30 Most Dangerous Cities in America
A low population doesn't mean a low crime rate.
When it comes to choosing a place to live, there are many important things to consider: availability of public transit, quality of local schools, strength of the regional economy, access to public services. But there’s one factor that may be more important than all the rest: the crime rate.
Recently, the folks over at Neighborhood Scout used 2016 data (the most recent available) from both the US Bureau of the Census and the Federal Bureau of Investigations to rank cities with at least 25,000 people based on both size and crime frequency. Specifically, they took the number of violent crimes in a city, divided that number by the population, and divided that number further by 1,000 to determine a city’s violent crime rate per 1,000 people, resulting in a comprehensive roundup of the most dangerous places in America. Here, you’ll find the top 30. If you’re looking to move to (or visit) any of them any time soon, be sure to keep your wits about you.
Riviera Beach, FL
Florida might be home to some of the biggest estates on the planet, but it also houses one of the most dangerous cities in the country: In Riviera Beach, where the population is just over 34,000, your chance of being involved in a violent crime is 1 in 72.
The city of Indianapolis, which has a population of less than 900,000 people, had more than 7,000 assaults and nearly 4,000 reported robberies in 2016.
Despite being one of the most dangerous cities in the U.S. (with more than 4,400 violent crimes committed in 2016 alone), Stockton, California, is also one of the happiest cities in the country, too.
In the Bay Area city of Oakland, which is home to 420,000 people, the chances of being attacked are 1 in 69.
Though Newburgh experienced a comparatively low (to other cities) 413 violent crimes in 2016, that small number begins to look much larger when you take into consideration the fact that the city has a population of just over 28,000, putting your chances of being a victim at 1 in 68.
Saginaw, Michigan, struggles with its crime rates; your chances of being a victim in this city of just under 50,000 are 1 in 66.
Little Rock, AR
In this city of just under 200,000, the chances of being a victim of a violent crime are 1 in 65. Just over 3,000 violent incidents were reported in 2016.
Thanks to its relatively minuscule population, the violent crime rate in Elkhart, Indiana, is 15.45—and you have a 1 in 63 chance of being a victim in the small city.
Milkwaukee, which is one of the hardest partying places in America, saw more than 5,300 assaults and nearly 3,300 robberies in 2016.
Not only is Chester the oldest city in Pennsylvania, but it’s also one of the most unsafe, with a violent crime rate of 15.83 that included hundreds of reported incidents in 2016.
Many places in the United States share the name Danville (there are similarly named cities in both California and Virginia, for starters), but there’s only one Danville—the one in Illinois—that ranks among the most dangerous cities in the U.S. Here, your chances of being a victim are 1 in 63.
This state capital deals with its fair share of murders and assaults—781, to be exact—making it the most menacing municipality in West Virginia.
San Bernardino, CA
In a city where crime rates were at 16.02, it’s a small wonder that the city’s misery score is 78.4.
Pine Bluff, AR
Pine Bluff, Arkansas, saw just over 700 violent crimes in 2016, but, thanks to its small size (population: just under 44,000), it ranks in the top 20 most dangerous cities in the U.S.
Evidently, a water crisis isn’t the only thing that the residents of Flint have to worry about. With a population of just over 97,000, this Michigan city saw nearly 1,600 violent crimes in 2016.
Residents of Cleveland, Ohio, live in one of the most dangerous cities in America: more than 6,000 violent crimes were committed in 2016.
Kansas City, MO
Residents of Kansas City, Missouri, have a 1 in 61 chance of being on the receiving end of a violent attack.
Myrtle Beach, SC
Myrtle Beach is a popular tourist destination in the summer and winter alike, but that’s not to say that this beach town doesn’t come with its fair share of felonies. As a citizen of this city, your chances of ending up a victim are 1 in 60.
The 147,000 citizens of Rockford, Illinois, experienced nearly 2,500 violent incidents in 2016, meaning this city is quite the danger zone.
In the city of Baltimore, where the population is over 600,000, the number of violent crimes in 2016 was just over 11,000, making your chances of being a victim 1 in 56.
West Memphis, AR
With 25,284 citizens, West Memphis isn’t a huge city by any means—but thanks to the 461 violent crimes that occurred in 2016, its violent crime rate is a high 18.23.
Yes, this city is full of history and nightlife, but it’s just as crime-infested as it is cultured, with nearly 12,000 violent incidents reported in 2016.
If taking a trip to Louisiana is on your bucket list, you might want to steer clear of Alexandria, where the crime rate is 18.46.
With a population of 71,442 people, Wilmington is the most populous city in the state of Delaware—and with 1,370 violent crimes reported in 2016, it’s also the most dangerous.
St. Louis, MO
St. Louis is a great place to catch a ball game or grab a meal, but it’s not exactly the safest place to call home. The city that’s home to the Gateway Arch has a violent crime rate of 20.43, making it the sixth most dangerous city in the United States.
Detroit, Michigan, suffered nearly 14,000 violent crimes in 2016, giving it a violent crime rate of—like St. Louis—20.43.
In Camden, New Jersey, the violent crime rate sits at 21.19. Your chances of being a victim are 1 in 47.
East St. Louis, IL
Like its geographical neighbor, East St. Louis isn’t exactly the safest place: The crime rate is 28.12.
Bessemer, Alabama, with its population of 26,511, saw 763 violent crimes in 2016, giving it a violent crime rate of 28.78.
The city of Monroe, Louisiana, the most dangerous city in the United States, has a crime rate of 30.43. Over the past decade, the population has decreased by 8 percent.