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.
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.
For more Indiana reading, check out:
- 10 Best Places To Live In Indiana
- These Are The 10 Best Counties To Live In Indiana
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Indiana
Graphing The Most Dangerous And Safest Places In Indiana
The 10 Most Dangerous Places To Live In Indiana For 2020
It’s probably no surprise for most Indianaer’s to see Michigan City taking first place for most dangerous city in the state.
Michigan City experienced a rise in violent crime between 2017-2018, tempered by a drop in property crime, meaning that, overall, crime has stayed at about the same level over the years.
In 2018, folks in Michigan City had a 1 in 134 chance of being murdered, raped, or assaulted, and a 1 in 22.6 chance of being robbed or the victim of arson.
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.
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.
The 4th most dangerous city in Indiana goes to Evansville.
And much like a walk in a major city park, you need to watch for muggers and property theft as it ranks as having the highest rate of property theft in the Hoosier State. You had a 1 in 22.4 chance of being a victim of a property crime in 2018 in Evansville.
It’s not totally clear why the property crime rate is so high. People live spread out, unemployment is relatively high — but not super high — and poverty isn’t as bad as in some other parts of the state.
Elkhart is also the home to quite a bit of crime.
Despite the fact that violent crime and property crime dropped between 2017-2018, Elkhart’s crime statistics are still pretty terrible.
In 2018, residents still faced a 1 in 84 chance of being the victim of violence, and a 1 in 1,869 chance of being the victim of a property crime for every year they spent in Elkhart city limits.
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, located in Shelby County, is the 7th most dangerous and 3rd most violent city in Indiana.
Violent crime has remained high from 2017-2018, during which time property crime fell by only small amounts.
Marion takes the 8th spot in our analysis of the most dangerous cities in Indiana.
The rough and tumble nature of the town leaks into the crime stats.
The city ranks 18th for violent crime and 10th for property crime.
Anderson is the smallest city to make this list, but don’t let that fool you — the city is also one of the most violent in the state.
Anderson residents had a 1 in 241 chance of being the victim of a violent crime in 2018.
The only reason Anderson is so low on this list is because it has the lowest frequency of property crime (about 1 per 2,340 residents in 2018) of any city on this list.
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.
How Is Your Town In ?
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 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:
- New Whiteland (Pop. 6,182)
- Lowell (Pop. 9,711)
- Zionsville (Pop. 27,185)
For more Indiana reading, check out: