James Morris - Jun 24, 2024
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The Americas continue to experience high rates of homicide, posing a threat to both locals and tourists. Young men, specifically those aged between 18 and 19, are at a high risk, with an estimated 46 homicides per 100,000 men in this age group. This rate is much higher compared to other regions. The list of the most dangerous cities in the U.S. was compiled based on research using the FBI's 2024 list of the most dangerous cities. Brought to you by Tourism Review.

10/ Kansas City

Compared to communities of all sizes across the United States, ranging from small towns to large cities, Kansas City has one of the highest crime rates in America, with 63 crimes committed per 1,000 people. This means there is a one in sixteen chance of becoming a victim of either crime in Kansas City. The city's overall crime rate is 166.6% greater than the U.S. average. Regarding violent offenses, Kansas City reported 7,538 incidents, or 1481 per 100,000 people, exceeding the national average by 300.6%. Additionally, Kansas City had 23995 property crimes reported, or 4715 per 100,000 residents, exceeding the national average by 141.3%.

9/ Cleveland

Cleveland has a vibrant community and a diverse population. Like any other urban area, residents and visitors must understand crime. In 2019, Cleveland recorded 7,292 incidents of violent crime, including rape, robbery, homicide, and serious assault. This statistic provides a numerical representation of Cleveland's crime rate, which can be used to analyze patterns, compare with other cities, and guide the development of public safety and crime reduction programs.

8/ Denver

In Denver, one of the most dangerous cities in the U.S., there were 7.4 violent offenses per 1,000 residents. The rate of property crime per 1,000 people was 52.6, and the rate of domestic violence was 2.6 per 1,000 people. The rate of sexual assault was 0.9 per 1,000. According to data provided to the FBI, the number of assaults that result in significant physical injury, or "aggravated assaults," has almost doubled since 2012, growing at the quickest pace of any city with a population of more than 500,000.

7/ Washington

Over the past five years, violent crime in Washington has increased by nearly 20%, breaking records after 40 years of below-average crime rates. Despite a national drop in homicide rates, Washington has seen a 96% surge in murders in 2019, setting a new state record for 2022. In response to the crime surge, various policies, plans, laws, and initiatives have been implemented to reduce crime rates and discourage criminal behavior. In Washington, the ratio of police officers to civilians is 1.13 per 1,000 people, compared to the national average of 3.25. This has led to concerns about Washington being one of the most dangerous cities in the U.S.

6/ Baltimore

Baltimore is among the U.S. cities with one of the highest crime rates, with 48 crimes committed for every 1,000 people. In 2023, it was considered one of the most dangerous cities in the U.S. Baltimore's crime rate is substantially higher than the national average. After Freddie Gray's death on April 19, 2015, which led to protests and an increase in homicides, violent crime spiked in 2015. With a population of almost 125,000 more, the city recorded 348 homicides in 2019, the second-highest total ever. Most homicides in Baltimore occur in a limited number of highly impoverished neighborhoods. Research from the 2016 Baltimore Sun found that about 25% of the city's neighborhoods account for 80% of the gun killings that take place there. Gang-related crimes primarily target drug dealers, especially those involved in drugs and competing gangs, and are typically concentrated in drug areas.

5/ Chattanooga

Chattanooga also has one of the highest crime rates in America, with 64 crimes committed per 1,000 people, making it one of the most dangerous cities in the U.S. In Chattanooga, there is a one in sixteen chance of becoming a victim of crime. The city's crime rate is 173.58% greater than the national average, at 6359 per 100,000 population, making it one of the nation's highest overall crime rates.

Specifically, Chattanooga has a violent crime rate of 1137 offenses per 100,000 population, ranking it among the top ten cities in the nation for violent crime reports filed in the previous year. This means there is a 1 in 88 chance of becoming a victim to a violent crime. It's important to note that while some areas may be safer than others, this does not necessarily mean that violent crime is widespread throughout the entire city.

4/ Little Rock

Based on preliminary data, violent crime in Little Rock increased by 6% from the five-year average in 2023 but decreased by 1% from 2022. The 63 homicides in 2023 are down roughly 25% from 2022, according to the LRPD. In 2022, there were 81 homicides, making it the worst year in Little Rock history. Over the past ten years, the average number of yearly homicides in Little Rock has been around 50. The number of recorded cases in 2023 is almost double that of 2013. Rape reports in Little Rock decreased by 2% in 2023 compared to 2022. There were 78 recorded instances of rape, with the most reports coming from the Northwest Division, with 48 cases. Despite these decreases, Little Rock still ranks as one of the most dangerous cities in the U.S., with a crime rate of 13.42.

3/ St. Louis

There is a reason why St. Louis appears on multiple lists of the most hazardous cities in the United States. St. Louis, Missouri, reported the highest murder rate in the U.S. in 2019 and would almost definitely continue to do so, with a rate of approximately 65 per 100,000 people. That's slightly more than a 1/10,000 chance of being murdered in St. Louis, which is better than the odds of winning the lottery. In comparison, there is a 1 in 40 million chance of experiencing a lightning strike, which only accounts for the 20 or so fatalities caused by lightning strikes each year. Several more are hit and survive.

2/ Detroit

In terms of homicide rates, Detroit was 42nd internationally in 2018 and fourth among significant American cities, trailing only St. Louis and Baltimore. Between 1985 and 2014, the number of robberies in Detroit fell by 67%, while the number of violent assaults increased. The city's crime rate has drastically decreased since its 1980s peak, placing it among the top 25 worst cities in America in 2023.

Detroit, one of the most dangerous cities in the United States, saw 267 homicides in 2017, compared to 303 in 2016, placing it among the top 30 cities with the worst violent crime rates. After St. Louis, the nation's violent crime rate was the second highest, at 2,057 per 100,000. It was more than ten times higher than the metro Detroit suburban counties' average rate of 394 violent crimes per 100,000 people, which was lower than the national average. While the crime rate remains relatively high throughout the city and has a substantial impact on daily life, there has been a noticeable decrease in violence in some communities in Detroit's core region in recent years.

1/ Memphis

According to the Memphis Shelby Crime Commission, Memphis' crime rate will be at its highest in 2023. Memphis has risen to the top of the list of the most dangerous cities despite data showing a decline in general crime over the last few months of 2023 compared to 2022. In 2024, Memphis experienced fewer violent assaults, auto thefts, rapes, and robberies than in 2023, but more homicides occurred. According to a Gallup poll, the highest number of Americans since the survey's inception—63%—believe that crime is a significant problem in the country. Robbery and aggravated assault incidents decreased by about 100 cases per year between 2023 and 2024. The most significant decrease was in car theft, with roughly 1,100 fewer cases in 2024. However, Memphis' murder rate is still increasing, with 55 occurrences reported in 2024. These values are similar to those of other big cities. According to Safe Home's 2024 Crime Rates in U.S. Cities Report, Baltimore and Detroit are gradually gaining ground on Memphis, which currently has a murder rate of 43 per 100,000 residents.

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