When we talk about violence in any country or a city, the strictness regarding the gun laws seems to play a very little role. There are a lot of factors that altogether contribute towards the violent crime rate of any city. As we dig deep into it, the lax gun laws might seem like a major factor. But, is it?

High homicide rates along with prevalence of various types of other violent crimes can mostly be found in areas where there is a high poverty rate and a very little opportunity to make some decent money. The American cities that have to suffer the hardest due to violent crimes are also counted among some of the most impoverished ones. Additionally, high unemployment rates are also to blame.

Based on the reports of the FBI, the rate of violent crimes is decreasing within the cities of the United States. In 1997, the average violent crime rate was approximately 611 per 100, 000 which now has lowered to 300s. But, there are a lot of cities where the crime rate is higher than the national average. Crime being a social problem, gang-related violence, lack of police funding, armed robberies and many such factors could be the motivation for the crimes committed.

In this article, you would get to know about some of the most dangerous cities in US. (This article in no way is to degrade a city or to prove that one city is better than the other.)

Detroit, Michigan

Detroit is the most populous places in the city of Michigan that became largely known as one of the most dangerous cities in US for the increase in the rate of violent crimes. From 2015 to 2016, this major metropolitan area saw a 16.3% rise in the number of crimes which is far more than compared to the 4.1% overall national rise. This major increase was substantially because of the rise in aggravated assaults. Overall, there were over two-thousand violent crimes per one hundred thousand residents in Detroit in the year 2016. This was by far the highest number of crimes in any city all over the country and 5 times more than the national rate.

St. Louis, Missouri

St. Louis was recorded as the second most dangerous city in the United States of America. Ruthless crimes per 100,000 residents in the city was said to be around 1,913. Gun-related homicide was one of the major factors that contributed to the high crime rate. With the highest rate of murders in the nation, it has risen even more in the recent years. The city has a comparatively permissive legislation regarding gun control which also contributes to homicide. For instance, people are allowed to have a gun with them in the car without any permit which is an illegal act in various other states. This is perhaps why there were around sixty homicides per one hundred thousand residents in St. Louis which is ten times more than the national rate of homicide.

See Also: Most expensive and cheap cities to live in US

Baltimore, Maryland

Baltimore is said to be one of the most dangerous cities in United States because of the increase in aggravated crimes. Violent crimes in the city rose nearly 15.4% and there were approximately 1780 crimes per 10000 residents. Quite similar to a majority of the metro cities, most of the gun related violence was recorded in some of the poorest areas if the city. According to reports, about 80% of Baltimore’s gun related homicides are said to have occurred in 25% of city’s neighbourhood since 2011.

Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis is one of the major metropolitan areas which is known to have a huge population of poor people and a high rate of crime. Nearly 28% residents are poor which is a higher rate than compared to the 15.5% national figure. There were nearly 1,820 violent crimes per 100, 000 residents which is the 3rd highest of any large US city. It was suggested that the city could be benefited from a bigger police force. During the Great Recession Period, a number of officers had resigned and due to that, the police force shrank by nearly 5.7%.

Rockford, Illinois

Per 100,000 residents of Rockford, there were nearly 1,659 violent crimes which is the 5th most of any US city. The deadliest year in the city was 2016 in almost two decades. 26 homicides in total were reported which is the most since the year 1996. However, the crime cases were solved with some changes in the police department. The total number of sworn officers in the city rose to about 2.9% which was pretty impressive. The conditions are sure to improve in the near future because the aldermen in the city sanctioned a budget which would administer fund for enhanced surveillance, gunfire detection systems along with other better police technology.

Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City is infamous for being largely responsible for the surge in violent crimes in the nation and is thereby counted among one of the most dangerous cities in US 2018. Crimes rose to 18% which is a large percentage than compared to the 4.1% national increase. This increased percentage was largely due to a surge in aggravated assaults and murders. There were approximately 1,655 violent crimes per 100,000 residents in the city, a number which is four times more than the national rate. Also, the number of homicides reported in Kansas City was nearly 130, the most since the year 2008.

Oakland, California

Per 100, 000 residents of Oakland, there were approximately 1, 426 violent crimes in the city. The number is not soothing as it is comparatively higher than the national rate, about 386 crime incidents per 100,000 people. The city is considered as one of the most dangerous cities in United States mostly because of the prevalence of robberies which is said to be the highest contributors towards the crime rate. As of 2016, there were about 724 cases of robberies reported per 100, 000 residents of the city. Oakland is also infamous for a majority of motor vehicle thefts in the country. There were over 1600 cases of auto theft for 100, 000 residents, a number which is about seven times more than the national rate.

Cleveland, Ohio

As already mentioned above, the crime rate is higher in places where the majority of the population is poor. Cleveland is counted among most dangerous cities in US because nearly 36.2% people of the city lead a poverty-stricken life. An estimated 20.6% families earn less than ten thousand dollars a year. The high unemployment rate, around 6.9% is associated with the high crime rate. Over 1600 crimes were reported for every 100, 000 residents in the city. Another factor which majorly contributes to such incidents is the poor relationship shared by the community and the local police. Over the years, the situation has only worsened with the investigation of the Department of Justice of 2014 concluding that the Police Department of Cleveland does use unrestrained force against the citizens. They reportedly also inadequately policed their own officers and violated the constitutional rights.

Little Rock, Arkansas

Little Rock is a city having a population between 100,000 to 200,000 residents and is counted among one of the most dangerous cities in United States. Per 100, 000 residents, there were reportedly 1,531 violent crimes. The prevalence of exasperating assaults in Little Rock was one of the major contributors towards the concerning rate of crimes. However, actions have been taken to alleviate this problem. The City Police Department worked towards increasing their presence with street patrolling. Also, there were reportedly 264 sworn officers in total per 100, 000 residents which is pretty impressive.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Apart from the rapes per capita, Milwaukee is said to be one of the most dangerous cities in US. The city is infamous for being one of the worst in aggravated assaults, 15th worst in murder rates and having reportedly 547 violent crime incidents 100, 000. Not to forget that it is also the 5th worst in the rate of robbery of all the cities of United States, a figure which is five times more than compared to the national rate of 103 robberies per 100, 000 residents. Cities where the violent crime rate is higher also often have a higher crime rates related to property. The rate for motor theft in the city went up to 1, 029 per 100, 000 residents in the city, a number which is pretty worrying and is four times more than the national theft rate for vehicles.

Indianapolis, Indiana

In the city of Indianapolis, more than 10% of the total population earn less than 10, 000 dollars a year. Poverty and unemployment quite like a few other cities are the major factors contributing towards the high crime rates. There were around 1,374 violent crimes reported per 100,000 residents in the city, a number which is more than 3 times the national rate. Crime-ridden neighborhoods with gun violence and homicides are the major factor contributing to the high rate of brutality. Property crime is also on a rise with around 1, 180 cases of burglary reported per 100, 000 residents. The number is roughly 2.5 times greater than the national rate making Indianapolis one of the most dangerous cities in US 2018.

Springfield, Missouri

The crime rate in Springfield rose significantly in 2015 with the number of property related crimes rising up to 9.6%. This figure was baffling and was one of the highest spikes of any U.S. city. With the rising crime, the police department was quick to take actions and worked towards strengthening its recruiting efforts. The no tattoo policy was also softened to welcome candidates who had extensive forearm tattoos. With this, the percentage of sworn officers in the Police Department of Springfield rose to 5.8% which brought down the crime rate. This was perhaps one of the largest increase in the number of police officers which made it possible to curb the number of crimes.

Stockton, California

Stockton is no exception when it comes to aggravated assault which is what has made the city one of the most dangerous cities in United States. Reportedly there were nearly 4,400 violet crimes in the year 2016 of which 3, 000 cases were just of aggravated assaults. Per 100, 000 Stockton residents, there were over 970 cases of brutal attacks, a number which is nearly four times more than the national rate. Also, the unemployment rate of the city is 8.7%, a number which is higher than the national rate of unemployment. This is also a major contributing factor to the high crime rate.

Lansing, Michigan

Lansing, the capital of Michigan is infamous for its high crime rate and hence has been included in the list of the most dangerous cities in US. As is the case all over the nation, aggravated assaults are the major contributors towards violent crimes in the city. There were around 1,340 crimes reported in Lansing per 115, 000 residents of which roughly 930 were incidents of aggravated assaults. Incidents of rape has also been on a rise in the city with 123 cases of rape recorded for 100, 000 residents. This number is pretty concerning as it is three times more than compared to the national rate and is the seventh highest among all the major cities of the U.S.

See Also: Most Expensive and cheap cities to live in US

Beaumont, Texas

Violet crimes in the city of Beaumont rose at an alarming rate with reportedly a 21.0% spike than compared to the national increase of 4.1%. While on one hand there was a decrease in the number of rapes and murders, aggravated assaults and robberies increased. Per 100, 000 residents, there were 1,113 cases of violent crimes which was far more than the national rate.

Other cities that are known for their violent crimes

State City Approx Population Violent Crimes per 100000
Illinois East St Louis 27000 4888
Pennsylvania Darby Borough 11000 3617
Florida Florida City 12000 2551
Florida Opa Locka 16000 2807
Georgia College Park 14000 1967
Michigan Flint 101000 2109
Alabama Prichard 23000 1936

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