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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 2021 are located.
But first, this is how we determined Indiana's most dangerous places: we consulted the numbers. In total, we analyzed 56 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 South Bend.
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:
The 10 Most Dangerous Places To Live In Indiana For 2021
Home to the University of Notre Dame and Mayor Pete Buttigieg, South Bend is the most dangerous place to live in Indiana for 2021.
South Bend is not a great place to leave the door to your house or car unlocked, seeing as the city had the highest burglary rate in Indiana and 561 car thefts recorded in 2019.
The bigger issue, though, is violent crime -- folks in South Bend had a 1 in 75 chance of being the victim of an attack over the year, representing the highest worst violent crime rate in Indiana.
Which kind of makes South Bend's motto -- "Peace" -- seem like a wish rather than a reflection of the current state of affairs.
Up next on our list of Indiana's least safe places is Clarksville, a suburb of Louisville, Kentucky.
While Clarksville isn't on the top of this list, it does have the highest property crime rate by a pretty significant margin, with residents facing a 1 in 17 chance of having their stuff stolen or damaged over 2019.
That's enough to actually give Clarksville the highest total crime rate in Indiana, even with only the seventh highest violent crime rate. We just hope nobody steals the fossils from the Falls of the Ohio State Park.
Everyone knows the stereotype that Chicago is dangerous, but the crime rate in East Chicago, Indiana is actually higher, by a significant margin.
East Chicago police have to contend with the third highest violent crime rate in Indiana, which includes the second highest murder rate.
And while 155 car thefts might not sound like a lot, remember that East Chicago only has a population of 27,717, meaning the prevalence of stolen cars is on par with South Bend.
Indiana's third-biggest city, Evansville, goes by "Pocket City." However, we think that "Pickpocket City" would be a more apt nickname, given that Evansville had 3,926 larceny cases in 2019.
Overall, Evansville residents had a 1 in 23 chance of being the victim of a property crime over the year. So definitely keep your winnings quiet after a big night out at Tropicana Casino.
Unfortunately, it's not just small-time crime in Evansville -- the city also had the fourth highest rate of rape cases in Indiana.
It's kind of a known thing that Gary, a former Mecca for manufacturing, has seen better days. It topped our list of Indiana's worst places to live and one study even named it the most miserable city in America.
To quote a DEA agent, "we used to be the murder capital of the US, but there is hardly anybody left to kill. We used to be the drug capital of the US, but for that you need money, and there aren't jobs or things to steal here."
Unfortunately, he was a bit off the mark -- Gary still has the highest murder rate in Indiana, averaging more than one per week in 2019. That's a rate three times higher than in East Chicago, the place with the second-highest murder rate in Indiana.
And while there might not be as much to steal, that hasn't stopped Gary's criminals, who contributed to the city having the second highest burglary rate in Indiana.
Located about 45 minutes northwest of Indianapolis, Anderson comes in as the sixth most dangerous place to live in Indiana.
Anderson averaged more than one rape case per week in 2019, giving the city the highest rate of rape cases in the state.
While you can enjoy a lovely day out hiking at Mounds State Park, you should definitely triple lock your house before going out, considering Anderson also had the third highest burglary rate in Indiana.
Situated a half-hour south of Chicago, Hammond "earned" its position on this list thanks to steadily high rates of both property and violent crime.
Hammond had the eighth highest murder rate in Indiana, logging 9 murders over 2019. Overall, the city reported 315 violent crimes over the year.
Don't go showing off your winnings from Horseshoe Hammond Casino while you're here because Hammond also saw 2,194 larceny cases over the year.
Speedway is an enclave of Indianapolis with a whole lot more crime than the bigger city. Residents of Speedway had a 1 in 25 chance of being the victim of a property crime over 2019, the fifth highest rate statewide.
We just hope none of the 48 car thefts reported went down at the Dallara IndyCar Factory, or police would have a tough time catching up to the thieves.
In fairness to Speedway, tourism probably contributes significantly to its above-average crime rates, so residents aren't really to blame. Still, you should keep a close eye on your wallet if you're in Speedway.
While Kokomo is known as the City of Firsts, we're sure they're happy to only rank as the ninth most dangerous city in Indiana for 2021. Kokomo's population has grown by more than 25% in the past decade, and it seems the city is having a tough time keeping up with the growing crime rates that this population boom has contributed to.
Folks in Kokomo had a 1 in 147 shot of being the victim of an assault, rape, robbery, or murder in 2019. Looked at another way, Kokomo averaged more than one violent crime per day.
So while Kokomo is very proud of its We Care Park, we're sure residents wished the city cared more about reducing crime.
Indiana's 8th biggest city, Lafayette, is also its tenth most dangerous. Home to Purdue University, Lafayette has above average rates of both property and violent crime.
For instance, Lafayette had the fifth highest burglary rate in Indiana and the eighth highest rate of rape cases.
Overall, the city averaged just under one violent crime a day and more than six property crimes a day. Oh, and a robbery every week, just for good measure.
Graphing The Most Dangerous And Safest Places In Indiana
How we determined the most dangerous cities in Indiana for 2021?
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 2019 data, specifically the 2019 Crime In The United States Report. We will update the results when data becomes available in September 2021.
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 56 cities in Indiana.
We then ranked each city from 1 to 56 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. 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 South Bend ranks as the most dangerous city in Indiana for 2021.
We want to point out again that there's still safes places in South Bend and that this isn't a comment on the people that live there. So please don't beat us up.
Here are the safest cities in Indiana:
- Noblesville (Pop. 64,567)
- Sellersburg (Pop. 8,949)
- West Lafayette (Pop. 49,154)
- Crown Point (Pop. 30,341)
- Fishers (Pop. 95,506)
- Westfield (Pop. 43,212)
- Carmel (Pop. 95,388)
- New Whiteland (Pop. 6,242)
- St. John (Pop. 18,478)
- Zionsville (Pop. 27,630)
For more Indiana reading, check out:
Where Are The Most Dangerous Cities In Indiana?