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 209 based on the data.
This our fifth time ranking the most danerous citis in America and St. Louis takes top the top for the third time.
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 62nd 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:
- The 10 Safest Cities In America
- These Are The 10 Cheapest States In America
- Worst Places To Live By State
Breaking Down Crime In The Safest And Most Dangerous Cities In America
How We Determined The Most Dangerous Cities In America for 2019
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 2018 data, specifically the 2017 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: 2,082 (1st most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 6,041 (9th 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.
2. Memphis, TN
Rank Last Year: 4
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 2,003 (4th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 6,297 (6th 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.
Rank Last Year: 2
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,633 (6th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 6,932 (5th 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: 1,338 (12th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 8,853 (1st 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.
Rank Last Year: 6
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,369 (11th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 7,365 (3rd 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.
6. Oakland, CA
Rank Last Year: 5
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,299 (14th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,982 (11th 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: 14
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,065 (23rd most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,985 (10th most dangerous)
The second city from Tennessee on the list is Chattanooga. The less famous version of Nashville and Memphis, Chattanooga holds its own in property crime where it ranks 10th worst in the country.
At least violent crime isn’t awful in the city.
8. Pueblo, CO
Rank Last Year: 9
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,052 (26th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 6,167 (8th 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 8th worst property crime rate thanks to the same problem we saw in Chattanooga — burglaries.
Rank Last Year: 12
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 2,027 (3rd most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,928 (36th most dangerous)
Baltimore rocks, at least when it comes to violent crime. It ranks as having the 3rd highest violent crime rate in the country for 2019.
Fortunately(?) the property crime rate is only the 36th worst in America. So at least people won’t steal your wallet while they assault you.
10. Anchorage, AK
Rank Last Year: 18
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,203 (16th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,415 (25th most dangerous)
Rounding out the top ten is Anchorage, AK.
Breaking into the top ten for the first time this year, Anchorage has the (surprisingly) 16th highest violent crime rank and 25th highest property crime rank in the country.
Locking It All Up
The final returns from the FBI’s 2017 dataset show that St. Louis, MO ranks as the most dangerous city in America for 2019.
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.
Here’s a look at the safest cities in America according to the data:
For more reading on the dangerous side check out:
Most Dangerous Cities In America For 2019
|Rank||City||Previous Rank||Population||Violent Crimes Per 100k||Property Crimes Per 100k|
|1||St. Louis, MO||1||310,284||2,082||6,041|
|3||Little Rock, AR||2||199,314||1,633||6,932|
|11||Baton Rouge, LA||49||227,403||1,026||5,594|
|15||Salt Lake City, UT||10||194,968||878||8,049|
|18||North Charleston, SC||21||111,305||921||5,652|
|19||Kansas City, MO||26||484,948||1,724||4,543|
|20||South Bend, IN||25||101,857||1,044||5,007|
|28||San Francisco, CA||44||881,255||715||6,168|
|30||New Orleans, LA||53||397,447||1,121||4,243|
|35||Pompano Beach, FL||46||111,027||862||4,800|
|37||West Palm Beach, FL||33||109,459||827||4,819|
|39||San Bernardino, CA||32||217,259||1,291||3,867|
|51||San Antonio, TX||47||1,520,712||707||4,844|
|54||New Haven, CT||54||129,953||846||4,009|
|58||Fort Lauderdale, FL||50||180,972||592||5,529|
|68||St. Petersburg, FL||60||263,712||698||4,312|
|69||Oklahoma City, OK||70||648,260||787||3,752|
|73||Des Moines, IA||72||217,277||670||4,413|
|84||Miami Gardens, FL||118||114,008||785||3,264|
|90||Corpus Christi, TX||84||329,256||702||3,565|
|91||High Point, NC||104||112,368||672||3,703|
|97||St. Paul, MN||117||306,696||650||3,565|