The SafeWise team is pleased to release the fifth annual State of Safety report.
The State of Safety in Illinois 2023
Illinois residents have the highest level of concern nationwide regarding violent crime, gun violence, and overall daily safety. Illinois also placed within the top five most concerned states for property crime and package theft. Illinoisans are also the least-likely Americans to feel safe in their state.
In this report
2022 Illinois crime rates
Illinois didn't provide enough data to the FBI this year so we're unable to update state crime rates. Here's the latest data available, from the 2022 reporting year:
Illinois saw higher violent crime rates at 4.3 incidents per 1,000, compared to 4.0 nationwide. This is the second-consecutive year violent crime rates have risen and the third year the state reported higher rates than both the East North Central region (3.9) and the US overall.
But property crime rates were several points below the rest of the US at 15.6 incidents per 1,000 people compared to 19.6 nationwide. Illinois also beat the regional property crime rate, which came in at 16.1 incidents per 1,000. This is the second-consecutive year that property crime fell in Illinois.
Before you start booking a moving truck, Illinois crime rates reflect nationwide trends with rises in violent crime and continued drops in property crime. For the first time, it looks like the 7 in 10 Illinois respondents who think crime is on the rise might be onto something.
For better crime reporting in Illinois in the future, we recommend telling local lawmakers and law enforcement agencies that this information matters to you.
Violent crime in Illinois: Fear vs. reality
In our most recent State of Safety survey, daily concern about safety increased by 11% in Illinois, with gun violence being Illinoisans’ biggest worry (75%). Only 28% of Illinois residents told us they feel safe in their state, compared to 50% nationally.
Our respondents had more personal experience with violent crime than most Americans: 24% experienced violent crime in the 12 months prior to the survey compared to 11% in the previous survey.
- Despite Illinois’s high levels of safety concern, only 44% of respondents said they use personal protection, with pepper spray being used most often. Across the US, 39% of respondents carry some form of personal protection.
- 54% of our survey respondents said their personal safety was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic (US 44%).
Attitudes about gun violence in Illinois
- Gun violence experiences jumped from 12% to 17%. It’s no surprise, then, that 75% named gun violence their top daily safety concern (US 47%).
- Mass shooting incidents in Illinois fell by 34% in the 2023 reporting year, from 86 to 57. This was the largest number of mass shooting events in any state that year.
- Illinois reported the third-highest rate of mass shooting incidents per capita in the US in the 2023 reporting year.
- Of the Illinois residents who use some form of protection, 36% use firearms for personal protection and 28% use firearms for property protection.
Property crime in Illinois: Fear vs. reality
Illinoisans' experience with property crime increased from 21% in the previous survey to 31%. Around 63% of Illinois residents worry about property crime and 64% worry about package theft—the fourth- and fifth-highest levels of concern nationwide, respectively.
- Illinois residents worry about property crime happening to them at a rate 25% higher than the average American.
- 31% of Illinoisans experienced property crime in the 12 months prior to the survey, and 37% experienced package theft.
- Security cameras are the most-used form of property protection, with 45% of residents using them. Guard dogs come in second with 33%.
- Using verified delivery and leaving packages in a safe spot were the most popular forms of package theft prevention at 29% each.
- 29% told us their property’s security has been affected by the pandemic (US 28%).
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Crime concerns in Illinois
We asked Illinois residents which crimes they worry may happen to them. See if Illinoisans are concerned about the same crime issues as the rest of the country.
View the complete 2023 State of Safety report.
The safest cities in Illinois
For the purposes of this report, the terms “dangerous” and “safest” refer explicitly to crime rates as calculated from FBI crime data—no other characterization of any community is implied or intended.
We couldn’t rank the safest cities in Illinois this year due to limited information reported to the FBI. State crime rates for the previous reporting year are detailed below.
How to make a safe home anywhere
Whether your city made our list or not, we encourage everyone to be proactive about home security. One of the best ways to stop a burglary before it happens is to add a home security system.
Find security and safety resources in your area
How we determined the safest cities
Related articles on SafeWise
Endnotes and sources
FBI Crime Data Explorer, "Documents & Downloads." Accessed February 6, 2023.
- 2021 and 2020 Crime in the United States Annual Reports
- Offenses Known to Law Enforcement
- 2021 NIBRS Estimation Tables
FBI Uniform Crime Reporting Program, "Offenses Known to Law Enforcement ." Accessed February 6, 2023.
Bureau of Justice Statistics, "National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS)." Accessed February 6, 2023.
US Census Bureau, "2021: ACS 5-Year Estimates Subject Tables." Accessed February 6, 2023.
US Census Bureau, "2021: ACS 5-Year Estimates Detailed Tables." Accessed February 6, 2023.
SafeWise, "2022 State of Safety survey." Accessed February 6, 2023.
Gun Violence Archive, "General Methodology." Accessed February 6, 2023.
Gun Violence Archive, "Past Summary Ledgers." Accessed January 3, 2023.
Gun Violence Archive, "Congress."
- 2022 totals: Accessed January 3, 2023.
- 2021 and 2020 totals: Accessed December 19, 2022.