Last year brought a welcome (but minimal) drop in violent crime rates to cities across the United States, although public safety remains a worry for many Americans. Unfortunately, people's anxiety is only increasing due to mass shootings that have been occurring throughout 2023. In fact, according to Gun Violence Archive, by January 31 there were already 52 mass shootings reported— an increase of over 50% compared to the same period in 2022. It's disturbing news, and understanding the reasons behind this spike in violence has become even more important to both diminish fear and create real solutions.
To help people make informed decisions about where to live and visit, we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 most dangerous cities in the US for 2023. These rankings are based on data from the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting Program, which measures violent crimes including murder, rape, robbery and assault per 100,000 people. Whether you're looking for a place to settle down or just curious about your local area's safety ratings, this list will give you an idea of where danger lurks across the country. Here are the top 10 most dangerous cities in America.
- Mobile, AL
- Memphis, TN
- Detroit, MI
- Little Rock, AR
- Cleveland, OH
- Milwaukee, WI
- Springfield, MO
- Rockford, IL
- Lansing, MI
- St. Louis, MO
- 1. Mobile, AL
Mobile, AL is at the top of the list of the most dangerous cities in the United States, with a violent crime rate of 2,787 per 100,000 people and 111 murders in 2021. The city is known for its high levels of crime, which has been attributed to its struggling economy, rampant poverty, and lack of educational opportunities. In addition to this, the city has also been plagued by a culture of homelessness and drug abuse. With a crime rate more than 5 times higher than the national average, Mobile, AL is the most dangerous citiy in America. Learn more about Mobile, AL crime.
- 2. Memphis, TN
Memphis, TN is the second most dangerous city in the United States, with a violent crime rate of 2,431 per 100,000 people and 306 murders in 2021 - more than 8 times higher than the national average. In addition to this staggering statistic, Memphis, TN has also seen a marked increase in armed robberies and burglaries since 2020. To make matters worse, the city’s police department is incredibly understaffed, making them unable to respond quickly or effectively to many crimes. However, the city is making efforts to tackle crime and this could bring about an improvement in its safety ratings in the future. Until then, it remains one of the most dangerous cities in America. Learn more about Memphis, TN crime.
- 3. Detroit, MI
Detroit, MI is the third most dangerous city in America, with a violent crime rate of 2,154 per 100,000 people and 303 murders in 2021. The city has long been known for its high levels of crime and poverty, which have contributed to its ranking as one of the most dangerous cities in America. In addition to this, Detroit also suffers from an ongoing problem with gang violence and higher rates of criminal activity. Despite the city's dangerous reputation, local law enforcement is making efforts to address crime in the area and make it a safer place for its residents. Learn more about Detroit, MI crime.
- 4. Little Rock, AR
Little Rock, AR is the fourth most dangerous city in America, with a violent crime rate of 2,063 per 100,000 people and 62 murders in 2021. The city is known for its armed robberies and burglaries, as well as its 3,380 reported assaults - one of the highest rates in the nation. In addition to the alarming violent crime rate in these cities, property crime is also on the rise. In addition to all the violent crime, the property crime was also very high, as there were a total of 5,364 property crimes reported in 2021. Learn more about Little Rock, AR crime.
- 5. Cleveland, OH
Cleveland, OH continues to be one of the most dangerous cities in the United States. With a violent crime rate of 1,665 per 100,000 people, there were 4,382 assaults and 165 murders in 2021. The city has long been plagued by high levels of crime stemming from poverty, gang violence and drug abuse. In addition to this staggering statistic, Cleveland also saw an increase in armed robberies and burglaries since 2020. These facts make it clear why Cleveland is one of the most dangerous cities in America. Learn more about Cleveland, OH crime.
- 6. Milwaukee, WI
Milwaukee, WI is one of the most dangerous cities in America, with a violent crime rate of 1,586 per 100,000 people and 195 murders in 2021. The city has been struggling with high levels of poverty for many years now, which has contributed to its reputation as one of the most dangerous cities in the United States. In addition to this staggering statistic, Milwaukee also saw an increase in property crimes in 2021, with a total of 4,187 per 100,000 people - a trend that shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon. Learn more about Milwaukee, WI crime.
- 7. Springfield, MO
Springfield, MO is the seventh most dangerous city in America according to 2021 statistics. With a population of only around 170,000 people, Springfield had an alarming 1,569 violent crimes per 100,000 people reported in 2021 - almost 5 times more than the national average. This makes it one of the most dangerous cities in the United States and highlights just how much work needs to be done to make this city safer for its residents. Learn more about Springfield, MO crime.
- 8. Rockford, IL
Rockford, IL is the eighth most dangerous city in America and has almost the same amount of violent crime as property crime. With a population of less than 150,000 people, there were 1,534 violent crimes and 2,480 property crimes per 100,000 people, crime is rampant. There were also a total of 1,841 assaults reported in 2021 - more than triple the national average - so it's easy to see why Rockford made this list. Learn more about Rockford, IL crime.
- 9. Lansing, MI
With 1,491 violent crimes per 100,000 people and a total of 1,418 assaults reported in 2021 Lansing, MI is the ninth most dangerous city in America. This is more than double the national average - so it's clear why Lansing made this list. The population of less than 120,000 people has also seen an increase in almost all crime categories since 2020. Learn more about Lansing, MI crime.
- 10. St. Louis, MO
St. Louis, MO is the tenth most dangerous city in America according to recent statistics. With 1,484 violent crimes per 100,000 people and 5,436 property crimes per 100,000 people - more than double the national average. The population of around 300,000 people has also seen a marked increase in crime since 2020. There were 189 murders and 3,244 assaults reported in 2021. Lots of work needs to be done to make this city safer for its residents and visitors Learn more about St. Louis, MO crime.
These 10 cities are the most dangerous in America and almost all share similar socioeconomic characteristics. Poverty, unemployment rates, gang violence, drug abuse, and a lack of economic opportunities all contribute to high crime rates in these areas. In order for residents and visitors of these cities to live safe and secure lives free from fear or threat of any kind it is essential for local authorities to take action through increased law enforcement measures as well as communities coming together to work towards improving their standard of living. It is important that we recognize how serious an issue crime can be so that we can actively strive towards creating safer environments for everyone.