The USA is known as a country for the free and the brave. But, with much freedom comes a lot of responsibility. Over the past few years, the crime rate in America is slowly rising, with violent crimes increasing. That’s why you should know the 15 most dangerous cities in the United States according to the latest data.
While there can be many reasons crime increases in any country, it is crucial to be aware of which cities see the most crime potential before booking a trip— especially as a solo traveller. Read along so that you can stay safe when visiting the most beautiful states in the U.S.
Essentials for Staying Safe While Traveling
If you’re keen to feel safer when you travel try out some of the devices we swear by to make us feel more comfortable.
🔐 Personal Safety:
1. Portable Hotel Safety Lock
2. Personal Safety Alarm
🧳 Baggage Safety:
1. Luggage Locks
2. Bluetooth Luggage Tracker
✈️ Most of all, don’t leave home without decent travel insurance, so if anything goes wrong, you will be covered.
How is This Determined?
Table of Contents
- How is This Determined?
- 23 Most Dangerous Cities in the United States
- 1. Detroit, Michigan
- 2. Monroe, Louisiana
- 3. Memphis, Tennessee
- 4. Springfield, Missouri
- 5. St Louis, Missouri
- 6. Albuquerque, New Mexico
- 7. Anchorage, Alaska
- 8. Rockford, Illinois
- 9. Baltimore, Maryland
- 10. Little Rock, Arkansas
- 11. Stockton, California
- 12. Milwaukee, Wisconsin
- 13. Cleveland, Ohio
- 14. Oakland, California
- 15. Saginaw, Michigan
- 16. Pueblo Colorado
- 17. Tacoma, Washington
- 18. Lansing, Michigan
- 19. Peoria, Illinois
- 20. Minneapolis, Minnesota
- 21. Dayton, Ohio
- 22. Chattanooga, Tennessee
- 23. Aurora, Colorado
- Final Thoughts on the Most Dangerous Cities in the United States
According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting, there has been a minimal decline in violent crimes in the US over the past few years. While the report only goes up until 2019 for now, it still has significant information.
These figures are set up by looking at the number of incidents per 100 000 people, and as of 2019, there have been about 366.7 incidents per 100K residents in that year. Property crime is the most prevalent crime in the United States, while violent crimes and assault follow slightly behind.
23 Most Dangerous Cities in the United States
A spike in high crime rates goes hand in hand with cities that are often highly populated but underfunded. Many cities or towns like these have high unemployment rates, increased substance abuse, and low income.
Here are the 15 most dangerous cities in the us.
1. Detroit, Michigan
Detroit is one of Time Magazine’s World’s Greatest Places in 2022 under the Newfound Glory category. And while the city has seen great monetary success since filing for bankruptcy in 2013, it is still trying to manage its high crime rate and is one of the most dangerous US cities.
Detroit is consistently ranked high on violent city lists, as its population of over 600 000 residents sees about 22 crimes per day. This means its violent crime rate is about six times the US average. This makes it one of the most dangerous cities in America.
Photo by Kahari king on Unsplash
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2. Monroe, Louisiana
Monroe, Louisiana, is always high on any list of the most unsafe places in the US. This is because while the national crime average is 22.7 per 100 000 people, Monroe is at 95.2 incidents per 100 000 people annually.
This means you have a 5 per one-person chance of being a crime victim here.
Image by Canva
3. Memphis, Tennessee
Memphis is where rock ‘n roll was born and the blues call home. The city sits on the Mississippi river and has a population of almost 700 000. And, while its nightlife is wild, it’s best to be aware of your safety as its crime rate is one of the highest in the country.
Unlike many cities on this list, Memphis’ crime rate has been increasing as the years go on. In 2019, there were 12 367 reports of violent crimes and 39 860 reports of aggravated assaults in that year alone. In 2021, there were about 31 crimes committed per day.
Photo by Heidi Kaden on Unsplash
4. Springfield, Missouri
Not to be confused with Springfield, Illinois, this small Missouri city only has a population of 172 000. But that doesn’t stop it from receiving families hoping to visit the many museums and aquariums.
However, its crime rate stands at about 1,504 incidents per 100 000 people, with its violent crime rate being almost triple the national average. Assaults and thefts are the most prevalent in this city, but you have a one in 14 chance of being a property crime victim.
5. St Louis, Missouri
This big Midwestern town is known for its famous US landmark, the Gateway Arch, family fun and famous residents like T.S. Eliot, Josephine Baker, and Maya Angelou. The city also has a dark side for which it is more infamously known— its very high crime rate.
With a population of about 300 000 residents, it is sad to see that St Louis has a very high homeless and substance abuse issue. According to the New York Times, the city is the most dangerous USA city to live in as it has a significant problem with violent crimes. It also has the highest murder rate in the country, at about 60% in 2022.
Photo by Kawshar Ahmed on Unsplash
6. Albuquerque, New Mexico
Albuquerque is a beautiful New Mexico city well-known for the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, the desert climate and a rich history and menu list of traditional Mexican heritage.
While its crime rate has decreased a bit over recent years, that isn’t enough. It is the most populated city in New Mexico, with about 950 000 residents, allowing more crime opportunities like pick-pocketing, mugging, and scams. The average crime rate here is about 1,352 incidents per 100 000 people.
Photo by Raychel Sanner on Unsplash
7. Anchorage, Alaska
Anchorage is one of the most beautiful cities in America worth visiting. It is a big city with large mountains and open spaces often reserved for skiing and snow activities in winter which draws large crowds.
So it’s a shame that it comes with its fair share of crime. It has consistently been on many lists of the most dangerous cities in the United States. Alaska has a growing problem with alcohol and domestic violence, so women travellers are often more prone to violent attacks.
Also, keep in mind that while it has big spaces, it is still a city, so stay vigilant for pickpocketing and muggings, as the robbery rate here is about 60% higher than the national average.
Photo by Wonderlane on Unsplash
8. Rockford, Illinois
Nicknamed the ‘Forest City’, this city has a great mix of urban and natural beauty to attract many visitors. Unfortunately, it consistently ranks high on dangerous cities in the US lists.
There are roughly 330 000 residents, but you have a one in 71 chance of becoming a victim of a violent offence. With high risks of pickpocketing, theft, and muggings (twice the national average) it’s safer to keep valuables out of sight and to take public transportation instead of renting a car.
9. Baltimore, Maryland
Baltimore has so many amazing things it’s known for. It’s no wonder many people flock to it. The ‘Charm City’ is the home of the National Anthem, serves the best crab cakes, and has terrific marine life.
The city is also, unfortunately, well-known for its high crime rate that keeps on rising. In the first six months of 2022, the city had a record-high report of 179 homicides naming it the deadliest time in its history. Theft is also a big problem, with car break-ins making up more than half of the accounts.
Photo by Irina Sitnikova on Unsplash
10. Little Rock, Arkansas
You’ll find the city’s capital, Little Rock, along the Arkansas River. The state is known for its beautiful natural sights, like the only active diamond mine in the US, its beautiful lakes and hot springs.
However, many do not get to visit them as they’re aware of the high crime rate in the city. There is a high probability (about 1 in 55 chance) of being a victim of crime, with roughly an average of 9 crimes committed daily. However, the most prevalent crimes in the city are property crimes like burglary, car theft, and robbery.
11. Stockton, California
Compared to many places in California, Stockton has a good affordability rate for the state. It is known for the Haggin Museum, Oak Grove Regional Park trails, and Stockton Arena.
However, in the past few months, crime rates have started to rise again, with gun violence at a high. You have a one in 79 chance of being a victim of a crime among a population of about 330 000 residents.
Image from Canva
12. Milwaukee, Wisconsin
While some know Milwaukee for its amazing views of Lake Michigan and beer breweries, others know it for the dark history of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer. Either way, this city’s high crime rate hasn’t slowed down since.
The city has a population of 580 000 residents, but you have a one in 61 chance of being a victim of a violent offence. Assaults and robberies remain high on the list, with robberies in this city being almost nine times the national average.
Photo by Wei Zeng on Unsplash
13. Cleveland, Ohio
Cleveland is mainly known for its museums, music history, and Polish boy hot dogs. And while some neighborhoods here are more dangerous than others, the city still has a high crime rate that may overshadow its good qualities.
The city often ranks as one of the riskiest cities in the states, with over 1656 incidents of crime per 100 000 residents. It stands at over 300% of the national average. Thus, your chances of being a victim of violent crimes are one in 59.
Photo by DJ Johnson on Unsplash
14. Oakland, California
Oakland is on the east of San Fransico Bay, California, just a short 20-minute trip away. It is known for Lake Merritt, the Fox and Paramount theatres, and its fabulous beaches, gardens, and parks.
Unfortunately, its heightened crime could deter many visitors. The city’s poverty rate of about 15%, and you have a 1 in 77 chance of being a victim of a crime. However, if you keep an eye open for opportunists and don’t walk alone or late at night, you can still enjoy its sights.
Photo by Derick Daily on Unsplash
15. Saginaw, Michigan
Saginaw often flies under the radar of cities to visit in Michigan because Detroit has so much to offer. But, this small city has a lot of agricultural and natural beauty that draws many families to visit.
Saginaw has a small population of roughly 44 000 residents, with its inhabitants slowly decreasing. As for crime, you have a one in 42 chance of being a victim of a violent crime here, with most cases falling under murder and assault.
Although Saginaw doesn’t rank as high as its state friend, Detroit, because there are so few inhabitants, your chances of being a victim of a crime are slightly higher.
Image from Canva
16. Pueblo Colorado
Located in the southern part of Colorado, Pueblo has struggled with a higher-than-average crime rate, particularly concerning violent crimes. Economic difficulties and drug-related issues have often been cited as contributing factors.
Efforts to revitalize the community and boost economic growth are ongoing, with hopes that they might also curb crime. With a population of 113,287, the city had 1,813 violent crimes and 7,118 property crimes in 12 months. This gives Pueblo a violent crime ratio of 16 per 1000 people.
17. Tacoma, Washington
A bustling port city on Puget Sound, Tacoma has seen its share of crime over the years, especially in certain neighborhoods. While the city is known for its rich art scene and vibrant waterfront, gang activity and property crimes have been concerns.
With a population of 221,112, Tacoma had 3,4888 violent crimes and 18,500 property crimes over a 12-month period. This gives it a violent crime ratio of 15.77 per 1000 people.
18. Lansing, Michigan
As the capital city of Michigan, Lansing is a hub of political and cultural activity. However, certain parts of the city have experienced high rates of violent crimes.
Lansing has a population of 112,764. It experienced 3,101 violent crimes and 3,101 property crimes over a period of one year. This gives it a violent crime ratio of 12.61 per 1000 residents.
19. Peoria, Illinois
Once known as a representative city for all of America’s demographics, Peoria has faced rising crime rates, particularly in robberies and aggravated assaults.
Peoria has a population of 112,469. Over 12 months it experienced 1,307 violent crimes and 3,469 property crimes. This gives it a violent crime ratio of 11.62 per 1000 persons.
20. Minneapolis, Minnesota
The cultural and economic center of the Twin Cities, Minneapolis garnered international attention after the killing of George Floyd in 2020 and the subsequent protests and riots. While the city boasts numerous attractions and a vibrant economy, it has faced significant crime-related challenges, particularly in specific areas and neighborhoods.
With a population of 429,292, Minneapolis experienced 5,130 violent crimes and 21,897 property crimes over 12 months. This gives it a violent crime ratio of 11.95 per 1000 persons.
You might enjoy reading my article on the most dangerous states in the US.
21. Dayton, Ohio
Historically known for its significant innovations, Dayton has experienced economic downturns correlated with an uptick in crime. Efforts to revitalize the city’s economy and infrastructure are ongoing, and we hope such efforts will also positively impact crime rates.
Dayton Ohio has a population of 138,434. Over 12 months it experienced 1,600 violent crimes and 5,842 property crimes. This gives it a violent crime ratio of 11.56 per 1000 residents.
22. Chattanooga, Tennessee
Nestled between the mountains of Southeast Tennessee, Chattanooga is a city of natural beauty and has experienced a renaissance in tourism and tech industries. However, it’s not immune to crime, with particular issues related to gang activity and violent crimes.
With a population of 183,687, Chattanooga had 2,084 violent crimes and 9,511 property crimes over one year. This gives it a violent crime ratio of 11.35 per 1000 persons.
23. Aurora, Colorado
Unfortunately, Aurora, the third-largest city in Colorado, became internationally known after the tragic 2012 movie theater shooting. Beyond this singular event, the city has grappled with crime rates exceeding national averages in certain categories.
Aurora has a population of 397,092. Over 12 months the city experienced 4,402 violent crimes and 16,581 property crimes. This gives it a violent crime ratio of 11.09 per 1000 persons.
Final Thoughts on the Most Dangerous Cities in the United States
So what is the most dangerous city in the US? The United States of America is a big country with a great mix of cultures and people from all over the world. And the title of worst city in America depends on which metrics used. We have covered some of the most violent cities in the US as well as the cities with the highest crime rates.
Many countries have sites that show the good and the bad, so I tried to highlight the positive reasons why you should visit these fantastic cities. And, while it may seem scary now, knowing which places offer the best and least safety while travelling is essential to prepare yourself better.
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