10 Most Dangerous Cities In Michigan For 2020

We used data and science to identify the most dangerous cities in the Wolverine State for 2020.

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This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. It is our fifth time ranking the most dangerous places to live in Michigan and is updated for 2020.

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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 2020 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 2020.

The 10 Most Dangerous Cities In Michigan For 2020

  1. Muskegon Heights
  2. Benton Township
  3. Benton Harbor
  4. Detroit
  5. Kalamazoo
  6. Lansing Township
  7. Jackson
  8. Harper Woods
  9. Highland Park
  10. Flint Township

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 Muskegon Heights.

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 2020

Muskegon Heights, MI

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 10,720
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 2,238 (1st most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,876 (3rd most dangerous)
More on Muskegon Heights:  Data | Photos

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 10,720 residents, is, according to the FBI, a very dangerous place.

There were more than 240 violent crimes here in 2018, meaning that 1 in 44 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 2017.

2. Benton Township

Benton Township, MI

Population: 14,382
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,606 (7th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,958 (2nd most dangerous)
More on Benton Township:

Benton Township is the 7th most violent city, with residents facing a 1 in 62 chance of being the victim of violence in 2018.

Progress has been made in recent years, however, reflected by a 12% drop in violent crime, and an 11% drop in property crime between 2017-2018.

Benton Harbor, MI

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 9,836
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 2,165 (2nd most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,290 (10th most dangerous)
More on Benton Harbor:  Data | Photos

Benton Harbor is, statistically one of the most violent place to live in Michigan — clocking in at 3rd place. In 2018, there were 213 violent crimes there, meaning residents have a 1 in 46 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.

Detroit, MI

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 671,275
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 2,007 (3rd most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,304 (9th most dangerous)
More on Detroit:  Data | Photos

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 2018, there were more than 13,478 residents attacked, murdered or raped.

Kalamazoo, MI

Source: Public domain

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 76,020
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,325 (9th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,031 (5th most dangerous)
More on Kalamazoo:  Data | Photos

The 5th most dangerous city in Michigan goes to Kalamazoo.

And much like a walk in a major city park, you need to watch for muggers and property theft as it ranks as having the highest rate of property theft in the Wolverine State. You had a 1 in 19.9 chance of being a victim of a property crime in 2018 in Kalamazoo.

It’s not totally clear why the property crime rate is so high. People live spread out, unemployment is relatively high — but not super high — and poverty isn’t as bad as in some other parts of the state.

6. Lansing Township

Lansing Township, MI

Population: 8,213
Rank Last Year: 14 (Up 8)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 815 (20th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 6,392 (1st most dangerous)
More on Lansing Township:

Located in Clinton County., Lansing Township is the 6th most dangerous city in Michigan.

With residents facing a 1 in 122 chance of being the victim of violence in 2018, Lansing Township it earns a spot on the most dangerous places in Michigan.

Jackson, MI

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 32,602
Rank Last Year: 7 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,122 (10th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,254 (11th most dangerous)
More on Jackson:  Data | Photos

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 366 of its residents report violent attacks in 2018.

Harper Woods, MI

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 13,674
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 3)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 936 (16th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,951 (6th most dangerous)
More on Harper Woods:  Data | Photos

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 106 chance of being robbed.

Additionally, there were 128 attacks in a city of only 13,674 residents.

Highland Park, MI

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 10,794
Rank Last Year: 9 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,741 (5th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,186 (23rd most dangerous)
More on Highland Park:  Data | Photos

Another Detroit suburb, Highland Park is, overall, slightly more dangerous than surrounding communities. However, between 2017 and 2018, the number of crimes dropped. Hopefully, that trend continues into the near future.

A resident of Highland Park had a 1 in 57 chance of being involved in a violent attack in 2018.

10. Flint Township

Flint Township, MI

Population: 30,378
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 5)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 875 (17th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,996 (12th 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 114 people was attacked in 2018.

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 2020?

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 2018 data, specifically the 2018 Crime In The United States Report. We will update the results when data becomes available in September 2020.

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 — Muskegon Heights. 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 Muskegon Heights ranks as the most dangerous city in Michigan for 2020.

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:

  1. Addison Township (Pop. 6,598)
  2. Oakland Township (Pop. 19,495)
  3. Lapeer Township (Pop. 5,036)

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 Muskegon Heights 10,720 2,238 5,876
2 Benton Township 14,382 1,606 5,958
3 Benton Harbor 9,836 2,165 4,290
4 Detroit 671,275 2,007 4,304
5 Kalamazoo 76,020 1,325 5,031
6 Lansing Township 8,213 815 6,392
7 Jackson 32,602 1,122 4,254
8 Harper Woods 13,674 936 4,951
9 Highland Park 10,794 1,741 3,186
10 Flint Township 30,378 875 3,996

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 “10 Most Dangerous Cities In Michigan For 2020

  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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