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, Little Rock, AR has the highest crime rate. It ranked as the most dangerous city in America for 2017 based on the data.
Here’s a look at the top ten most dangerous cities:
- Little Rock, AR (Photos)
- Springfield, MO (Photos)
- St. Louis, MO (Photos)
- Albuquerque, NM (Photos)
- Memphis, TN (Photos)
- Oakland, CA (Photos)
- Tulsa, OK (Photos)
- Pueblo, CO (Photos)
- Tacoma, WA (Photos)
- Chattanooga, TN (Photos)
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 71st 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.
How We Determined The Most Dangerous Cities In America 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 first release of 2016 data, specifically the 2016 Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report. This data set is perfect for this analysis since it only looks at cities with over 100,000 people.
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 — Little Rock. Read on for a bit more on why these cities have such high crime rates.
Or check out the safest cities in America.
1. Little Rock
Population: 198,647Violent Crime Per 100k: 712
Property Crime Per 100k: 3,260
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 net’s Little Rock at the top of our ranking.
Population: 166,860Violent Crime Per 100k: 685
Property Crime Per 100k: 3,765
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 it’s violent crime ranks outside of the top ten at eleven.
3. St. Louis
Population: 317,095Violent Crime Per 100k: 877
Property Crime Per 100k: 2,687
Home to a specific type of BBQ (grilled) and a specific type of crime (violent), St. Louis ranks third 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 highest violent crime rank among all big cities in America. It’s the dot way out to the right 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.
Population: 559,721Violent Crime Per 100k: 517
Property Crime Per 100k: 3,195
We’re sure Walter White wouldn’t be surprised to see Albuquerque on the list. Although, it’s 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.
Population: 657,936Violent Crime Per 100k: 871
Property Crime Per 100k: 2,558
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 second highest in America. That also implies the violent crime isn’t as bad as some of the other cities ‘featured’ here.
Population: 419,481Violent Crime Per 100k: 703
Property Crime Per 100k: 2,729
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 Franisco 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.
Population: 401,520Violent Crime Per 100k: 514
Property Crime Per 100k: 2,872
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 eleventh worst in the country. Burglaries, in particular, are a problem — Tulsa has the fourth highest burglary rate for big cities.
Population: 108,810Violent Crime Per 100k: 492
Property Crime Per 100k: 3,160
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.
Population: 206,884Violent Crime Per 100k: 488
Property Crime Per 100k: 3,284
Maybe Toyota should consider a name change for its flagship truck, Tacoma isn’t such a safe city.
The port city outside of Seattle ranks as having the third highest property crime rank in the city, but only the 30th worst violent crime rank. All that really means is that criminals won’t beat you up when they steal your coffee.
Population: 174,969Violent Crime Per 100k: 498
Property Crime Per 100k: 2,735
Rounding out the top ten is Chattanooga, TN.
The second entrant from Tennessee, Chattanooga has the 14th highest property crime rank and 25th highest violent crime rank in the country.
Locking It All Up
The early returns from the FBI’s first 2016 dataset show that Little Rock, AR ranks as the most dangerous city in America for 2017.
However, there will be a second, larger set of data coming out later this year. At that point we can revisit Little Rock’s status — that is if they haven’t beaten us all up already.
For more reading on the dangerous side check out: