10 Most Dangerous Cities In Indiana For 2020


We used data and science to identify the most dangerous cities in the Hoosier 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 Indiana and is updated for 2020.

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It used to be where the biggest trick to avoiding danger in Indiana was to avoid Gary, Indiana. Sadly, that’s no longer the case.

While Gary does have its fair share of problems, it’s no longer the state’s most dangerous place. Indiana has done a pretty good job of keeping its crazy spread evenly across their state. And RoadSnacks is here to tell you just where the most dangerous places in Indiana for 2020 are located.

But first, this is how we determined Indiana’s most dangerous places: we consulted the numbers. In total, we analyzed 75 cities. We looked at the FBI’s latest crime report for violent crime and property crime statistics for every place with over 5,000 residents. We discovered that Indiana’s overall violent and property crime numbers, while above the national average, the numbers in the state’s most dangerous places could be better. And if you guessed that most of The Hoosier State’s crime is centered around the state’s biggest cities, you guessed right. Cities like Indianapolis and Evansville are being hit pretty hard with high unemployment, low wages, and high crime.

People always ask why we produce lists of the most dangerous places in each state. Well, we do it to show the public how to navigate the places that most people don’t want to visit, but still want to know the dirt. You know, the type of crimes that end up airing on Fort Wayne’s WANE at six or Lafayette’s crimestoppers at ten.

More importantly, don’t get lost wandering around Indiana’s most dangerous places; trust us, you might never make it out. Instead, take a look below at our list of Indiana’s most dangerous places. There might be some that surprise you.

The 10 Most Dangerous Cities In Indiana For 2020

  1. Michigan City
  2. South Bend
  3. Indianapolis
  4. Evansville
  5. Elkhart
  6. Gary
  7. Shelbyville
  8. Marion
  9. Anderson
  10. Lafayette

Indiana might not be one of the top ten most dangerous states in the country, the state’s most dangerous places do need some work. Maybe more police? Security cameras? Drug programs? We’re not entirely sure. One thing that we are sure about, however, is that the number one most dangerous place in Indiana is Michigan City.

If you want to know where the rest of the most dangerous places in Indiana are located, take a look at the list below. And if you don’t find what you’re looking for there, head to the bottom.

Learn more about the safest places in Indiana.

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 Indiana reading, check out:

The 10 Most Dangerous Places To Live In Indiana For 2020

Michigan City, IN

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 30,999
Rank Last Year:
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 741 (5th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,429 (4th most dangerous)
More on Michigan City:  Data | Photos

Michigan City is the most violent city in the state.

Both categories of crime have been going up between 2017-2018.

Folks in Michigan City have about 1 violent crime per 134 residents.

South Bend, IN

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 102,397
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,039 (4th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,302 (5th most dangerous)
More on South Bend:  Data | Photos

South Bend is the 4th most populous city in Indiana, and is the economic and cultural hub of northern Indiana.

The populations been growing for the first time in 50 years, but the crime numbers remain relatively high.

Though property crime fell by 25% from 2017-2018, violent crime also rose by 12%, leaving residents a 1 in 96 chance of being the victim of violence in 2018.

Indianapolis, IN

Source: Public domain

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 877,584
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,272 (1st most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,129 (8th most dangerous)
More on Indianapolis:  Data | Photos

Indiana’s capital, Indianapolis, is the second largest city in the Midwest after Detroit. It is also the 3rd most dangerous city in the whole state.

Anyone who spends a year in Indianapolis faced a 1 in 78 chance of being the victim of violence in 2018, a ~10% rise from 2011.

Property crime has also been going up in recent years, but at only a third the rate of violent crime.

Evansville, IN

Source: Public domain

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 118,765
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 568 (8th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,463 (3rd most dangerous)
More on Evansville:  Data | Photos

Evansville is another city that represents its county as one of the most dangerous places in Indiana.

Coming in at 4th on our list, Evansville 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 Indiana as a whole.

Elkhart, IN

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 52,659
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,184 (2nd most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,549 (14th most dangerous)
More on Elkhart:  Data | Photos

Elkhart took the 5th spot on our ranking.

While violent crime isn’t so much of an issue (it ranks 2nd out of 75), property crime seems to be pretty prevalent as it ranks 14th overall in that category.

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

Gary, IN

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 75,426
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 4)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 495 (14th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,610 (11th most dangerous)
More on Gary:  Data | Photos

Gary, Indiana has taken a lot of heat from us lately — we named it the worst mid-sized city to live in in all of America.

As it turns out, it’s also the 6th most dangerous place in Indiana — the city of steel has seen violent crime rise from 2017-2018 and property crime go up too.

Maybe the 1 in 201 chance of being the victim of a violent crime is part of the reason that the population has been falling dramatically since the 60’s.

Shelbyville, IN

Source: Public domain

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 19,075
Rank Last Year: 16 (Up 9)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,127 (3rd most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,951 (23rd most dangerous)
More on Shelbyville:  Data | Photos

Shelbyville ranks as the 7th most dangerous city in Indiana because it has a marginally higher rate of violent crime.

Residents of Shelbyville had a 1 in 88 chance of being the victim of a rape, murder, or assault in 2018, and a 1 in 33.9 chance of being the victim of theft or arson.

Marion, IN

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 28,116
Rank Last Year: 22 (Up 14)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 455 (18th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,691 (10th most dangerous)
More on Marion:  Data | Photos

Marion residents faced a 1 in 219 chance of being the victim of violence in 2018 and a 1 in 27.1 chance of being the victim of a property crime — both statistics that have barely changed in recent years.

It’s the 18th most violent city.

Anderson, IN

Source: Public domain

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 54,925
Rank Last Year: 8 (Down 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 413 (22nd most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,260 (7th most dangerous)
More on Anderson:  Data | Photos

Anderson had 227 violent crimes and 2,340 property crimes in 2018.

Like all cities, there are rougher sections and nicer sections, so be sure to stay safe at night.

Lafayette, IN

Source: Public domain

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 72,904
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 463 (17th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,597 (12th most dangerous)
More on Lafayette:  Data | Photos

Located 65 miles northwest of Indianapolis, Lafayette has experienced a 20% growth in population since 2000.

Perhaps this rapid boom aided in Lafayette’s position on this list, with residents facing a 1 in 215 chance of being the victim of violence in 2018.

While violence has been dropping at a modest pace, property crime has gone up by 14% in recent years.

Graphing The Most Dangerous And Safest Places In Indiana

Most Dangerous Cities In Indiana Graph

Click To Enlarge

How we determined the most dangerous cities in Indiana 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 Indiana cities over 5,000 in population. That left us with 75 cities in Indiana.

We then ranked each city from 1 to 75 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 Indiana — Michigan City. 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 Indiana.

Locking It All Up In Indiana

The latest FBI crime data shows that Michigan City ranks as the most dangerous city in Indiana for 2020.

We want to point out again that there’s still safes places in Michigan City 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 Indiana:

  1. New Whiteland (Pop. 6,182)
  2. Lowell (Pop. 9,711)
  3. Zionsville (Pop. 27,185)

For more Indiana reading, check out:

Where Are The Most Dangerous Cities In Indiana?

Rank City Population Violent Crimes Per Capita Property Crimes Per Capita
1 Michigan City 30,999 741 4,429
2 South Bend 102,397 1,039 4,302
3 Indianapolis 877,584 1,272 4,129
4 Evansville 118,765 568 4,463
5 Elkhart 52,659 1,184 3,549
6 Gary 75,426 495 3,610
7 Shelbyville 19,075 1,127 2,951
8 Marion 28,116 455 3,691
9 Anderson 54,925 413 4,260
10 Lafayette 72,904 463 3,597

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.

6 thoughts on “10 Most Dangerous Cities In Indiana For 2020

  1. It’s not the city, it’s the lowlife, section 8er’s coming down I-65 on the Chicago/Indy drug pipeline. Since they’re killing each other on a regular basis in Chicago, they figured it was safer and easier to operate out of the small towns along the corridor. Complete scum.

  2. You mention Speedway in your article as being 45 minutes NW of Indianapolis. Who does your geographies? Speedway is located on the west side of Marion County and is surrounded by Indianapolis. Sorry, but this detail along with a few others (South Bend is the 4th most populous state in Indiana)…..really?? 4th most populous city maybe?? Who proof reads this crap??? Your article leaves much to be desired and because of the numerous flaws contained in your reporting, I’m call BS on the whole thing. Do some more research, learn the locations of the cities your reference and learn the difference between a state and a city……for starters.

  3. I disagree with your scientific method. The average of Violent crimes and property crimes ratings does not accurately reflect “safety”. In my opinion, a violent crime should be weighted higher than a property crime in the rankings. I would feel much less safe if someone got physically assaulted near my house than if something was stolen from their house. I would agree with the analysis much more if you used a 1.5 weighting for violent crimes.

    I also agree with Mike’s comment. This article needed to be proof read before it was posted. No one will take you seriously when you refer to a city as a state.

  4. The Warsaw area is being misrepresented, after living here for 35yrs it has grown and has had people from the big cities move here but most of that is due to the huge job opportunities in the medical equipment and orthopedic industry, there’s good jobs and clean streets, most people are good people. The crime would be related to meth or the opiate epidemic that’s everywhere in the country, if you are a user then you would be more likely to be involved in a crime and be one of the perpetrators of the property crimes to get money for your habit. Unfortunately the law enforcement hits the DUI and traffic stop searches instead of going after the true crime but the addict has no money so they go after hard working people to make money off the citizenry. Statistics show that disaster occurs on the highways in drinkers who are 2 or 3 times the legal limit, the majority of busts are right at the legal limit and are not busted for driving bad but being out driving at the wrong time of the night. If you are a decent person who looks out for others and likes to have a good time occasionally this is a pretty good place to live. The one thing that could improve is food choices

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