Most Dangerous Cities In The US – Examining Crime Rate

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The violent crime rate in the United States varies between 360 and 400 per 100,000 people in the past few years. And while in 2018 the country saw the lowest crime rate in more than 300 years at 369, violent crime is still widespread. Which are the most dangerous cities in the US to live in? Well, if you judge by the violent crime rate, we have the statistics and numbers.

What constitutes a violent crime? The umbrella term includes, but is not limited to violent crimes like sexual assault, manslaughter, homicide, airplane hijacking, terrorism, armed robbery, rape, shooting, and kidnapping.

To determine which are the most dangerous cities in the US, we look at data from the FBI and their uniform crime report. Each city has its numbers for forcible rape, murder, non-negligent manslaughter, armed robbery, and aggravated assault.

Now, we have to mention, that a city with a high violent crime does not indicate that the entire city is unsafe. Violence is hyper-local, meaning it is more common in specific neighborhoods. And the most dangerous city changes from one year to another. After all, we follow the violent crime rate. With that in mind, let’s take a look at crime statistics.

Memphis, Tennessee


The city along the Mississippi River is famous as the second-most populous city in Tennessee. It grew into one of the largest cities of the Antebellum South and a market for agricultural goods, natural resources, and more. Following the end of the American Civil War and the end of slavery, the city experienced fast growth.

As home to Tennessee’s largest African-American population, Memphis played a prominent role in the American civil rights movement. It was also the site of Martin Luther King Jr assassination in 1968. It now hosts the National Civil Rights Museum.

As for the violent crime rate, it is 2420 per 100,000 residents, making it the highest rate in North America.

Detroit, Michigan


Detroit is always on the list of most dangerous cities in the US. Every year the city falls within the top 3. The latest report shows a crime rate of 1,965 incidents per 100,000 residents.

Detroit is the largest and most populous city in the state of Michigan. It is also the largest US city on the United States-Canada border.

The metropolitan area, Metro Detroit, is the second-largest in the Midwest after the Chicago metropolitan area. But as we said before, most of the crimes in the city happen in smaller neighborhoods.

The city is famous for several things. One is the US automotive industry, the second is the music, home to Motown Records, and then the third one is the high crime rate.

Birmingham, Alabama


The city in the north-central region of the state of Alabama, Birmingham is the seat of Jefferson County, the most populous county.

Founded in 1871 during the post-Civil War Reconstruction period, the city is the result of a merger of three pre-existing farm towns.

From the founding through the end of the 1960s, the city served as a primary industrial center of the South. It is quite similar to Pittsburgh, which is why some call it The Pittsburgh of the South. Major industries in the city are iron and steel production.

The crime rate is 1,661 per 100,000 residents.

St Louis, Missouri


The second-largest city in Missouri, the city sits near the confluence of the Mississippi and the Missouri Rivers.

Before European settlement, the area of the city served as a regional center of Native American Mississippian culture. The city was founded in February 1764 by French fur traders Gilbert Antoine de St. maxent, Piere Laclede, and Auguste Chouteau. They named it Louis IX of France.

The area was ceded to Spain following France’s defeat in the Seven Years’ War. In 1800, it was retroceded to France, which sold it to the US three years later as part of the Louisiana Purchase.

The city has a violent crime rate of 1,995 per 100,000 residents.

Saginaw, Michigan

Saginaw County

This is another major city in the state of Michigan. It is also the seat of Saginaw County. The city is part of the Great Lakes Bay Region.

In the 19th century, the city was a thriving lumber town and then an important industrial city and manufacturing center throughout much of the 20th century.

But during the 20th century, industry and strong manufacturing presence declined. This led to unemployment, crime, and population decline. Now, the city has a crime rate of 2,380 per 100,000 residents.

Baltimore, Maryland

Baltimore Maryland

The most populous city in the US state of Maryland was designated an independent city by the Constitution of Maryland in 1851. Today, it is the largest independent city in the United States.

Before European colonization, the area was used as hunting grounds by the Native Americans. The city is famous for the Battle of Baltimore. It was a pivotal engagement during the War of 1818.

Looking at crime data, we can see that the violent crime rate in the city is 1,859 per 100,000 residents.

Alexandria, Louisiana


The ninth-largest city in the state of Louisiana, Alexandria lies on the south bank of the Red River in almost the exact geographical center of the state.

Originally, Alexandria was home to the community that supported activities of the adjacent French trader outpost of Post du Rapides. It developed as an assemblage of traders, Caddo people, and merchants.

Today, the crime rate in the city is 1,882 per 100,000 residents. And the chance of you being a victim is one in 53.

Springfield, Missouri

Springfield Missouri

The city famous because of The Simpsons, Springfield is the third-largest city in the state of Missouri. The nickname of the city is the Queen City of Ozarks, as well as The 417 after the area code for the City. Springfield is also known as The Birthplace of Route 66.

There is no clear answer for the origin of the name of the city. The most common theory is that it was named for Springfield, Massachusetts, by migrants from that area.

The violent crime rate in Springfield is 1,519 per 100,000 residents. The city is infamous for the rape rate. There were 356 rapes in 2019 in the city, which is five times more than the national rate.

Pine Bluff, Arkansas

Pine Bluff Arkansas

The tenth-largest city in the state of Arkansas has a low population of almost 50,000 residents. Situated in the Southeast section of the Arkansas Delta, the topography of the city is flat with wide expanses of farmland.

The community was named for a bluff along the river. The violent crime rate in the city is 1,815 per 100,000 residents. Part of the reason for the high rate is the low number of residents in the city.

Kansas City, Missouri


Here is a fun fact: Last year, the homicide rate dropped by 24% in Kansas City. That is a trend that is not happening in other cities with a high violent crime rates. But Kansas still ranks among the cities with a high reported violent crime rate.

The city has a crime rate of 1,558 per 100,000 citizens.

The city sees an increase in some crimes, and a decrease in others.

New Haven, Connecticut

New Haven Connecticut

The city has a high property crime rate. And that is one of the biggest issues. But in 2020, the city also saw a 50% increase in homicides and assaults with weapons. That cannot be ignored. City officials are trying to find new solutions to reduce the crime data.

New York City, New York

New York City

Yes, the Big Apple is among the cities with a high violent crime rate. The homicide rate has increased, and murder rate and shootings are on the upswing.

Homicides in New York City surged in 2020 by 47%. Some address that trend to the pandemic and loss of jobs. Law enforcement in New York is trying to do a better job.

Little Rock, Arkansas

Little Rock Arkansas

Let’s finish off the list of most dangerous cities in the US with another city in the state of Arkansas. Little Rock is a cultural, economic, government, and transportation center within Arkansas and the South.

Some of the cultural institutions in the city include the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts, the Arkansas Repertory Theatre, the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, and more.

Outdoor recreational opportunities include hiking and boating.

The violent crime rate in the city is 1,517 per 100,000 residents. But the big problem is aggravated assault. It is five times the national rate.

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