Want to know which is the most dangerous city in the United States? Here’s a list of the most dangerous cities in the US, ranked by their violent crime rate per 100,000 residents. 

Some of the cities on this list are bigger than others, which is why the measurement of per 100,000 is used, to give an equivalent number of violent crimes, and give a more nuanced view of the most dangerous cities in the US. 

St Louis

St Louis is ranked as the most dangerous city in the US with a violent crime rate of 1,817.10 per 100,000 residents. It’s also listed as one of the most dangerous cities in the world because of its high murder rate. 

There’s a positive trend though with crime decreasing in general, although the crime rate as much higher than the US average. 

St Louis is the most dangerous city in the world

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Detroit

Detroit is ranked as the second most dangerous city in the United States with a violent crime rate of 1,759.60 per 100,000 residents. Like St Louis, the murder rate is also high in Detroit, even though crime is decreasing in general here as well. 

Some neighborhoods have certainly become safer overall, but the crime rate of Detroit remains higher than average and affects daily life negatively. In 2018, there were 261 murders compared to 267 in the previous year before that. 

Detroit

Photo: Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

Memphis

Memphis is famous as a cultural center in the United States, and artists such as Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, and B.B King all recorded albums at the legendary Sun Studio.

But there is a downside to Memphis as well, and that is the high violent crime rate of 1,740.10 per 100,000 residents. The touristy areas are considered safe as well as the downtown, so visitors shouldn’t be too concerned. 

The crimes in Memphis tend to be concentrated in bad neighborhoods. 

memphis tennessee

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Milwaukee

Milwaukee is ranked as the 4th most dangerous city in the US with a violent crime rate of 1,596.10 per 100,000 people. Crimes such as robbery, rape, and homicide are all higher than the national average. 

Milwaukee is one of the most dangerous cities in the us

Photo: Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

Baltimore

Baltimore has been caught in some bad press and is consistently ranked as one of the most dangerous cities in the United States, and even worldwide due to its high homicide rate. 

The violent crime rate in Baltimore is 1,535.90 per 100,000 residents. Robbery and assault happen more frequently in Baltimore than other parts of the US and much of the city’s crimes are related to drugs. 

Baltimore

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Oakland

Oakland has been troubled by crime for more than 50 years, and it remains the most dangerous city in California with robbery being the most common type of crime. The odds of getting robbed in Oakland is 1 out of 91, which is extremely high.

The violent crime rate in Oakland is 1,442.50 per 100,000 residents. 

Oakland

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Kansas City

Kansas City is another city in the state of Missouri which continues to have problems with crime. The rate of violent crimes in Kansas City is 1,417.30 per 100,000 people.

The murder rate is also five times higher than the national average. 

Kansas City

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Stockton

Stockton in California has a particularly high rate of assaults compared to other American cities. The violent crime rate of Stockton is 1,352.00 per 100,000 residents. 

Stockton

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Cleveland

A high unemployment rate and poverty are some of the struggles that Cleveland is facing, just like many other cities listed as the most dangerous cities in the US. The violent crime rate in Cleveland is 1,334.30 per 100,000 people. 

Cleveland

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Indianapolis

Indianapolis is ranked as the 10th most violent American city with a violent crime rate of 1,288.00 per 100,000 residents. Compared to last year the number of crimes went down, although they are still higher than the national average. 

Indianapolis

Photo: Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

The 25 Most Dangerous Cities in the United States

Below is the full list of the 25 most dangerous cities in the US, ranked by their Violent Crime Rate per 100,000 residents.

Rank City State Violent Crime Rate (per 100,000 residents)
1 St. Louis Missouri 1,817.10
2 Detroit Michigan 1,759.60
3 Memphis Tennessee 1,740.10
4 Milwaukee Wisconsin 1,596.10
5 Baltimore Maryland 1,535.90
6 Oakland California 1,442.50
7 Kansas City Missouri 1,417.30
8 Stockton California 1,352.00
9 Cleveland Ohio 1,334.30
10 Indianapolis Indiana 1,288.00
11 Washington District of Columbia 1,202.60
12 Toledo Ohio 1,128.90
13 Atlanta Georgia 1,119.60
14 Buffalo New York 1,118.60
15 Nashville Tennessee 1,101.00
16 Newark New Jersey 1,077.70
17 Anchorage Alaska 1,070.90
18 Minneapolis Minnesota 1,062.90
19 Philadelphia Pennsylvania 1,029.00
20 Miami Florida 1,021.30
21 Wichita Kansas 984.8
22 Houston Texas 966.7
23 Albuquerque New Mexico 965.8
24 New Orleans Louisiana 949.6
25 Orlando Florida 940.6

More about the most dangerous cities in the US

There is no need to panic and stop visiting any of these American cities, but caution should be used and remember to stay vigilant of your surroundings.

It’s important to know your whereabouts because the crimes are mostly concentrated to certain neighborhoods of those cities, so just avoid these and you’ll likely not become a victim of crimes while visiting.

And remember, if you see something suspicious, notify an officer as soon as possible. With that said, the top 3 most dangerous cities in the US have a very high violent crime rate per 100,000.

Dangerous cities in the USA

Photo: Kimberly Boyles / Shutterstock.com

What’s also interesting is the fact that some of the largest cities in the US are not even in the top 25 most dangerous cities in the United States. 

New York for example, which is the largest city in the USA only has a violent crime rate of 585.8 per 100,000 people, and Los Angeles, which is the second most populated city in the US only has a violent crime rate of 634.8 per 100,000, according to statistics from the FBI.

New York used to have a high crime rate, but there was a turn around in the ’90s where the Mayor carried out some specific policies where even lower-level crimes were handled by aggressive policing.

Today, NYC remains one of the safest cities in the US and NYPD is obviously doing a great job. 

NYPD

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What city in the United States has the most murders?

St Louis is considered the murder capital of the United States and has been listed as the American city with most murders per year since 2017. Baltimore, Detroit, and New Orleans also have high murder rates. 


Were you surprised by the most dangerous cities in the US? Leave a comment below!