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:
- Muskegon Heights (Photos)
- Detroit (Photos)
- Benton Harbor (Photos)
- Benton Township
- Jackson (Photos)
- Flint Township
- Kalamazoo (Photos)
- Harper Woods (Photos)
- Ecorse (Photos)
- Flint (Photos)
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.
How we determined the most dangerous cities in Michigan for 2018?
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 2016 data, specifically the 2016 Crime In The United States Report. We will update the results when data becomes available for 2017 in October 2018.
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 217 cities in Michigan.
We then ranked each city from 1 to 217 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.
Read on for a detailed look at the 10 most dangerous cities in Michigan.
1. Muskegon Heights
Population: 10,785 Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,835
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,340
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 10,785 residents, is, according to the FBI, a very dangerous place.
There were more than 198 violent crimes here in 2016, meaning that 1 in 54 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 2015.
Population: 669,673Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 2,046
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,723
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 2016, there were more than 13,705 residents attacked, murdered or raped.
3. Benton Harbor
Population: 9,963Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,796
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,396
Benton Harbor is, statistically one of the most violent place to live in Michigan — clocking in at 3rd place. In 2016, there were 179 violent crimes there, meaning residents have a 1 in 55 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.
4. Benton Township
Population: 14,413 Rank Last Year: N/A
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,103
Property Crimes Per 100k: 7,590
Located in eastern Michigan, Benton Township is one of the smaller cities to appear on this list.
Benton Township has achieved some impressive improvements in its crime rate in recent years, with violent crime falling by 34% from 2014-16, and property crime falling by about half as much.
Still, folks living in Benton Township had a 1 in 13.2 chance of being the victim of theft or arson in 2016, which is pretty unacceptable.
Population: 33,060 Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,237
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,549
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 409 of its residents report violent attacks in 2016.
6. Flint Township
Population: 30,460 Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 3)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 965
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,436
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 103 people was attacked in 2016.
Population: 76,389Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 4)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,210
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,216
Kalamazoo, located in Kalamazoo County, is the 7th most dangerous and 12th most violent city in Michigan.
Violent crime has remained high from 2014-16, during which time property crime fell by only small amounts.
8. Harper Woods
Population: 13,764Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 3)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 908
Property Crimes Per 100k: 7,359
Harper Woods, a Detroit suburb, has seen its crime increase overall for the last few years. According to the FBI, violent crimes have nearly doubled here, and residents have a 1 in 110 chance of being robbed.
Additionally, there were 125 attacks in a city of only 13,764 residents.
Population: 9,213Rank Last Year: N/A
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,617
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,723
Ecorse is the smallest city to make this list.
Violent crime rose between 2014-16, leaving residents a 1 in 61 chance of being the victim of violence in 2016 (a rate that would earn a top 10 spot in most states).
Ecorse’s already horrible property crime statistics also got worse in these years, going up between 2014-16.
Population: 97,548Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 4)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,583
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,406
Flint has more problems than just water — namely crime. It’s the 10th most dangerous city in Michigan.
Statistically, 1 in 63 people in Flint was the victim of a rape, attack or outright killed in 2016. That’s a really large number — even much higher than Detroit.
Crime in Flint has actually gone down; just four years ago, that number was 1 in 40. And that’s just residents who actually reported a crime. Chances are it was even higher than that.
Locking It All Up In Michigan
The latest FBI crime data shows that Muskegon Heights ranks as the most dangerous city in Michigan for 2018.
However, there will be new data coming out later this year. At that point we can revisit Muskegon Heights’s status — that is if they haven’t beaten us all up already.
If you’re curious enough, here are the safest cities in Michigan:
- Thetford Township
- Kinross Township
- Raisin Township
For more Michigan reading , check out:
- We Gave Random People A Michigan Education. Their Reactions Are Hilarious.
- 30 Things That Will Definitely Happen To You When Moving To Michigan
- A Fascinating List Of What Music Michigan Cities Listen To Most
Detailed List Of The Most Dangeroues Cities In Michigan
|Buena Vista Township||31||31||8,158|
|Van Buren Township||50||64||28,090|
|Sault Ste. Marie||55||131||13,763|
|Mount Morris Township||58||30||20,502|