When it comes to moving for a new job, or even travel, one of the things that must be considered is safety. You may be surprised that many popular cities in the United States aren’t what they appear to be in the travel brochures. Some of these cities could be quite dangerous for a hapless tourist, and you may think twice about moving there for a job. The following list is based on the FBI’s crime statistics dating from between January 2017 and June 2017. They document violent crime rates in US cities with populations of more than 100,000. Violent crimes include robbery, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, and murder. Some of the cities listed are surprising and may have you thinking twice about traveling or moving there.
25. Lansing, Michigan
First on our list is Michigan’s capital city, Lansing. The FBI reported in late 2018 that Lansing had 52.2 violent crimes per 10,000 residents. That translates into about 14 homicides for this city of 117,000. Your cahnce of falling victim to crime in Lansing is 1 in 24. Unlike most cities, the crime rates in Lansing are going up. In fact, this crime rate has been the highest in five years. Unemployment stands at around 6.3% and the poverty rate in Lansing is a high 29.5% Police Chief Mike Yankowski has stated that the high crime rates in Lansing are due to high rates of mental illness and domestic violence.
24. Minneapolis, Minnesota
While Minneapolis is known for it’s artistic flair and vibrant diversity, it’s also known the 24th most dangerous city in the U.S. If you’re planning a trip to Minneapolis in 2019, consider that just two years ago, the violent crime rates in Minneapolis were high, with a rate of 1,101 violent crimes per 100,000 residents in this city of 422,331. There were total of 42 homicides in Minneapolis in the year 2017. Your chance of being a victim of crime in Minneapolis is 1 in 18. In the last few years, burglary, rape, car theft and homicide have increased in Minneapolis. The poverty rate in Minneapolis is high at 21.3%. However, the unemployment rate was only 3.1%.
23. New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans is a popular tourist destination famous for it’s jazz music, fabulous food, voodoo, and the annual Mardi Gras celebration. However New Orleans is actually quite a dangerous city. Many blame New Orleans as the reason for Louisiana leading the entire nation in murder. New Orleans had a violent crime rate of 1,121 per 100,000 residents. In 2017, there were a staggering 157 homicides in New Orleans. Your chances of being a victim of crime here are 1 in 19. However, the city has begun to curb violent crime with a new program dubbed Cure Violence. The poverty rate in New Orleans stands at 26.2%, and this city of nearly 400,000 has an unemployment rate of 5.1%.
22. Newark, New Jersey
Newark is one of the most dangerous cities in the entire United States. Newark had a rate of 42.8 violent crimes per 10,000 in 2017. In the previous year, there were 36 murders per 100,000 residents in this city of more than 218,000. That’s three times more than other cities in New Jersey and the fifth highest murder rate in the entire country. Your chance of being a victim of crime in Newark is 1 in 31. One of the main factors contributing to Newark’s high rate of violent crime is the poverty and unemployment rates. Newark had an unemployment rate of around 8% and a poverty rate of 29.7%. Most of the violent crime takes place in the South and West Wards, which are the poorest areas, and most of the murder in Newark are gang and drug-related crimes.
21. San Bernardino, California
In addition to having the largest outdoor amphitheater in the U.S., sunny San Bernadino is also the largest city to ever file for Chapter 9 Bankruptcy. The bankruptcy played a large role in the rising crime rate, as there were big cutbacks to the city’s police force. In 2017 this city of 217,000 experienced a violent crime rate of 1,291 per 100,000 residents. This includes 34 homicides. Your chance of being a crime victim in San Bernardino is 1 in 20. San Bernadino has a poverty rate of 32.3% and an unemployment rate of 6.3%.
20. Indianapolis, Indiana
If you are planning a visit to Indianapolis in 2019, keep in mind this city had a violent crime rate of 1,334 per 100,000 residents in 2017, including 156 homicides. Chances of falling prey to crime in Indianapolis is 1 in 18. This city of nearly 850,000 has a poverty rate of 20.9% which contributes to the high crime rates. Indianapolis has a moderate unemployment rate of 3.6%.
19. Stockton, California
Like San Bernadino, Stockton declared bankruptcy back in 2012, making it one of the largest cities to ever declare bankruptcy. It also ranks among the U.S. cities with the highest crime rates. The 2017 violent crime rate for Stockton was 1,415 per 100,000 residents with a grand total of 55 homicides for this city of 301,000. Chances of being a crime victim in Stockton are 1 in 20. The unemployment rate in Stockton is a high 8% and the poverty rate is a staggering 23.7%.
18. Milwaukee, Wisconsin
With a population close to 600,000, Milwaukee is Wisconsin’s largest city. Milwaukee is beautiful, with a gorgeous waterfront on Lake Michigan, and it’s known for its festivals and cultural events. There’s lots of fun stuff to do in Milwaukee. However, it has a high violent crime rate, with 1,597 per 100,000. residents falling victim to a violent crime. Your overall chances of being a victim of crime is 1 in 19. There were 118 homicides in Milwaukee during 2017. That ranks Milwaukee as the 7th highest in the U.S. However, the Milwaukee Police are working diligently to lower the numbers of homicides, by focusing on the area where most of the crime occurs. Additionally, Milwaukee has a substantial poverty rate of 28.4% and a fair unemployment rate of 4.6%.
17. Kansas City, Missouri
Founded in the 1830s at the confluence of the Missouri and Kansas rivers, Kansas City is the largest city is Missouri, with close to 500,000 residents. That ranks it as the 37th most populous city in the U.S., and with more than 319 square miles, it’s also the 23rd largest city by area. The numbers for violent crime in Kansas City are also large, with a rate of 1,724 per 100,000 residents. That includes 150 homicides in 2017, up from 129 homicides in 2016. You have a 1 in 16 chance of falling victim to crime. The unemployment rate in Kansas City is a moderate 4.3% with a poverty rate at 18.3%.
16. Rockford, Illinois
With a population around 150,000, Rockford is actually the 3rd largest city in Illinois. Furthermore, it’s also one of the most violent, although not as violent as Chicago. While there were just 18 homicides reported in 2017, Rockford still has a violence problem. According to the data, there were 1,773 aggravated assaults in 2017 which is more than most cities with similar populations. The violent crime rate in Rockford is 1,588 per 100,000 residents. The overall chances of falling prey to crime is 1 in 20. Rockford has a significant poverty rate of 22.7% and an unemployment rate of 7.5%.
15. Birmingham, Alabama
With more than 212,000 residents, Birmingham is the biggest city in Alabama. Unfortunately, this Southern city is one of the most violent cities in the United States. There were 1,483 violent crimes per 100,000 residents in Birmingham. You chance of being a crime victim is 1 in 20. However, the good news is Birmingham is making progress; the crime rate is down 40% from the 1990s. The U.S. Census Department found that much of the crime in Birmingham is due to drug dealing and poverty. In fact, the poverty in Birmingham is hefty 26%. This is nearly 10% more than the state average of 17%. However, the unemployment rates in Birmingham are actually low, averaging 3.4%.
14. Nashville, Tennessee
Nashville is a popular tourist destination; it’s home base for country music. However, most people are unaware that Nashville is statistically one of the most dangerous cities in USA. In 2017 this city of nearly 645,000 witnessed 110 homicides within the metropolitan area. However, tourists are generally unaware of these statistics, because most of the murders in Nashville occur between local people running in the same social circles and engaged in risky behavior. The crime rate in Nashville is 1,138 per 100,000 residents. Your chance of being a crime victim is 1 in 21. The poverty rate in Nashville is a moderate 18%, and the unemployment rate is below 3%.
13. Cleveland, Ohio
As home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland sees it’s share of visitors. With a population close to 400,000, Cleveland also ranks as the second largest city in Ohio. Unfortunately, much of the population is poor, with a poverty rate of 36%. Cleveland also has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country, at 7.4%. As expected, these high numbers of poverty and unemployment contribute to a high violent crime rate. In 2017, The violent crime rate has been calculated at 1,557 per 100,000 residents. In fact, almost 6,000 violent crimes were reported in 2017, with 107 homicides. Your chance of being a crime victim in Cleveland is 1 in 16.
12. Detroit, Michigan
It’s not surprising to see the “Motor City” on this list. Detroit has thousands of abandoned and decaying buildings, a massive decline in population, and a massive poverty rate of 39%. Likewise, Detroit has one of the highest unemployment rates of any U.S. City, at 9.3%. It’s not surprising this all contributes to one of the highest crime rates in the country. In fact, Detroit’s violent crime rate for 2017 was 2,057 per 100,000 residents, with 267 homicides. Your total chance of falling victim to a crime in Detroit is 1 in 16.
11. Chicago, Illinois
Chicago is the 3rd largest city in the United States, with more than 2,714,000 residents. While it does have a higher murder rate than New York City or Los Angeles, it still does not earn the honor of the most dangerous city in the U.S. Data from the year 2017 shows the homicide rate for Chicago was 24 per 100,000 residents. That means there were 650 murders in 2017, which was down from 771 homicides in 2016. The violent crime rates for Chicago were 30,126 per 100,000 residents in 2017. The chance of being a crime victim is 1 in 23. The unemployment rate for the Chicago area has been decreasing, and currently stands at 4.3%. The poverty rate for the Chicago area stands around 12.3%
10. Anchorage, Alaska
Surprisingly, Anchorage comes in at #10. With a population of nearly 300,000, Anchorage is Alaska’s most populous city, with near 40% of the state’s residents. Anchorage ranked violent crimes at 1,203 per 100,000 residents. Anchorage also has a lot of property crimes, at a rate of 5,415 per 100,000 residents. Your total chance of falling prey to a crime in Anchorage is 1 in 16. Law enforcement experts blame rampant drug use and gang violence for the city’s high crime statistics, as well as a lack of mental health treatment in the city.
9. Baltimore, Maryland
Baltimore has a serious violent crime problem. In fact, in the year 2017, there were 8,879 reported robberies. That’s 2,027 to 100,000 residents. This is almost 10 times more than the national average for robbery, and it’s the highest robbery rate for any major city in the U.S. In addition, in 2017 there were 342 homicides in this city of 620,000. That’s nearly one murder per day. Your chance of crime in Baltimore is 1 in 15. Baltimore has a poverty rate of 23.1%. and an unemployment rate of 6.1%.
8. Pueblo, Colorado
Sadly, Pueblo is not known as a Rocky Mountain getaway, it’s is known for its high rate of violent crime. This city of 108,000 ranks very high for burglaries, with 6,166 property crimes per 100,000. The overall violent crime rate in Pueblo was 1,052 violent crimes per 100,000 in 2017. Your chance of falling prey to a crime is 1 in 14. Pueblo’s poverty rate in 2017 was 22.3% which is 12 points higher than Colorado as a whole. The unemployment rate for Pueblo stands at 5.2%
7. Chattanooga, Tennessee
This charming, scenic city of 175,000 on the banks of the Tennessee River is also a rather dangerous city. In fact, the violent crime rate in Chattanooga is 96% higher than Tennessee as a whole. In fact, it’s one of the worst cities for property crimes, 5,985 per 100,000. The overall rate of violent crime is 1,065 per 100,000, with 31 homicides in 2017. Most of the shootings in Chattanooga are due to gang violence. Your chance of being a victim of crime in Chattanooga is 1 in 15. The unemployment rate in Chattanooga is an average of 3.3% and the poverty rate is a high 20.7%.
6. Oakland, California
While the crime rates have been going down in Oakland over the past few years, it’s still very high. The violent crime rate for this city of 412,000 was 1,299 per 100,000 during 2017. That includes 69 homicides. That’s 147% higher than other cities in California. In fact, you stand a 1 in 14 chance of falling victim to a violent crime in Oakland. Oakland’s unemployment rate is 5% with a poverty rate of 18.7%.
5. Albuquerque, New Mexico
The city of Albuquerque makes the list more for property crime rather than violent crime. But that still makes Albuquerque among of the most dangerous cities in the U.S. In 2016, this city of close to 550,000 experienced 1,112 reported cases of assault, rape, robbery and homicide per 100,000 residents. Unfortunately, by 2017 the rates had risen by 23%, with a staggering 1,369 violent crimes per 100,000, including 70 homicides. Property crime in Albuquerque is even worse, with 7, 365 per 100,000 during 2017. Chances of falling prey to crime is a high 1 in 12. These property crimes were mostly robberies. The poverty rate in Albuquerque is nearly 19% and the unemployment rate of 5.5%.
4. Springfield, Missouri
This Midwest city of 165.000 has an alarming amount of violent crime. In fact, The murder rate almost doubled from 2016 to 2017, from a low of 4.8 to the present 8.3 per 100,000. The overall violent crime rate in Springfield was 1,338 per 100,000 in 2017. You have a 1 in 10 chance of falling victim to violent crime in Springfield. Springfield also has the highest rate of rape in the nation, averaging of 209 rapes per 100,000 residents. Property crimes are also high in Springfield, ranking at 8,853 per 100,000 residents. Springfield has a significant poverty rate of 25.9% and an average unemployment rate of 3.2%
3. Little Rock, Arkansas
The capital of Arkansas has a population of little more than 197,000 and it’s the largest city in Missouri. Little Rock had a staggering 1,633 per 100,000 violent crimes in 2017, including 55 murders. Little Rock also has high rates of property crimes, 6,932 per 100,000 residents. You have a 1 in 10 chance of falling victim to crime in Little Rock. This city has a poverty rate of 18.5%, and an average employment rate of 3.3%.
2. Memphis, Tennessee
Violent crime is not the first thing that comes to mind regarding Memphis. You’re more likely to think of Elvis or blues music on Beale Street. But according to crime statistics from 2017, this city of more than 655,000 has one of the highest rates of violent crime at 2,003 per 100,000 residents. Overall, there was a grand total of 653,000 violent crimes including 181 homicides. You have a 1 in 13 chance of falling victim to crime in Memphis. Memphis has a high rate of poverty at 27.6% as well as a high unemployment rate of 7%.
1. St. Louis, Missouri
Although best known for its blues music and barbeque, St. Louis is the surprising #1 most dangerous city in America. This city of 316,000 had a violent crime rate in 2017 of 2,082 per 100,000 people. That includes 205 homicides, and when adjusted for population, that is the highest homicide rate in the country. In fact, the murder rate in St. Louis is 67 per 100,000 compared to an average of 5 per 100,000 in the United States as a whole. Your overall chance of falling victim to a crime is 1 in 13 in St. Louis. The unemployment rate in St. Louis is a high 7% and the poverty rate is 25% with 40% of children in St. Louis living in poverty.