Do you live in one of the most dangerous cities in Michigan?
We all watch the news and see reports on Facebook of the latest crimes that happen in our hometowns. But it can be hard to tell at a big picture level how dangerous our town actually is.
No one wants to feel unsafe, and statistically speaking, odds are that where you live is most likely relatively safe. In order to help the good people of Michigan — and anyone looking to move to Michigan — know just how close they are to danger, we took data from the annual FBI report and did some serious analysis.
The data shows that these ten cities are currently the most dangerous in the Wolverine State for 2019:
- Muskegon Heights (Photos)
- Detroit (Photos)
- Benton Township
- Benton Harbor (Photos)
- Kalamazoo (Photos)
- Flint Township
- Jackson (Photos)
- Highland Park (Photos)
- Albion (Photos)
- Ecorse (Photos)
After analyzing 220 cities in Michigan, why did Muskegon Heights take the top spot?
For the answer to this question and a detailed explanation of the data and analysis we used in creating this ranking, read on.
Or learn more about the safest places in Michigan.
For more Michigan reading, check out:
- 10 Best Places To Live In Michigan
- These Are The 10 Best Counties To Live In Michigan
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Michigan
Graphing The Most Dangerous And Safest Places In Michigan
How we determined the most dangerous cities in Michigan 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 JUST released 2017 data, specifically the 2017 Crime In The United States Report. We will update the results when data becomes available in September 2019.
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 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 — Muskegon Heights.
Read on for a detailed look at the 10 most dangerous cities in Michigan.
It seems like most of the top cities on this list are all on the coast of Lake Michigan. Muskegon Heights, a smaller town with almost 10,786 residents, is, according to the FBI, a very dangerous place.
There were more than 195 violent crimes here in 2017, meaning that 1 in 55 residents was the victim of a serious attack. Crime seems to be ticking up here as well, as violent crimes have gone up 10% since 2016.
This isn’t the place to jump on and bash Detroit, though, if you were to do a poll of people, they’d most likely guess that Detroit would top this list. However, per capita, it does not. In fact, perhaps due to the population decrease of Detroit, the number of crimes has gone down since 2011.
Obviously, Detroit is a very dangerous place. In 2017, there were more than 13,796 residents attacked, murdered or raped.
3. Benton Township
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,254 (10th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,831 (2nd most dangerous)
More on Benton Township:
Benton Township has issues with a recent increase in crime.
That means residents of Benton Township had a 1 in 79 chance of being the victim of a violent crime and a 1 in 17.1 chance of being the victim of a property crime.
Benton Harbor is, statistically one of the most violent place to live in Michigan — clocking in at 4th place. In 2017, there were 218 violent crimes there, meaning residents have a 1 in 45 chance of being raped, attacked or outright killed.
To put this into perspective, since the average person has 300 Facebook friends, if every single one of them lived in Benton Harbor, 6 of them would have faced death last year.
Though there has been a modest drop in violent crimes, the alarming increase in property crime from 2015-17indicates that Kalamazoo isn’t satisfied with being at the bottom of this list.
Kalamazoo residents had a 1 in 83 chance of a violent crime, while having a 1 in 24.0 chance of a property crime, 11th and 10th in the state, respectively.
6. Flint Township
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,010 (17th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,111 (4th most dangerous)
More on Flint Township:
Flint Township is slightly less dangerous than Flint, but it is still a very uncomfortable place to live if you cherish safety. While the number of robberies here has gone down lately, violent crimes have gone up. Statistically, 1 out of 98 people was attacked in 2017.
Jackson is a bit of an outlier here. It’s one of the only cities not on the Lake Michigan coast or a Detroit suburb to make the top 10 for most dangerous places to live.
Jackson, a half hour drive west of Ann Arbor, saw 371 of its residents report violent attacks in 2017.
Another Detroit suburb, Highland Park is, overall, slightly more dangerous than surrounding communities. However, between 2016 and 2017, the number of crimes dropped. Hopefully, that trend continues into the near future.
A resident of Highland Park had a 1 in 58 chance of being involved in a violent attack in 2017.
Albion has seen recent crime trend upwards. Violent crime has increased in 2015-17, with most recent numbers showing an high 1 in 79 chance of being the victim of a violent crime.
Property crime is also high at 1 in 26.6 chance of being a victim.
Ecorse’s motto might tout that the city is “a great place to live,” but its status as the 10th most dangerous city in Michigan might stain that saying a bit.
Ecorse residents have a 1 in 27.9 chance of being the victim of a property crime every year.
Violent crime has also gone up nearly 30% between 2015-17, with a higher than 1 in 65 chance of being the victim of violence.
Locking It All Up In Michigan
The latest FBI crime data shows that Muskegon Heights ranks as the most dangerous city in Michigan for 2019.
We want to point out again that there’s still safes places in Muskegon Heights 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:
- Kinross Township (Pop. 7,396)
- Thetford Township (Pop. 6,656)
- Grosse Ile Township (Pop. 10,084)
For more Michigan reading, check out:
- 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Michigan
- These Are The 10 Best Places To Retire In Michigan For 2018
- These Are The 10 Richest Cities In Michigan
- 10 Safest Places In Michigan
- 10 Worst Places To Live In Michigan
Detailed List Of The Most Dangerous Cities In Michigan
|32||Buena Vista Township||8,084|
|44||Mount Morris Township||20,365|
|63||Van Buren Township||27,911|
|70||Sault Ste. Marie||13,630|