Top 10 Cities With the Highest Murder Rate in America 2018

Although there can be many positive numbers to use when choosing a city to live in, one number that fails to bring a smile to anyone's face is a city's murder rate. This most despicable of crimes can occur anywhere, but some cities are plagued with a distressingly and unusually high rate of murder. Any number of factors can contribute to this rate, but no matter what the reason, you'll want to think twice before settling in to one of these cities. Our ranking, based on the number of murders per 100,000 people in cities with more than 25,000 citizens, will help you decide which cities to cross off your list. If you are curious and looking for a more positive spin on things, here are the safest cities in America.

1. East St. Louis, IL (100.9 murders per 100,000 people)

East St. Louis was once a gateway to the frontier of the United States, but today this troubled city serves as a gateway to the next life. Recent crime reports indicate that the city has a murder rate of over 100 per 100,000 people. The city has seen its share of hard times, and it's experienced a significant decline since its peak in the 1950s. The city's economy is a shell of its former self, and many of its citizens have turned to crime to survive. Unfortunately, that survival often comes at the expense of their fellow citizens.

2. Chester, PA (67.4 murders per 100,000 people)

Chester holds the distinction of being the oldest city in Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, the city holds a few other notable distinctions, including horrendous crime rates. The murder rate in the city sits at 67.4 murders per 100,000 residents. A long list of other crimes join the list, pinning Chester's crime rate 64% higher than the national average. Unfortunately for the residents of this city, corruption is an integral part of the city's history, making it difficult for police to make a dent in the crime statistics.

3. Gary, IN (60.1 murders per 100,000 people)

Once a blossoming city built on the booming industry of steel, the city of Gary, Indiana, is suffering from rampant crime and a poor economy. Mere decades ago, the city boasted a population of over 150,000. Today, the population is just over half of its peak number. For those battle-hardened residents who have chosen to stay, they can look forward to crime rates that will surely keep them indoors. In 2016, 46 people were murdered in Gary for a rate of more than 60 per 100,000 people. Other violent crimes are high, and property crimes are just as high. According to recent statistics, 990 burglaries were reported, and almost 500 vehicles were stolen. Gary may be home sweet home, but it's become the final home for far too many of its citizens.

4. St. Louis, MO (59.8 murders per 100,000 people)

St. Louis, Missouri, may be separated from its neighbor, East St. Louis, by a river, but that hasn't kept murder at bay. In 2016, nearly 200 residents met an untimely end, putting the city's crime rate 176% higher than the national average. Staying indoors might not afford you much protection from the city's criminals; for every 100,000 people, there are nearly 4,000 thefts a year. With a crime rate nearly 200% more than the national average, it's a wonder that more people haven't left this city.

5. Baltimore, MD (51.4 murders per 100,000 people)

The long history of Maryland's largest city hasn't stopped it from becoming a crime magnet. With a population well over half a million, it's not too surprising that more than few criminals call the city home. Although most other areas of the country are enjoying a decrease in crime, Baltimore isn't so lucky. In 2016, the city experienced over 50 murders per 100,000 people. A poor economic outlook, including an unemployment and poverty rate well above the national average, has likely contributed to Baltimore's unfortunate placement on this list.

6. Flint, MI (46.1 murders per 100,000 people)

The residents of Flint, Michigan, continue to deal with ongoing crises, including a lack of access to safe drinking water. The crime rate isn't much to smile about either; 45 people were murdered in this moderately sized city in 2016. The city's residents can probably remember better days when the population was nearly twice as large and had a strong economy due to GM's large workforce in the city. Today, instead of building cars, Flint's criminals are busy building rap sheets, stealing vehicles and causing general destruction and theft.

7. Detroit, MI (45.2 murders per 100,000 people)

The rise and fall of Detroit, Michigan, has been the subject of more than a few essays and books. Although the city has regained control of its own finances after exiting bankruptcy, the city's woes continue. Murder has become a big past time for the city's miscreants; over 300 murders were reported in 2016. Violent crimes and thefts are rampant, leaving 1 in 15 citizens at risk of becoming the victim of a crime each year. Unlike some cities on the list, Detroit's crime has increased over previous years. Brave individuals who want to take advantage of cheap housing will find plenty of houses to pick from, but investing in a thorough security system is a must in Detroit.

8. New Orleans, LA (43.8 murders per 100,000 people)

When people think of New Orleans, Louisiana, images of vibrant Mardi Gras celebrations often come to mind. Many visitors to this city, however, may be unaware of the battle with crime that the city's residents face each day. With a crime rate 76% higher than the national average, it's no surprise that residents of this city may choose to stay in most nights. Property crime is shockingly high; there are nearly 4,000 property crimes per 100,000 residents each year. Murder is another unfortunate fact of life in this historical city; 2016 saw 174 reported murders.

9. Salisbury, NC (41.0 murders per 100,000 people)

Salisbury, North Carolina, is a modest town less than an hour away from Charlotte, North Carolina. The city has seen some recent population growth due in part to a healthy economy. Unfortunately, crime has followed the city's recent successes. The murder rate for Salisbury is about 41 victims per 100,000 residents, nearly six times higher than the state's murder rate. Salisbury may not be famous yet, but if its murder rate continues to climb, it just may become famous for all the wrong reasons.

10. Danville, VA (38.4 murders per 100,000 people)

Danville, Virginia, may not be a well-known city, but its crime numbers may land it on a few maps of places to avoid. The city has a few charms to offer, including a low cost of living and strong educational opportunities. However, future residents should heed the crime statistics before choosing to move here. The murder rate is over 38 per 100,000 people, and property crime is higher here than in other parts of Virginia. Fortunately, the city has taken note of its problems and taken steps to get itself off of our list, experiencing a minor decrease in crime over previous years.

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