Do you live in one of the murder capitals of Illinois?
We all watch the news with horror when we hear about a homicide that happens not that far away from us. While a murder just blocks or even a couple of towns away from your house would make anyone uneasy, in the long run, most likely, where you live is relatively safe.
So we wanted to get the facts straight and dug into the FBI crime data in order to identify the places with the most murders and the highest murder rates per capita in Illinois.
The result is the Murder Capitals of the Prairie State for 2020:
- East St. Louis (Photos)
- Danville (Photos)
- Chicago (Photos)
- Peoria (Photos)
- Alton (Photos)
- Riverdale (Photos)
- Rockford (Photos)
- South Beloit
- Waukegan (Photos)
- Sauk Village
The city with highest murder rate in Illinois? That would be East St. Louis with 86.4 murders per 100,000 people.
While the city with highest number of murders period? Chicago with 563.
Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and how your town ranked. There were ‘only’ 78 cities in Illinois where a city reported a murder to the FBI, meaning 207 places had no murder.
For more reading on the Prairie State check out:
- 10 Best Places To Live In Illinois
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Illinois
- 10 Most Dangerous Cities In Illinois
The 10 Murder Capitals Of Illinois For 2020
East St. Louis is a city in St. Clair County, Illinois, across the Mississippi River from St. Louis, Missouri, in the Metro-East region of Southern Illinois. Once a bustling industrial center like many cities in the Rust Belt, East St. Louis has been severely affected by loss of jobs due to deindustrialization during the second half of the 20th century. In 1950, East St. Louis was the fourth largest city in Illinois when population peaked at 82,366. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 27,006, less than one-third of the 1950 census.
Danville is a city in and the county seat of Vermilion County, Illinois, United States. As of the 2010 census, its population was 33,027.
Chicago or ), officially the City of Chicago, is the third-most populous city in the United States. With over 2.7million residents, it is also the most populous city in both the state of Illinois and the Midwestern United States. It is the county seat of Cook County. The Chicago metropolitan area, often referred to as Chicagoland, has nearly 10million people and is the third-largest in the United States. Chicago has often been called a global architecture capital and is considered one of the most important business centers in the world.
Peoria is a city in and the county seat of Peoria County, Illinois, United States, and the largest city on the Illinois River. Established in 1691 by the French explorer Henri de Tonti, Peoria is the oldest European settlement in Illinois, and is named after the Peoria tribe. As of the 2010 census, the city was the seventh-most populated in Illinois, with a population of 115,007. The Peoria Metropolitan Statistical Area had a population of 373,590 in 2011. Peoria had a population of 118,943 in 2010, when far northern Peoria was also included. Peoria is currently the global and national headquarters for Caterpillar Inc., one of the 30 companies composing the Dow Jones Industrial Average, and listed on the Fortune 100, but a relocation of the headquarters to Deerfield, Illinois is planned for 2017 or 2018.
Alton is a city on the Mississippi River in Madison County, Illinois, United States, about 15 miles north of St. Louis, Missouri. The population was 27,865 at the 2010 census. It is a part of the Metro-East region of the Greater St. Louis metropolitan area. It is famous for its limestone bluffs along the river north of the city, for its role preceding and during the American Civil War, and as the hometown of jazz musician Miles Davis and Robert Wadlow, the tallest known person in history. It was the site of the last Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas debate in October 1858. The former state penitentiary here was used during the war to hold up to 12,000 Confederate prisoners of war.
Rockford is the third largest city in the U.S. state of Illinois, the 171st most populous city in the United States, the largest city in Illinois outside the Chicago metropolitan area, and the city of the 148th most populous metropolitan area in the United States. It is the county seat of Winnebago County and is located on both banks of the Rock River in far northern Illinois. A small portion of Rockford dips down into neighboring Ogle County. According to 2010 census data, the City of Rockford had a population of 152,871, with an outlying metropolitan area population of 348,360, which was estimated to have decreased to 150,251 and 344,623, respectively, by July 2013. During 2017, a special census was completed putting the population at 153,379.
Rank Last Year: 157
Murders: 3 (22nd Most)
Murders Per 100k: 39.3 (2nd Most)
More on South Beloit: Data
South Beloit is a city located in Winnebago County, Illinois, United States. It is part of the Rockford, Illinois Metropolitan Statistical Area, but it is essentially a suburban extension of Beloit, WI, which is directly along the city’s northern border. At the 2010 census, the city’s population was 7,892, up from 5,297 in 2000.
Waukegan is a city and the county seat of Lake County, Illinois, United States. It is part of the Chicago Metropolitan Area. As of the 2013 census estimate, the city had a population of 88,826. It is the ninth-largest city in Illinois by population, and it is the fifth-largest city on the western shore of Lake Michigan, after Chicago, Milwaukee, Green Bay, and Kenosha.
Rank Last Year: 66
Murders: 3 (22nd Most)
Murders Per 100k: 28.7 (7th Most)
More on Sauk Village: Data
Sauk Village is a village in Cook County, Illinois, United States, with a small portion in Will County. The population was 10,506 at the 2010 census.
How we calculated the murder capitals of Illinois
While there are surveys and public polls on what cities in a state are the most dangerous, we didn’t want to rely on speculation and opinion. Instead, we looked at the hard numbers from the FBI’s last year of reporting. Specifically, we analyzed the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report which summarizes the number of murders that may happen in each city per year.
We only looked every single city in Illinois for which FBI data was available for the most recent FBI Crime In The United States. That left us with 78 cities to rank.
Finally, we averaged the two scores into an index:
- The raw number of murders in each city
- The murders per person
We felt as if a small place with 2,500 people and two murders makes it a lot more dangerous than a city of 25,000 people with three murders. Any ties went to the larger city. You can download the data here.
We must note that this report is not an analysis of the effectiveness of local police departments. It simply states where murders occurred most frequently on an absolute and rate basis.
There You Have It – The Places With The Most Murders In Illinois For 2020
If you’re looking at the places in Illinois with the most murders, and where residents have the highest chances of being killed themselves, this is an accurate list. Again, these statistics are an indication of where crimes occur, not a statement about the effectiveness of the law enforcement in the areas they serve.
For more illinois reading, check out:
- 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Illinois
- These Are The 10 Fastest Growing Cities In Illinois
- 10 Safest Places In Illinois
- 10 Best Cities For Singles In Illinois
- 10 Worst Places To Live In Illinois