These Are The 10 Most Dangerous Cities In Illinois For 2018


We used data and science to identify the most dangerous cities in the Prairie State for 2018.

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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.

The data shows that these ten cities are currently the most dangerous in the Prairie State:

  1. Danville (Photos)
  2. Mount Vernon (Photos)
  3. Murphysboro (Photos)
  4. Springfield (Photos)
  5. Kankakee (Photos)
  6. Rockford (Photos)
  7. Peoria (Photos)
  8. Belleville (Photos)
  9. Alton (Photos)
  10. Metropolis (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 2018?

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 2016 data, specifically the 2016 Crime In The United States Report. We will update the results when data becomes available for 2017 in October 2018.

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 299 cities in Illinois.

We then ranked each city from 1 to 299 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.

Here’s a visualization of the criteria:
Most Dangerous Cities In Illinois Graph

Click To Enlarge

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: 31,931
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,572
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,931
Danville is the 3rd most violent city in Illinois and places as the most dangerous overall.

Instances of violent crime leave Danville residents with a 1 in 63 chance of being the victim of violence in 2016.

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Property crime is also at a consistently high level, with about 1 case of theft or arson for every 16.9 residents, each year.

2. Mount Vernon

Mount Vernon, Illinois

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 15,053
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,288
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,155
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 19.4 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. Murphysboro

Murphysboro, Illinois

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 7,726
Rank Last Year: 15 (Up 12)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 763
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,604
While Murphysboro is a known speed trap with rigorous enforcement of speeding laws, it is also a relative hot bed for the occurrence of crime.

As the FBI aggregates crime data based on reporting from local municipalities, it wouldn’t surprise us if Murphysboro ranks highly simply because the police department does an excellent job of reporting crimes that occur within its city limits.

Murphysboro has the 10th most violent crimes in Illinois.

4. Springfield

Springfield, Illinois

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 116,563
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,116
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,425
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 2014-16, the improvements haven’t been enough to get the state’s capital, Springfield, outta the top 5.

5. Kankakee

Kankakee, Illinois

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 26,509
Rank Last Year: N/A
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 765
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,141
Located an hour south of Chicago, Kankakee has been working towards more substantial improvements than Carbondale, which may explain why its ranked slightly safer today.

Between 2014-16, Kankakee saw an 18% drop in property crimes and a 23% drop in violent crimes. If this rate of crime reduction continues, #9 Kankakee may be off this list in no time.

6. Rockford

Rockford, Illinois

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 147,363
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,658
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,776
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 60 chance of being attacked, raped, or killed. That’s almost 3 times as likely as it is in the Windy City.

7. Peoria

Peoria, Illinois

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 115,099
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 4)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 760
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,847
The largest city in Peoria County, Peoria has experienced a 13% increase in its violent crime rate and a 19% rise in property crime rate between 2014-16.

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Folks in Peoria had about a 1 in 26.0 chance of being robbed or burnt in 2016, which is just the heavy price you pay for living in Peoria.

8. Belleville

Belleville, Illinois

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 41,638
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 4)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 607
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,984
Belleville is the most populous city in St. Clair County.

Belleville experienced a massive rise in violent crime between 2014-16.

Property crime statistics, meanwhile, remained stagnant, with residents facing a 1 in 25.1 chance of being the victim of theft or arson each year — the 16th highest rate in the state.

9. Alton

Alton, Illinois

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 26,829
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 533
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,999
A city of Madison County, Alton’s ranked as the 9th most dangerous city in Illinois.

With regards to crime, Alton has little to celebrate of late, with violent and property crime rates each going up by roughly 11% between 2014-16.

There’s now a 1 in 22.1 chance of being the victim of a crime.

10. Metropolis

Metropolis, Illinois

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 6,290
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 3)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 572
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,895
Metropolis, a city in Massac County, has seen its crime increase overall for the last few years. According to the FBI, violent crimes have nearly doubled here, and residents have a 1 in 174 chance of being robbed.

Additionally, there were 36 attacks in a city of only 6,290 residents.

Locking It All Up In Illinois

The latest FBI crime data shows that Danville ranks as the most dangerous city in Illinois for 2018.

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. Western Springs
  2. Channahon
  3. Hawthorn Woods

For more Illinois reading , check out:

Detailed List Of The Most Dangeroues Cities In Illinois

City Rank Previous Rank Population Violent Crimes Per Capita Property Crimes Per Capita
Danville 1 1 31,931 1,572 5,931
Mount Vernon 2 2 15,053 1,288 5,155
Murphysboro 3 15 7,726 763 5,604
Springfield 4 3 116,563 1,116 4,425
Kankakee 5 26,509 765 4,141
Rockford 6 6 147,363 1,658 3,776
Peoria 7 11 115,099 760 3,847
Belleville 8 12 41,638 607 3,984
Alton 9 10 26,829 533 3,999
Metropolis 10 7 6,290 572 3,895
Calumet City 11 9 37,022 569 3,668
Cahokia 12 58 14,242 449 4,690
Decatur 13 19 72,694 539 3,655
Chicago 14 17 2,725,153 1,105 3,191
Champaign 15 21 87,071 717 3,259
Lansing 16 25 28,347 398 6,653
Creve Coeur 17 31 5,235 859 2,941
De Kalb 18 43 43,034 518 3,341
Moline 19 28 42,517 460 3,431
Carbondale 20 29 26,373 523 3,200
Olney 21 70 8,984 545 3,150
Hazel Crest 22 34 14,119 432 3,456
Quincy 23 33 40,799 512 3,242
Broadview 24 27 7,914 328 4,738
Urbana 25 42,461 381 3,633
Chicago Heights 26 22 30,273 578 2,659
Wood River 27 10,225 361 3,628
Bartonville 28 32 6,367 518 2,764
Carlinville 29 26 5,615 338 3,615
Zion 30 20 24,067 702 2,522
Silvis 31 35 7,487 320 3,940
East St. Louis 32 14 26,769 2,827 2,256
Galesburg 33 37 31,093 398 3,174
Salem 34 38 7,249 289 5,228
Forest Park 35 41 14,113 325 3,734
Maywood 36 24 23,994 687 2,383
Fairview Heights 37 44 16,773 244 5,186
North Riverside 38 45 6,663 225 7,294
East Peoria 39 42 23,008 421 2,716
Waukegan 40 40 88,337 508 2,588
East Moline 41 59 21,359 426 2,673
Hoopeston 42 13 5,194 327 3,253
Rock Island 43 50 38,543 409 2,703
Peoria Heights 44 30 5,960 503 2,500
Herrin 45 68 12,985 300 3,465
Kewanee 46 23 12,460 304 3,402
Matteson 47 53 19,226 369 2,990
Blue Island 48 23,637 486 2,398
Country Club Hills 49 52 16,844 439 2,469
Jacksonville 50 48 19,039 320 3,161
Rantoul 51 18 13,018 407 2,604
Granite City 52 28,899 660 2,076
Harrisburg 53 8,863 801 2,008
Sterling 54 47 14,983 260 3,410
Bellwood 55 54 19,353 532 2,097
Bradley 56 56 15,561 257 3,290
Watseka 57 5,027 298 3,043
Jerseyville 58 49 8,470 295 3,069
Chicago Ridge 59 93 14,383 201 3,997
Richton Park 60 72 13,702 423 2,182
Effingham 61 39 12,660 260 3,009
Fairfield 62 46 5,019 418 2,171
East Alton 63 66 6,152 325 2,649
Machesney Park 64 77 22,816 333 2,480
Bridgeview 65 62 16,397 292 2,720
South Holland 66 71 22,042 376 2,173
Pekin 67 60 33,052 420 2,008
Streator 68 16 13,082 244 2,728
Mattoon 69 55 18,026 388 2,058
Monmouth 70 69 9,261 377 2,084
Steger 71 36 9,502 210 3,030
Milan 72 90 5,082 314 2,380
Collinsville 73 24,599 215 2,991
Lincolnwood 74 102 12,655 158 3,587
Evergreen Park 75 73 19,836 206 3,024
Oak Brook 76 65 8,130 123 6,912
Midlothian 77 79 14,850 249 2,511
Berwyn 78 56,305 301 2,193
Oak Park 79 52,365 206 2,854
Lincoln 80 63 13,867 274 2,343
Homewood 81 101 19,379 196 2,936
Loves Park 82 51 23,349 338 1,944
Skokie 83 78 64,819 243 2,402
Bloomington 84 67 78,604 390 1,713
Mount Carmel 85 80 6,982 214 2,606
Cicero 86 87 83,807 315 2,043
Freeport 87 64 24,257 197 2,687
Joliet 88 61 147,886 329 1,894
Summit 89 76 11,457 331 1,885
Macomb 90 85 18,402 391 1,597
Chillicothe 91 114 6,253 335 1,695
Normal 92 82 54,727 263 1,973
Park Forest 93 74 21,947 341 1,608
Paris 94 57 8,356 454 1,388
River Forest 95 89 11,203 151 2,597
Countryside 96 6,015 116 3,325
Robinson 97 81 7,616 407 1,391
Evanston 98 84 75,716 171 2,206
Pontiac 99 11,771 220 1,885
Pana 100 5,562 251 1,636
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10 thoughts on “These Are The 10 Most Dangerous Cities In Illinois For 2018

  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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