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The 10 Most Dangerous Neighborhoods in America

When someone looks for a new home to rent or buy, they look around the neighborhood and try to imagine themselves living there. They check out the schools their kids will attend, the restaurants where they can celebrate special occasions, and the stores where they'll buy groceries. While all those factors are important, it's also essential to evaluate the crime level for the area. From larcenies to assaults to murders, a neighborhood with excessive crime could pose a threat to you, your loved ones, and your property. 

Whether you're planning a temporary stay or a permanent move, this list of the ten most dangerous neighborhoods in the United States can help you narrow down your options. Many of the neighborhoods on this list are located in the most dangerous cities in the country. Others, however, are in states and cities with otherwise low crime levels. That's why it's so important to judge each neighborhood on its own merits rather than looking at the city as a whole. 

The Most Dangerous Neighborhoods in America

This list of the most dangerous neighborhoods is based on FBI data, information from community organizations, and statistics from local police departments. It takes into account property and violent crime to help you avoid falling victim to all types of unsafe situations. 

10. Downtown LA, Los Angeles 

  • State: California 
  • Population: 82,703
  • Total crime rate: 4,000 per 100,000 people
  • Violent crime rate: 941 per 100,000 people
  • Property crime rate: 3,100 per 100,000 people

Los Angeles, the largest city in California, is famous for its glitz, glamour, and Hollywood stars. Unfortunately, downtown LA is also well known for its elevated crime levels, which are among the worst in the city and the state. 

The crime rate for all of Los Angeles increased by 11% in 2022, and many people attribute the rise to the growing unhoused population. The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority estimates that there are as many as 46,260 homeless people in the City of Los Angeles on any given night, a 10% increase over last year.

However, there's a lot more behind downtown LA's violent and property crime rates than street encampments. Narcotics, such as fentanyl, gangs, and a rise in mental illness have also been major contributors. 

Downtown LA's crime numbers aren't good, but they're much smaller than some would expect, considering the population size. Compared to the areas further down the list, this community suddenly seems much safer than it initially appears. 

9. Geyer Springs, Little Rock

  • State: Arkansas
  • Population: 2,872
  • Total crime rate: 6,700 per 100,000 people
  • Violent crime rate: 1,300 per 100,000 people
  • Property crime rate: 5,400 per 100,000 people

Little Rock, Arkansas, often finds itself on the top ten list of the most dangerous places in the country, and Geyer Springs is at the center of the problem. While Little Rock is hardly small, Geyer Springs has a fairly low population. Nevertheless, it's one of the state's worst offenders when it comes to the crime rate. 

Property crime, in particular, has plagued Geyer Springs. Burglaries are fairly common, particularly around shopping centers. Shootings and assaults are also becoming a more regular occurrence, with physical attacks and fights occurring even in broad daylight. 

The source of Geyer Springs' issue with crime is, in part, the number of people living in poverty. The median household income for the area is $29,601, well below the median for the rest of the city. 

8. Bayview, San Francisco 

  • State: California
  • Population: 33,996
  • Total crime rate: 6,900 per 100,000 people
  • Violent crime rate: 1,300 per 100,000 people
  • Property crime rate: 5,500 per 100,000 people

Bayview is a district in the southeastern part of San Francisco. It connects to Hunters Point, and the two districts combined are among the most dangerous in the country. Most of the crimes in Bayview are property-related, involving burglary, larceny, and motor vehicle theft. 

Violent crime rates are relatively low in Bayview compared to some of the other neighborhoods on the list, but they're still 255% higher than the national average. That's no surprise, given that San Francisco, as a whole, has above-average incidents of violent crimes.

San Francisco also has a long-standing and well-recorded struggle with homelessness, which further drives up the crime rates. According to a 2022 survey, the Bayview area has the second-highest number of homeless people in the city. 

7. Belmont, Detroit 

  • State: Michigan
  • Population: Approximately 2,700
  • Total crime rate: 7,050 per 100,000 people
  • Violent crime rate: 2,200 per 100,000 people
  • Property crime rate: 4,900 per 100,000 people

For years, Detroit, Michigan, has landed at or near the top of the lists of most dangerous cities in America. Not every part of Detroit has a lot of crime, but the neighborhoods that do tend to be much more hazardous than those in other states. 

Located on the northwest side of the city, Belmont suffers from an especially troubling violent crime rate. With around a 2,200 violent crime rate per 100,000 people, Belmont's problem with violence is 494% worse than the national average. Homicides and aggravated assaults, in particular, are frighteningly high. 

Like many of the other neighborhoods and metropolitan areas on this list, the typical income in Belmont is far lower than for the rest of the country. With a median household income of only $28,908, many residents of this neighborhood are struggling to provide for their families. This is one explanation for the city's elevated rate of property crimes. While it's not as alarming as the violent crime rate, it's still more than double the national average.

6. Sunnyside, Houston

  • State: Texas
  • Population: 18,604
  • Total crime rate: 9,200 per 100,000 people
  • Violent crime rate: Unavailable
  • Property crime rate: Unavailable

With a name like Sunnyside, you'd expect this to be an especially safe community with a much lower crime ranking. Sadly, this neighborhood in Houston has serious issues with violence, including murder and assault. 

A new study found that people living in Sunnyside have a 1 in 11 chance of becoming a victim of some kind of crime. That includes physical attacks and, to a greater degree, robberies. 

Residents of Sunnyside have openly expressed their concerns about the number of local crimes. A survey by Niche found that more than half of residents felt that Sunnyside had obvious safety concerns, and 40% said that police were slow to respond to criminal activity. A lack of trust in the police can feed into a toxic environment that encourages criminal activity. 

5. South Blue Valley, Kansas City 

  • State: Missouri
  • Population: 1,403
  • Total crime rate: 9,900 per 100,000 people
  • Violent crime rate: 2,400 per 100,000 people
  • Property crime rate: 7,500 per 100,000 people

Kansas City, Missouri, is a fixture on the top ten most dangerous cities lists, and a close look at South Blue Valley makes it easy to see why. Located between Interstate 70 and the Blue River, this neighborhood is home to more than 1,400 people and an alarming number of crimes. 

South Blue Valley has crime rates that are 327% higher than the national average, putting its residents at significant risk. This community has more crimes on property than most of the other neighborhoods on this list, and its violent crime rate is equally concerning.

The median household income for the South Blue Valley area is around $35,000, which is higher than many other unsafe neighborhoods. However, it's nearly $30,000 lower than the median income for Kansas City, highlighting why this neighborhood is widely considered the most dangerous in the state. 

4. Pines Village, New Orleans

  • State: Louisiana
  • Population: 4,140
  • Total crime rate: 9,900 per 100,000 people
  • Violent crime rate: 2,600 per 100,000 people
  • Property crime rate: 7,400 per 100,000 people

Two cities in Louisiana, Baton Rouge, and New Orleans, usually make their way onto the list of the most dangerous cities in the US, but only one of them is on this list. That's because of the extremely high crime rates in Pines Village, New Orleans. 

While Pines Village's total crime rate is very similar to that of South Blue Valley, its residents are subject to more violence. The number of violent crimes in the community is a shocking 591% higher than the national average. 

That rate is a reflection of the area's lack of opportunities, with more than half of residents living in poverty. The median household income in Pines Village is only $18,210, which is nearly $60,000 lower than the national rate. 

3. Shelby Forest-Frayser, Memphis

  • State: Tennessee
  • Population: 34,345
  • Total crime rate: 10,400 per 100,000 people
  • Violent crime rate: 3,000 per 100,000 people
  • Property crime rate: 7,400 per 100,000 people

Memphis, Tennessee, has been the site of some of the most famous crimes in American history, including the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It's also where you can find the country's third most dangerous neighborhood: Shelby Forest-Frayser. 

The number of murders, assaults, and other violent crimes in Shelby Forest-Frayser sets off serious alarm bells. It's 705% higher than the national average and continues to grow. While murder rates across the US went down in 2023, violence in Memphis neighborhoods, including Shelby Forest-Frayser, increased dramatically. 

This community is one of the largest on the list, but that's not the sole reason why it has such a high crime ranking. Similar to other places listed, the median household income is much lower than in the rest of the country, while unemployment is significantly higher. 

2. Peabody-Darst-Webbe, St Louis

  • State: Missouri 
  • Population: 2,378
  • Total crime rate: Over 12,000 per 100,000 people
  • Violent crime rate: 3,500 per 100,000 people
  • Property crime rate: 9,000 per 100,000 people

When ranking the most dangerous neighborhoods, it's impossible to overlook St. Louis, which has some of the worst crime rates in America. St. Louis has many unsafe areas, but the Peabody-Darst-Webbe neighborhood is the most worrying. 

Instances of violent criminal activity are 862% more common in Peabody-Darst-Webbe, and overall crime rates are 440% higher. While crime has recently dropped in the entire city, residents of this area still have a 1 in 8 chance of becoming the victim of a crime. 

The median household income in this community is better than many on this list, but poverty rates are substantial nonetheless. A lack of quality education and healthcare have also exacerbated the problem. When people don't have access to the resources they need, they become desperate and are more likely to participate in a crime. 

1. Quigley Park, Albuquerque

  • State: New Mexico
  • Population: Approximately 745
  • Total crime rate: Over 14,000 per 100,000 people
  • Violent crime rate: 5,800 per 100,000 people
  • Property crime rate: 8,725 per 100,000 people

When you think of areas where murder, gang activity, and theft are commonplace, Albuquerque might never cross your mind. Instead, you might focus on New York City, Atlanta, or Chicago. 

While each of those cities has its own set of problems, Albuquerque is where you'll find the nation's most dangerous neighborhood. Quigley Park suffers from excessive property and violent crime, with rates that surpass much larger communities.

The crime rates in this neighborhood are more than 500% worse than in the rest of America. Even worse, Quigley Park has the highest violent crime rates, which are 1,507% higher than the national average. 

Quigley Park also happens to be the smallest community in this ranking, with well under 1,000 residents living there full-time. That makes the number of burglaries, shootings, and assaults that they experience all the more shocking. 

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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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