The 10 Murder Capitals Of America For 2021


These are the cities in America where people were killed most often, according to the latest FBI numbers.

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Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2021. This is our seventh time ranking the murder capitals of America. This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment — don’t freak out.

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Crime in America has been slowly but steadily dropping for the past several decades.

And despite a small, recent uptick, it’s basically as safe as it’s ever been.

However, much like how some parts of a city are more dangerous than others, there are parts of America that still haven’t got the memo that were in a more peaceful time. These are the cities in America were murder is relatively common — yet, we must stress, still very uncommon.

In an effort to you make you better aware of these potential danger zones, we dug into the most recent FBI data to determine where the murder rates are the highest amongst America’s largest cities.

In a surprise to no one that’s looked at the data before, Chicago isn’t in the top ten — it’s such a huge city that even high absolute numbers don’t translate into actually high murder rates.

These are the 10 cities in America with the highest murder rates per capita:

  1. St. Louis, MO
  2. Baltimore, MD
  3. Detroit, MI
  4. Dayton, OH
  5. Baton Rouge, LA
  6. New Orleans, LA
  7. Kansas City, MO
  8. Memphis, TN
  9. Cleveland, OH
  10. Richmond, VA

The city with the highest murder rate according to the most recent FBI Data? That would be St. Louis with 0.0006 murders per capita — or about 1 for every 1,549 people, which is relatively low compared to historical norms and isn’t THAT dangerous.

So while murder might be a problem in these cities, we have a feeling that the top offenders will get their murder rates under control in the comming years.

Read on for more information on how we calculated these numbers, or feel free to check out something a little less dreary:

The 10 Cities With The Highest Murder Rate In America For 2021

St. Louis, MO

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 300,521
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Murders: 194 (8th worst)
Murders Per Capita: 0.0006 (worst)
More on St. Louis:  Data | Crime | Cost Of Living

Baltimore, MD

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 597,239
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Murders: 348 (2nd worst)
Murders Per Capita: 0.0006 (2nd worst)
More on Baltimore:  Data | Crime | Cost Of Living

Detroit, MI

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 663,502
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 2)
Murders: 275 (4th worst)
Murders Per Capita: 0.0004 (3rd worst)
More on Detroit:  Data | Crime | Cost Of Living

Dayton, OH

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 140,427
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 7)
Murders: 48 (29th worst)
Murders Per Capita: 0.0003 (4th worst)
More on Dayton:  Data | Crime | Cost Of Living

Baton Rouge, LA

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 220,648
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 2)
Murders: 70 (2worst)
Murders Per Capita: 0.0003 (5th worst)
More on Baton Rouge:  Data | Crime | Cost Of Living

New Orleans, LA

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 394,498
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Murders: 121 (14th worst)
Murders Per Capita: 0.0003 (6th worst)
More on New Orleans:  Data | Crime | Cost Of Living

Kansas City, MO

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 495,964
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 2)
Murders: 150 (11th worst)
Murders Per Capita: 0.0003 (7th worst)
More on Kansas City:  Data | Crime | Cost Of Living

Memphis, TN

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 650,410
Rank Last Year: 8 (No Change)
Murders: 190 (9th worst)
Murders Per Capita: 0.0003 (8th worst)
More on Memphis:  Data | Crime | Cost Of Living

Cleveland, OH

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 381,829
Rank Last Year: 17 (Up 8)
Murders: 92 (17th worst)
Murders Per Capita: 0.0002 (9th worst)
More on Cleveland:  Data | Crime | Cost Of Living

Richmond, VA

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 230,721
Rank Last Year: 15 (Up 5)
Murders: 55 (26th worst)
Murders Per Capita: 0.0002 (10th worst)
More on Richmond:  Data | Crime | Cost Of Living

How We Determined The Murder Capitals Of America For 2021

While there are surveys and public polls on what cities in a state are the most dangerous, we didn’t want to rely on speculation and opinion. Instead, we looked at the hard numbers from the FBI’s last year of reporting. Specifically, we analyzed the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report which summarizes the number of murders that happen in each city per year.

We only looked at cities in America with over 100,000 people — that left us with 277 cities in America to analyze.

We then calculated the number of murders per capita for these cities to make everything an apples to apples comparison along with the raw number of murders — because more absolute murder is more murder.

We then averaged the two rankings together to create a Murder Index.

The cities with a higher Murder Index were deemed the “Murder Capitals of America For 2021”. You can download the data here.

We must note that this report is not an analysis of the effectiveness of local police departments. It simply states where murders occurred.

Locking Up Murders Row For 2021

There you have it — a look at the cities with the highhest murder rates in America for 2019 with St. Louis at the top of the list.

If you’re looking for the safest cities in America when it comes to murder, check out Thousand Oaks and Bend.

For more reading around America:

The 100 Cities In America With The Most Murders For 2021

Rank City Population Murders
1 St. Louis, MO 300,521 194
2 Baltimore, MD 597,239 348
3 Detroit, MI 663,502 275
4 Dayton, OH 140,427 48
5 Baton Rouge, LA 220,648 70
6 New Orleans, LA 394,498 121
7 Kansas City, MO 495,964 150
8 Memphis, TN 650,410 190
9 Cleveland, OH 381,829 92
10 Richmond, VA 230,721 55
11 Washington, DC 705,749 166
12 Miami Gardens, FL 113,786 26
13 North Charleston, SC 115,312 26
14 Peoria, IL 110,955 25
15 Columbia, SC 133,790 29
16 San Bernardino, CA 216,715 46
17 Cincinnati, OH 303,335 64
18 Newark, NJ 281,422 57
19 Little Rock, AR 198,382 38
20 Shreveport, LA 187,556 35
21 Buffalo, NY 255,686 47
22 Chicago, IL 2,707,064 492
23 Chattanooga, TN 181,848 33
24 Oakland, CA 434,036 78
25 Hartford, CT 122,245 21
26 High Point, NC 113,307 19
27 Milwaukee, WI 590,923 97
28 Rochester, NY 205,769 33
29 Beaumont, TX 118,562 19
30 West Palm Beach, FL 112,798 17
31 Norfolk, VA 242,813 36
32 Dallas, TX 1,363,295 198
33 Greensboro, NC 298,025 43
34 Richmond, CA 110,988 16
35 Jacksonville, FL 909,142 129
36 South Bend, IN 101,944 14
37 Tulsa, OK 401,700 55
38 Akron, OH 197,882 27
39 Newport News, VA 177,319 24
40 Syracuse, NY 142,438 19
41 Durham, NC 280,282 37
42 Paterson, NJ 144,866 19
43 Springfield, MA 154,306 20
44 Toledo, OH 273,505 34
45 Joliet, IL 148,155 18
46 Bridgeport, CT 144,908 17
47 Houston, TX 2,355,606 275
48 Knoxville, TN 188,666 22
49 Fayetteville, NC 209,614 24
50 Oklahoma City, OK 657,890 75
51 Fort Lauderdale, FL 184,765 21
52 Hampton, VA 133,173 15
53 Anchorage, AK 287,731 32
54 Lafayette, LA 126,694 14
55 Stockton, CA 313,604 34
56 Minneapolis, MN 431,016 46
57 Antioch, CA 112,641 12
58 Odessa, TX 123,468 13
59 Topeka, KS 125,655 13
60 Tallahassee, FL 195,104 20
61 Lansing, MI 118,953 12
62 New Haven, CT 130,494 13
63 Vallejo, CA 122,657 12
64 Las Cruces, NM 103,520 10
65 Fort Wayne, IN 269,366 26
66 Rockford, IL 145,719 14
67 Corpus Christi, TX 329,320 31
68 Evansville, IN 117,700 11
69 Killeen, TX 151,832 14
70 Denver, CO 728,941 67
71 St. Paul, MN 310,263 28
72 Wichita, KS 390,080 35
73 Miami, FL 480,505 43
74 Columbus, OH 906,120 81
75 Columbia, MO 125,017 11
76 Bakersfield, CA 388,080 34
77 Clarksville, TN 159,996 14
78 Orlando, FL 292,120 25
79 Lexington, KY 326,070 26
80 Springfield, IL 114,393 9
81 Pomona, CA 152,776 12
82 Phoenix, AZ 1,688,722 131
83 Tampa, FL 400,501 31
84 Rialto, CA 103,965 8
85 Fort Worth, TX 915,237 69
86 Amarillo, TX 201,036 15
87 Aurora, CO 380,600 28
88 Tacoma, WA 218,650 16
89 Tucson, AZ 548,374 40
90 Long Beach, CA 467,974 34
91 Providence, RI 179,762 13
92 North Las Vegas, NV 249,854 18
93 Waco, TX 139,870 10
94 Moreno Valley, CA 210,979 15
95 Pompano Beach, FL 113,536 8
96 Worcester, MA 184,945 13
97 Palm Bay, FL 115,520 8
98 San Antonio, TX 1,559,166 105
99 Glendale, AZ 253,951 17
100 Virginia Beach, VA 449,038 30

Murder Places By State

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.

One thought on “The 10 Murder Capitals Of America For 2021

  1. Your racist comment about black people in Baltimore sickens me. You clearly do not live in this city, because you would be aware of its many positive aspects.

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