Parents can take comfort in the fact that violent crime rates across the US have been falling for decades. Nevertheless, because of a combination of circumstances including poverty and gangs, a few cities stand out for their violence. Here are the 10 most dangerous towns in the United States, as measured by violent crime rates. See the best cities to raise children in.
- Detroit, Michigan—The Motor City makes it on many lists of dangerous cities. The main reason? Gangs. And while violent crimes are on the decrease, they’re still higher than in many other cities.
- St. Louis, Missouri—Partially because it’s less spread out than other cities, which incorporate safer suburbs and smaller communities, St. Louis has a high crime rate. It’s also a destination along drug-trafficking routes. Like Detroit, crime levels are falling, but not much.
- Oakland, California—Ever since the police department was scaled back, violence has been on the rise in this California city. What’s more, high poverty and proximity to drug corridors put Oakland on the dangerous cities list.
- Bridgeport, Connecticut—The biggest city in Connecticut has a problem with violence, so the city has introduced a curfew in an attempt to end late-night violence.
- New Orleans, Louisiana—During Hurricane Katrina in 2005, violence and looting increased, but the southern city has a long history of violence.
- Memphis, Tennessee—Residents of this big city say they don’t feel safe, as the city reported more than ten thousand violent crimes in a recent year. High unemployment and poverty rates likely play a role.
- Birmingham, Alabama—With high poverty rates (the median household income is less than $32,000) and a high number of violent crimes (1,517 per 100,000 residents), Birmingham makes many “most dangerous cities” lists. In addition to a high murder and non-negligent manslaughter rate, the city also has a high property crime rate.
- Orlando, Florida—This central Florida city’s crime rate is nearly four times as high as the national rate. In an effort to reduce violence, the police department has placed surveillance cameras around the city.
- Atlanta, Georgia—Property crime is big risk in this southern city: motor vehicle theft is 55 percent higher than the average and burglary is 38 percent higher.
- Jackson, Mississippi—With 36 murders and 454 robberies per 100,000 people, Jackson is a high-crime city.
- Many southern cities, like Atlanta and New Orleans, have a history of violence.
- In Detroit, gangs are one of the biggest reasons for the high violence rate.
- With high poverty rates and a number of violent crimes, Birmingham tops many dangerous cities lists.
- Orlando has placed surveillance cameras around the city in an effort to reduce violence.