Most Dangerous Cities In Michigan For 2021


We used data and science to identify the most dangerous cities in the Wolverine State for 2021.

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This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. It is our seventh time ranking the most dangerous places to live in Michigan and is updated for 2021.

Michigan would like to think that the only things dangerous in their state is the Detroit lions' defensive line and driving over the Mackinac Bridge during a snowstorm; but sadly, that's not the case.

There is danger lurking in every corner of the mitten in our top ten most dangerous cities in Michigan for 2021 list. Let's be real, we're not talking about driving 5 mph over the speed limit kind of danger. The type of danger we're talking about will gets people on the news. How does one navigate these dangerous cities when trying to make an informed decision on what city you should call home? We can answer that.

To compile our list, we looked at violent crimes and property crimes in cities with a population of 5,000. Folks, the cities that made our list have robberies happening in broad daylight, car jackings, and daily shootings. There are neighborhoods in these cities that you shouldn't drive thru, ever, and there are areas that you definitely shouldn't be in after dark. We're not saying that there aren't little pockets of goodness in these cities. The neighborhoods and shopping centers in these Michigan cities are not ALL bad. We do recommend that you spend some time studying them before you make a move. And If do you choose one of these cities, you're going to have to be aware of your surroundings at all times.

It's not entirely Michigan's fault. They are the sixth largest state in terms of population. As with most situations, there's bound to be problems with that many people. To see where these Michigan cities with more issues than a newspaper are located, take a look below at our most dangerous cities in The Great Lakes State for 2021.

What are the circumstances that make these Michigan cities this way? Maybe not enough jobs, low wages, drugs, gangs, close to larger cities that push their problems onto surrounding cities; and in Michigan's case, freezing temperatures and boatloads of snow?

We're not entirely sure. But one thing we are sure about is our number one most dangerous city in Michigan is Benton Township.

The Michigan cities on our most dangerous list could definitely use some some TLC. If you're looking to be that diamond in the ruff, or you're just curious to see if your city made the list, take a look at our list below. And if you don't see your city there, head to the bottom.

Learn more about the safest places in Michigan.

If you're looking for something more national, check out the most dangerous cities in America or the most dangerous states in America.

For more Michigan reading, check out:

The 10 Most Dangerous Places To Live In Michigan For 2021

1. Benton Township

Benton Township, MI

Population: 14,372
Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,996 (Third most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,656 (Most dangerous)
More on Benton Township:

When it comes to Michigan's most dangerous places, it's hard to top Benton Township.

The township had the highest property crime rate in Michigan for 2019, with residents facing a 1 in 17 chance of having their property stolen or damaged. In other words, make sure you still have all your valuables after a day out at Silver Beach.

Benton Township doesn't exactly get a pass on violent crime either -- in fact, the rate of rape cases here is third highest in Michigan.

Benton Township is located on Lake Michigan in southwestern part of the state.

Muskegon Heights, MI

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 10,717
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 2,164 (Most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,076 (Fourth most dangerous)
More on Muskegon Heights:  Data | Photos

Muskegon Heights had the #1.0 spot on this list last year, so getting to the #2 spot represents a bit of progress in the crime department. Still, Muskegon Heights is the most violent place in Michigan, according to the FBI data, and total crime rate was nearly four times higher than the statewide average.

The murder rate in Muskegon Heights was the highest in Michigan for 2019 and residents had a 1 in 46 chance of being the victim of an attack. All the more reason to hurry home from P.J. Hoffmaster State Park before the sun goes down.

You also want to make sure you're religious about locking your doors here because Muskegon Heights also has the highest burglary rate in Michigan.

Detroit, MI

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 663,502
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,965 (Fourth most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,302 (Eighth most dangerous)
More on Detroit:  Data | Photos

Between bankruptcy, a staggering 36% poverty rate, and an unemployment rate nearly five times higher than the national average, it's no secret that Detroit has had its share of struggles. It's also no wonder 10% of the population has fled the city in the past decade.

And with all those frustrations, it's no surprise that crime is also a big issue in Detroit. Motown had the second highest murder rate and second highest burglary rate in Michigan, for starters. On top of that, Detroit recorded 6,886 car thefts in 2019, so you want to be very picky about where you leave your car in the Motor City.

All that being said, Detroit is still a big city, so if you stick to Detroit's safest neighborhoods, like the area around the Detroit Riverfront, you should be all right.

Kalamazoo, MI

Source: Public domain

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 76,827
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,235 (Ninth most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,657 (Fifth most dangerous)
More on Kalamazoo:  Data | Photos

The fourth most dangerous place in Michigan goes to Kalamazoo, a city of 76,827 in the southwestern part of the state.

Folks in Kalamazoo had a 1 in 21 chance of being the victim of a property crime in 2019, so you'll want to be wary about your belongings here.

We just hope they have enough security at the Kalamazoo Valley Museum to stop a heist, seeing as Kalamazoo had the third highest burglary rate in Michigan.

On top of that, 949 people in Kalamazoo were attacked, murdered, or raped in 2019.

Jackson, MI

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 32,503
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,107 (12th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,135 (Ninth most dangerous)
More on Jackson:  Data | Photos

Located 40 miles west of Ann Arbor and 35 miles south of Lansing, Jackson is a bit of an outlier on our list -- one of the few places not near Lake Michigan or Detroit.

Apparently, too many of Jackson's residents became enamored with the local Cell Block 7 museum and decided they'd like to become permanent residents.

Seriously, though, Jackson averaged about one violent crime a day, nearly four property crimes a day, and one rape a week in 2019, so it's not a good place to let your guard down.

6. Lansing Township

Lansing Township, MI

Population: 8,294
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 843 (21st most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,317 (Second most dangerous)
More on Lansing Township:

Lansing Township is made up of five non-contiguous areas that surround Lansing's east and west sides. That must make it a bit harder for local police to get their jobs done.

It's hard to say whether the east or west side is contributing the most to the township's high crime rate, but there's no denying that it has the second highest property crime rate in Michigan.

Residents had a 1 in 18 chance of having their belongings stolen or damaged in 2019

On the bright side, Lansing Township is the least violent place on this list.

Three Rivers, MI

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 7,643
Rank Last Year: 16 (Up 9)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 981 (18th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,605 (Sixth most dangerous)
More on Three Rivers:  Data | Photos

Three Rivers sounds like a peaceful name for this small city, but it's far from peaceful in Michigan's seventh most dangerous place. Three Rivers had the fourth highest rate of rape cases in the state in 2019.

But Three Rivers has Michigan's sixth highest overall crime rate mostly because of the prevalence of property crime. There was a property crime committed every day, on average, to give you an idea.

At least you can find a relaxing space at Hidden Mash Sanctuary; just don't stay out too late.

Benton Harbor, MI

Overall SnackAbility

2
/10

Population: 9,801
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 5)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,938 (Fifth most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,264 (21st most dangerous)
More on Benton Harbor:  Data | Photos

A neighbor of Benton Township, Benton Harbor comes in as the eighth most dangerous place to call home in the Wolverine State.

Benton Harbor is in the top ten statewide for all the wrong reasons - murder, rape, and burglary rates, not to mention unemployment. And with the median household income barely above the poverty line, it's safe to say there's a lot of work to be done in Benton Harbor.

But hey, at least the Silver Beach Carousel has a 5/5 rating.

Highland Park, MI

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 10,703
Rank Last Year: 9 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 2,064 (Second most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,064 (25th most dangerous)
More on Highland Park:  Data | Photos

Highland Park has been featured at the top of our list of the worst places in Michigan for a couple of years running now, and a big reason why is crime.

Of course, with a poverty rate of over 45% and the highest unemployment rate in Michigan, it isn't hard to imagine why criminal activity is so prevalent here. All we're saying is that if folks had slightly better odds than 1 in 48 of being attacked over

a year, we'd give a more favorable review.

Highland Park is surrounded by Detroit, but things are so bad here that the larger city doesn't want to absorb it.

Ypsilanti, MI

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 21,178
Rank Last Year: 19 (Up 9)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,019 (15th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,475 (16th most dangerous)
More on Ypsilanti:  Data | Photos

Located some 10 miles southeast of Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti comes in as Michigan's tenth most dangerous place.

We're not sure if college kids are totally to blame for Ypsilanti's above-average crime numbers, but Eastern Michigan University does have around 20,000 students, which has to inflate the stats in a city of 21,178.

That being said, Ypsilanti does have the 12th highest total crime rate in the state, thanks to a good mix of both property and violent crime.

Graphing The Most Dangerous And Safest Places In Michigan

Most Dangerous Cities In Michigan Graph

Click To Enlarge

How we determined the most dangerous cities in Michigan 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 Michigan cities over 5,000 in population. That left us with 220 cities in Michigan.

We then ranked each city from 1 to 220 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 Michigan -- Benton Township. 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 Michigan.

Locking It All Up In Michigan

The latest FBI crime data shows that Benton Township ranks as the most dangerous city in Michigan for 2021.

We want to point out again that there's still safes places in Benton Township and that this isn't a comment on the people that live there. So please don't beat us up.

If you're curious enough, here are the safest cities in Michigan:

  1. Spring Arbor Township (Pop. 8,009)
  2. Grosse Ile Township (Pop. 10,135)
  3. Thetford Township (Pop. 6,689)

For more Michigan reading, check out:

Where Are The Most Dangerous Cities In Michigan?

Rank City Population Violent Crimes Per Capita Property Crimes Per Capita
1 Benton Township 14,372 1,996 5,656
2 Muskegon Heights 10,717 2,164 5,076
3 Detroit 663,502 1,965 4,302
4 Kalamazoo 76,827 1,235 4,657
5 Jackson 32,503 1,107 4,135
6 Lansing Township 8,294 843 5,317
7 Three Rivers 7,643 981 4,605
8 Benton Harbor 9,801 1,938 3,264
9 Highland Park 10,703 2,064 3,064
10 Ypsilanti 21,178 1,019 3,475

How Is Your Town In ?

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.

19 thoughts on “Most Dangerous Cities In Michigan For 2021

  1. I believe there is a flaw in your analysis that has thrown Fruitport under the bus. The Village of Fruitport does indeed have 1,090 people. However, I’m certain that not all of those crime statistics fell within the Village limits. More likely they also included Fruitport Charter Township which has 12,500 citizens. The photo from Google maps is not in the Village of Fruitport, but in the edge of Fruitport township where there are a large number of big-box stores surrounding the shopping mall that serves the greater Muskegon area. Muskegon county has a population of over 170,000 and I’m going to guess that the vast majority of the property crimes listed were for the mall and big-box stores for shoplifting or damaged vehicles in the parking lots of the stores. It certainly does not reflect the character of Fruitport Charter Township or the Village of Fruitport when ‘Fruitport’ is listed as the ‘Most Dangerous Place’ in Michigan.

  2. I live in the Village of Fruitport and I wonder how accurate this info is. The article mentions the village but the picture is of the township. The township and village boast more people than the number shared. Many people confuse the 2. I wonder if the number reported are all crimes ONLY from the Village of Fruitport or does it include Fruitport Township too? Crime is not something to take lightly, but when reporting on these crimes, fact should be.

  3. It would be nice if police would go after these criminals instead of focusing so much on writing a ticket for traffic violations get out and stop the real crime and we would not be in the top ten !

  4. No Hamtramck on this list? Seriously? The *entire town* is red/orange on Trulia’s crime map, the whole thing! I can only conclude this report is inaccurate, to say the least.

  5. , that is not always a bad thing. When I was a boy, my faehtr owned two handguns, and it never occurred to me to pick one up. If I wanted to shoot, I asked my faehtr and we went shooting. But those guns were my faehtr’s, they could hurt people, and they didn’t belong to me. When I was very small they were out of reach, of course. When I was older, my faehtr taught me how to use them safely.We live in a very different society now. The only reason I suggest mandatory sentencing for crimes committed with firearms is that the stigma of committing crimes with firearms seems to be quite low nowadays. An ethical framework begins at home, but not very many parents seem concerned with that at present…though I am finding more and more parents who do care about more than their salary or the newest fancy car to drive. Some of the poorest parents (in terms of money) are among the best of parents (in terms of parenting), if you will excuse the world play.I could be wrong, of course. Most posters to websites don’t admit to that kind of possibility, but I do. Yet the facts remain. It is certainly true that crimes committed using firearms have increased greatly in number. I am happy to hear other, better solutions.”Bobh” makes a great point, and it illustrates why my Libertarian friends don’t seem to respect me much. On the one hand, I think it is strange that we require testing and licensure for drivers—along with mandatory insurance in the several states in which I have lived—but not for firearms. On the other hand, there is no mention of automobiles in the Constitution. I am reminded of the old science-fiction story where the motto goes: “The right to buy find weapons is the right to be free.”But we don’t live in that world, sadly. I am willing to compromise a bit. To me, it all comes down to personal responsibility. If I carry a firearm, I am 100% responsible for it. But most governmental entities do not agree. So they try to institute controls. I am trying to find a compromise (according to Ambrose Bierce, that is defined by a solution which angers everyone).I don’t mean to trivialize the firearm issue, but I do tend to see it in light of the automobile issue. It costs money to get “drivers’ education,” to take the test, and to get the license. Ditto the insurance required most places. Does that discriminate against the poor? How about older people who lose the ability to drive safely. Yup. But notice that most places have “workarounds” for that in many cases.But “Bobh” makes good points. Playing Devil’s advocate, I would say that drivers’ licensure is not the same as firearm licensure due to safety issues of the license holder, and their ability to protect themselves.Yet, as Larry Niven once wrote: freedom multiplied by security equals a constant. The more freedom, the less security. The more security, the less freedom.Again, just my thoughts and I appreciate the responses. “Eric Blair”

  6. I have never understood the Left’s haterd of firearms.I don’t mind registration. I love the idea of a proficiency/safety test before being allowed to own a firearm (heck, the NRA can run the program!). I particularly approve of making people 100% responsible for the misuse of their firearms. And I am 200% behind mandatory sentencing for firearm related crimes.To me, it is obvious that making firearms illegal doesn’t much faze criminals. Unless the goal is to take away ALL firearms, no matter what, everywhere. Until you do that, the only result of such laws will be criminals with firearms and citizens without.But saying that it will make the world safer to take away firearms…well, sure. But why stop *there* in particular? Let’s make everyone travel by mass transit. Let’s truly make alcohol illegal. Car accidents and alcohol-related deaths tote up to what number, per year? Much more than firearms.The list of endless…and it is all predicated that Government, not the individual, knows best.Personally, I think the Left hates firearms because they hate individualism. Just my belief, of course. But a government that doesn’t trust its own citizens to have the ability to defend itself….well, that isn’t much of a government.The evil within our souls is always there—it doesn’t flow out of a firearm or a knife or a baseball bat. It seems that we are blaming the weapon, instead of who wields the weapon.Again, just my opinion. The Leftists don’t like my opinions for obvious reasons, the Rightists don’t think I go far enough, and the Libertarians think I go too far. Oh well.”Eric Blair”

  7. Seriously? No mention of Redford or Inkster or Delray? No mention of Dearborn Heights? No mention of Southfield? Ypsitucky is pretty bad for its size, too.

  8. I’ve been to Jackson had homies who lived there. When you put Jackson on the list, I couldn’t take you seriously, Muskegon Heights is a little rough and violent to for it’s size it’s dangerous but it shouldn’t rank no.2. Flint is far more dangerous than Muskegon Heights, it just taht Muskegon Heights doesn’t have a ,”Good side” and Flint does. Detroit is also more dangerous than Muskegon Heights again, Detroit may not have many good sides but pretty much if you’re not in a violent area you’re in a depressing area too. Pontiac is pretty dangerous also, only thing is state cops locked up most of the criminals and doing a good job but with that being said it’s still more dangerous than Ypsilanti.

    1. Jaron, you are 100% correct about Jackson. I have lived there for 35 years. Saw ups and downs, but by no means is it a “violent” town. Currently its seeing a rebirth in downtown development that has been under way for at least 8 years. Its a great place to be, to shop and especially to live. Granted, in a city of 30k plus you will see areas of economical stress, but that is almost a rule in a city not the exception. Thanks for sticking up for my town.

  9. The picture of Fruitport is actually down town Muskegon. Also Fruitport is probably listed as Dangerous because it borders Muskegon Heights. Fruitport probabally has alot of vandalism ad property stolen from the People that reside in the heights.

  10. This idiot must be from WEST MICHIGAN to post some flaws like this. Clearly every other statistic shows Flint, Detroit, even Pontiac and even Lansing or saginaw is worst than Muskegon. And Flint and Detroit is definitely worst than Muskegon Heights.

  11. The whole Michigan has been turned into one big ghetto!
    The politicians don’t spend money to upgrade the roads in cities and small towns, and the poisonous waters are killing us in Michigan.
    Michigan cities and small town reads are very dangerous. the screws
    of your car will fall off your car! Very irritating to drive any were in Michigan. Michigan is the worse state! The street in my neighborhood was never maintained for 50 years. when it rains a small child can drown in the street waters. Out politicians are liars!

    1. Your an idiot. I doubt you have ever been through all of Michigan, or lived in Michigan at all. I think your just a hateful moron. Most of the state isn’t even bad, it’s dumbasses like you that assume because Michigan has bad parts it all sucks.

  12. Am I supposed to pretend that it’s not a coincidence that all the dangerous cities and areas are in black neighborhoods? Just glanced over that and not a mention of it whatsoever huh

  13. You wrote Flint Township is slightly less dangerous than Flint yet Flint isn’t on your list.

    Saginaw is also missing

  14. i live in burton and i could not believe when it wasnt on this list one day i was walking up my street with my buddy and a homeless man popped out of the woods and was acusing us of stealing his money and his life and me and my buddy both ran as if a killer was after us he was chasing us but than he ran out of breath and also one day i was on my couch and heard this loud bang on my glass door but thankfully there was another door behind it just a standard door but it still scares me to this day thinking if that door hadnt been there and couldve killed me or robbed me

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