These Are The 10 Most Dangerous Cities In Illinois For 2017


We used data and science to identify the most dangerous cities in the Prairie State for 2017.

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Do you live in one of the most dangerous cities in Illinois?

We all watch the news and see reports on Facebook of the latest crimes that happen in our hometowns. But it can be hard to tell at a big picture level how dangerous our town actually is.

No one wants to feel unsafe, and statistically speaking, odds are that where you live is most likely relatively safe. In order to help the good people of Illinois — and anyone looking to move to Illinois — know just how close they are to danger, we took data from the annual FBI report and did some serious analysis.

For all the press Chicago gets about being dangerous, it doesn’t even show up in the top ten for Illinois. So that either means it’s a bad stereotype (probably) or these places are really dangerous.

So then, the data shows that these ten cities are currently the most dangerous in the Prairie State:

  1. Danville (Photos)
  2. Mount Vernon (Photos)
  3. Springfield (Photos)
  4. Centralia (Photos)
  5. Centreville
  6. Rockford (Photos)
  7. Metropolis (Photos)
  8. Harvey (Photos)
  9. Calumet City (Photos)
  10. Alton (Photos)

Why did Danville take the top spot? For the answer to this question and a detailed explanation of the data and analysis we used in creating this ranking, read on. Or learn more about the safest places in Illinois.

If you’re looking for something more national, check out the most dangerous cities in America or the most dangerous states in America.

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How we determined the most dangerous cities in Illinois for 2017?

Every year the FBI release two crime datasets, a preliminary dataset limited to the biggest cities in the country, followed by a more detailed release at the end of the year.

For our analysis, we focused on the second release of 2015 data, specifically the 2015 Crime In The United States Report. We will update the results when data becomes available for 2016 in September 2017.

So what criteria did we use? Have a look:

  • Violent Crimes Per Capita
  • Property Crimes Per Capita

In order to make the analysis as apples to apples as possible, we only considered cities over 5,000 in population. That left us with 287 cities in Illinois.

We then ranked each city from 1 to 287 for the two criteria with a #1 ranking being the most dangerous for the particular criteria.

Next, we averaged the two rankings into one “Dangerous Index”.

Finally, we ranked every city on the “Dangerous Index” with the lowest index being the most dangerous in Illinois — Danville. Read on for a detailed look at the 10 most dangerous cities in Illinois.

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1. Danville

Danville, Illinois

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 32,056
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,410
Property Crimes Per 100k: 6,354
Danville is no stranger to our lists as it ranks as the second poorest city in Illinois and appears in the middle of the list of the worst places to live. And it would make sense that crime contributes to its placement on both of those lists.

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In this particular case for the city of over 32,056, the combination of high property crime (highest in the state on a rate basis) and violent crime (4th highest) led to the top overall spot of most dangerous city in Illinois.

2. Mount Vernon

Mount Vernon, Illinois

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 15,154
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,339
Property Crimes Per 100k: 6,018
Mount Vernon might be known as the King City, but it’ll have to settle for 2nd place in this contest.

With high rates of both property and violent crime, which have either stayed the same or slightly increased in recent years, Mount Vernon is certainly one of the least safe places in the state.

There is a 1 in 16.6 chance of being the victim of a property crime in Mount Vernon, which is nearly double the odds someone would face in Chi-town.

3. Springfield

Springfield, Illinois

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 116,875
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,070
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,552
Based on the fact that the Springfield that the Simpsons live in only has one bumbling criminal in it, it’s a safe bet that they’re not from Springfield, Illinois.

Although there has been a drop in property crime and a much more modest drop in violent crime from 2013-15, the improvements haven’t been enough to get the state’s capital, Springfield, outta the top 5.

4. Centralia

Centralia, Illinois

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 12,669
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 773
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,633
Located in (you guessed it) central Illinois, Centralia has a mix of good and bad news concerning its crime numbers.

Violent crime decreased 2013-15, which is anachievement. Apparently the thieves and vandals didn’t get the memo, though, as property crime statistics have pretty much stayed the same. And with a 1 in 21.6 chance of being the victim of a property crime, that is very bad news.

5. Centreville


Population: 5,033
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,629
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,073
Centreville ranks 2nd and 16th for violent and property crime.

And while the city is about half a violent as some other cities, its below average score still earns it the title of 5th most dangerous city in Illinois.

The good news is that violent crime was reduced by about 10% from 2013-15, but the bad news is that property crime rose by 21% in that period.

6. Rockford

Rockford, Illinois

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 148,178
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,585
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,952
Rockford is the largest city you’ll be seeing on this list and the 3rd largest city in the state.

Located in northern Illinois about 80 miles west of Chicago, Rockford residents face a staggeringly high 1 in 63 chance of being attacked, raped, or killed. That’s almost 3 times as likely as it is in the Windy City.

7. Metropolis

Metropolis, Illinois

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 6,349
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 614
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,599
Metropolis has the smallest population of any city in Illinois, but still places 7th in our ranking.

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Living in such a small place evidently breeds a high rate of violence in the state, with residents of Metropolis facing a 1 in 162 chance of being the victim of a violent crime in 2015.

8. Harvey

Harvey, Illinois

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 25,361
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,178
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,848
The city of Harvey is about a half hour south of Chicago and is definitively the most dangerous place in Illinois.

Residents of the city face unbelievably high odds of being the victim of a violent crime — a 1 in 84 chance of being attacked, raped, or killed. To put that into perspective, a person with 300 Facebook friends living in Harvey would have had 5 friends been the victim of a violent crime in the last year.

And the crime numbers have been stagnant for the last few years, meaning Harvey has no intention of giving up the title of most dangerous city in Illinois.

9. Calumet City

Calumet City, Illinois

Source: Flickr

Population: 37,248
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 612
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,392
A city in Cook County, Calumet City has seen crime become a problem over the last decade.

Perhaps that has something to do with the high rate of violent crime, with residents facing a 1 in 163 chance of being the victim of violence in 2015.

On the bright side, instances of property crime fell during this time period.

10. Alton

Alton, Illinois

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 27,003
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 488
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,917
Alton ranks highly for the occurrence of crime. In particular, violent crime rates in Alton stick out for being the 26th worst in Illinois.

There were 132 violent crimes in Alton, but that’s down from earlier in the decade.

A City Data user says, “I dO NOT recommend Alton for a single person looking to get out there and have fun and meet people.” Probably because going out there leads to crime.

Locking It All Up In Illinois

The latest FBI crime data shows that Danville ranks as the most dangerous city in Illinois for 2017.

However, there will be new data coming out later this year. At that point we can revisit Danville’s status — that is if they haven’t beaten us all up already.

If you’re curious enough, here are the safest cities in Illinois:

  1. Inverness
  2. Gilberts
  3. Waterloo

For more Illinois reading , check out:

Detailed List Of The Most Dangeroues Cities In Illinois

Rank City Population Violent Crimes Per Capita Property Crimes Per Capita
1 Danville 32,056 1,410 6,354
2 Mount Vernon 15,154 1,339 6,018
3 Springfield 116,875 1,070 4,552
4 Centralia 12,669 773 4,633
5 Centreville 5,033 1,629 4,073
6 Rockford 148,178 1,585 3,952
7 Metropolis 6,349 614 4,599
8 Harvey 25,361 1,178 3,848
9 Calumet City 37,248 612 4,392
10 Alton 27,003 488 4,917
11 Peoria 116,066 665 3,832
12 Belleville 42,150 559 3,931
13 Hoopeston 5,236 725 3,399
14 East St. Louis 26,616 3,340 3,020
15 Murphysboro 7,770 424 4,208
16 Streator 13,189 409 4,170
17 Chicago 2,728,695 903 2,946
18 Rantoul 13,138 464 3,463
19 Decatur 73,499 515 3,263
20 Zion 24,239 614 3,019
21 Champaign 85,362 684 2,825
22 Kewanee 12,522 383 3,465
23 Chicago Heights 30,461 600 2,826
24 Maywood 24,141 973 2,613
25 Lansing 28,555 294 4,899
26 Carlinville 5,716 349 3,411
27 Broadview 7,965 313 3,979
28 Moline 42,482 421 3,045
29 Peoria Heights 6,006 549 2,797
30 Carbondale 26,321 387 3,191
31 Creve Coeur 5,344 1,104 2,413
32 Bartonville 6,414 342 3,336
33 Quincy 40,834 502 2,703
34 Hazel Crest 14,200 401 2,992
35 Silvis 7,529 345 3,081
36 Steger 9,552 324 3,339
37 Salem 7,298 274 4,316
38 Galesburg 31,529 415 2,822
39 Effingham 12,643 308 3,496
40 Waukegan 88,855 434 2,717
41 Forest Park 14,202 295 3,555
42 East Peoria 23,359 410 2,735
43 Fairview Heights 16,851 261 4,302
44 De Kalb 44,046 474 2,517
45 North Riverside 6,703 223 6,131
46 Fairfield 5,064 572 2,290
47 Sterling 14,909 261 3,742
48 Jacksonville 19,088 314 2,886
49 Jerseyville 8,549 327 2,772
50 Rock Island 38,551 440 2,350
51 Loves Park 23,440 341 2,610
52 Country Club Hills 16,944 318 2,638
53 Matteson 19,190 265 3,110
54 Bellwood 19,170 500 2,003
55 Bradley 15,622 192 3,706
56 Mattoon 18,123 457 2,014
57 Paris 8,419 308 2,565
58 Cahokia 14,432 180 3,852
59 East Moline 21,143 326 2,383
60 Pekin 33,759 337 2,239
61 Joliet 147,991 311 2,402
62 Bridgeview 16,499 290 2,442
63 Lincoln 14,082 291 2,428
64 Freeport 24,664 271 2,631
65 East Alton 6,195 274 2,502
66 Oak Brook 8,108 123 6,154
67 Olney 9,006 210 2,842
68 Herrin 12,932 224 2,799
69 Monmouth 9,548 377 1,874
70 Bloomington 79,233 384 1,842
71 South Holland 22,169 297 2,074
72 Richton Park 13,775 283 2,286
73 Evergreen Park 19,953 150 3,132
74 Park Forest 22,046 331 1,805
75 Alsip 19,462 149 2,897
76 Summit 11,547 311 1,697
77 Machesney Park 22,923 296 1,779
78 Skokie 65,184 236 2,044
79 Midlothian 14,932 180 2,404
80 Mount Carmel 6,975 315 1,620
81 Robinson 7,600 276 1,815
82 Normal 55,096 217 2,132
83 Aurora 201,034 323 1,536
84 Evanston 75,930 172 2,390
85 Macomb 18,859 376 1,426
86 Berkeley 5,235 286 1,680
87 Cicero 84,375 226 1,957
88 Addison 37,370 227 1,942
89 River Forest 11,216 169 2,318
90 Milan 5,090 235 1,807
91 Glenwood 9,046 198 1,945
92 Litchfield 6,882 101 3,327
93 Rock Falls 8,982 289 1,547
94 Chicago Ridge 14,463 96 3,484
95 Peru 9,948 180 1,960
96 Ottawa 18,350 130 2,430
97 Du Quoin 5,860 255 1,552
98 Hillsboro 6,060 462 1,122
99 Gurnee 31,194 76 4,225
100 Round Lake Beach 27,983 167 1,908
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10 thoughts on “These Are The 10 Most Dangerous Cities In Illinois For 2017

  1. This is a BS article. Chicago nor East St.Louis are mentioned. Those two cities are clearly more dangerous than Mt. Vernon or Centralia. But, of course those two cities are full of Obama constituents. It wouldn’t be politically correct to point out their problems.

    1. Yeah this is bs I’m from Alton il and I know dam well alton has more crime than Centralia and mount Vernon put together decatur peoria east st.louis should of been on here

  2. Grew up in Harvey that city was a great place to grow up in the 50s and 60s it sicking to drive through it now a days the mayor Kellogg should be IN jail had another guy running for mayor…..they burned his headquarters building to the ground

  3. Centralia was home from 1950 – 1965. I have nothing but wonderful memories from being raise there. With the Railroad pulling out, The Interstate going the wrong way the city begin to die. With the addition of the prison, the low lifes came by the hundreds to be near their love ones bringing the drugs, the gang bangers, pimps, crooks, and other low life. End of any opportunity for growth or employment. Tear down the prisons and the cockroaches will move on.

  4. Why is this article being posted now. Completey inaccurate. Article should have been posted in 2013. Harvey, IL is not the most dangerous. These are old statistics, and a misleading article. This “goal” of the writers of this website is to deliver “accurate” information, which is somthing that was not done. How about you gather current statistics. Bet that Riverdale, Dolton, Calumet City, Sauk Village are all above Harvey. Not to mention, you dont even have East St. Louis on here. What a horrible article

  5. Don’t know when this article was written, but Rockford was on the news recently as being the #1 highest violent crime in Illinois and #3 in the nation. I live in Rockford, and it is very violent. Recent being May 2016.

    1. The data set that led to Rockville being ranked as number one probably focused only on cities with populations over 100,000 because on a national scale there would be too many variables that would skew results when comparing cities and towns with smaller populations. This list focused on just one state, where fewer differences exist between smaller cities and allowed for the inclusion of places like Danville and the others. I haven’t visited Rockville lately, but I did grow up in Danville and go back occasionally. The changes over just the last decade are stark and there’s really no part of town that feels safe anymore, unlike when I was growing up and there was a mix of good, bad, and great neighborhoods. Now anyone who could get out has, and it’s just the desperate and the predators left.

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