No matter how safer the world gets, danger is always lurking around the next corner, and we need to be on guard. Violent crime, especially gun violence, is constantly in the headlines, particularly in the biggest cities in the US. According to the FBI, violent crime rates in cities in the United States have generally decreased. While the country’s violent crime rate average was around 611 per 100,000 inhabitants in 1997, that number sits in the 300s today. However, there are still some of the most dangerous cities in the United States, with each USA city having a per capita crime rate that’s higher than the average. These dangerous cities have high reports of violent and property crime, but that’s not all.
Five main factors contribute to an area’s crime rate. These include the unemployment rate, poverty rate, and median income, besides the two mentioned earlier. We’ve compiled a list of these cities so you can be a little more cautious while visiting them. To that end, here are the 15 most dangerous cities in the United States.
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Detroit has consistently stayed on the list of the most dangerous cities in the United States through the years. With a per capita violent crime rate of 19.5 per 1,000, it’s one of the US’ most dangerous cities. In fact, the chances of one being a violent crime victim are 1 in 16, which is quite high. It has high rates of gun violence and homicide, and armed robbery, especially in metropolitan areas. In 2020, Detroit reported 13,088 violent crimes, which was down 3 percent from 2019. And yet, the city has been amongst the country’s most unsafe ones, so travelers must exercise caution when traveling to Detroit.
Even with the high crime rate, ‘Motor City’ remains a very popular tourist destination. It draws tourists for its local cuisine and craft beer scene, historical architecture, music scene, and sights. What’s more, Detroit Zoo is amongst the World’s Largest Zoos, so you can see why the city still sees so many travelers.
Tucked along the Mississippi River, one of the World’s Longest Rivers, Memphis is yet another most dangerous city in USA. In Memphis, the risk of being a victim of property crime is 1 in 25. Plus, the risk of being a violent crime victim was 1 in 90 in 2020. In fact, Memphis has been a permanent fixture on this list, with the major contributing factor being the increasing unemployment and high poverty rate. Since the crime rates are high, local law enforcement often suggests that renters, homeowners, and travelers take additional precautions. If that wasn’t enough, the per capita crime rate for Memphis is 1,901 violent crimes per 100,000 people. So, stay safe, people!
Stockton is not only one of the most dangerous cities per capita in the US, but it was even named the three worst cities to live in USA. Although it’s been a decade to that title, Stockton continues to be dangerous, with a high violent crime rate of 1,408 per 100,000 people. In fact, it’s California’s most dangerous city, despite being home to its oldest university and having been a hub during the 19th-century Gold Rush. The reason? It’s hard to control crime when you’re is broke. The city filed for bankruptcy in June 2012, the largest city in US history to do so until then. Since then, it had to cut back on policing dramatically, thus only heightening Stockton’s longstanding problems with violence.
The commonest crime in Baltimore is theft, with the city’s violent crime rate being as much as 390 percent higher than the national average. The city reports just over 2,000 violent crimes for every 100,000 people, making it one of the most dangerous cities per capita in the US. Both assault and robbery are common problems in Baltimore. Much of the crime has been linked to a stubborn poverty rate and illegal drug trafficking. What’s more, the homicide rate is also very high in the city, at almost 56 per 100,000 people. It’s a shame since Baltimore is a gorgeous city with a lot to do and see. It’s home to the George Peabody Library, one of the World’s Most Spectacular Libraries.
Located just an hour away from the capital Indianapolis, Danville is one of the most dangerous cities in the United States. Despite a small population of just over 30,000 people, the city has an uncommonly high crime rate. Moreover, the violent crime rate is a whopping 361 percent higher than the national average in the US. Even the property crime rate is 112 percent higher than the national average. People have a 1 in 17 chance of coming across a crime in the city, with the chances of being a victim being 1 in 56. Since the city is really small in size, residents and even travelers should be particularly cautious about personal safety at all times.
It might come as an unpleasant surprise, but the charming Alaskan city of Anchorage is one most dangerous USA cities. Despite being home to a fairly wealthy population, Anchorage’s crime statistics are alarming. For instance, the risk of being a violent crime victim is 1 in 84, while a property crime victim is 1 in 23. Many attribute these high crime rates to the general wilderness feeling that the city possesses. Plus, it feels farther away than any other rural US city, adding to crime.
That said, stick to the safer areas and abide by general safety rules, and Anchorage is your oyster. In fact, it’s the first step to discovering the delights of Alaska, which makes for a pretty amazing US Winter Vacation spot.
Camden, New Jersey
It’s odd to think of New Jersey as dangerous, but Camden is one of the most dangerous cities in the United States. Located on the eastern banks of the Delaware River right across from Philadelphia, Camden sees a fair bit of dangerous activity. The odds of becoming a victim of either property crime or violent crime in the city is as high as 1 in 23. The city sees high rates of violent crime, which are 317 percent higher than the national average. These high dangerous crime statistics are primarily attributed to huge poverty numbers. Almost 37 percent of the population in the city lives below the poverty line. However, that doesn’t mean every street in the city is dangerous. Just stay up-to-date with the city’s crime stats and avoid dangerous areas.
Sitting on the western banks of the Delaware River from across Camden is good ol’ Philly, which is unfortunately considered a dangerous city in USA. Philadelphia might be one of the Most Patriotic Places In The United States, but that doesn’t stop it from being dangerous. While most Americans believe that Chicago is the most dangerous city in the USA, Philadelphia is actually more dangerous. This is especially true when it comes to the murder rate per capita, which is 21.5 per 100,000 people. What’s more, the city also has a robbery and assault rate of more than 500 per 100,000 people.
Another Michigan city makes an entry on the list of most dangerous cities in the United States; this time, it’s the city of Flint. Flint sees both violent and property crimes straddling the Flint River, but property crime is less of a concern than violent crime. While property crime is 1 percent lesser than the national average, violent crime is a whole 255 percent higher. What’s more, people have a 1 in 20 chance of experiencing crime. With almost 40 percent of the population steeped in poverty, it’s one of the highest contributing factors to crime in the city. Also, close to 10 percent of the population is unemployed, which adds to crime. Residents and even travelers need should stay wary while traveling through the city.
Miami, the land of Spring Break, bikinis, and suntans, is not as safe as you think. While many areas of Miami Beach are some of Florida’s best areas, this hotspot has high crime rankings. In fact, its per capita murder rate is as much as 15 per 100,000! This dangerous USA city also has high motor vehicle theft and assault incidences, 547 and 553 per 100,000, respectively. What’s more, with an influx of visitors, larceny and property crime are significantly more than the state’s average. Furthermore, Miami Beach’s larceny rates are nearly four times as much as the country’s average. It’s no wonder that Miami is one of the most dangerous cities per capita in the US.
Despite a decline in crime statistics in the last few years, Saginaw is one of the most dangerous cities in the United States. Even the property crime rate in the city is lower than the natural average by as much as 27 percent. Despite that, it remains unsafe due to the significantly high violent crime rates of nearly 1,500 violent crimes per 100,00 people. The number is as much as 289 percent more than the national average. Car theft and burglary are much less, as are property crimes. But, the high poverty and unemployment rates of 34 percent and 9 percent respectively contribute a lot to Saginaw’s ill repute.
With the number of shootings that have recently taken place in the city, it’s no wonder that Atlanta is one of the most dangerous cities per capita in the US. People might think it’s very safe, the murder and homicide rates in the ‘Big Peach’ aren’t so sweet. The murder rate is 18.9 per 100,000, thus almost rivaling Philly for America’s most surprisingly dangerous big cities. And all this is even before we bring the city’s alarmingly high motor vehicle theft rate to the table – 1178 per 100,000, which is nearly 1 in 100. What doesn’t help the numbers is the assault incidence of 813 per 100,000.
Birmingham in Alabama is one of the most dangerous cities in the United States. Despite trying to shed its not-so-nice image due to poverty and high levels of crime, the ‘Magic City’ still has a very long way to go. What’s particularly alarming is the city’s extremely high homicide rate, with nearly 29 murders per 100,000 people. That number is close to six times higher than the national average and has been attributed to a bevy of factors. One is the high violent crime rate of 1,933 crimes per 100,000 people and property crime rate of more than 6,000 per 100,000 people.
It’s a shame, really, since the culturally rich Birmingham is one of the Best Places To Visit In Alabama. That said, not every street in Birmingham is unsafe. So, all you need to do is exercise caution and stay alert while visiting this Alabamian city.
Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas
Despite being the safest amongst America’s big cities, Dallas/Fort Worth is surprisingly unsafe. This is especially true when you look at the violent crime rate, which is 870 per 100,000 people. Another unfortunate metric is the chance of being a violent crime victim, which is 1 in 113. However, it is squarely on the list that Dallas has the country’s most dangerous drivers. In fact, it has a high traffic fatality rate of more than 14 per 100,000 residents. That’s more than 46 percent over the national average, which also bumps it to this list. Given how most Americans usually consider safe Dallas/Fort Worth, this is a surprise.
Don’t let the metrics discourage you, though. Dallas/Fort Worth still remains one of the Best Places To Visit in Texas. So, all you need to do is exercise caution and stay away from the notorious neighborhoods – and maybe drive safer!
St. Louis, Missouri
With the highest homicide rates in the country, St. Louis is one of the most dangerous cities in the United States. In fact, it could be called the most dangerous city in USA. At 66 homicides per 100,000, it’s easily one of the US’s most dangerous cities per capita. Plus, the murder rate is a whopping 13 times higher than the national average! Even then, it’s lower than the world’s most dangerous cities, which have murder rates of more than 100 per 100,000; but that’s no consolation!
Year after year, St. Louis’ violent crime rate has hovered around 2,000 per 100,000 people. Moreover, since the 1990s, this rate has only been steadily increasing. In recent years, though, crime does seem to be decreasing ever-so-slightly, but travelers are still advised to exercise a lot of caution.