The 10 Most Dangerous Cities in America

A crime ridden city with rundown buildings

A crime ridden city | Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Over one million violent crimes occur in the United States each year, not including all other types of crimes, like property and other nonviolent crimes. According to FBI estimates from various reporting agencies, there were around 1.2 million violent crimes in the year 2012 alone.

Safety, of course, is one of the most important factors people consider when choosing a place to live. Along with employment considerations and price, it’s perhaps the most important factor. Using data from a report by Neighborhood Scout on dangerous cities, coupled with data from the FBI website, we created a list of the most dangerous cities in America.

Methodology: Neighborhood Scout ranked the Most Dangerous Cities by analyzing cities with more than 25,000 residents and then comparing the number of violent crimes per 1,000 residents in each city using the Census Bureau’s most recent population estimates and the FBI’s most recent crime reports. Cities with the highest violent crime rates ranked highest. All statewide crime data come directly from the FBI’s most recent state-by-state reports.

10. St. Louis, MO

    • Violent crimes: 5,351
    • Breakdown of violent crimes: St. Louis has a population of 317,421, and as of 2015, the murder rate per 1,000 residents was 0.50. There were also 0.88 rapes per 1,000 residents, 4.92 robberies, and 10.96 assaults per 1,000 resident in St. Louis. All of these rates are higher than the U.S. nationwide rates.
    • Property crimes: 20,057
    • Breakdown of property crimes: There were 13.28 burglaries per 1,000 residents, 39.68 thefts per 1,000, and 10.23 motor vehicle thefts per 1,000.
    • Total violent and property crimes per 1,000 residents: There were 25,408 total violent and property crimes according to recent estimates, which equates to 80.05 per 1,000 St. Louis residents.
    • Crime in Missouri: Missouri’s violent crime rate is moderately high, at 4.43 per 1,000 residents. St. Louis’s violent crime rate is much higher than the statewide average, at 16.86 per 1,000.

9. Oakland, CA

Rows of new homes line a street in a housing development on December 4, 2013 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Rows of new homes line a street in a housing development on December 4, 2013 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

  • Violent crimes: 7,033
  • Breakdown of violent crimes: Oakland has a population of 399,487, and as of 2015, the murder rate per 1,000 residents was 0.20. There were also 0.72 rapes per 1,000 residents, 8.47 robberies, and 7.62 assaults per 1,000 resident in Oakland. All of these rates are higher than the U.S. nationwide rates.
  • Property crimes: 24,944
  • Breakdown of property crimes: There were 9.72 burglaries per 1,000 residents, 34.48 thefts per 1,000, and 16.08 motor vehicle thefts per 1,000.
  • Total violent and property crimes per 1,000 residents: There were 31,977 total violent and property crimes according to recent estimates, which equates to 77.28 per 1,000 Oakland residents.
  • Crime in California: California’s violent crime rate is moderate, at 3.96 per 1,000 residents. Oakland’s violent crime rate is much higher than the statewide average, at 17.00 per 1,000.

8. Saginaw, MI

Source: Geoff George

Source: Geoff George

  • Violent crimes: 862
  • Breakdown of violent crimes: Saginaw has a population of 49,844, and as of 2015, the murder rate per 1,000 residents was 0.22. There were also 1.54 rapes per 1,000 residents, 2.51 robberies, and 13.02 assaults per 1,000 resident in Saginaw. All of these rates are higher than the U.S. nationwide rates.
  • Property crimes: 1,238
  • Breakdown of property crimes: There were 11.32 burglaries per 1,000 residents, 12.34 thefts per 1,000, and 1.28 motor vehicle thefts per 1,000.
  • Total violent and property crimes per 1,000 residents: There were 2,100 total violent and property crimes according to recent estimates, which equates to 42.13 per 1,000 Saginaw residents.
  • Crime in Michigan: Michigan’s violent crime rate is moderately high, at 4.27 per 1,000 residents. Saginaw’s violent crime rate is much higher than the statewide average, at 17.29 per 1,000.

7. Flint, MI

source: Facebook

Source: Facebook

  • Violent crimes: 1,716
  • Breakdown of violent crimes: Flint has a population of 99,002, and as of 2015, the murder rate per 1,000 residents was 0.28. There were also 1.21 rapes per 1,000 residents, 2.84 robberies, and 13.00 assaults per 1,000 resident in Flint. All of these rates are higher than the U.S. nationwide rates.
  • Property crimes: 4,068
  • Breakdown of property crimes: There were 17.25 burglaries per 1,000 residents, 21.04 thefts per 1,000, and 2.80 motor vehicle thefts per 1,000.
  • Total violent and property crimes per 1,000 residents: There were 5,784 total violent and property crimes according to recent estimates, which equates to 58.42 per 1,000 Flint residents.
  • Crime in Michigan: Michigan’s violent crime rate is moderately high, at 4.27 per 1,000 residents. Flint’s violent crime rate is much higher than the statewide average, at 17.33 per 1,000.

6. Memphis, TN

Memphis on the map

Memphis on the map | Source: iStock

  • Violent crimes: 11,408
  • Breakdown of violent crimes: Memphis has a population of 656,861, and as of 2015, the murder rate per 1,000 residents was 0.21. There were also 0.77 rapes per 1,000 residents, 5.01 robberies, and 11.38 assaults per 1,000 resident in Memphis. All of these rates are higher than the U.S. nationwide rates.
  • Property crimes: 39,590
  • Breakdown of property crimes: There were 17.49 burglaries per 1,000 residents, 38.24 thefts per 1,000, and 4.44 motor vehicle thefts per 1,000.
  • Total violent and property crimes per 1,000 residents: There were 50,998 total violent and property crimes according to recent estimates, which equates to 77.64 per 1,000 Memphis residents.
  • Crime in Tennessee: Tennessee’s violent crime rate is high, at 6.08 per 1,000 residents. Memphis’s violent crime rate is much higher than the statewide average, at 17.37 per 1,000.

5. Wilmington, DE

A man stealing a wallet

Theft | Source: Thinkstock

  • Violent crimes: 1,263
  • Breakdown of violent crimes: Wilmington has a population of 71,817, and as of 2015, the murder rate per 1,000 residents was 0.38. There were also 0.40 rapes per 1,000 residents, 6.14 robberies, and 10.67 assaults per 1,000 resident in Wilmington. Most of these rates are higher than the U.S. nationwide rates.
  • Property crimes: 4,544
  • Breakdown of property crimes: There were 13.53 burglaries per 1,000 residents, 44.79 thefts per 1,000, and 4.94 motor vehicle thefts per 1,000.
  • Total violent and property crimes per 1,000 residents: There were 5,807 total violent and property crimes according to recent estimates, which equates to 80.86 per 1,000 Wilmington residents.
  • Crime in Delaware: Delaware’s violent crime rate is moderate, at 4.89 per 1,000 residents. Wilmington’s violent crime rate is much higher than the statewide average, at 17.59 per 1,000.

4. Alexandria, LA

The city of Alexandria

Alexandria | Source: Cityofalexandriala.com

  • Violent crimes:  858
  • Breakdown of violent crimes: Alexandria has a population of 48,175, and as of 2015, the murder rate per 1,000 residents was 0.19. There were also 0.19 rapes per 1,000 residents, 3.53 robberies, and 13.91 assaults per 1,000 resident in Alexandria. Most of these rates are higher than the U.S. nationwide rates.
  • Property crimes: 3,761
  • Breakdown of property crimes: There were 22.27 burglaries per 1,000 residents, 51.56 thefts per 1,000, and 4.23 motor vehicle thefts per 1,000.
  • Total violent and property crimes per 1,000 residents: There were 4,619 total violent and property crimes according to recent estimates, which equates to 95.88 per 1,000 Alexandria residents.
  • Crime in Louisiana: Louisiana’s violent crime rate is moderately high, at 5.55 per 1,000 residents. Alexandria’s violent crime rate is much higher than the statewide average, at 17.81 per 1,000.

3. Detroit, MI

The General Motors (GM) world headquarters is seen February 24, 2013 in Detroit, Michigan. The city of Detroit has faced serious economic challenges in the past decade, with a shrinking population and tax base while trying to maintain essential services. A financial review team issued a finding on February 19 identifying the city as being under a 'financial emergency.' Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has 30 days from the report's issuance to officially declare a financial emergency, which could result in the governor appointing an emergency financial manager to oversee Detroit's municipal government. (Photo by J.D. Pooley/Getty Images)

The General Motors (GM) world headquarters is seen February 24, 2013 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by J.D. Pooley/Getty Images)

  • Violent crimes: 13,665
  • Breakdown of violent crimes: Detroit has a population of 680,250, and as of 2015, the murder rate per 1,000 residents was 0.45. There were also 0.82 rapes per 1,000 residents, 5.26 robberies, and 13.56 assaults per 1,000 resident in Detroit. All of these rates are higher than the U.S. nationwide rates.
  • Property crimes: 33,168
  • Breakdown of property crimes: There were 13.50 burglaries per 1,000 residents, 20.35 thefts per 1,000, and 14.91 motor vehicle thefts per 1,000.
  • Total violent and property crimes per 1,000 residents: There were 46,833 total violent and property crimes according to recent estimates, which equates to 68.85 per 1,000 Detroit residents.
  • Crime in Michigan: Michigan’s violent crime rate is moderately high, at 4.27 per 1,000 residents. Detroit’s violent crime rate is much higher than the statewide average, at 20.09 per 1,000.

2. Camden, NJ

source: Facebook

source: Facebook

  • Violent crimes: 1,571
  • Breakdown of violent crimes: Camden has a population of 77,332, and as of 2015, the murder rate per 1,000 residents was 0.43. There were also 0.93 rapes per 1,000 residents, 6.87 robberies, and 12.09 assaults per 1,000 resident in Camden. All of these rates are much higher than the U.S. nationwide rates.
  • Property crimes: 2,860
  • Breakdown of property crimes: There were 10.95 burglaries per 1,000 residents, 21.88 thefts per 1,000, and 4.15 motor vehicle thefts per 1,000.
  • Total violent and property crimes per 1,000 residents: There were 4,431 total violent and property crimes according to the most recent estimates, which equates to 57.30 per 1,000 Camden residents.
  • Crime in New Jersey: New Jersey’s violent crime rate is moderately low, at 2.61 per 1,000 residents. Camden’s violent crime rate is much higher than the statewide average, at 20.32 per 1,000.

1. East St. Louis, IL

Photo by David Calvert/Getty Images

Photo by David Calvert/Getty Images

  • Violent crimes: 967
  • Breakdown of violent crimes: East St. Louis has a population of 26,672, and as of 2015, the murder rate per 1,000 residents was 1.01. There were also 2.32 rapes per 1,000 residents, 6.97 robberies, and 25.94 assaults per 1,000 resident in East St. Louis. All of these rates are substantially higher than the U.S. nationwide rates.
  • Property crimes: 1,095
  • Breakdown of property crimes: There were 11.77 burglaries per 1,000 residents, 21.15 thefts per 1,000, and 8.14 motor vehicle thefts per 1,000.
  • Total violent and property crimes per 1,000 residents: There were 2,062 total violent and property crimes as of the most recent estimates, which equates to 77.31 per 1,000 East St. Louis residents.
  • Crime in Illinois: Illinois’s violent crime rate is moderate, at 3.7 per 1,000 residents. East St. Louis’s violent crime rate is much higher than the statewide average, at 39.26 per 1,000.
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