10 Most Dangerous Cities In Illinois For 2020

We used data and science to identify the most dangerous cities in the Prairie State for 2020.

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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 2020.

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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 2020. 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 minimum 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. For example, Chicago isn’t nearly as bad as certain people would have you believe. 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.

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 2020.

The 10 Most Dangerous Cities In Illinois For 2020

  1. Mount Vernon
  2. Danville
  3. Springfield
  4. Centralia
  5. Wood River
  6. Rockford
  7. Metropolis
  8. Peoria
  9. Kankakee
  10. Cahokia

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 Mount Vernon.

The Illinois cities on our most dangerous list could definitely use some TLC. If you’re looking to be that diamond in the rough, 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.

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:

The 10 Most Dangerous Places To Live In Illinois For 2020

Mount Vernon, IL

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 14,914
Rank Last Year: 21 (Up 20)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,528 (2nd most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,183 (5th most dangerous)
More on Mount Vernon:  Data | Photos

Mount Vernon might be known as the King City, but it’ll have to settle for 1st 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 19.3 chance of being the victim of a property crime in Mount Vernon, which is nearly double the odds someone would face in Chi-town.

Danville, IL

Source: Public domain

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 31,203
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,791 (1st most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,832 (7th most dangerous)
More on Danville:  Data | Photos

Danville ranks as the 2nd most dangerous city in Illinois because it has a marginally higher rate of violent crime.

Residents of Danville had a 1 in 55 chance of being the victim of a rape, murder, or assault in 2018, and a 1 in 20.7 chance of being the victim of theft or arson.

Springfield, IL

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 114,623
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 833 (10th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,786 (9th 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 2017-2018, the improvements haven’t been enough to get the state’s capital, Springfield, outta the top 5.

Centralia, IL

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 12,372
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,268 (4th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,033 (17th 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 2017-2018, 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 24.8 chance of being the victim of a property crime, that is very bad news.

Wood River, IL

Source: Public domain

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 10,210
Rank Last Year: 41 (Up 36)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 577 (21st most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,171 (6th most dangerous)
More on Wood River:  Data | Photos

The city of over 10,210 ranks as the 5th most dangerous city in Illinois and has the 6th highest rate of property crime in the state.

Rockford, IL

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 146,198
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,386 (3rd most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,671 (24th most dangerous)
More on Rockford:  Data | Photos

Rockford is the one of 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 72 chance of being attacked, raped, or killed. That’s almost 3 times as likely as it is in the Windy City.

Metropolis, IL

Source: Public domain

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 6,076
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 3)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 543 (25th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,908 (3rd most dangerous)
More on Metropolis:  Data | Photos

Metropolis is home to the 7th most dangerous population in Illinois.

Violent crime has been decreasing of late, but the 1 in 16.9 chance of being the victim of a property crime has been fairly consistent.

Peoria, IL

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 112,595
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 763 (12th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,004 (18th most dangerous)
More on Peoria:  Data | Photos

Peoria has experienced an unfortunate boom in its crime rate recently.

Between 2017-2018, violent crime and property crime increased.

That left residents of Peoria with a 1 in 25.0 chance of being the victim of a property crime and a 1 in 130 chance of being the victim of violence in 2018.

Kankakee, IL

Source: Public domain

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 26,032
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 883 (8th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,345 (27th 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 2017-2018, 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.

Cahokia, IL

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 14,004
Rank Last Year: 14 (Up 4)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 535 (27th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,313 (11th most dangerous)
More on Cahokia:  Data | Photos

Cahokia is the 10th most dangerous city in Illinois.

Cahokia is crime country, with residents facing a 1 in 23.2 chance of being the victim of a property crime each year.

The trend is neither negative nor positive in Cahokia, as both violent and property crimes have remained stagnant over the last few years.

Graphing The Most Dangerous And Safest Places In Illinois

Most Dangerous Cities In Illinois Graph

Click To Enlarge

How we determined the most dangerous cities in Illinois for 2020?

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 2018 data, specifically the 2018 Crime In The United States Report. We will update the results when data becomes available in September 2020.

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 Illinois cities over 5,000 in population. That left us with 285 cities in Illinois.

We then ranked each city from 1 to 285 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 — Mount Vernon. Any ties went to the smaller city. You can download the data here.

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 Mount Vernon ranks as the most dangerous city in Illinois for 2020.

We want to point out again that there’s still safes places in Mount Vernon 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. Manhattan (Pop. 7,879)
  2. Campton Hills (Pop. 11,305)
  3. Elburn (Pop. 5,900)

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 Mount Vernon 14,914 1,528 5,183
2 Danville 31,203 1,791 4,832
3 Springfield 114,623 833 4,786
4 Centralia 12,372 1,268 4,033
5 Wood River 10,210 577 5,171
6 Rockford 146,198 1,386 3,671
7 Metropolis 6,076 543 5,908
8 Peoria 112,595 763 4,004
9 Kankakee 26,032 883 3,345
10 Cahokia 14,004 535 4,313

How Is Your Town In ?

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.

14 thoughts on “10 Most Dangerous Cities In Illinois For 2020

  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.

  6. You left out Chicago. Secondly what is your source for these stats? Cause it doesn’t come close to matching anybody else’s.

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