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Top Ten Most Dangerous Cities

Updated on December 13, 2011

As people are looking for jobs, traveling for work, or just looking to get out of town for a vacation they should be aware of what they may be getting themselves into. The Atlantic Magazine recently presented the Top 10 Most Dangerous Cities in the United States. Their information was based the 2010 FBI Crime Data of Violent Crimes. Some of the results were definite eye-openers. Take a look.

10. Stockton, California

Population: 292,047

Violent Crime Per 1,000: 13.8

2010 Murders: 49

That’s just scary. In cities over 100,000 people, Stockton has the 27th highest number of murders per 1000 people and 12th highest aggravated assaults per 1000. Definitely watch your back.

9. Rockford, Illinois

Population: 156,180

Violent Crime Per 1,000: 14.5

2010 Murders: 20

Apparently for a size of Rockford’s size, it has an unusually high violent-crime rate: fourth-highest in the country with 10.5 cases for every 1,000 people, including 20 murders. Per the “Rockford Register Star in 2007, Winnebago County Sheriff Dick Meyers said that he believed the city’s "location worked against [it,]" as Rockford receives traffic from the drug markets in Madison, Chicago, and Milwaukee, resulting in heightened rates of violence. “ (1) So, make notes to yourself: if you want drugs and a good chance of getting stabbed, go to Rockford.

7. Little Rock, Arkansas

Population: 192,922

Violent Crime Per 1,000: 15.2

2010 Murders: 25

Bill Clinton’s former stomping ground has some of the highest rates for aggravated assault and forcible rape in America. As the HBO special “Banging in Little Rock” displayed many years ago, the gangs are prevalent, and mean business there. Know where you are going when you go to Little Rock. Travel with a friend, and only travel in daylight.

Play your cards wrong in Baltimore, and you might find yourself taking a dirt nap like Mr. Poe.
Play your cards wrong in Baltimore, and you might find yourself taking a dirt nap like Mr. Poe. | Source

8. Baltimore, Maryland

Population: 639,929

Violent Crime Per 1,000: 14.6

2010 Murders: 223

As a recent visitor to Baltimore myself, I can definitely state with certainty that walking around the downtown area was one of the more scary things in my life. Per the FBI numbers, Baltimore was the 8th highest in terms of violent crime per capita in 2010 with cities where population was over 100,000. Throw in the 10th-worst aggravated assault rate, and the fourth-worst murder rate in the country, and you have yourself one scary ass place to be after dark.

6. Oakland, California

Population: 409,723

Violent Crime Per 1,000: 15.3

2010 Murders: 90

The home of the Raiders and the Athletics has the 10th-highest reports of rape in the country. That should make you want to lock up your daughters. Add in a murder rate that is 9th highest and robbery rate that is SECOND in the country, you are probably going to detour your visit to M.C. Hammer’s old hometown.

5. Memphis, Tennessee

Population: 673,650

Violent Crime Per 1,000: 15.4

2010 Murders: 89

This one surprised me as I didn’t realize Memphis was as poor as it is. Its median income is 31.8% below the national average; however the unemployment rate is only .9% above the national average. Sadly, the city where Elvis lived is ranked 6th in the country for all violent crimes. Even that makes Elvis shooting out his TV seem minimal.

4. New Haven, Connecticut

Population: 124,856

Violent Crime Per 1,000: 15.8

2010 Murders: 22

New Haven holds the distinction of having “the highest rate of violent crime on the east coast.” The city has significantly contrasting populations going from being impoverished and crime filled, to the affluent and upper-class. The police department is considering the idea of putting cameras at intersections in the neighborhoods where crime and shootings are most common. Definitely not America’s Funniest Home Videos.

Gateway to the Wild West?
Gateway to the Wild West? | Source

3. St. Louis, Missouri

Population: 355,151

Violent Crime Per 1,000: 17.5

2010 Murders: 144

St. Louis is reportedly the “Gateway to the West.” I wonder if they mean “wild west?” While crime has reportedly fallen since 2007, the city still has some of the highest crime rates of many other compared cities. Aggravated assault and murder were the 3rd worst in America in 2010. Based on numbers just 6 months ago, St. Louis was the most dangerous city in terms of violent and nonviolent crime.

2. Detroit, Michigan

Population: 899,447

Violent Crime Per 1,000: 18.9

2010 Murders: 310

The Motor City is not a friendly city. Detroit is 6th highest in murder, 5th highest in robbery, and 2nd highest in aggravated assault. It’s just sad. Detroit is such a historic city with so much turmoil.

1. Flint, Michigan

All of the violent crime categories identified by the FBI increased in number of acts in recent years. Flint boasts the number two highest homicide rate, and the number one aggravate assault rate in the country. I am willing to bet that is not displayed on the “Welcome to Flint” signs at the edge of town. The most revealing number in all of this is that the poverty rate of Flint 36.2%. That is sad.

Bare breasts are the least of New Orleans worries.
Bare breasts are the least of New Orleans worries. | Source

Honorable Mentions

A few “honorable mention” cities must be mentioned here. New Orleans holds the distinction of having the highest per capita murder rate in the country. Way to go Big Easy. I don’t think the beads are going to help you out. Another southern locale, Atlanta boasts high property crime rates. Some statistics report motor vehicle theft in the ATL is 55% greater than the national average. (2)

So, if you are planning a family vacation to any of these fair cities, make sure you travel in groups and use good old-fashioned common sense.





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    • profile image

      MARIO 5 years ago


    • Apryl Schwarz profile image

      Apryl Schwarz 6 years ago from Nebraska

      Great hub! So important to be informed of the area when traveling. Voted up!