10 Most Dangerous Cities In Illinois


We used data and science to identify the most dangerous cities in the Prairie State for 2019.

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This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. It is our fifth time ranking the most dangerous places to live in Illinois and is updated for 2019.

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We have proof that there’s a lot of ‘noise’ in Illinois in terms of its most dangerous cities.

Gone are the days that parents can let their children run wild until the street lights come on. Heck, parents shouldn’t let their kids out of their sight in our most dangerous cities in Illinois for 2019.

How does one navigate these dangerous cities when trying to make an informed decision on what city you should call home? We did the work for you. In order to compile our list, we looked at violent crimes and property crimes in cities with a population of 5,000.

Folks, the cities that made our list have robberies happening in broad daylight, car jackings, and daily shootings. There are neighborhoods in these cities that you shouldn’t drive thru at all and there are areas that you definitely shouldn’t be in after dark.

We’re not saying that there aren’t little pockets of goodness in these cities. The neighborhoods and shopping centers in these Illinois’ cities are not ALL bad. We do recommend that you spend some time studying them before you make a move. If you choose one of these cities, you’re going to have to be aware of your surroundings at all times: there are a ton of ‘wolves in sheep’s clothing out there….just sayin’….

It’s not entirely Illinois’ fault. They are the sixth largest state in terms of population. As with most situations, there’s bound to be problems with that many people. On a positive note, there are people out there coming together to combat the problems that these Illinois’ cities are facing. And, thankfully, some of the programs are actually winning.

To see where these Illinois cities with all the problems are located, take a look below at our most dangerous cities in Illinois for 2019.

Here are the 10 most dangerous cities in Illinois for 2019:

  1. Danville (Photos)
  2. Springfield (Photos)
  3. Centralia (Photos)
  4. Metropolis (Photos)
  5. Rockford (Photos)
  6. Peoria (Photos)
  7. Kankakee (Photos)
  8. Hoopeston (Photos)
  9. Harrisburg (Photos)
  10. Alton (Photos)

What are the circumstances that make these Illinois cities this way? Maybe not enough jobs, low wages, people just don’t want to work, prisons, drugs, gangs, close to larger cities that push their problems onto surrounding cities?

We’re not entirely sure. But one thing we are sure about is our number one most dangerous city in Illinois is Danville.

The Illinois cities on our most dangerous list could definitely use some some TLC. If you’re looking to be that diamond in the ruff, or you’re just curious to see if your city made the list, take a look at our list below. And if you don’t see your city there, head to the bottom.

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.

For more Illinois reading, check out:

Graphing The Most Dangerous And Safest Places In Illinois

Most Dangerous Cities In Illinois Graph

Click To Enlarge

The 10 Most Dangerous Places To Live In Illinois For 2019

Danville, IL

Source: Public domain

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 31,368
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,740 (2nd most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,843 (5th most dangerous)
More on Danville:  Data | Photos

Located in the southeastern corner of the state, on the Atlantic coast, Danville ranks 1st for its danger.

In 2011, Danville wouldn’t have made this list, but a whopping increase in violent crime between 2015-17 changed that.

In 2017, residents faced a 1 in 57 chance of being the victim of violence, which would put Danville at 2nd for the year in Illinois.

Review Of Danville by HomeSnacks User

The crime is high and shootings are frequent. Most of the locals are untrustworthy and even the “best” areas arent safe from shootings and theft. The town has an abundance of bars, churches and salons and not much else. The only things to do here are cause trouble, pray and breed like rabbits.

The local places to eat like to pass off canned vegetables or grocery bought coffee and tea as something worth over charging for. There are cockroaches on the tables at several establishments and people here have the mentality on racism and sexism that you’d find most suited for the 50’s mixed with an overwhelming air of bitterness and defeat.

Springfield, IL

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 115,568
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,054 (8th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,755 (8th most dangerous)
More on Springfield:  Data | Photos

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 2015-17, the improvements haven’t been enough to get the state’s capital, Springfield, outta the top 5.

Centralia, IL

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 12,496
Rank Last Year:
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,464 (4th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,929 (19th most dangerous)
More on Centralia:  Data | Photos

Located in (you guessed it) central Illinois, Centralia has a mix of good and bad news concerning its crime numbers.

Violent crime decreased 2015-17, which is an achievement. 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 25.5 chance of being the victim of a property crime, that is very bad news.

Metropolis, IL

Source: Public domain

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 6,238
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 6)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 673 (22nd most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 6,075 (4th most dangerous)
More on Metropolis:  Data | Photos

Located in Massac County, Metropolis hasn’t experienced much of a change in its crime statistics recently.

Its relatively poor violent crime statistics went up between 2015-17, while property crime fell by a very small amount to 379 occurrences.

Rockford, IL

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 146,770
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,588 (3rd most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,567 (26th most dangerous)
More on Rockford:  Data | Photos

Rockford is the largest city you’ll be seeing on this list and the 5th largest city in the state.

Located in northern Illinois about 80 miles west of Chicago, Rockford residents face a staggeringly high 1 in 62 chance of being attacked, raped, or killed. That’s almost 3 times as likely as it is in the Windy City.

Review Of Rockford by HomeSnacks User

Rockford is one of the more depressing Illinois bigger cities. There really is a terrible night life, day life – it tries but ultimately fails in bringing in culture from Chicago or even the suburbs.

Be careful crossing the river – it gets a little sketch.

Peoria, IL

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 114,157
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 759 (17th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,213 (13th most dangerous)
More on Peoria:  Data | Photos

The trajectory of Peoria’s crime rate gives it a 6th place finish in our analysis.

Violent crime shot up from 2015-17, while instances of property crime also went up.

That left residents of Peoria with a 1 in 131 chance of being the victim of a violent crime in 2017.

Kankakee, IL

Source: Public domain

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 26,265
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 799 (16th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,993 (16th most dangerous)
More on Kankakee:  Data | Photos

Located an hour south of Chicago, Kankakee has been working towards more substantial improvements, which may explain why its ranked slightly safer today.

Between 2015-17, Kankakee saw an 18% drop in property crimes and a 23% drop in violent crimes. If this rate of crime reduction continues, Kankakee may be off this list in no time.

Hoopeston, IL

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 5,106
Rank Last Year: 42 (Up 34)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 900 (11th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,662 (24th most dangerous)
More on Hoopeston:  Data | Photos

Hoopeston took the 8th spot on our.

While violent crime isn’t so much of an issue (it ranks 11th out of 300), property crime seems to be pretty prevalent as it ranks 24th overall in that category.

Hoopeston has a relatively high population density, which might contribute to the above average property crime rate.

Harrisburg, IL

Source: Public domain

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 8,775
Rank Last Year: 53 (Up 44)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,139 (6th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,384 (31st most dangerous)
More on Harrisburg:  Data | Photos

The 220th-largest city in Illinois is a dangerous one. Though crime looks like it ticked down recently, it’s still, statistically, the 9th most dangerous place in the state of Illinois.

Residents here have a 1 in 87 chance of being the victim of a violent crime, which includes rape, aggravated assault and murders.

Alton, IL

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 26,693
Rank Last Year: 9 (Down 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 633 (24th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,986 (17th most dangerous)
More on Alton:  Data | Photos

Alton places 10th in our list of the most dangerous cities in Illinois.

Violent crime is an issue here as it ranks 24th in the state for that criteria, while ranking 17th for property crime.

High levels of unemployment and poverty probably contribute to above average rates of crime.

Review Of Alton by HomeSnacks User

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

How Is Your Town In ?

How we determined the most dangerous cities in Illinois for 2019?

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 JUST released 2017 data, specifically the 2017 Crime In The United States Report. We will update the results when data becomes available in September 2019.

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 300 cities in Illinois.

We then ranked each city from 1 to 300 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.

Locking It All Up In Illinois

The latest FBI crime data shows that Danville ranks as the most dangerous city in Illinois for 2019.

We want to point out again that there’s still safes places in Danville and that this isn’t a comment on the people that live there. So please don’t beat us up.

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

  1. Hawthorn Woods (Pop. 8,234)
  2. Willow Springs (Pop. 5,645)
  3. Campton Hills (Pop. 11,342)

For more Illinois reading, check out:

Where Are The Most Dangerous Cities In Illinois?

Rank City Population Violent Crimes Per Capita Property Crimes Per Capita
1 Danville 31,368 1,740 5,843
2 Springfield 115,568 1,054 4,755
3 Centralia 12,496 1,464 3,929
4 Metropolis 6,238 673 6,075
5 Rockford 146,770 1,588 3,567
6 Peoria 114,157 759 4,213
7 Kankakee 26,265 799 3,993
8 Hoopeston 5,106 900 3,662
9 Harrisburg 8,775 1,139 3,384
10 Alton 26,693 633 3,986

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.

13 thoughts on “10 Most Dangerous Cities In Illinois

  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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