No one wants to believe that they live in a dangerous city. But the fact of the matter is that your city may not be as safe as the city next door.
But instead of running and hiding under the covers, it’s better to get informed — which cities in America should you pay a little more attention to your surroundings as you walk home from work?
It turns out that, based on the most recent FBI Crime data, St. Louis, MO has maintained its throne as the city with the highest crime rate. It ranked as the most dangerous city in America for 2018 based on the data.
You might be thinking to yourself at this point — where’s Chicago?? Isn’t that some kind of post-apocalyptic, world war 3 type city? Well, it actually ranks as the 72nd most dangerous with a pretty normal overall crime rate.
And while these places are some of the most dangerous in America, you have to remember America is a safe place to live relative to the rest of the world. Be glad you don’t live in Caracas, Venezuela where the murder rate is 2x higher than any US City (Here’s looking at you St. Louis).
Read on to learn more about our methodology or skip to the end for a full chart of the data with the crime rate for each city.
Or for more reading on places across America check out:
How We Determined The Most Dangerous Cities In America 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 second release of 2017 data, specifically the 2016 Uniform Crime Report.
So what criteria did we use? Have a look:
- Violent Crimes Per Capita
- Property Crimes Per Capita
We ranked each city from 1 to 214 for the two criteria with 1 being the most dangerous score. We then 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 the country — St. Louis. Read on for a bit more on why these cities have such high crime rates.
Or check out the safest cities in America.
Rank Last Year: 1
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,913 (2nd most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,930 (8th most dangerous)
Home to a specific type of BBQ (grilled) and a specific type of crime (violent), St. Louis ranks as the most dangerous in our analysis of dangerous cities.
While it might not win as many honors for its BBQ, St. Louis takes homes the distinction of having the 2nd highest violent crime rank among all big cities in America. It’s the dot way out to the top in the graph higher on the page.
So when you cross the street in The Gateway City, in addition to looking both ways for cars, you might want to look both ways for murder, or at least aggravated assault.
Rank Last Year: 4
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,531 (9th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 6,898 (4th most dangerous)
Little Rock rocks a little too hard when it comes to crime. It ranks in the top ten in the country for both property crime and violent crimes per capita.
That’s a bit of a nasty combination when it comes to being dangerous and nets Little Rock at the almost top of our ranking.
Rank Last Year: 3
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,337 (13th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 8,467 (2nd most dangerous)
Homer would be sad to hear that Springfield (in this case Missouri) ranks as one of the more dangerous cities in America.
The issue is property crime — Springfield ranks as having the worst property crime per capita of any city in the country. It didn’t end up taking the #1 overall most dangerous spot because its violent crime ranks outside of the top 10.
4. Memphis, TN
Rank Last Year: 5
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,819 (3rd most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,634 (16th most dangerous)
Memphis is the largest city in the top ten, coming in with a population a cool 100K larger than Albuquerque.
What else is larger in Memphis than Albuquerque? That would be the violent crime rate, which ranks as the third highest in America. That also implies the property crime isn’t as bad as some of the other cities ‘featured’ here.
5. Oakland, CA
Rank Last Year: 6
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,425 (10th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,635 (15th most dangerous)
While people continue to migrate from San Francisco to Oakland to avoid insane property prices, they aren’t moving to avoid crime. Oakland ranks over thirty spots higher than San Francisco on the crime ranking.
So there’s that stat Oakland has over San Francisco, at least for now.
Drilling down into the statistics, Oakland has the 10th highest violent crime rank in the country and the fifteenth highest property crime rate. That gives it a firm placement in the top right dangerous quadrant of the graph above.
Rank Last Year: 9
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,112 (21st most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 6,860 (5th most dangerous)
We’re sure Walter White wouldn’t be surprised to see Albuquerque on the list. Although, its ranking is due more to property crimes than violent crimes. The second largest city in the top ten has the fifth highest property crime rate.
So just make sure to keep a close eye on your product… err, property.
7. Tulsa, OK
Rank Last Year: 28
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,095 (25th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,904 (9th most dangerous)
Tulsa ranks as the seventh most dangerous city in America according to the most recent FBI data.
Property crimes plague the city as it ranks 9th worst in the country. Burglaries, in particular, are a problem — Tulsa has the 4th highest burglary rate for big cities.
Rank Last Year: –
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,630 (7th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,316 (28th most dangerous)
Cleveland rocks, at least when it comes to violent crime. It ranks as having the 7th highest violent crime rate in the country for 2018.
Fortunately(?) the property crime rate is only the 28th worst in America. So at least people won’t steal your wallet while they assault you.
9. Pueblo, CO
Rank Last Year: 12
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 983 (38th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 6,798 (6th most dangerous)
Pueblo may be the smallest city in the top ten, clocking in at just over the threshold of 100,000 people, but it still packs a dangerous punch.
The smallish city in Colorado ranks as having the sixth worst property crime rate thanks to the same problem we saw in Tulsa — burglaries.
Rank Last Year: 14
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 935 (44th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 8,535 (1st most dangerous)
Rounding out the top ten is Salt Lake City, UT.
Breaking into the top ten for the first time this year, Salt Lake City has the (surprisingly) highest property crime rank and 44th highest violent crime rank in the country.
Locking It All Up
The final returns from the FBI’s 2016 dataset show that St. Louis, MO ranks as the most dangerous city in America for 2018.
However, there will be a new data set coming out early this year. At that point we can revisit St. Louis’s status — that is if they haven’t beaten us all up already.
For more reading on the dangerous side check out:
Most Dangerous Cities In America For 2018
|Rank||City||Previous Rank||Population||Violent Crimes Per 100k||Property Crimes Per 100k|
|1||St. Louis, MO||1||314,507||1,913||5,930|
|2||Little Rock, AR||4||198,800||1,531||6,898|
|10||Salt Lake City, UT||14||193,918||935||8,535|
|20||North Charleston, SC||44||110,490||898||5,627|
|25||South Bend, IN||46||101,621||1,020||5,083|
|26||Kansas City, MO||22||478,364||1,654||4,356|
|32||San Bernardino, CA||18||217,303||1,324||4,223|
|33||West Palm Beach, FL||42||108,074||882||5,180|
|45||San Francisco, CA||23||871,155||710||5,441|
|46||San Antonio, TX||69||1,498,642||717||5,190|
|47||Pompano Beach, FL||51||109,362||851||4,759|
|49||Baton Rouge, LA||48||228,389||938||4,349|
|50||Fort Lauderdale, FL||47||181,218||631||5,865|
|53||New Orleans, LA||59||397,208||1,069||3,920|
|54||New Haven, CT||–||130,425||934||4,210|
|59||St. Petersburg, FL||36||259,510||665||4,933|
|69||Oklahoma City, OK||71||641,681||783||3,901|
|71||Des Moines, IA||73||211,501||707||4,199|
|82||Corpus Christi, TX||106||327,948||709||3,719|