There is interest in the most dangerous cities in Illinois. After all, no one wants to experience crime firsthand, meaning that this is important information for people who either live in the state or want to live in the state. Surprisingly, RoadSnacks says that Chicago missed the top ten even though The Washington Times and other publications have written much about its crime problem. Instead, RoadSnacks’s top ten are smaller, less well-known cities as determined by an individual’s chances of experiencing violent and dangerous crimes.
10. Marion, IL – 774 Violent Crimes Per 100,000 People; 1,150 Property Crimes Per 100,000 People
Marion is the county seat of Williamson County. However, it sits in both Williamson and Johnson Counties. It is a trade center for Southern Illinois, though its low, five-digit population speaks volumes about that part of the state. In any case, Marion saw an unusual number of car thefts and other property crimes, thus making it more dangerous than interested individuals might have expected.
9. Decatur, IL – 696 Violent Crimes Per 100,000 People; 1,205 Property Crimes Per 100,000 People
Stephen Decatur was the first American hero to emerge following the American Revolution. As such, there are cities named for him throughout the country. The one in Illinois is the county seat of Macon County. Primarily, this Decatur is known for both agricultural and industrial commodities. Other than those, it has some manufacturing as well. Sadly, Decatur’s high property crime rate is enough to put it on this list.
8. Springfield, IL – 946 Violent Crimes Per 100,000 People; 1,079 Property Crimes Per 100,000 People
Springfield is home to more than 100,000 people. It has the distinction of being the second biggest city in the state outside the Chicago metropolitan area. Generally speaking, people recognize Springfield because it was once the home of Abraham Lincoln. They should know that the city now has high violent and property crime rates.
7. Peoria, IL – 986 Violent Crimes Per 100,000 People; 1,052 Property Crimes Per 100,000 People
Peoria is about the same size as Springfield. Despite that, it has a metropolitan area. Peoria’s strategic location on the Illinois River makes it an important trade center for much of the surrounding region. Some of the goods come from local agricultural producers. The rest comes from Peoria’s manufacturers. Reportedly, the city’s residents had a 1 in 101 chance of being attacked in the relevant year, which isn’t the kind of statistic that inspires confidence.
6. Cahokia, IL – 684 Violent Crimes Per 100,000 People; 1,746 Property Crimes Per 100,000 People
Cahokia was a village until 2021. Since then, it has been a part of the new city of Cahokia Heights. RoadSnacks says that Cahokia’s appearance on its list was an aberration caused by an unusual number of property crimes in the relevant year. Assuming that wasn’t the start of a pattern, chances are good that neither Cahokia nor Cahokia Heights will be showing up on this list in the future.
5. Granite City, IL – 779 Violent Crimes Per 100,000 People; 1,247 Property Crimes Per 100,000 People
Granite City started as a company town of sorts. As the story goes, the Niedringhaus brothers found a way to make kitchen utensils that looked like granite. Subsequently, they decided to establish a company town for their steel-making operations. However, the Niedringhaus brothers never exercised as much control over their workers as some of their counterparts from the industrial era, as shown by how their workers ran an independent government. Regardless, Granite City is another city pushed high on this list because of a high property crime rate, though its violent crime rate isn’t what anyone would consider low.
4. Centralia, IL – 1,311 Violent Crimes Per 100,000 People; 1,113 Property Crimes Per 100,000 People
This isn’t the famous Centralia. That would be Centralia, PA, a near-ghost town because of the coal mine fire expected to continue burning far into the future. Instead, this Centralia is home to more than 10,000 people spread out over three separate counties. By this point, interested individuals should have no problem guessing that the city has this position on this list because of its high violent and property crime rates.
3. Mount Vernon, IL – 1,165 Violent Crimes Per 100,000 People; 1,124 Property Crimes Per 100,000 People
Mount Vernon is named for George Washington’s estate of the same name. This isn’t the first time that it has occupied a high position on this list. As such, it seems safe to say that Mount Vernon has a long-term crime problem.
2. Danville, IL – 1,671 Violent Crimes Per 100,000 People; 1,579 Property Crimes Per 100,000 People
Danville saw about one murder a month in the relevant year. That might not sound like much in absolute terms. However, it is horrendous on a per capita basis because Danville is home to about 30,000 people.
1. Rockford, IL – 1,451 Violent Crimes Per 100,000 People; 2,834 Property Crimes Per 100,000 People
Rockford is the most populous city in Illinois outside of the Chicago metropolitan area. Unfortunately, it had the second highest violent crime rate in the state, as shown by how its residents had a 1 in 68 chance of being affected on an annual basis. Most people would consider that to be a serious cause for concern. Meanwhile, Rockford’s property crime rate is no better, being the highest in the state. It isn’t 100 percent clear why the city has these issues. Some have speculated that it is a combination of economic woes plus the city’s convenient location between Chicago and Milwaukee making it attractive for organized crime. Whatever the case, Rockford’s crime problem is very real.