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)
- Jackson (Photos)
- Benton Harbor (Photos)
- Harper Woods (Photos)
- Flint (Photos)
- Highland Park (Photos)
- Inkster (Photos)
- Flint Township
- Muskegon (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 2017?
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 2015 data, specifically the 2015 Crime In The United States Report. We will update the results when data becomes available for 2016 in September 2017.
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 212 cities in Michigan.
We then ranked each city from 1 to 212 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.
1. Muskegon Heights
Population: 10,787Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,529
Property Crimes Per 100k: 6,007
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 10,787 residents, is, according to the FBI, a very dangerous place.
There were more than 165 violent crimes here in 2015, meaning that 1 in 65 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 2014.
Population: 673,225Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,759
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,093
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 2015, there were more than 11,846 residents attacked, murdered or raped.
Population: 33,126Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,240
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,458
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 411 of its residents report violent attacks in 2015.
4. Benton Harbor
Population: 10,012Violent Crimes Per 100k: 2,257
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,015
Benton Harbor is, statistically one of the most violent place to live in Michigan — clocking in at 4th place. In 2015, there were 226 violent crimes there, meaning residents have a 1 in 44 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.
5. Harper Woods
Population: 13,833Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,055
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,848
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 94 chance of being robbed.
Additionally, there were 146 attacks in a city of only 13,833 residents.
Population: 98,221Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,477
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,602
Flint has more problems than just water — namely crime. It’s the 6th most dangerous city in Michigan.
Statistically, 1 in 67 people in Flint was the victim of a rape, attack or outright killed in 2015. 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.
7. Highland Park
Population: 10,074Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,647
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,325
Another Detroit suburb, Highland Park is, overall, slightly more dangerous than surrounding communities. However, between 2014 and 2015, the number of crimes dropped. Hopefully, that trend continues into the near future.
A resident of Highland Park had a 1 in 60 chance of being involved in a violent attack in 2015.
Population: 24,657Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,208
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,633
Inkster ranks as the 8th most dangerous city in Michigan.
Over 24,657 people jam pack Inkster which must contribute to its high level of property crime (15th highest overall). Violent crime is a bit less of an issue placing 9th overall.
9. Flint Township
Population: 30,654 Violent Crimes Per 100k: 717
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,578
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 139 people was attacked in 2015.
Population: 38,442Violent Crimes Per 100k: 723
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,195
Muskegon may not even be on this list in another year if the current trends continue — violent crime was more than cut in half between 2013-15, with the number of instances falling from to 278.
Property crime also fell during this time, so Muskegon is improving its crime altogether.
Locking It All Up In Michigan
The latest FBI crime data shows that Muskegon Heights ranks as the most dangerous city in Michigan for 2017.
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:
- Lapeer Township
- Kinross Township
- Cambridge Township
For more Michigan reading , check out:
- These Are The 10 Best Detroit Suburbs
- These Are The 10 Worst Cities For Dating In Michigan
- These Are The 10 Worst Places To Live In Michigan
Detailed List Of The Most Dangeroues Cities In Michigan
|30||Buena Vista Township||8,257|
|31||Mount Morris Township||20,635|
|64||Van Buren Township||28,202|