One of the unfortunate downsides to the wonderful freedom that American’s enjoy is that crime is almost always a part of it. While there is no 100% safe city on the planet earth there are some that are far more dangerous than others. In the United States the most dangerous cities change from year to year and decade to decade, for the 2016 campaign the following cities are deemed to be the most dangerous in our country. The rankings are based largely on the FBI’s most recent crime reports and anecdotal information with regards to regional crime. To be clear being on this list should not in anyway suggest that these cities aren’t worth visiting and/or living. It’s just what the statistics say for the given timeframe 2015-16. Idiots Guide presents a look at the 10 most dangerous American cities. Hopefully, most of these cities won’t be back here.
This Year’s Listing…
#10. Indianapolis, Indiana / Population: 855,000
At first blush, you wouldn’t peg Indianapolis to be a violent and/or dangerous American city, however numbers don’t lie, usually anyway. This is a city with a murder rate of 16 out of every 100,000 citizens, and a violent crime rate of 1,250 out of every 100,000. Nevertheless, this is a cool little mid-west city.
#9. Stockton, California / Population: 300,000
With all due respect Stockton, California isn’t exactly on anybody’s top ten list of places to vacation. It’s also kind of dangerous with a violent crime rate of 1,331 out of every 100,000 people and a murder rate of 49 out of every 100,000. Shape up Stockton! Just saying.
#8. Cleveland, Ohio / Population: 388,655
Downtown Cleveland has seen a miraculous rejuvenation in the past two decades, and the home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame can’t be too bad right? The problem is that it still has a violent crime rate of 1,334 out of every 100,000 people, and a murder rate of 16 out of every 100,000 citizens. Not the worst but bad enough to be listed here…
#7. Baltimore, Maryland / Population: 623,513
I happen to have a soft spot for ‘Charm City’ for reasons that have more to do with nostalgia, and very little to do with the 1,339 out of 100,000 rate of violent crime.
Add in a murder rate of 34 out of every 100,000 people and it’s an unfortunate stain on an otherwise vibrant, enjoyable city.
#6. Milwaukee, Wisconsin / Population: 600,374
Milwaukee, Wisconsin is dealing with the kind of growing pains indicative of a big town growing into a small cosmopolitan city. The violent crime rate of 1,476 out of every 100,000 people is a bit alarming for a ‘city’ this size, as is the murder rate of 15 out of every 100,000. Come on Brew-Town, you guys can do much better than this.
#5. Birmingham, Alabama / Population: 212,115
The ‘new south’ has been a social evolutionary success story, for the most part. The transition from being ground zero of ‘Jim Crow’ and it’s ‘laws’ to it’s current cosmopolitan feel has been remarkable. There is of course some ways to go but the violent crime rate of 1,588 out of every 100,000 citizens isn’t indicative of the right way. Neither is the 25 out of every 100,000 people murder rate.
#4. St. Louis, Missouri / Population: 318,575
In the past several years, the St. Louis region has been a lighting rod of racially motivated civil unrest in lieu of several high profile cases of police misconduct and the requite blowback. The hope is that things will improve over time, however with a violent crime rate of 1,679 out of 100,000 and a murder rate of 50 out of every 100,000 people, it would seem there is quite a ways to go for St. Louis to regain it’s shine.
#3. Oakland, California / Population: 409,995
In many ways, Oakland has long been viewed as the little brother to San Francisco’s big brother. Those in the know realize how wonderful a place Oakland can be on any given day, however there is work to accomplish in bringing down a violent crime rate of 1,685 out of every 100,000 people, and a murder rate of 20 out of every 100,000. The good news is that recently, their NBA Warriors franchise has been a bright shining light of success.
#2. Memphis, Tennessee / Population: 685,000
Memphis, Tennessee is a very cool city with amazing food and music filled nightlife. The problem is that it also has a violent crime rate of 1,741 out of every 100,000 citizens and a murder rate of 21 out of every 100,000. Memphis is better than this.
#1. Detroit, Michigan / Population: 685,000
It is no secret that Detroit, Michigan has had it’s share of financial, and social problems the past couple of decades, however, the hope is that Motown will bounce back and regain a notable portion of it’s former glory. First thing on the agenda is to mitigate the violent crime rate of 1,989 out of every 100,000 people, and a murder rate of 44 out of every 100,000, down to levels that properly represent the great, proud city that it has always been affectionally known to be.