The 30 Most Dangerous Cities in America — 2016

Mar 24, 2017 |

30 Dangerous Cities

A Gallup poll indicates that the majority of U.S. citizens think crime is increasing, yet as a whole the nation’s crime rate has declined significantly over the last several years. In fact, both the rates of violent crime and property crime have decreased by more than 40 percent since 1995.

Comparing the most recent FBI Crime Report data to the previous year’s data, we found crime continued to fall — specifically, the number of reported crimes dropped by nearly four percent from 2013 to 2014. Among crimes highlighted in the FBI report, robberies and burglaries decreased the most over this period. Regionally, robberies declined most in the Northeast at 11.1 percent, followed by the Midwest at 8.8 percent, the West at 5.8 percent, and the South at 1 percent. Burglaries decreased substantially as well, dropping by 13.8 percent in the Midwest, 13.1 percent in the Northeast, 10.7 percent in the West, and 8.2 percent in the South. All in all, the Northeast enjoyed the biggest down-turn in crime, and the South experienced the smallest drop.

Crime in America’s Most Dangerous Cities

While just one criminal offense is too many, we’re encouraged that crime has decreased even among America’s 30 most dangerous cities. Comparing the most recent data with last year’s report, we discovered the average violent crime rate of these cities dropped by about one incident per 1,000 people, and the average property crime rate went down by nearly 11 incidents per 1,000 people. Still, the average number of crimes reported in the 30 cities on our list is 109 per 1,000 people, whereas nationally it’s around 29 per 1,000 people. This means that, on average, these cities have almost four times as many reported crimes as America at large.

How We Established the Most Dangerous Cities in America

To identify the 30 most dangerous cities in America, we reviewed the most recent FBI Crime Report statistics, along with population data. We eliminated all cities with fewer than 10,000 residents in 2014 as well as any cities that failed to submit a complete crime report to the FBI.

From there, we evaluated the remaining cities based on the number of reported violent crimes (aggravated assault, murder, rape, and robbery) and property crimes (burglary, arson, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft) in each city. To further level the playing field, we calculated the likelihood of these crimes occurring out of 1,000 people in each city.

Here are the 30 most dangerous cities in America:

1. Tukwila, Washington 

Previous rank: 2

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 8.18
Property Crimes per 1,000: 165.75

2. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina 

Previous rank: 1

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 14.28
Property Crimes per 1,000: 159.54

3. Emeryville, California 

Previous rank: 3

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 10.66
Property Crimes per 1,000: 146.10

4. Lumberton, North Carolina

Previous rank: 4

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 16.59
Property Crimes per 1,000: 137.72

5. College Park, Georgia 

Previous rank: 7

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 21.52
Property Crimes per 1,000: 111.23

6. Bellmead, Texas

Previous rank: Not ranked

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 16.97
Property Crimes per 1,000: 111.34

7. Gallup, New Mexico 

Previous rank: 11

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 21.47
Property Crimes per 1,000: 105.77

8. Selma, Alabama ↑

Previous rank: 35

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 13.70
Property Crimes per 1,000: 105.05

9. East Point, Georgia 

Previous rank: 12

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 12.91
Property Crimes per 1,000: 104.54

10. Branson, Missouri ↓

Previous rank: 8

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 6.63
Property Crimes per 1,000: 107.00

11. Humble, Texas ↑

Previous rank: 18

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 6.80
Property Crimes per 1,000: 104.76

12. Henderson, North Carolina 

Previous rank: 20

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 14.94
Property Crimes per 1,000: 93.53

13. Douglas, Georgia 

Previous rank: 66

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 9.06
Property Crimes per 1,000: 92.75

14. Blytheville, Arkansas 

Previous rank: 27

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 17.32
Property Crimes per 1,000: 83.55

15. Anniston, Alabama 

Previous rank: 19

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 23.75
Property Crimes per 1,000: 75.82

16. Kennett, Missouri 

Previous rank: Not ranked

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 8.80
Property Crimes per 1,000: 88.53

17. Union City, Georgia 

Previous rank: 30

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 12.71
Property Crimes per 1,000: 84.24

18. Muskegon Heights, Michigan 

Previous rank: 59

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 17.92
Property Crimes per 1,000: 75.19

19. Salt Lake City, Utah 

Previous rank: 92

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 7.52
Property Crimes per 1,000: 84.36

20. Americus, Georgia 

Previous rank: 42

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 11.73
Property Crimes per 1,000: 79.94

21. Poplar Bluff, Missouri 

Previous rank: 64

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 6.63
Property Crimes per 1,000: 84.52

22. Spokane, Washington 

Previous rank: 26

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 5.48
Property Crimes per 1,000: 85.59

23. Brunswick, Georgia 

Previous rank: 80

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 14.14
Property Crimes per 1,000: 75.54

24. Anderson, South Carolina 

Previous rank: 25

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 9.69
Property Crimes per 1,000: 79.51

25. Springfield, Missouri 

Previous rank: 23

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 11.86
Property Crimes per 1,000: 76.46

26. Elkton, Maryland 

Previous rank: 89

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 14.52
Property Crimes per 1,000: 73.56

27. Espanola, New Mexico

Previous rank: Not ranked

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 26.05
Property Crimes per 1,000: 61.45

28. Ardmore, Oklahoma 

Previous rank: 65

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 16.69
Property Crimes per 1,000: 70.13

29. Jasper, Alabama ↑

Previous rank: 97

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 8.11
Property Crimes per 1,000: 78.69

30. Gadsden, Alabama 

Previous rank: 40

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 9.82
Property Crimes per 1,000: 76.97

Whether you live in a community with a relatively low crime rate or in one that’s more susceptible to misdeeds, being proactive about safety and security is one of the most effective ways to help protect yourself, your family, and your property.

Find out what crime is taking place in your community and then explore the resources in our National Home Security and Crime Prevention Center. You may also want to consider installing a monitored home security system, as research suggests that homes without a security system may be up to three times more likely to be burglarized. Use the SafeWise system finder to learn about monitored home security options and to find a system that meets your personal budget and needs.

The Good News: 100 Safest Cities in America – 2016

Written by Alexia Chianis

Wanderlust junky and mom of two, Alexia is a former police officer and U.S. Army Captain who draws on her experiences to write about a myriad of safety topics. Learn more

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