The FBI releases its yearly report of crime statistics in the United States every year around September. Based on statistics gathered throughout 2015 by the FBI as well as the Bureau of Labor Statistics amongst other sources, this list has been compiled to reflect the 30 most dangerous cities in the United States as it stands today – from the least dangerous to the most dangerous city in the U.S. Shockingly, the country’s most dangerous cities aren’t on the coasts, but are the dead and dying rustbelt towns in the middle. Is your city on the list?
30. Minneapolis, Minnesota
*Violent crimes per 100,000: 1,062
While one wouldn’t think that Minneapolis, the snowy capital of Minnesota would make in onto the list of most dangerous cities, you would be wrong. With 1,062 violent crimes per 100,000 people, only 47 murders throughout 2015, and close to a quarter of the residents of the City of Lakes unemployed, the city just barely makes it into the FBI’s top 30 most dangerous cities in the United States.
29. Springfield, Illinois
*Violent crimes per 100,ooo: 1,070
One would mistake this small town of 117,000 people in the middle of Illinois as just another one of a plethora of midwestern flyover towns, Springfield actually makes it into the 29th most dangerous city in the United States. Despite only having 11 murders in 2015, the Capital of Illinois still had 1,070 violent crimes per 100,000. And that’s not to mention all of the political corruption in the Illinois State House as well!
28. Anchorage, Alaska
*Violent crimes per 100,000: 1,070
The biggest city in the biggest state in the United States (but not the capital!), Anchorage makes it on the list in the 28th spot of most dangerous American cities. Despite having both a low poverty and low unemployment rates, and despite the fact that there were only 26 murders in the city, there are still 1,070 violent crimes per 100,000 people here. As it turns out, Anchorage has the most cases of non-consensual relations in the country!
27. Springfield, Massachusetts
*Violent crimes per 100,000: 1,073
The second largest city in Massachusetts after Boston, Springfield sits way in the west of the state. However, despite the city being in relatively well off Massachusetts, nearly one third of all of Springfield’s residents are below the poverty line, with unemployment in the city nearing 10 percent. There is also quite a lot of crime here, primarily assaults. This is a place you definitely don’t want to be if the bruins lose a game!
26. Buffalo, New York
*Violent crimes per 100,000: 1,118
Despite being situated a stone’s throw away from the Niagara Falls on the border with Canada, Buffalo is ranked 25th in terms of most dangerous cities to live in. This city – which has the sixth largest population in New York State within its city limits – has nearly a third of its residents under the poverty line, and has 7.1% of its residents unemployed as of 2015. Known for assaults, maybe the people there wouldn’t have such hot heads if they didn’t each so much spicy Buffalo sauce!
25. Atlanta, Georgia
*Violent crimes per 100,000: 1,119
The first major city on this list, the capital of Georgia is certainly cleaning up its streets of crime, with violent crimes being cut in half between 2001 and today. For instance, despite the fact that a quarter of the residents of Atlanta are under the poverty line, and with a population of nearly six million people (the ninth largest in the country), it’s amazing that the city only saw 94 murders in 2015!
24. Toledo, Ohio
*Violent crimes per 100,000: 1,128
Following the Toledo War between Michigan and Ohio, the town of Toledo was officially incorporated into the state of Ohio in 1837. Formerly home to steel mills and manufacturing plants which drew in skilled laborers from all over the United States at the turn of the 20th century, nearly 30 percent of the city now live below the poverty line. Assaults and robberies run rampant in this northwestern Ohio rustbelt town, with 1,128 violent crimes per 100,000 people.
23. Hartford, Connecticut
*Violent crimes per 100,000: 1,140
Located right over the state line from Springfield, Massachusetts, the capital of Connecticut also isn’t doing so well in terms of safety, being the 22nd most dangerous city in America, and registering 1,140 violent crimes per 100,000 people . The poverty rate in the city is enormous, sitting at over one out of every three people, and with one out of every ten unemployed. That’s a worse unemployment rate than some Central American countries!
22. Washington, District of Columbia
*Violent crimes per 100,000: 1,269
One would think that with so many important people and sites needing protection, Washington, DC would be a hermetically sealed, safe city. Sadly, this is not the case, as the city saw 162 murders in 2015 alone, the most on this list so far. This high rate of murder is despite the fact that the nation’s capital has a relatively low poverty rate as well as very low unemployment rate. Who would have thought that the city making our laws would be so lawless itself!
21. San Bernardino, California
*Violent crimes per 100,000: 1,245
This city was the largest city in the United States to file for Chapter 9 Bankruptcy until Detroit did it in 2013. With a third of the population unemployed, assaults and stress are high in this city outside of Los Angeles. The murder number of 44 from 2015 statistics sadly includes 14 victims of a terror attack carried out by a husband and wife squad who pledged their allegiance to ISIS. Hopefully, they will be able to learn from their neighbors in Santa Monica and get some of that SoCal chill back.
20. Indianapolis, Indiana
*Violent crimes per 100,000: 1,288
Nicknamed the Crossroad of America for its strategic location near the center of the country, Indianapolis recorded an astounding 148 murders throughout 2015. Despite a low unemployment rate, over one out of every five Hoosier residents of the Circle City live below the poverty line, driving the crime rate up to 1,288 crimes per 100,00 people, a relatively high number for a city with a population of only 850,000 people.
19. Stockton, California
*Violent crimes per 100,000: 1,352
Stockton is a northern California town located between San Francisco and the California State Capitol Sacramento. Despite being in such close proximity to wealth, this town of 315,000 has been termed “one of the most miserable cities in California” and, with a poverty rate of over 25 percent, actually filed for chapter nine bankruptcy in 2013. This small city registered nearly 50 murders along with many more assaults. Misery truly does love company!
18. Springfield, Missouri
*Violent crimes per 100,000: 1,355
The third Springfield on the list, this home to Missouri State University (or MSU for short) rounded out the year 2015 with a shockingly low 10 murders. Most of the violent crimes – of which there were 1,355 per 100,000 people – were assaults, probably stemming from the large number of drunk college students partying hard at this notoriously rowdy Division I football school. While the students party, the townies probably just have to sit back and deal with it as these young adults drive the crime rate up.
17. Kansas City, Missouri
*Violent crimes per 100,000: 1,417
Originally founded as a port city on the Missouri River, this town of nearly half a million residents straddles both Kansas and Missouri. While the crime rate in this city has fallen, there were still 109 murders in this small town, and a rate of 1,417 crimes per 100,000 people. However, most of the crime in the city occurred in the poorer eastern section of the river town.
16. Oakland, California
*Violent crimes per 100,000: 1,442
Oakland has always been known as San Francisco’s dangerous little brother from across the bay. However, with an increase in police presence and an entire police operation dedicated to breaking apart and stomping out gang violence, this town has become much safer, especially compared to the 1990’s when the town produced the conditions which helped form gangsta rap music. Oakland is still considered to be one of the most dangerous cities in the country, with nearly one out of every five people living below the poverty line.
15. Little Rock, Arkansas
*Violent crimes per 100,000: 1,485
Despite being thought of as a sleepy little southern town, the Arkansas capital Little Rock is actually quite a dangerous place, being the 14th most dangerous city on the list. While this city, which is situated on the banks of the Arkansas River, may look beautiful to an outsider, it has one of the highest homicide rates in the country, and an even higher youth homicide rate. However, this city is starting to clean up its act, and has moved down the list to its current, 14th place position.
14. Baltimore, Maryland
*Violent crimes per 100,000: 1,535
There’s a reason why so many crime TV shows like The Wire were filmed and based in Baltimore. With one of the highest murder rates in the United States (344 people killed in 2015 alone!) Baltimore is a tough town, with even prestigious universities like Johns Hopkins being surrounded by crime ridden neighborhoods. With 1,525 violent crimes per 100,000 people, this is a city where it is best to watch your back.
13. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
*Violent crimes per 100,000: 1,560
Myrtle Beach in South Carolina is a popular vacation destination for many Americans, with beautiful beaches full of hotels, and attractions that anyone can enjoy. However, with the abundance of cheap alcohol, there are many fights and assaults which break out, leading to the high violent crime rate of 1,560 crimes per 100,000 people. However, thanks to the efforts of the city’s mayor, the crime rate is in fact going down, maintaining the family fun atmosphere.
12. Rockford, Illinois
*Violent crimes per 100,000: 1,585
This Rust Belt town outside of Chicago has now been deemed the most dangerous city in the United States in terms of its size, unseating Arkansas capital city Little Rock. With a population of 183,000 people, the town has seen a 28 percent increase in violent crime, with both robberies and aggravated assaults jumping up by 22 percent and 30 percent respectively.
11. Milwaukee, Wisconsin
*Violent crimes per 100,000: 1,596
One of the most segregated cities in the Midwest, Milwaukee saw a huge murder rate in 2015 with 145 people being killed in 2015 alone, and had an overall violent crime rate of 1,596 incidents per 100,000 people! Just like in other rust belt towns before it, this city on the banks of Lake Michigan has a third of its residents living below the poverty line, with murders, assaults, and other violence being the norm in the city’s urban neighborhoods.
10. Chester, Pennsylvania
*Violent crimes per 100,000: 1,628
One of the United States’s most dangerous cities, Chester saw 23 murders in 2015 as well as thousands of assaults. In fact, this town, which is located south of Philadelphia on the Delaware River, has a violent crime rate of 1,628 incidents per 100,000 people. It is also one of the poorest towns in the United States, with over 40 percent of its citizens living below the poverty line. To make matters worse, these are working poor, as only 7.8 percent are jobless.
9. Memphis, Tennessee
*Violent crimes per 100,000: 1,740
The capital of Tennessee, this rough and tumble city saw 135 people killed according to FBI records. With nearly a third of the city’s residents in poverty, and the rate of violent crimes at 1,740 incidents per 100,000 people, police say that the problem is only getting worse. The police commissioner recently blamed the violence on an increase in gang activity with one out of three murder victims being a part of one gang or another.
8. Birmingham, Alabama
*Violent crimes per 100,000: 1,746
Birmingham Alabama is known for the civil rights riots, but things have only gone downhill since then in terms of safety. There were 90 murders in the city in 2015 alone, and statistics show that killings, along with various types of assaults are only increasing in number and getting worse. A poor town with one third of the residents under the poverty line, something must be done before this crime rate of 1,746 crimes per 100,000 people gets out of control.
7. Detroit, Michigan
*Violent crimes per 100,000: 1,759
Once a prosperous town with a strong car manufacturing industry, almost all of the plants have shut down, thereby leaving nearly 40 percent of the population who lives in the city in poverty, and an astounding 12 percent out of work. Considered by many United States government agencies to be a “failed city,” there were 295 murders there in 2015 alone. The municipality itself is bankrupt, having been the largest American city to file for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection in 2013, leaving little money for police.
6. St. Louis, Missouri
*Violent crimes per 100,000: 1,817
With 188 murders reported in 2015, St. Louis – once known as “The Gateway to the West”- this city on the banks of the Mississippi River is now known as one of the most dangerous major metropolises in the United States. Sadly, the murder and assault rates seem to only be rising, with a poorly functioning police force barely being able to cope. St. Louis is also beset with racial tensions, with a white police officer recently killing a black teenager in Ferguson in 2014.
5. Wilmington, Delaware
*Violent crimes per 100,000: 1,826
While there may have only been 28 murders in 2015 in Delaware’s capital city, the fact that there are only 72,000 people living there make this a big number. Despite being home to more corporations than anywhere else in the United States, Wilmington still comes in at the fifth most dangerous city to reside in the United States, with a violent crime rate of 1,826 violent crimes per 100,000 people.
4. Camden, New Jersey
*Violent crimes per 100,000: 2,001
Formerly the most dangerous city in the United States, Camden is getting better. But still, it’s always easier leaving the number one most dangerous spot than it is getting off the list. With 40 percent of the population in poverty, and with more than one in ten people unemployed, there is still a lot of work to be done to clean up the streets of this town which is situated right across the river from Philadelphia.
3. Alexandria, Louisiana
*Violent crimes per 100,000: 2,063
Despite a US Air Force base stationed there and a tiny murder rate (seven murders out of 47,000 inhabitants) there are still incredibly high instances of violence of all kinds, and an astronomical unemployment rate of about 35 percent. One would think that this small town full of southern hospitality would be a lot less violent, yet there is a crime rate of 2,063 crimes per 100,000 people!
2. Monroe, Louisiana
*Violent crimes per 100,000: 2,615
The second most dangerous locality on this list, the 45,000 strong town of Monroe in northern Louisiana seems to be full of rowdiness. Home to a United States National Guard base, it seems that if you aren’t in the military, you just don’t have a living, with 40 percent of the population living in poverty. Hopefully the authorities will get the situation under control so that Monroe doesn’t reach the number one spot on this list.
1. East St. Louis, Illinois
*Violent crimes per 100,000: 3,318
With half of its population in poverty and 10 percent of its population unemployed, the Illinois city of East St. Louis – across the Mississippi river from St. Louis – takes the cake for the most dangerous city in the United States, with a violent crime rate of 3,318 per 100,000 people. To put this in perspective, this is about the same level of lawlessness as is seen in Colombia, a country which has been in a civil and drug war for over 50 years!