that abounds with history but also features plenty of entertainment opportunities. Unfortunately, Cleveland doesn’t have the best reputation when it comes to crime.

The crime index is 2, with 100 being the safest. However, not all of Cleveland is dangerous. Many areas are full of families, safe nightlife, and small businesses. If you’re considering moving to Cleveland for school, work, or to get closer to a big city, be sure to read this first.

Our top 8 safest neighborhoods include:

  • Tremont
  • Ohio City-West Side
  • Downtown
  • University District
  • Edgewater
  • Riverside
  • Old Brooklyn
  • Buckeye Shaker

With data pulled from the FBI crime statistics, and residents’ experiences, these are the safest neighborhoods to live and work in within Cleveland, Ohio. Some of these might surprise you – the statistics for the third-safest surprised us.

1. Tremont Tops The List Of Safest Neighborhoods In Cleveland

  • Population: 6,533
  • Median Income: $40,561
  • Crime Per 100k: 2,291
  • Unemployment Rate: 6%

On the West Side of Cleveland sits the neighborhood of Tremont, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Tremont actually has the distinction of being one of the oldest neighborhoods in Cleveland, so if you’re looking for history and culture, this is where you should live!

Residents enjoy quite a bit to do, including the Steelyard Commons, a shipping mall, a large shopping plaza, and numerous restaurants and bars. The area also has several art galleries and is considered a great area for the arts and culture. If you’re a fan of A Christmas Story, the classic Christmas Story home is in Tremont! As far as a place with nightlife and things to do, Tremont is a great neighborhood to choose from.

Tremont has a good mix of single-family homes and apartment complexes. Within the last 20 years, Tremont has been an up-and-coming neighborhood for young professionals, empty nesters, and the young-and-hip crowd sometimes called ‘hipsters’. It also ranks as our safest neighborhood in Cleveland.

2. Ohio City-West Side

  • Population: 9,075
  • Median Income: $34,090
  • Crime Per 100k: 2,423
  • Unemployment Rate: 7.6%

Home to the West Side Market, one of the best markets in Cleveland, is Ohio City-West Side. This is another up-and-coming neighborhood with a great crime rating and even better food and drink. Located on the Cuyahoga River and right by Rivergate Park, there is a lot to do for any resident living in this neighborhood, and there are plenty of shopping opportunities.

True, the area has a low median household income and a high unemployment rate (higher than the national average). Therefore, some might not expect this neighborhood to be on the list of safest neighborhoods in Cleveland.

However, people in Ohio City-West Side take care of each other and take pride in their neighborhoods. This is why crime rates aren’t higher, despite monetary concerns and job issues. For many, this is a huge selling point – living somewhere that people love and value creates a true neighborhood experience.

3. Downtown Is One Of The Safest Neighborhoods In Cleveland

  • Population: 8,632
  • Median Income: $102,343
  • Crime Per 100k: 2,877
  • Unemployment Rate: 5.7%

Yes, Downtown Cleveland is a lot safer than most people expect – just look at those crime statistics! Despite the Downtown area having a bad reputation, a lot of money and effort has gone into it in the last 20 years by residents to bring the Downtown neighborhood back to life. Their effort is noticeable, too – with a growing population of people choosing to live downtown, the median household income is higher than the national average, and crime continues to decline.

Unsurprisingly, there is plenty to do in Downtown Cleveland. Situated directly on Lake Erie, there is a good balance of parks – like Fort Huntington Park, Cleveland Public Square, and Perk Plaza – and shopping. There are also a variety of locally owned cafes, bars, and breweries, so there really is something for everyone.

The majority of housing in downtown Cleveland are apartments, though some single-family homes do exist. The Downtown area is home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Progressive Field, and the Q Arena. If you are looking to live in Cleveland, and you’re craving the nightlife and excitement without the danger, downtown living is a great option.

4. University District One Of Safest Neighborhoods In Cleveland

  • Population: 7,940
  • Median Income: $23,188
  • Crime Per 100k: 2,582
  • Unemployment Rate: 4.7%

University District is the place to live in Cleveland if you’re looking for culture, arts, or music. Home to the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Cleveland Orchestra, Severance Hall (a concert hall opened in 1931), the Cleveland Institute of Music, the Cleveland Botanical Garden, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland… there is seriously something for everyone.

Despite a low median household income of just over $23,000, the University district is relatively free of crime. The population is low, but the area itself provides over 30,000 jobs to residents in the Cleveland area. The majority of those who live in the University District are students, many attending either Cleveland State University or Case Western Reserve University.

The University Hospital Main Campus, Health Sciences Research Campus, and Case Western Reserve University itself are all within this neighborhood. Cleveland Clinic is directly adjacent to the University District neighborhood as well. Ambler Park and Magnolia-Wade Park Historic District provide plenty of greenery for residents as well.

5. Edgewater

  • Population: 7,397
  • Median Income: $84,333
  • Crime Per 100k: 3,685
  • Unemployment Rate: 5.2%

Located on the west side of Cleveland is Edgewater, directly adjacent to Lake Erie and about 5 miles west of the Downtown neighborhood we just talked about. Edgewater itself is best known for the Clifton Boulevard Historic District, which boasts lots of local shops and restaurants in an authentic, historic setting. Like many older cities in Ohio, Cleveland has no shortage of 100+ year-old buildings!

Edgewater is a great choice if you want to be near the water and the beauty that is Lake Erie. Edgewater Park, in the neighborhood itself, features two clean and beautiful beaches open to the public, as well as several hiking and walking trails. If you own a boat – or wish to! – the park has a public boat ramp that will put you directly on the lake as well.

Many of the homes in Edgewater are single-family homes, with moderate-sized lots and well-maintained yards. Much of Edgewater has a peaceful, small-town feel to it, which is especially nice considering how close to the Downtown area it is.

6. Riverside

  • Population: 2,886
  • Median Income: $77,760
  • Crime Per 100k: 4,289
  • Unemployment Rate: 4.8%

Located in Southwest Cleveland quite a way away from the lake is Riverside, with a surprisingly small population and an impressive median household income. Riverside is home to the Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, as well as parts of the Rocky River Reservation, a lovely nature spot with hiking trails and the Rocky River itself. Riverside Park and Maplewood Park are also great outdoor destinations for a family.

If you don’t mind the airport noise, homes in Riverside lean to the single-family dwellings, with good-sized lots and narrow, tree-lined roads. The neighborhood has a smattering of shopping options and restaurants, but for the majority of their needs, residents will need to look elsewhere. There is no major grocery store, for example.

There is also a lot of industry in Riverside, with numerous businesses like Sysco, Constant Aviation, Nextant Aerospace, and Kiffer Industries all having buildings by the airport. For many residents of Riverside, living so close to where they work is incredibly convenient.

7. Old Brooklyn

  • Population: 33,665
  • Median Income: $75,007
  • Crime Per 100k: 4,815
  • Unemployment Rate: 6.4%

Yet another Cleveland neighborhood on the West Side is Old Brooklyn, five miles south of the Downtown neighborhood. Squished against the Cuyahoga River, this relatively large swath of land has a variety of housing options for any budget or family.

The biggest selling point of Old Brooklyn is the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, located in the south section of the neighborhood. Harmody Park is also in Old Brooklyn, if you’re looking for outdoor entertainment. Old Brooklyn is full of coffee shops, restaurants, and shopping, and residents never have to leave if they don’t want to!

With such a large population, the median household income may come as a surprise to many residents. The unemployment rate in Old Brooklyn is just higher than the national average. While crime is a concern in Old Brooklyn, it’s much safer than many other areas of Cleveland and is considered a great place to raise a family or to live as a single professional or young couple.

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8. Buckeye Shaker

  • Population: 10,927
  • Median Income: $27,529
  • Crime Per 100k: 5,281
  • Unemployment Rate: 11.4%

The Buckeye Shaker neighborhood is a relatively small section of residential homes just south of the University District, another safe neighborhood on our list. The neighborhood itself has built up around the Shaker Square shopping center, a historic center built in the 1920s by the Van Sweringen brothers.

There are plenty of single-family homes in Buckeye Shaker, but there are also apartments and condo residences. In fact, Buckeye Shaker has the highest concentration of multi-family housing in all of Cleveland. This may be one of the reasons for a lower median income in the area – it’s a great, lively area for those just starting out their journey.

Larchmere Boulevard is also in Buckeye Shaker, and home to numerous festivals and events in Cleveland, including the PorchFest and the Holiday Stroll. The biggest concern? The high unemployment rate, which is nearly double the national average. However, if you have a job lined up and you’re looking for somewhere with a great mix of community engagement and nightlife, Buckeye Shaker could be for you.

Related Questions

What are the most dangerous neighborhoods in Cleveland, OH?

Some of the most dangerous areas in Cleveland are Kinsmith, Industrial Valley, Central, and North Broadway. All of these areas have crime rates between 40 and 60% higher than Cleveland’s average. Industrial Valley’s violent crime rate is 584% above the national average.Other areas that it’s best to avoid are Fairfax, Stockyards, Woodland Hills, and Union Miles Park. You at least want to be extra aware of your surroundings, avoid going out at night, and walk around in groups.

What is the cost of living in Cleveland, OH?

Cleveland’s cost of living is well below the national average and below the average for Ohio. Where 100 is considered average, Cleveland’s cost of living is 72.6. The median home cost is $68,900, far below the national median of $291,700.The majority of homes in the area are between $40,000 and $60,00, and you can rent a two-bedroom apartment for about $720 a month.

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Mary Newman
Mary Newman

Mary Newman thought that home improvement was all painting and putting down throw rugs... until she bought a fixer upper, and realized it's so much more. With a passion for helping others NOT make the mistakes she did, Mary seeks to always improve her home - and yours, too!

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