These Are The 10 Most Dangerous Cities In Michigan For 2018

We used data and science to identify the most dangerous cities in the Wolverine State for 2018.

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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:

  1. Muskegon Heights (Photos)
  2. Detroit (Photos)
  3. Benton Harbor (Photos)
  4. Benton Township
  5. Jackson (Photos)
  6. Flint Township
  7. Kalamazoo (Photos)
  8. Harper Woods (Photos)
  9. Ecorse (Photos)
  10. 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.

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

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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.

Here’s a visualization of the criteria:
Most Dangerous Cities In Michigan Graph

Click To Enlarge

Read on for a detailed look at the 10 most dangerous cities in Michigan.

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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.

2. Detroit

Detroit, Michigan

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 669,673
Rank 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

Benton Harbor, Michigan

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 9,963
Rank 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

Source: Public Domain

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.

5. Jackson

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

Source: Public Domain

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.

7. Kalamazoo

Kalamazoo, Michigan

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 76,389
Rank 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

Harper Woods, Michigan

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 13,764
Rank 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.

9. Ecorse

Ecorse, Michigan

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 9,213
Rank 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.

10. Flint

Flint, Michigan

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 97,548
Rank 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:

  1. Thetford Township
  2. Kinross Township
  3. Raisin Township

For more Michigan reading , check out:

Detailed List Of The Most Dangeroues Cities In Michigan

City Rank Previous Rank Population Violent Crimes Per Capita Property Crimes Per Capita
Muskegon Heights 1 1 10,785 1,835 5,340
Detroit 2 2 669,673 2,046 4,723
Benton Harbor 3 4 9,963 1,796 4,396
Benton Township 4 14,413 1,103 7,590
Jackson 5 3 33,060 1,237 4,549
Flint Township 6 9 30,460 965 5,436
Kalamazoo 7 11 76,389 1,210 4,216
Harper Woods 8 5 13,764 908 7,359
Ecorse 9 9,213 1,617 3,723
Flint 10 6 97,548 1,583 3,406
Albion 11 21 8,155 1,238 3,433
Battle Creek 12 12 60,904 975 3,817
Inkster 13 8 24,548 1,319 2,949
Hamtramck 14 18 21,929 1,140 3,119
Highland Park 15 7 10,810 1,739 2,793
Muskegon 16 10 38,442 710 3,818
Emmett Township 17 27 11,604 482 4,877
Eastpointe 18 19 32,701 813 3,247
Lansing 19 14 115,199 1,164 2,886
Lansing Township 20 37 8,148 589 3,804
Three Rivers 21 16 7,738 516 3,967
Roseville 22 15 47,704 515 3,834
Lincoln Park 23 24 36,808 728 3,018
Lapeer 24 34 8,782 569 3,666
Romulus 25 17 23,315 724 2,938
Redford Township 26 28 47,218 707 2,931
Pontiac 27 22 60,003 1,248 2,374
Ypsilanti 28 13 20,019 754 2,647
Port Huron 29 29 29,182 959 2,566
River Rouge 30 59 7,480 1,056 2,486
Buena Vista Township 31 31 8,158 1,090 2,414
Bay City 32 20 33,725 607 2,742
Coldwater 33 61 10,827 387 3,029
Cadillac 34 68 10,372 366 3,104
Escanaba 35 46 12,278 317 4,113
Muskegon Township 36 26 17,791 303 4,423
Niles 37 42 11,282 567 2,543
Taylor 38 32 61,290 606 2,439
Warren 39 40 135,620 509 2,596
Dearborn 40 39 94,646 367 2,948
Saginaw 41 33 48,942 1,467 1,892
Kalamazoo Township 42 57 24,534 415 2,567
Melvindale 43 47 10,348 531 2,309
Grand Rapids 44 38 196,538 675 2,205
Burton 45 25 28,563 367 2,667
Wayne 46 48 16,989 959 2,001
Center Line 47 41 8,332 480 2,352
Wyoming 48 52 75,917 463 2,315
Kentwood 49 49 51,897 321 2,830
Van Buren Township 50 64 28,090 388 2,338
Menominee 51 84 8,344 371 2,372
Holland 52 50 33,867 348 2,503
Owosso 53 35 14,605 472 2,170
Greenville 54 23 8,438 308 2,761
Sault Ste. Marie 55 131 13,763 392 2,266
Southgate 56 44 29,158 267 2,963
Southfield 57 55 73,438 265 2,938
Mount Morris Township 58 30 20,502 404 2,160
Grandville 59 45 16,070 199 4,250
Auburn Hills 60 63 22,933 270 2,882
Traverse City 61 58 15,330 430 2,048
Manistee 62 157 6,057 346 2,278
Blackman Township 63 56 37,522 271 2,771
Coloma Township 64 6,388 344 2,269
Ludington 65 8,054 434 1,899
Sturgis 66 36 10,876 294 2,427
Westland 67 54 81,625 365 2,093
Bridgeport Township 68 51 9,993 480 1,791
Charlotte 69 81 9,051 320 2,275
Hazel Park 70 53 16,636 330 2,218
Dearborn Heights 71 62 55,852 370 1,933
Ferndale 72 65 20,232 222 2,777
Ontwa Township-Edwardsburg 73 66 6,481 416 1,789
Oak Park 74 73 29,838 351 1,893
Fruitport Township 75 13,879 180 3,732
Portage 76 71 48,550 212 2,654
Oscoda Township 77 70 6,838 321 1,974
Alpena 78 74 10,119 286 2,095
Norton Shores 79 67 24,256 185 2,865
Madison Heights 80 101 30,297 267 2,109
Saginaw Township 81 69 39,421 205 2,323
Rockford 82 91 6,218 369 1,511
Clinton Township 83 100,514 324 1,677
Hastings 84 79 7,274 343 1,567
Grand Haven 85 103 11,196 241 1,893
Walker 86 80 24,874 164 2,641
Meridian Township 87 90 42,700 201 2,168
Garden City 88 97 26,781 257 1,833
Riverview 89 152 12,127 305 1,583
Zeeland 90 72 5,650 265 1,734
Fraser 91 108 14,667 190 2,263
Big Rapids 92 106 10,389 308 1,511
Swartz Creek 93 75 5,531 216 1,862
Ionia 94 89 11,370 343 1,319
Richmond 95 82 5,882 272 1,564
Chesterfield Township 96 83 44,963 206 1,736
Holly 97 77 6,186 226 1,632
Clay Township 98 117 8,844 293 1,356
St. Joseph 99 85 8,271 217 1,668
Allen Park 100 102 27,284 194 1,832

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 Most Dangerous Cities, Rankings 

15 thoughts on “These Are The 10 Most Dangerous Cities In Michigan For 2018

  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.

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