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The 20 Most Dangerous Cities in the U.S.

The crime rate in US cities keeps rising daily, keeping law enforcers on their toes 24/7. From homicide, rape, kidnapping, child molestation, burglary, and armed robbery, to assault, crime is still widespread throughout the country. So, why should you beware of unsafe cities?

Two reasons: One, you want to be in a place you can comfortably walk on the street without looking over your shoulders or worrying if the person living next to you could be an unsuspected criminal and you might be a more accessible bait. Two, you want to connect the high crime rate to the current dwellers.

Could they be engaging in crime due to a failed economy, poor housing, or a corrupt justice system; hence they know they can get away with crime? Could it be their way of life, and many cases go unreported?

Here we have listed the 20 most dangerous cities in the United States as of 2023. 

What are the 20 most dangerous cities in America in 2023?

According to World Population Review, law enforcers registered 369 out of 100,000 violent crime reports in 2018. While that might be the lowest figure that the police have ever reported, crime is still rampant in most US cities. Here are the 20 most dangerous cities in America ranked.


20. Kansas City, Missouri: The city with a city jail

If you thought Kansas City, MO, was a safe place to live in, consider reassessing your facts and have different views. The city has the nation's fifth-highest homicide rate per capita, and most of those incidents go unreported.

Did you know there's no city jail in Kansas? You heard that right. The city signed a contract with Jackson County to contain 161 inmates until January 2020. Once it expired, Kansas lacked funds for the new contract. That's why you see more violent crimes increasing.

19. Camden, New Jersey: The city with a low economic status in the US

You will likely get mugged or shot for as low as $5 in Camden. The city was known for being a working-class area with street markets and pubs open at ungodly hours until gangs, and drug dealers started thronging it. Unsurprisingly, it has a violent crime rate of 16.5 per 1,000 residents.

So, if you live, study, or vacation there, your chance of being a victim of violent crime in this city is one in 61. Not to scare anyone, but you're better off avoiding strangers or being in vulnerable situations that can cost your life.

18. Pine Bluff, Arkansas: "Most miserable" city

Of all cities in Arkansas, Pine Bluff is the most miserable due to people with money leaving for other states due to high crime rates. So, when they go, there's a population decline. The city Mayor, Shirley Washington, reported that Pine Bluff is the most dangerous metro area and the fourth most dangerous nationwide. That means that out of 100,000 people, there were 1,098 incidents of violent crime.


17. Jackson, Mississippi: One of the cities with the most violent crime rates in the US

The capital city of Mississippi, Jackson, has 164,422 people. However, not everyone living there is a law-abiding citizen. The city's crime rates keep surging, with five murders per 100,000, making it four times higher than the national average.

Other violent crimes include 43 rapes per 100,000 and 86 robberies per 100,000. Property crime rates like car theft, burglary, and arson are also high, so you might want to consider all these factors before moving there.


16. Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Don't talk to a stranger in a secluded place

From muggings and burglary to other violent crimes, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is one of the unsafe cities in Wisconsin. The largest city in Wisconsin attracts people of all calibers and socio-economic statuses. Experts advise you to walk with a friend on the streets rather than alone, thanks to the crime rate of 1,332 incidents per 100,000 residents. So, if you have to talk to a stranger, make sure it's in a public place to avoid being bait for criminals.


15. Saginaw, Michigan: The second most dangerous city in Michigan

If you live in Saginaw, Michigan, you have a 50% chance of being a victim of violent crime. According to US News and World News, it is the second most dangerous city in Michigan with 795 incidents per 100,000 people.

The high crime rate made the city council invest in high-definition cameras for $250,000. They use these devices to monitor and identify suspected violent criminals.


14. Stockton, California: Popularly known for a high property crime rate

Stockton is one of the best places to find a good school and property to invest in, in California. However, it also has high unemployment, which comes with repercussions.

Studies suggest that it attracts 1500 violent crimes per 100,000 residents. So, your chance of becoming a victim of a crime in this city is one in 19. The city is known for vehicular theft, property crimes, and other violent crimes.

13. Springfield, Missouri: Ranks fifth in the highest rape cases

In 2019, Springfield had 356 rape reports. Your home is 300% more likely to be broken into if it lacks an alarm system. Experts believe that the city's violent crime rate is 1,519 per 100,000 every 46 minutes. You can blame the gang members dealing meth and cocaine for the violent crimes.

Little Rock

12. Little Rock, Arkansas: Known for property crime and racism

Do you have a relative who's a magnet for trouble? If so, they wish they never stepped foot in Little Rock, Arkansas. But if they are law-abiding citizens, they will hardly find themselves in trouble. In short, LR has a high aggravated assault rate, as it is nearly five times the national rate.

The police are mere "clean-up" guys who leave cases unresolved at their convenience. Using high-tech safety systems makes you safer in keeping your car and house safe. Also, residents are racists, but they won't physically attack you unless you provoke them.


11. Memphis, Tennessee: The second-highest homicide rate of any US metro area

Memphis, TN, is one of those cities you might not want to set your foot in if you value your life. According to CBC News, more than 190 homicides were committed in 2019, and the overall crime rate was 1,901 per 100,000 residents.

The atrocious crimes are linked to gang wars and drug wars because there are more than 100 gangs in this city. Places to avoid include Raleigh, Downtown, Spawn, Orange Mound, Parkway Village, Binghamton, and Hollywood.

10. Alexandria, Louisiana: The highest property crime rate in Louisiana

Louisiana is one of the states with the highest property crime rates, and Alexandria is primarily to blame. It's believed that out of 100,000 residents, 8,410 engaged in property-related and other violent crimes. The city has a population of 47,238, but not everyone is a saint.

That means one in 68 people has a chance of being raped or killed. So, if you live, work, or vacation in Alexandria, pray to God that nothing happens to you. Also, report any suspicious behavior to the police.

New Mexico

9. Albuquerque, New Mexico: The highest for auto-theft in the US

The largest city in New Mexico is Albuquerque, and it has a lot to offer in terms of natural attractions, rich history, and hot-air-balloon fiestas. Of course, you're dying to be there to experience all these. But before you do, remember that out of 75 people, you could be a victim of crime.

Before you pull over your car for any reason, ensure you secure it with an anti-theft device. Most tourists are bait for these criminals, so avoid crowded areas and keep your valuables safe.

8. Albany, Georgia: Among the cities with the highest homicide rates in the US

For every 56 people, one is likely to be a victim in Albany, Georgia. Out of 1,000 residents, 17 are criminals, and the number keeps increasing. Experts argue that the COVID-19 pandemic might have aggravated the high crime rate as most people's businesses closed down and companies needed to downsize.

Do you remember George Floyd, an Afro-American who was murdered by a police officer in the public's glare? Many people were rattled by this, leading to nationwide protests. Consequently, many people began buying firearms for protection, leading to high homicide rates. The city isn't safe for anyone, whether you're a police officer or an ordinary businessperson.


7. Baltimore, Maryland: The seventh most unsafe metro area to live in

The US News & World Report ranked Baltimore, Maryland, as the seventh most dangerous metro area out of 150, making it one of the most unsafe places in this city, laden with poverty, drug, and gang-ridden neighborhoods. Fells Point, Mount Vernon, Inner Harbor, and Federal Hill are the only safe areas.

Consequently, May 2020 marked the beginning of the Baltimore police's reforms. Its police department significantly upgraded its new records management systems, embracing a complete digital reporting environment.

South Bend, Indiana

6. South Bend, Indiana: Among the most unsafe US metro area

If you live in South Bend, Indiana, it will be in your best interest to pray that no one attack, murder, or steal from you. The city is the most dangerous metro area in Indiana. As of 2020, the police reported more than 2,121 violent crimes. That means for every 100,000 people, 655 were criminals.

Out of 59 people, one was more likely a victim of murder, assault, and other violent crimes. Most criminals conduct crimes using knives, guns, and other murder weapons to scare or harm innocent people.


5. Wilmington, Delaware: "Murder City, USA."

Wilmington, DE, is known as one of the best places to live due to the low cost of living. However, that comes with devastating repercussions. Jay Z, aka Sean Carter, once rapped that he hailed from the "Murder capital, where we murder for capital."

While he might not have mentioned Wilmington directly, he may as well suggest so. 16.5 per 1,000 residents engage in violent crimes, and one in 60 is more likely to become a victim. Even in the suburbs of the town where you might feel safe, you have a high chance of becoming a victim of property crime.


4. Cleveland, Ohio: One of America's most miserable cities

Cleveland, Ohio, ranks third among America's most miserable cities, making it an unsafe place to live in. This city attracts all types of violent crimes from high unemployment, unfavorable weather, high taxes, and corrupt public officials. It's reported that 1,517 per 100,000 residents commit violent crimes each day.

One in 59 individuals is more likely to become a victim of violent crimes. If you're living, studying, vacationing, or working there, keep your fingers crossed, hoping not to become a victim.

3. Detroit, Michigan: Law enforcers are hardly available for emergencies

Of all cities in the US, Detroit, Michigan, is the worst hit when it comes to 911 services and police availability. The police are hardly enough to protect citizens despite having more than the average number of cops for its population. According to Forbes, 22.6 per 1,000 residents engage in crime, and one in 44 has a chance of being a victim. If you live there, watch your back.

St. Louis

2. St. Louis, Missouri: 64.9 per 100,000 murder rates

The second most unsafe city in the US is St. Louis, MO. As of 2017, the city's murder rates were 64.9 per 100,000, with 205 people murdered in cold blood. East St. Louis is notorious for such cases. The city's per-capita crime cost is $11,574, compared to Virginia Beach's $611.

Perhaps it's why this area has low-income earners who can't put their kids in better schools. People on this side of St. Louis don't have better housing, making them vulnerable to rapists, burglars, and murderers.

1. Monroe, Louisiana: The most violent city in America

If you live or plan to live in Monroe, you better put your home and office security alarm system in place lest you become a victim of violent crime. According to Neighborhood Scout, Monroe, LA, ranked first as the city with the most criminal activities as of 2022. It's reported that one in 34 people living or visiting there were victims of violent crimes.

That is a 66% up from 2021, and despite law enforcers trying to arrest, charge, and convict the perpetrators, the number keeps going up. Will the trend change in subsequent years? We'll never know as time will tell.

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Dana Hanson

Written by Dana Hanson

Dana has extensive professional writing experience including technical and report writing, informational articles, persuasive articles, contrast and comparison, grant applications, and advertisement. She also enjoys creative writing, content writing on nearly any topic (particularly business and lifestyle), because as a lifelong learner, she loves to do research and possess a high skill level in this area. Her academic degrees include AA social Sci/BA English/MEd Adult Ed & Community & Human Resource Development and ABD in PhD studies in Indust & Org Psychology.

Read more posts by Dana Hanson

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