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.
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.
For more Illinois reading, check out:
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Graphing The Most Dangerous And Safest Places In Illinois
The 10 Most Dangerous Places To Live In Illinois For 2020
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.
Located in the heart of the Prairie State, Danville has the 7th worst rate of property crime in the state, with residents facing a 1 in 1st chance of being the victim of theft or arson in 2018.
The city had a 1 in 55 chance of being the victim of a violent crime in 2018.
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.
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.
Unlike some of the other cities on this list, Wood River has been working towards reducing the rate of violent crime, with impressive results.
Wood River experienced a drop in violent crime between 2017-2018, which is cause for celebration, unlike the increase in property crime.
Residents of Wood River has a 1 in 19.3 chance of being the victim of theft or arson in 2018.
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 is the most populous city in Massac County.
Metropolis experienced a massive rise in violent crime between 2017-2018.
Property crime statistics, meanwhile, remained stagnant, with residents facing a 1 in 16.9 chance of being the victim of theft or arson each year — the 3rd highest rate in the state.
Peoria is another city that represents its county as one of the most dangerous places in Illinois.
Coming in at 8th on our list, Peoria mixes (relatively) middle of the pack violent crime and property crime without (relatively) excelling in either one.
We say relative because while its crime rates are middle of the pack for the top ten, they are still high for Illinois as a whole.
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 is the 10th most violent city in the Prairie State, with residents facing a 1 in 186 chance of being the victim of violence.
This number has gone down recently, but property crime has been on the rise, with the most recent numbers showing a 1 in 23.2 chance of being the victim of a property crime.
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:
- Manhattan (Pop. 7,879)
- Campton Hills (Pop. 11,305)
- Elburn (Pop. 5,900)
For more Illinois reading, check out:
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Where Are The Most Dangerous Cities In Illinois?