Columbus is the state capital of Ohio, and with great reason considering its culture and history. Unfortunately, that does not mean that the city is spared from crime, and it can be quite dangerous in fact. Still, it’s important to know what the worst neighborhoods in Columbus, Ohio are so that you can avoid them.
The worst neighborhood in Columbus is Milo Grogan, but Franklinton follows closely behind. Fort Columbus Airport and South Linden are also extremely dangerous neighborhoods with high rates of theft and violence. Avoid Olentangy River Road and Tri-South at night as they are hubs of crime in Columbus.
Each of the cities that made this list is similar in that they boast high violent and property crime rates. It’s important to know which neighborhoods you should avoid in Columbus, and this list will highlight just that. Follow along as we explore the worst neighborhoods in Columbus, Ohio.
Table of Contents
1. Milo Grogan
- Violent Crime Rate Per 100k: 737
- Property Crime Rate Per 100k: 4,846
- Population: 1,513
What Milo Grogan lacks in population size, makes up for in high violent and property crime rates. Located closely to Downtown Columbus, Milo Grogan is quite dangerous, and crime is 124% above the national average. Poverty, drugs, and high unemployment fuel the violence, theft, and burglaries that plague Milo Grogan.
Milo Grogan residents risk a 1 in 18 chance that they’ll experience some form of crime in the neighborhood. Most commonly, Milo Grogan residents suffer from chronic theft, burglary, and vehicle theft. Violence is also common, and it affects 1 in 136 residents, making it 94% higher than the national average.
- Violent Crime Rate Per 100k: 805
- Property Crime Rate Per 100k: 5,293
- Population: 7,306
Located on the Ohio River, Franklinton is one of the largest neighborhoods on this list, and it’s also one of the most dangerous. Between violent and property crime, 1 in 18 residents of Franklinton will experience some form of criminal activity. Your chances of suffering theft and property crime are much higher than violence, but both are common.
Violent crime is 112% higher than the U.S. average, and it affects 1 in 125 residents of Franklinton. The most common violent crime in Franklinton is assault, but it’s closely followed by robbery. However, your chances of suffering a property crime are extreme in Franklinton, and 1 in 19 residents can attest to that.
3. Fort Columbus Airport
- Violent Crime Rate Per 100k: 800
- Property Crime Rate Per 100k: 5,254
- Population: 3,184
Crime is 59% more common in the Fort Columbus Airport neighborhood than in the rest of Columbus, Ohio. The John Glenn Columbus International Airport is world-renowned for its efficiency, but the surrounding neighborhood is dangerous. For 1 in 17 residents of this neighborhood, violence and or property crime will impact their life.
Of said crimes, your biggest threat in Fort Columbus Airport is property crime, such as theft and burglary. Sadly, 1 in 20 residents experience a burglary or theft of some kind, and it’s all too common. Residents are not safe from violence either, and 1 in 126 residents suffer a violent crime at Fort Columbus Airport.
4. South Linden
- Violent Crime Rate Per 100k: 786
- Property Crime Rate Per 100k: 5,163
- Population: 8,700
South Linden has a large population that is spread out over just under 6 square miles, and it’s crime-ridden. In the last few years, there has been a 5% increase in crime in Columbus, and South Linden is a part of the problem. Assault, robbery, burglary, theft, and vehicle theft are the leading crimes that South Linden residents have to deal with.
Crime is 139% more common in South Linden than in the rest of the United States, and most of it is property crime. In South Linden, 1 in 20 residents experiences a property crime, and 1 in 128 experiences a violent crime. Sadly, the unemployment rate is over 12% in South Linden, and the median income for single residents is only $12,980.
5. Olentangy River Road
- Violent Crime Rate Per 100k: 797
- Property Crime Rate Per 100k: 5,240
- Population: 3,967
With crime rates that are 58% higher than the rest of Columbus, it’s safe to call Olentangy River Road dangerous. Violent crimes alone are 110% above the U.S. national average in this Columbus neighborhood, and assault is the most common one. The one redeeming factor about Olentangy River Road is that median home values are under $30,000, but the tradeoff isn’t worth it.
Between assault, robbery, theft, and burglary, 1 in 17 Olentangy River Road residents suffer a crime. Just like many of the neighborhoods on this list, property crime leads the way in crime reports. Olentangy River Road may be a fun tongue twister but living with that much crime is far from fun.
- Violent Crime Rate Per 100k: 679
- Property Crime Rate Per 100k: 4,465
- Population: 4,051
When you look at the 9.6% unemployment rate and high poverty level in Tri-South, the swell of crime makes sense. You are less at risk for violence in Tri-South than you are for property crimes, but violence still occurs regularly. Violent crimes, such as assault, rape, and robbery, occur at a rate that’s 79% higher than the national average.
That pales in comparison to the property crimes in Tri-South that exceed the national average by 112%. This all adds up to 1 in 23 Tri-South residents falling victim to theft, burglary, and vehicle theft. Sadly, 1 in 148 Tri-South natives are less lucky and have to suffer an act of violence.
7. Near Southside
- Violent Crime Rate Per 100k: 738
- Property Crime Rate Per 100k: 4,848
- Population: 16,697
Near Southside is large in size and population, but its high crime rates rival both. Crime is higher in Near Southside than the rest of Columbus, Ohio by 47%, and that’s why it made this list. Not only that, but crime is 124% more common in Near Southside than it is in the rest of the United States.
If you live in Near Southside, you should the most concerned about the high volume of property crime. Burglary and theft, in particular, are the most common crimes in Near Southside, and they affect 1 in 21 residents. Violence is far less commonplace, but 1 in 136 residents still have to suffer from violent crimes in Near Southside.
8. North Central
- Violent Crime Rate Per 100k: 728
- Property Crime Rate Per 100k: 4,782
- Population: 9,534
With 45% more crime than the rest of Columbus, North Central is one of the worst neighborhoods in this Ohio city. Crime is widespread throughout the whole neighborhood, and it’s 121% higher than the U.S. average in North Central. This is primarily due to the extreme property crime plague which 1 in 20 residents have to experience firsthand.
North Central is no stranger to violent crime either, and it’s 92% more common than the rest of the United States. Assault is the most common violent crime in North Central, followed by robbery and rape. Sadly, 1 in 138 North Central residents has to find out for themselves just how violent the neighborhood is.
- Violent Crime Rate Per 100k: 706
- Property Crime Rate Per 100k: 4,642
- Population: 19,909
Southwest is a low-income neighborhood in Columbus, and single residents earn an average of $16,159 per year. Unemployment is high in Southwest Columbus, and so is violent and property crime, both of which exceed national averages. Crime is 115% higher in Southwest than the U.S. national average, and most of it is relegated to property crime.
You risk a 1 in 19 chance of experiencing either a violent or property crime as a resident of Southwest Columbus. Property crime, in particular, is extremely common in Southwest, and 1 in 22 residents fall victim to theft and burglary. Violence is also a part of the equation with a rate 86% above the national average in Southwest.
10. South Side
- Violent Crime Rate Per 100k: 681
- Property Crime Rate Per 100k: 4,473
- Population: 14,750
Crime is more common in South Side than the rest of Columbus by 35%, and it’s not a safe place to live. South Side, home to Fairwood Park, boasts a large population, but it sadly also can claim a high unemployment rate of 6.5%. There is 105% more crime in South Side Columbus than the national average, and 1 in 20 residents learn that the hard way.
South Side residents have to gamble with the 1 in 23 chance that they will go through a proper crime. Violence is another prominent threat for South Side residents, and 1 in 136 residents have to experience assault and robbery. Be careful and watch your back if you find yourself in South Side Columbus at nighttime.
- Violent Crime Rate Per 1K: 5.09
- Property Crime Rate Per 1K: 33.78
- Reported Crimes: 34,928
- Population: 878,553
Columbus may not be one of the most dangerous cities in Ohio, but that doesn’t mean it’s safe. There are 157 crimes per square mile in Columbus, and the majority of them are property crimes. Recently, there were 30,351 property crimes reported, and most of them were thefts and burglaries.
You aren’t safe from violence in Columbus either, and there were 4,577 recent reports. Sadly, 1 in 196 Columbus residents suffers from assault, robbery, rape, and murder. Still, that’s not as scary as the 1 in 30 chance that you’ll go through a property crime in Columbus.
The poverty rate in Columbus, Ohio is a staggering 20.8%, and that explains the crime. All in all, Columbus is a beautiful and unique city, but it is far from being considered safe. Avoid neighborhoods such as Franklinton and Milo Grogan in particular if you want to be safe.
What is the safest neighborhood in Columbus, Ohio?
Harrison West is the safest neighborhood in Columbus, Ohio, and it has low crime rates. Other neighborhoods, such as Clintonville and Victorian Village are also among the safest neighborhoods you can live in. Bexley and the Brewery District are notable for being safe, affordable, and fun places to live in Columbus.
Is Columbus a safe place to live?
Columbus is mostly safe, but the pockets of crime in neighborhoods like Franklinton drive the crime rate. If you avoid the international airport and surrounding neighborhood, as well as Milo Grogan, you can avoid a lot of the danger.
Summing It Up
Milo Grogan and Franklinton are the worst neighborhoods in Columbus, Ohio. Other areas, such as South Linden and Near Southside are plagued with criminal activity. The crime in these neighborhoods is fueled by high unemployment and poverty rates.
Other neighborhoods worth avoiding include Olentangy River Road and North Central, where crime is above the national average. Each of these neighborhoods has its benefits, but many of them are outshined by the presence of danger. If you find yourself in any of these Columbus neighborhoods, look out for danger and exercise caution.