Are You Living in One of These 15 Most Dangerous Cities in America?
Every year in the United States, well over 1 million violent crimes occur. Those violent crimes embody the heinous acts of murder, rape, assault, kidnapping, and more. The fact of the matter is, violence remains ever present. So when choosing a city to call home, people consider safety to be of the utmost importance.
WalletHub recently dove head first into a massive amount of data to sort out which cities in the United States are considered the safest and most dangerous. The methodology analyzed 182 cities on 35 different metrics, grading the cities on a 100-point scale, a grade of 100 equaling the safest of cities.
So is your city the most dangerous? Here’s a rundown of the top 15 most dangerous cities in America.
15. New Orleans, Louisiana
- Total score: 63.54 out of 100
While the Big Easy may be loved for its moss-laden oak trees, exquisite cuisine, and musical melting pot, the city is also burdened with violent crime. In 2016, Louisiana marked its 28th straight year as the murder capital of the U.S. In the city of New Orleans, 9.63 out of 1,000 people will fall victim to a violent crime. As for personal property, the stats are even worse with 40.28 out of 1,000 people falling victim to a crime against their property.
Next: A city where sin and danger seem to go hand-in-hand.
14. Las Vegas, Nevada
- Total score: 63.29 out of 100
Whether violent or petty, tourist hot spots like Las Vegas seem to be prime breeding grounds for crime. Sin City is certainly no stranger to crime. But according to WalletHub’s data, Vegas ranks 175 out 182 cities surveyed for financial safety. In 2014, the Las Vegas metropolitan area ranked ninth in the country for most identity fraud complaints. Unfortunately, those figures have not improved. The state remains in seventh place for highest identity fraud complaints.
Violent crime in the city is also high, and 9.34 out of 1,000 residents will fall victim to a violent crime. In addition, 30.88 out 1,000 becoming victims of property-based crime.
Next: Being the birthplace of blues and rock and roll can’t save this city from crime.
13. Memphis, Tennessee
- Total score: 62.30 out of 100
Memphis, Tennessee has missed the mark in both home and community safety, as well as financial safety. Ranking 164 out of 182 on WalletHub’s list for home and community safety, the city is laden with both violent and property crime. According to data, 17.47 out of 1,000 residents will face some sort of violent crime. As for property, 56.95 of every 1,000 residents will become victim to some sort of property crime. In terms of the financial soundness of the city, the taxpayer burden is -$18,500.
Next: The rock and roll capital is suffering from a pretty high unemployment rate.
12. Cleveland, Ohio
- Total score: 61.50 out of 100
Home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland, Ohio, ranks 181 out of 182 for financial safety. That means the city isn’t doing so hot. The city’s unemployment rate rests above 7%. For perspective, the national average has made its way down to nearly 4%. As for violent crime in the city, 15.83 out of 1,000 residents will face violent crimes. More shockingly, 63.85 out of every 1,000 residents will have to deal with crimes against their property.
Next: You may want to build an underground bunker if you’re living here.
11. Wichita, Kansas
- Total score: 60.99 out of 100
While Wichita’s financial safety rating is 100 out of 182, it’s the city’s home and community and natural disaster ratings that are more alarming. According to Neighborhood Scout data, Wichita residents stand a 1 in 101 chance of becoming the victim of a violent crime. As for natural disasters, Wichita is ranked 167 out of 182. Resting in the Great Plains, the city is teeming with disaster potential. From tornado outbreaks to blizzards, Wichita is a risky city to reside.
Next: Crime and poverty go hand in hand
10. Jackson, Mississippi
- Total score: 60.75 out of 100
The capital city of Mississippi, Jackson is centrally-located within the state. Just over 28% of the residents in Jackson have incomes below the poverty line. For decades, studies have been conducted highlighting the strong correlations between poverty and crime. Jackson is a prime example of that correlation. Within the city, residents have a 1 in 104 chance of becoming the victim of a violent crime. More astonishingly, residents stand a 1 in 19 chance of becoming the victim of property crime.
Next: Another Louisiana city not making the safety grade
9. Baton Rouge, Louisiana
- Total score: 60.17 out of 100
The capital city of Louisiana, Baton Rouge nestles right on the Mississippi River and is full of commerce. When looking at WalletHub’s stats, the city ranks 175 out of 182 for home and community safety. In 2016, Baton Rouge was considered the second most dangerous city in the nation for drivers — just behind Detroit. Furthermore, residents in Baton Rouge have a 1 in 113 chance of becoming the victim of a violent crime. They also have a 1 in 21 chance of becoming the victim of property crime.
Next: The violent crime rate in this town is through the roof.
8. Chattanooga, Tennessee
- Total score: 58.82 out of 100
The city of Chattanooga could be considered the gateway to the Appalachians. Set along the Tennessee River, Chattanooga has seen sizable growth over the last decade at 9%. Typically with rapid growth comes increased crime rates, and Chattanooga is no exception. It’s property crime that runs most rampant in the city. Residents face a 1 in 17 chance of becoming the victim of property crime.
Next: Don’t be fooled by the idea of safety around this tourism mecca.
7. Orlando, Florida
- Total score: 57.24 out of 100
Another tourist epicenter, Orlando, Florida, saw 68 million visitors in 2016. So while the city may be a haven for theme park fun, the flipside of all that good clean fun is the crime occurring in the city. Orlando ranks 182 out of 182 in WalletHub’s home and community safety ranking. So what gives? According to Neighborhood Scout, the city’s residents stand a 1 in 16 chance of falling victim to property crime. As for violent crimes, residents are looking at a 1 in 106 chance of becoming victimized.
Next: Gang violence may be the root of this city’s high crime rate.
6. Little Rock, Arkansas
- Total score: 57.16 out of 100
Little Rock, Arkansas, may seem like a bit of an outlier in the realm of being dangerous, but the city surprisingly ranks pretty high in both home and community safety, as well as natural disaster risk. The chances of becoming a victim of violent crime in Little Rock is 1 in 67. Gang violence has long been an issue in the city, but over the course of the last 10 years, the violence had improved. Unfortunately, the city is seeing a resurgence in gang-related crime. As for property crime, the chances are even higher at one in 15. Furthermore, the city’s northern region sees its fair share of tornadoes.
Next: Danger in Detroit
5. Detroit, Michigan
- Total score: 56.30 out of 100
Detroit, Michigan, being ridden with violent crime is old news. The city has ranked as one of the most dangerous cities to reside for many years. According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime report of 2016, the city saw 13,705 violent crimes. For perspective, the Neighborhood Scout claims there is a 1 in 57 chance of falling victim to such crimes in the city. Furthermore, Detroit is considered by NerdWallet as one of the most dangerous cities for drivers.
Next: A sitting duck for natural disasters
4. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
- Total score: 55.07 out of 100
According to WalletHub’s ranking, Oklahoma City is considered most dangerous due to its home and community safety, along with the risk of natural disasters. Although the risk of violent crime is 1 in 130, the risk of becoming the victim of property crime is 1 in 25. In terms of the natural disaster risk, Oklahoma City’s location on the Southern Plains places the city in high-risk territory for tornado activity.
Next: Danger on the highways is just the tip of the iceberg
3. San Bernardino, California
- Total score: 50.56 out of 100
East of Los Angeles by about 60 miles, San Bernardino, California, has a population of about 216,000. Unfortunately for residents, the home and community ranking of the city is less than favorable at 181 out of 182. In terms of violent crimes, there is a 1 in 65 chance of becoming the victim of heinous crimes in San Bernardino. As for property crimes, the chances are even greater at 1 in 20. Moreover, the city is considered one of the top five most dangerous cities for drivers.
Next: Another city falling victim to vast socioeconomic differences
2. St. Louis, Missouri
- Total score: 48.85 out of 100
St. Louis, Missouri, is another city that has long-faced high violent crime rates. Unfortunately, 2017 provides no change, as the city continues to top the charts for its dangerous ways. Currently, 30.2% of residents have incomes below the poverty level. That’s close to double the state average. As for crime rates, residents have a 1 in 55 chance of becoming the victim of a violent crime and a 1 in 16 chance of being a victim of property crime.
Next: Hurricanes, hectic highways, and heists
1. Fort Lauderdale, Florida
- Total score: 43.17 out of 100
Back in 2011, Fort Lauderdale topped a CNBC list as the most dangerous city for drivers. Continuing to wear that crown, the city ranks in the highest bracket for having the most traffic fatalities. And although WalletHub’s data doesn’t reflect the potential dangers of natural disasters, the obvious hurricane risk is ever-present. Property crime appears to be the much larger culprit here with a 1 in 18 chance of residents becoming victimized. Luckily, violent crimes are lower with a 1 in 144 chance.