The 10 Worst Neighborhoods in Detroit
Detroit is the biggest city in the U.S state of Michigan and the seat of the government of Wayne County. It is also the biggest city located on the U.S – Canada border. According to the 2020 United States census, Detroit has a population of 623,111 and ranks as the 27th most populated city in the U.S. Detroit’s metropolitan area. Metro Detroit is the second largest metropolis in the Midwest after Chicago.
It has a population density of 4.3 million people. In the late 1800s, Detroit became an industrial city, and its economy shot up in the 1900s when Henry Ford started the Ford assembly line in the city in 1914. It quickly became the automobile capital of the world. During World War I, the city’s industrial acceleration also saw many African Americans immigrating to the city. These diverse ethnic backgrounds have greatly influenced Detroit’s contributions to the music, art, and architectural industries.
Decline of the Auto Industry
The automobile industry started to decline as many automotive plants shut down, some merged, and others moved their assembly lines out of the city. Detroit has also faced damage from many civil riots over the years. These have left many people jobless, not to mention the city’s financial troubles after the City of Detroit filed for bankruptcy in 2013 with $20 Billion of unpaid bills. The root of all evil is usually money and especially the lack of it. As unemployment cases increased, there was a parallel increase in poverty levels. These are perfect environments to make crime rates shoot up. But like all other cities, some areas are more affected by crime, unemployment, and poverty than others. These are ten of the worst Neighborhoods in Detroit in 2022.
Riverdale is one of the most dangerous and depressing neighborhoods in Detroit. It has a population of 2,427. With a low socioeconomic index and a high crime rate, Riverdale is not a place for the faint-hearted. The low socioeconomic index comes from an unemployment rate of 5.6% compared to the national unemployment average of 6%, a median household income of $29,691 compared to a national average of $64,994, and education levels that are very low with only 26% of its population having a high school diploma. According to AreaVibes, Riverdale has an income rate and median household income rates of 45% and 49% below the national average and an unemployment rate of 165% above the national average.
There is a lot of gang presence and activity in Riverdale due to the neighborhood’s proximity to major highways. Making the neighborhood a crime hotspot and having a high homicide rate compared to other Detroit neighborhoods. Its proximity to major highways makes it very easy for criminals to get in and out quickly. Heavy gang presence in the neighborhood also contributes to the high crime rate as gang members use violence to control the area and gang-on-gang violence.
Greensbriar is undoubtedly one of the most dangerous places in Detroit. It has a population of 2,451, with many of its residents being African American. According to Weichert, its median household income is around $31,313. The neighborhood’s education levels are deficient, with only 39% of its population having graduated from High school and only 3% having a graduate degree. The unemployment rate in Greensbriar is 13.5%. The neighborhood has an unemployment rate of 189% above the national average and a household income rate of 43% below the national average.
The combination of these toxic elements of high unemployment and poverty rates, together with an overall low education status, makes Greensbriar a dangerous place to live. With its crime rate of 178% higher than the Detroit average, this neighborhood is overrun by gangs, drugs, and illegal activities. Because of its high crime rate, people moved out of Greensbriar, and its housing market collapsed. The collapse left a lot of abandoned and dilapidated buildings, which are perfect breeding grounds for criminal activities for many of the gangs and drug dealers in the area.
8. Forest Park
Forest park in Detroit, Michigan, is home to Detroit’s branch of the national Federal Reserve. It has a population of 1100 people and a median household income of around $14,900, 73% below the national household income in the United States. Although one of the most sparsely populated, it is one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in the city. Its unemployment rate is 16%, 245% above the national average.
You would think that with the national Federal reserve just around the corner, Forest park would be among the safest neighborhoods in Detroit, but you are wrong. The crime rate here is 246% above the national average, with violent and property crimes being 750% and 148% above the national average. Although it has a high crime rate, the neighborhood also boasts a vibrant nightlife, but you have to be careful.
Brightmoor is a neighborhood in Detroit that occupies a 4 square mile radius which is roughly 10 kilometers. The area has a population of around 9,900 residents and a median household income of $24, 947 which is over 50% below the national household income average. According to a Harvard University study, the population of Brightmoor has decreased by 64% since 1970, from 26,040 residents to 9,372. Its unemployment rate has risen to 13.1%, 181% above the national unemployment average.
The crime rate in Brightmoor far exceeds the national average by 343%. A continuously weakening job market, low education levels, and low-income rates make gang, and criminal activities thrive here. The rising crime rate has seen people move out of Brightmoor, and the property values in the area have declined. High unemployment, low income, and low education are always fuels to the high crime rate fire, and Brightmoor has all three conditions.
6. Franklin Park
Franklin park is a neighborhood located on the Eastside of Detroit and is bounded by Lafayette Ave., Vernor Hwy., Fort St., and River St. It has a population of around 11,000 people. The neighborhood median household income is $29,300, which is 47% below the national average. Its education status is low, with only 36% of its population having graduated high school and only 8% with a bachelor’s degree. Many Franklin park residents are unemployed, with the neighborhood’s unemployment rate at 13.7%. Franklin Park’s unemployment rate is a staggering 195% more than the national average.
The low education levels, high poverty, and low income turned this neighborhood into a crime-ridden area and made it into one of the worst neighborhoods in Detroit. Its proximity to the Detroit river significantly contributes to this neighborhood’s high crime rates. With a crime rate of 406% above the national average, this area is ridden with gangs and drug trafficking. Which then makes the area a robbery and homicide hotspot. As crime continued to rise, many people moved out of the neighborhood, and property rates plummeted. Leaving many abandoned properties became perfect grounds for gang activity and drugs.
5. Van Steuban
Van Steuban is a Detroit neighborhood that has quickly garnered a reputation as one of the worst places to live. It neighbors the Lasalle College Park and Pulaski neighborhoods and has a population of around 3,500. The area has an average household income of about $34,000 which is 38% below the national average. Its educational levels are also low, with only 36% of its population having completed their high school education and only 4% having graduated college with a bachelor’s degree.
According to the Statistical Atlas, Van Steuban’s overall unemployment rate is 15.6% which is 236% more than the national average. Van Steuban’s crime rate is 443% above the national average, with violent and property crimes being 1,359% and 263% above the national average. Like the other neighborhoods on this list, Van Steuban has a lot of gang activity, homicide, shootings, and rape cases, making the neighborhood unsafe. The main street in the neighborhood is Van Steuban street, a busy street with lots of traffic and has seen its fair share of accidents.
Warrendale is a neighborhood located in the western part of Detroit, Michigan. It has a population of about 17,500, making it among Detroit’s most densely populated neighborhoods. With a median household income of $27,970 and a national average of 49% below the national average, many of its population is poor. The area’s unemployment rate of 14% also contributes to its low-income median, with over 200% more unemployment rates than the national average.
Warrendale is one of the worst Detroit neighborhoods, with numerous reports of break-ins, assaults, and robberies. It is an unsafe area to live or even walk alone at night because the chances of you getting robbed, murdered, or raped are over 400% of the national average. According to Bridge Michigan, the Detroit housing crisis has not spared Warrendale. Since 2012, over 46% of houses in Warrendale have gone into tax foreclosures.
Fiskhorn in Detroit has among the worst crime statistics in Detroit neighborhoods. Fiskhorn is not the first choice for anyone moving to Detroit, and you will not find any rich or elite people living there. The Fiskhorn area has a population of around 3,800 and neighbors Grandale and Oakman Grove. Its median household income is around $23,000, 59% below the national housing income average. 38% of people living in Fiskhorn have graduated high school, and only 5% have a bachelor’s degree.
The area has an unemployment rate of 10%, which is 120% more than the U.S national average. Fiskhorn has a crime rate of 431% above the national average. For violent crimes like murder, assault, rape, and robbery, the neighborhood one-ups the national average by a whopping 1,527%, while property crimes like burglary and theft go over the national average by 214%. There is a sizable amount of gang activity here, like shootings and robberies. Due to the high crime rate, Fisk horn residents must be constantly alert.
2. Petosky Otsego
Ranking among the top areas that are least appealing to live in Detroit. The Petosky Otsego area in Detroit is a smaller neighborhood in the city with a population of 7,200 people. It is also among the poorest neighborhoods in the city, with a median household income of around $18,800 which is 66% below the national household income average. The unemployment rate here is 14%, 220% above the national unemployment average. Petosky also has one of the worst schooling systems in the city, with low student turnout and its average test scores falling 36% below the national average.
It is no secret that crime in this area is high. The recipe for a high crime rate here is pretty good, with low income, high unemployment rates, and bad education background for its residents. Petoskys average crime rate is 469% higher than the national average. According to Smart Explora, the high poverty levels and high crime rates due to an overwhelming gang presence have left the neighborhood with a reputation of being one of the most violent places in Detroit.
1. Chaldean Town
Chaldean Town in Detroit was once a very vibrant immigrant town that got its name from the Chaldean Catholic immigrants from Iraq and Turkey. The boom in immigrants was due to Detroit’s booming industrial economy, with automobile factories everywhere in the early 1900s. The immigrants settled in Chaldean town and made it a popular neighborhood with many ethnic restaurants serving middle eastern food. But then the crack epidemic hit, and the once vibrant town started to deteriorate.
Now, Chaldean town only has a population of about 1200 people and a median household income of $16,200, 71% below the national average. According to Roadsnacks, the neighborhood’s unemployment rate is 24%, 429% higher than the national average. Despite its beautiful Catholic background, Chaldean town has been among the worst places hit by unemployment, the housing crisis, high crime rates, and low education levels. Recent years have seen people move out of this neighborhood in droves due to its worsening conditions.
In 2018, Detroit ranked the third city with highest murder rates in the U.S. As is seen in the list above, the city has higher crime and employment rates than the national average. Despite all that, not all neighborhoods in Detroit are bad. It has some friendly suburban neighborhoods. But if you are moving to Detroit, you should be careful when moving to the areas mentioned above, as they are some of the worst neighborhoods in the city.
You can also read:
- The 10 Worst Neighborhoods in Baltimore
- The 10 Worst Neighborhoods in Philadelphia
- The 10 Worst Neighborhoods in NYC