Do you live in one of the most dangerous cities in Indiana?
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 Indiana — and anyone looking to move to Indiana — 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 Hoosier State:
- South Bend (Photos)
- Indianapolis (Photos)
- Clarksville (Photos)
- Evansville (Photos)
- Elkhart (Photos)
- Lafayette (Photos)
- Shelbyville (Photos)
- Gary (Photos)
- Speedway (Photos)
- East Chicago (Photos)
Why did South Bend 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 Indiana.
How we determined the most dangerous cities in Indiana for 2017?
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 second release of 2015 data, specifically the 2015 Crime In The United States Report. We will update the results when data becomes available for 2016 in September 2017.
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 89 cities in Indiana.
We then ranked each city from 1 to 89 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 — South Bend. Read on for a detailed look at the 10 most dangerous cities in Indiana.
1. South Bend
Population: 101,240Violent Crimes Per 100k: 711
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,343
South Bend is the 4th most populous state 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 2013-15, violent crime also rose by 12%, leaving residents a 1 in 140 chance of being the victim of violence in 2015.
Population: 863,675Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,287
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,790
Indiana’s capital, Indianapolis, is the second largest city in the Midwest after Detroit. It is also the 2nd most dangerous city in the whole state.
Anyone who spends a year in Indianapolis faced a 1 in 77 chance of being the victim of violence in 2015, 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.
Population: 21,911Violent Crimes Per 100k: 538
Property Crimes Per 100k: 7,165
Located in south-central Indiana, Clarksville is the 3rd most dangerous city in Indiana, and places 1st for property crime.
Though the city has seen a 12% drop in property crime in recent years, anyone in Clarksville still faced a 1 in 14.0 chance of being robbed in 2015 when within city limits.
Violent crime is relatively high, and the numbers aren’t getting better or worse, but the 1 in 185 chance of being the victim of violence makes Clarksville pretty dangerous.
Population: 120,414Violent Crimes Per 100k: 587
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,117
Evansville? On a list of most dangerous cities in Indiana? Yep.
Evansville residents faced 1 in 19.5 chance of being the victim of theft or arson in 2015.
That’s about a 10% drop from 2014, when Evansville’s rate would have been even worse.
Population: 51,566Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,473
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,111
A smaller city on this list, Elkhart has experienced some wild swings in crime in recent years.
While instances of violent crime fell to 760 between 2013-15, property crime now stands at 19th worst.
If they could get the same magic working for property crime as they have for violence, Elkhart may one day be the idyllic place its residents want it to be.
Population: 71,100Violent Crimes Per 100k: 662
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,656
Located 65 miles northwest of Indianapolis, Lafayette has experiencde 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 150 chance of being the victim of violence in 2015.
While violence has been dropping at a modest pace, property crime has gone up by 14% in recent years.
Population: 19,176Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,413
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,780
A city in Shelby County, Shelbyville has seen crime become a problem over the last decade.
Perhaps that has something to do with the high rate of violent crime, with residents facing a 1 in 70 chance of being the victim of violence in 2015.
On the bright side, instances of property crime fell during this time period.
Population: 77,336Violent Crimes Per 100k: 588
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,392
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 8th most dangerous place in Indiana — the city of steel has seen violent crime rise from 2013-15 and property crime go up too.
Maybe the 1 in 169 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.
Population: 12,172Violent Crimes Per 100k: 410
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,069
The smallest city to make this list, Speedway is located 45 miles northwest of Indiana’s capital, Indianapolis.
The small city experienced a large rise in violent crime between 2013-15.
Still, Speedway is the 23rd most violent place on this list, with residents facing about a 1 in 243 chance of being the victim of violence in 2015.
10. East Chicago
Population: 28,814Violent Crimes Per 100k: 853
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,821
Located in the northwest corner of the state, only 23 miles southeast of Chicago, East Chicago’s motto is “A City of Hope and Progress.”
To their credit, recent years show the city living by this motto, with an impressive 30% drop in violent crime and 33% drop in property crime from 2013-15.
That still left a 1 in 117 chance of being the victim of violence in 2015. But hey, progress is progress.
Locking It All Up In Indiana
The latest FBI crime data shows that South Bend ranks as the most dangerous city in Indiana for 2017.
However, there will be new data coming out later this year. At that point we can revisit South Bend’s status — that is if they haven’t beaten us all up already.
If you’re curious enough, here are the safest cities in Indiana:
- St. John
For more Indiana reading , check out:
- A Hilarious Look At The 10 Most Redneck Cities In Indiana
- These Are The 10 Best Places To Live In Indiana
- These Are The Shows Indiana Residents Are Binge Watching The Most
Detailed List Of The Most Dangeroues Cities In Indiana