Let’s start off with the positives: according to the FBI, violent crime is on the decline. In 1997, the violent crime rate was around 611 per 100,000 people; today’s rate is about 300 per 100,000 inhabitants. That means that in most places, the crime rate has been halved in only a decade.
However, there are still some U.S. cities whose crime rate is higher than average. Below, we examine these places, which could be considered the most dangerous cities in the U.S. All data is pulled from the official FBI website.
(Note: It may be surprising that some of the country’s biggest cities are not on this list. However, their sheer size generally makes them exempt. For instance, New York City’s violent crime rate is 585.8 per 100,000 people.)
Both robbery and assault are significant problems in Baltimore, where the violent crime rate is 1,535.9 violent crimes for every 100,000 people. Much of the crime in Baltimore has been linked to illegal drug trafficking and a stubborn poverty rate. The homicide rate in Baltimore is also very high, standing at around 57.8 per every 100,000 people.
Milwaukee ranks lower than the national average for rates of aggravated assault, other crime rates such as homicide, rape, and robbery are all higher than average in the city, giving it the unfortunate rank of 4th most dangerous city in the U.S. Police Chief Alfonso Morales, who took over as the city’s top police officer in February 2018, told WPR that the cause is a small, but violent minority. “Truly 10 percent of people are causing 60 to 80 percent of problems,” he said.
Memphis is known for its thriving music scene, but its crime rate is surprisingly high as well. Memphis has been ranked among the most dangerous cities in the country for the past ten years or so, with local experts and criminologists citing gang recruitment as one of the main causes. Some have also suggested that the consistently high ranking is due to the Memphis Police Department’s use of the FBI National Incident-Based Reporting System, a more detailed crime reporting method than those used in many other major cities.
Detroit, Michigan, has the second-highest violent crime rate in the United States with 1,759.6 violent crimes per 100,000 people. Some of the most common crimes in the city are aggravated assault, assault with a deadly weapon, rape, armed robbery, murder, and non-negligent manslaughter. It is important to note, however, that crime in Detroit has been drastically decreasing over recent years. In 2017, Detroit’s murder and homicide rate reached their lowest point in 50 years, with only 267 murders and intentional homicides reported.
Mayor Mike Duggan credited 2017’s drop to the expansion of two initiatives: Project Green Light, a program which installed surveillance cameras at some 240 businesses throughout the city; and Operation Ceasefire, a program in which police partnered with prosecutors to identify gang members.
With a violent crime rate of 1,817.1 per 100,000 people, St. Louis is the most dangerous city in the United States. St. Louis is notable for having the highest murder rate in the country at 59.8 homicides per 100,000, and unlike other cities, that rate is increasing, not decreasing. Experts have given a number of suggested explanations for St. Louis’ unusually high crime rate for its size; among them are racial distrust and segregation; protests diverting police resources; poverty; a youth culture predisposed to gun violence; and poverty. On a positive note, St. Louis’ rate is still far behind the most dangerous cities in the world, which can have a murder rate of over 100 per 100,000.
Charlotte, NC might not be on this list, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t dangerous. You can protect your property and family with James Access Controls’ Charlotte surveillance cameras, fences, access controls, and security systems. Give us a call to set up your security plan and get peace of mind while you’re away!