What cities are the most dangerous in the United States?
Violent crime suggests that a person or persons behave in a manner that threatens, attempts, or actually inflicts physical harm on another person or property. Violent crime includes both crimes where the violent act is the objective and crimes where violence is the means to an end. The seriousness of the crime is altered by whether or not a weapon was used, the severity of injuries to the victim(s), and whether or not the perpetrator has a criminal record. Violent crimes include, but are not limited to, sexual assault, manslaughter, homicide, airplane hijacking, terrorism, rape, shootings, and kidnapping.
The violent crime rate in the United States is about 369 incidents per 100,000 people in 2018. This is the lowest it has been in more than 30 years; however, violent crime is still widespread. Violent crime is not evenly distributed throughout the country and is typically more common in urban areas. Specifically, some cities are more dangerous than others.
To determine which cities in the United States the most dangerous, 24/7 Wall Street looked at data from the FBI’s 2018 Uniform Crime Report, including each city’s murder and non-negligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. Only cities with populations of 100,000 people or more were evaluated. The poverty rate and unemployment rate were also evaluated for each city, as these economic factors often correlate with crime rates. The 50 most dangerous cities in the United States were determined from this data.
Based on this information, the ten most dangerous cities in the United States are:
- Detroit, MI
- Memphis, TN
- Birmingham, AL
- Baltimore, MD
- St. Louis, MO
- Kansas City, MO
- Cleveland, OH
- Little Rock, AR
- Milwaukee, WI
- Stockton, CA
The most dangerous city in the United States is Detroit, Michigan. Detroit has a violent crime rate of 2,007.8 incidents per 100,000 people with a total of 261 homicides in 2018. Detroit is the only midsize or large city in the United States with a violent crime rate of over 2,000. With a population of less than 700,000 people today, Detroit reported about 13,500 violent crimes in 2018 – a rate higher than cities with double the population. Detroit’s scarce economic opportunities have led to an annual unemployment rate of 9.0% and 37.9% of residents living below the poverty line.
Even with a population of about 8.5 million people, New York City is not even in the 50 most dangerous cities in the United States. New York City has 295 homicides in 2018, which is less than Philadelphia’s 351 despite having a population five times the size of Philadelphia. Philadelphia takes the number 40 spot on the most dangerous cities list. Chicago had the highest number of homicides in 2018 with 563; almost double that of New York, which has triple the population as Chicago.
A city with a high violent crime rate does not indicate that the entire city is unsafe. Within each city, violence is hyper-local, meaning that violence is usually more common in specific neighborhoods or “block-by-block.”