To top off the list, the most dangerous city in the United States is Detroit. This city is well known for its violent crime and gang activity, but many are not sure where it ranks throughout the United States. Detroit has a violent crime rate of about 2000 crimes committed per 100,000 people and hundreds of homicides per year. To put things in perspective, Detroit is the only metropolitan city to have a (violent) crime rate of over 2000, which is most evident in smaller towns and villages.
Detroit's issues stem from its scarce economic opportunities. Detroit has a crime rate higher than cities with double its population. 9 percent of all residents in Detroit are unemployed, and just shy of 40% of the population lives below the poverty line. Of course, this means that violence, crime, and gang activity are very rampant within the city's borders. Many people incorrectly correlate Detroit to New York City, which is incorrect. NYC has a population that is more than 8 times the size of Detroit and has much fewer reported violent crimes. New York does not even factor into the top 50 most dangerous cities in the United States.
Memphis is close to par with Detroit in its crime rate and danger rating. There is a crime rate score of 20.6 and you have a 1 in 49 chance at any given time of encountering a dangerous situation with another person. The top dangerous cities change every year, and Memphis has made the list a few times. Hundreds of homicides are reported every year and lack of economic opportunity has followed the same path as Detroit. Citizens of Memphis are extremely fearful of dangerous activity, some are more scared of crime than they have the confidence in going to work in the morning.
Memphis is one of the poorest metropolitan cities in America, which contributes to its crime rate. Many citizens live in poverty in its various neighborhoods. Despite this, Memphis is generally safer for tourists as random assaults and accidents on the scale of violent crime are usually not random. Due to plentiful gang activity and robberies, targets are often pre-meditated.
Alabama has a few cities that often trade-off being one of the most dangerous cities. While it is generally considered that Birmingham has the highest crime rate, the smaller town of Bessemer has topped the list a few times as the most dangerous city. It is a small town of several thousand people, but the crime rate is comparably high, with the likelihood of encountering danger there being 1 in 34 people. Because the area is small and not very well known, tourists are not common. This means that the violence and crime rate in the city is due to poverty and targeted violence rather than rare happenstance.
Alabama as a state has one of the poorest and most undiverse economies, with low real estate prices and wages.