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Mapped: The Most Dangerous Cities in the U.S.

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map of the most dangerous cities in the U.S.

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Mapped: The Most Dangerous Cities in the U.S.

Crime is seemingly always increasing—at least according to the headlines.

The focus is usually on big cities like Chicago or San Francisco, but some of the most dangerous cities in the U.S. are actually smaller or suburban cities, at least according to new per capita data from NeighborhoodScout.

The map above reveals the most dangerous urban areas in the U.S., in terms of how many violent crimes occur for every 1,000 residents. It uses the latest FBI crime data and Census Bureau populations available in 2023.

Note: The source only considered cities with a population of 25,000 or higher. This report is based on reported violent crimes including armed robbery, murder, rape, and aggravated assault.

Top 100 Most Dangerous Cities in the U.S.

Though the most dangerous cities in the U.S. are spread across multiple states, Alabama is home to two of the 10 cities with the highest violent crime rates: Bessemer (#1) and Birmingham (#7).

Here’s a closer look at the full list:

RankCityStateViolent Crime Rate (per 1,000 Residents)Chance of Being a Victim
#1BessemerAlabama33.11 in 30
#2MonroeLouisiana26.31 in 38
#3SaginawMichigan25.11 in 39
#4MemphisTennessee25.11 in 39
#5DetroitMichigan231 in 43
#6BirminghamAlabama20.61 in 49
#7Pine BluffArkansas20.51 in 48
#8Little RockArkansas20.21 in 49
#9AlexandriaLouisiana18.81 in 53
#10ClevelandOhio17.11 in 58
#11KalamazooMichigan16.81 in 59
#12MilwaukeeWisconsin16.61 in 59
#13AlbanyGeorgia16.11 in 61
#14GadsdenAlabama15.81 in 63
#15DanvilleIllinois15.81 in 63
#16LansingMichigan15.71 in 63
#17BaltimoreMaryland15.61 in 63
#18SpringfieldMissouri15.61 in 64
#19SpartanburgSouth Carolina15.21 in 65
#20RockfordIllinois151 in 66
#21WilmingtonDelaware151 in 66
#22St. LouisMissouri14.91 in 66
#23San BernardinoCalifornia14.91 in 67
#24Kansas CityMissouri14.51 in 68
#25CantonOhio14.51 in 68
#26ChesterPennsyvlania14.51 in 68
#27South BendIndiana14.41 in 69
#28InksterMichigan14.11 in 70
#29AlbuquerqueNew Mexico13.91 in 71
#30ChattanoogaTennessee13.91 in 71
#31Terre HauteIndiana13.91 in 71
#32New OrleansLouisiana13.81 in 72
#33CamdenNew Jersey13.71 in 72
#34East PointGeorgia13.61 in 73
#35MinneapolisMinnesota13.41 in 74
#36FlorenceSouth Carolina13.11 in 75
#37ElkhartIndiana12.81 in 77
#38PuebloColorado12.61 in 79
#39StocktonCalifornia12.51 in 79
#40OaklandCalifornia12.51 in 79
#41FlintMichigan12.51 in 79
#42HoustonTexas12.41 in 80
#43JacksonvilleArkansas12.11 in 82
#44Myrtle BeachSouth Carolina12.11 in 82
#45ParagouldArkansas12.11 in 82
#46Battle CreekMichigan121 in 82
#47TacomaWashington11.91 in 83
#48Baton RougeLouisiana11.91 in 83
#49JacksonMichigan11.81 in 84
#50North Little RockArkansas11.91 in 84

Both large cities and smaller ones make the list, with Memphis and Detroit the biggest cities to appear in the top 10 with populations above 600,000. A person’s chance of being a victim of violent crime in each is 1-in-39 and 1-in-43, respectively.

It’s worth noting that the numbers above are strictly for the most violent forms of crime, and don’t include things like simple assault and various forms of property crime. These push the total crime rate, and therefore the likelihood of becoming a victim of any crime, much higher in these hotspots.

And though there are well-known cities in the list, a few typically associated with crime don’t make even the top 100. For instance, New York City’s violent crime rate is 5.2 per 1,000 residents, with the chance of being a victim in Manhattan specifically at 1-in-192.

Crime in the United States

The violent crime rate for the entire U.S. is 5.6 per 1,000 people. Comparatively, the safest cities in the us have total crime rates of 8.6 per 1,000 people and lower.

It’s difficult to touch on violent crime in the U.S. without discussing gun violence. According to the Gun Violence Archive, there have already been more than 22,000 gun violence deaths in the U.S. as of July 2023. That includes 371 mass shootings, and 150 children deaths.

And though the latest annual FBI data shows that violent crime has decreased from 2020 to 2021, murders have gone up over the same time frame.

Source: NeighborhoodScout, using data from the FBI, and the U.S. Census Bureau.

Data notes: The source only considered cities with a population of 25,000 or higher. Violent crimes includes reported armed robbery, murder, rape, and aggravated assault.

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