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Most dangerous cities in the US

US Major Cities: The Top 10 Most Dangerous 

The United States of America is one of the most populated countries in the world, numbering over 329.06 million people. Of course, with any country carrying a large population, there’s bound to be its ups and downs. Today we will talk about the most dangerous cities in the US where the crime rate often higher than in some countries found around the world. Danger lurks around many corners, but this list points out the cities where those corners are prevalent.

Top 10 Most Dangerous Cities in the US

10. Indianapolis, Indiana

Most Dangerous Cities in the US Indianapolis, Indiana

Violent crimes are at 5,476 per 100,000 people in this city, carrying a population of 846,674. With a density of around 2,342 people per square mile, there are many people living and working in one of the most dangerous cities in the US. One of the bonuses is that commuting to work only takes an average of 23 minutes, and there are many attractions to keep visitors busy and out of trouble. The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Hall of Fame Museum are a few places to visit while trying to avoid becoming a statistic. The poverty rate hovers around 21%, the unemployment rate sits at 6.1%, and there’s a 1-in-18 chance of someone becoming the victim of a crime in this city.

9. Cleveland, Ohio

Most Dangerous Cities in the US Cleveland, Ohio

While there may not be too many world-renowned attractions in this city, you may want to visit the West Side Market. There’s also the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame along with its museum. However, you might give going a second thought with the second largest city of Ohio’s high crime rate. The violent crimes are 6,473 for every 100,000 people, with a population of 398,165. At 5,009 people per square mile, there’s a dense population here with a 1-in-16 chance of becoming a victim. There’s a poverty rate of 36% and an unemployment rate of 7.4%.

8. Stockton, California

Stockton, California

California is a trendy place to vacation. Located in California’s Central Valley, Stockton offers the Haggin Museum, the Historical Bob Hope Theatre and the Stockton Arena as places to visit if you’re passing through this dangerous city. The population is 301,443, with a violent crime rate of 5,042 per 100,000 people. The city claimed bankruptcy back in 2012, which some associate with higher crime rates due to the lack of funds to provide adequate policing. Even with the dense population of 4,887 people per square mile, the real estate prices are still 53.5% lower than the state’s average. The unemployment rate is 8% and the poverty rate is 23.7%.

7. Kansas City, Missouri

Most Dangerous Cities in the US Kansas City, Missouri

Not to be mistaken for the city of the same namesake in the state of Kansas, Kansas City, Missouri comes in with 6,268 violent crimes per 100,000 people in a population of 471,767. The dense population of 1,498 people per square mile gives the average person a 1-in-16 chance of becoming a victim. However, the efforts of the city can’t be ignored as it’s been praised for bringing homicide rates down. Commuters spend an average of 22 minutes and there’s the National World War I Museum to visit. The poverty rate is around 18.3% and the unemployment rate is fairly low at 4.3%.

6. Oakland, California

Most Dangerous Cities in the US Oakland, California

Even with the city’s violent crime rate at 7,282 per 100,000 people in a population of 412,040, the prices of real estate are gradually rising. The increase can be caused by a number of things, from gentrification to the efforts of the police cleaning up the notorious metropolis. Real estate prices are 23.3% higher than the California state average. Things may change over the next few years, but what remains to visit are the Oakland Zoo, Lake Merritt and Jack London Square. It houses 7,372 people per square mile with a poverty rate of 20% and unemployment at 4.2%

5. Baltimore, Maryland

Most Dangerous Cities in the US Baltimore, Maryland

Most notably used to film HBO’s fictional drama series The Wire, Baltimore has one of the highest crime rates in the country. At 6,955 violent crimes per 100,000 people with a population of 621,000, the city has a robbery rate nearly ten times higher than the national average. With there being 7,672 people per square mile, there’s still a ton of things to do in the densely populated city like visiting the National Aquarium and Oriole Park. There’s a 1-in-15 chance of becoming the victim of a crime, the poverty rate is 23.1%, and the unemployment rate is at 6.1%.

4. Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Being the largest city in Wisconsin doesn’t come without its challenges. Violent crimes are reported at 5,389 per 100,000 people, with a population of 598,672. Averaging 6,225 people per square mile, there’s a 2-mile stretch where the bulk of the crimes committed seem to occur. The police are focusing their efforts on that part of the city, leaving visitors safe to visit sites like the Milwaukee Art Museum, Miller Park and the Lakefront Brewery. The economy is booming, there’s a hub of universities, businesses, festivals, and cultural events. However, the poverty rate sits at 28.4% and the unemployment rate is at 4.3%.

3. Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis, Tennessee

Known for music and amazing food, it’s almost hard to imagine the home of Elvis Presley is one of the most dangerous cities in the US. The population is 655,857 with violent crimes at 8,301 per 100,000 people. There is a 1-in-13 chance of becoming a victim in this city with a density of 2,066 people per square mile. Outside of Graceland, Sun Studios is high on the list of places to visit, even with the crime rate on the rise. The poverty rate is 27.6% and the unemployment rate is at 7%.

2. Detroit, Michigan

 Detroit, Michigan

Detroit has been nefariously classified as an urban graveyard with thousands of vacant buildings and the population declining rapidly. Currently, violent crimes are at 6,597 per 100,000 people within a population of 683,443. The 1-in-16 chance of becoming the victim of a crime is high even though the city may appear to be deserted. The population is concentrated to certain areas at 4,927 people per square mile. The poverty rate is 39% and unemployment is at 9.3%.

1. St.Louis, Missouri

St.Louis, Missouri

A great city for barbecue and blues, St. Louis is also home to the Louisville Slugger. The population may only be 316,030, but the violent crimes reported are at 8,124 per 100,000 people. The density of the residents at 5,101 people per square mile is undoubtedly a factor in this. There’s a 1-in-13 chance of becoming the victim of a crime and property crimes are at an astounding 6.041 per 100,000 people. There are some amazing places to visit like the Gateway Arch, St. Louis Zoo and City Museum, but that may be difficult to enjoy with so much crime being committed. The rates in this less-populated city manage to topple the states average by 293% and blow away the country’s average by 444%. The poverty rate is 26.7% and the unemployment rate is 7%.

Overall, the population density, unemployment rate, and poverty rate are significant indicators of rising crime rates and danger in major cities around the US. Without steady income or income that allows for basic human essentials, some people believe they’re forced to commit crimes to survive. The mental state of cities like Detroit where life seems to be driving away can be devastating to the morale of its inhabitants putting people in a state of mind where crime seems to be the only way out of a bad situation. These observations and opinions are in no way conclusive of why these crimes are committed in such densely populated cities.

Crime Rates Of Major Cities

The numbers of violent crimes reported are totals of the following crimes committed per 100,000 people:

  • Murder
  • Rape
  • Robbery
  • Assault
  • Violent Crime
  • Burglary
  • Property Crime
  • Theft
  • Vehicle Theft
CityTotal Crimes
St. Louis 8,124
Detroit 6,597
Memphis 8,301
Milwaukee 5,389
Kansas City6.268

USA Compared To Other Countries

Crime in the United States is down since the early 1990s. A lot of crimes go unreported and many that are don’t get solved. Be that as it may, crime statistics are indicative of a trusted law enforcement presence and a willingness to report a crime. With a population of over 300 million people, the murder rate is 5 per 100,000 people. Compared to other countries, the US is neither the most dangerous or least violent. Here’s how a few others stack up.


The population is at 100.98 million, with a murder rate of 9.84 per 100,000 people. Human trafficking and prostitution of children are significant issues, along with inconsistent law enforcement. There’s also an abundance of corruption and police misconduct.

El Salvador

This country is the densest in Central America with the highest crime rate in the world as of 2017. The population is at 6.34 million and remains the epicenter for the gang crisis. The country’s law enforcement is making strides to lower the crime rate by offering financial rewards leading to the capture of gang leaders.

South Africa

Murder is at 35.9 per 100,000 people, with a population of 58.56 million people. With the crime being so high, the country’s private security force is skyrocketing too. There are over 400,000 active security guards, which is more than the police force and army combined. Citizens find safety in living in gated communities.


Crime is rising amongst law enforcement and security officials in this country with a population of 146.79 million people. Murder is significantly lower than other countries with a rate of 7 committed per 100,000 people. Drug trafficking and illicit drug use appear to be the biggest problems in the criminal atmosphere. The lack of border controls influences the high stats and has assisted the country in becoming one of the two major drug producers in the world and one of five major entry points for drug traffickers to trade their drugs across international borders.

The US has its issues, but it’s one of the safest countries in the world to live.

Home Safety Tips

Living in any major city is going to come with some crime. Don’t think of the statistics in a sensationalized manner. You can make your home safe to prevent it from becoming an easy mark for criminals. Here are 10 safety tips to keep in mind when protecting your home in a major city:

  • If you’re going to be out for an extended period of time, leave a TV on or radio playing near a door or entry point to give the illusion that someone is home. In this age of technology, there’s probably a timer on your television if you want to do this in a more energy-efficient way.
  • Use a one-inch deadbolt on all of your entry doors. Be sure to lock them when you leave the house, when you come back in or before you go to bed. There certain security and locksmith companies that offer smart locks that allow you to lock your doors and monitor your home’s activity from an app.
  • When you get an unexpected knock at the door, check to see who it is. Don’t just open the door because you’re under the impression you live in a great neighborhood.
  • Stop hiding keys under doormats and fake rocks. Thieves and anyone else trying to get inside will know to check those obvious areas. Try giving a set of your keys to someone you trust like a neighbor or family friend.
  • If you have sliding glass doors that don’t have the best lock, you can use a metal pipe to lay in the track to stop the door from sliding open in case a burglar tries to make their way inside.
  • The garage door leads directly into the house so make sure that the door is as secure as all the others and be safe at home.
  • Your curtains, drapes and blinds can all act as blockers in a thief’s field of vision into your home. Keep expensive items out of sight.
  • If you have extremely valuable items, use a safe to store them or a home safe in a bank to hold your substantial pieces of wealth.
  • Don’t leave notes on your door for delivery people or family members as anyone walking by can read it and know you’re not home.
  • If you’re going on vacation, be sure not to tell the world the exact dates when you’re away and don’t have deliveries like the mail or newspaper stopped. Have a trusted individual grab those items and check in on your property while you’re away.

Living safely and comfortably wherever you want is achievable no matter where the city lands on a list of dangerous places around the country. With an abundance of attractions nationwide, there’s a myriad of things to do in every city but just simply paying attention to your surroundings can disrupt any danger you may feel coming your way.

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