This text won’t be answering the question, What are the top 10 safest cities in the United States? However, you might have more luck with that here.
This text deals with quite the opposite issue. Instead of suggesting places you should consider when choosing where to move and settle down, or even just where to go for a vacation, we’re listing the places that should be avoided at all costs. Some of these cities shouldn’t even be a stop on your journey.
The most dangerous cities in the US, listed by level of danger, are presented below. As you’ll read, some of the cities, such as Anchorage, Alaska, have lost their safest in America status and went the opposite way when it comes to crime.
The cities are listed according to the FBI’s preliminary crime report for 2018. Every city has its population, followed by the violent crime rate per 100,000 inhabitants, listed first.
In addition, more in-depth data on violent crime is provided for every city, and this includes the yearly number of assaults, robberies, sexual attacks (rapes), and murders.
Here’s the list of the places to avoid in the US:
Top 10 Most Dangerous Cities
(Population: 23,106; Violent Crime Rate: 3,434)
According to the preliminary FBI Crime Report for 2018, Anniston is the most dangerous place in the US, when it comes to violent crime. The violent crime rate of 3,434 crimes per 100,000 people is atrocious for a city of this size. For comparison, New York, a city with almost 9 million people, has a violent crime rate of 539.
During last year, Anniston had 754 violent crimes reported. This number consisted of 622 assaults, 71 robberies, 47 rapes, and 14 murders.
(Population: 26,856; Violent Crime Rate: 2,986)
Another Alabama city takes the second spot on this unflattering list.
In 2018, Bessemer had 787 violent crimes. Assaults were the majority, with 635 of them being reported. 117 robberies, 25 rapes, and 10 murders also occurred during the year, making it one of the highest crime rate cities in the US.
Florida City, Florida
(Population: 12,076; Violent Crime Rate: 2,276)
For the third spot holder, we move from Alabama to Florida.
Florida City saw 278 total violent crimes in 2018. The city’s violent crime rate was more than five-fold the state average, with 195 assaults, 78 robberies, 3 rapes, and 2 murders reported during the year.
(Population: 19,529; Violent Crime Rate: 2,125)
Alabama and Florida aren’t the only ones with bragging rights—Pennsylvania also has some of the most dangerous small cities in America: McKeesport happens to be the most violent one of them, with 445 reported crimes of a violent nature. Data shows that 377 of them were assaults, 48 were robberies, 7 were rapes, and 13 were classified as murders.
St. Louis, Missouri
(Population: 316,030; Violent Crime Rate: 2,082)
The fifth spot on the list is taken by St. Louis, the largest city yet.
The most dangerous city in the US with a population over 100,000, St. Louis residents reported 6,461 violent crimes last year. 4,023 assaults, 1,944 robberies, 289 rapes, and 205 murders combined to make it one of the places we don’t feel safe staying too long in.
(Population: 683,443; Violent Crime Rate: 2,057)
Trailing just steps behind St. Louis is Detroit, the city infamous for both crime and desolation.
A total of 13,796 violent crimes were committed in Detroit during 2018. The sheer number of violent crimes, at 10,193 assaults, 2,639 robberies, 697 rapes, and 267 murders, made it one of the most ghetto cities in America.
(Population: 621,000; Violent Crime Rate: 2,027)
Baltimore is another city whose violent nature is known to most of the world.
As 2018’s crime data clearly shows, the city was close to sharing the 5th spot with the previous two cities on the list. 12,430 violent crimes were reported in Baltimore, and, interestingly enough, the majority weren’t assaults. 5,827 assaults were outnumbered by 5,879 reported robberies. In addition, one of the most dangerous US cities had 382 rapes and 342 murders in 2018.
(Population: 655,857; Violent Crime Rate: 2,003)
Memphis is famous for two things: blues music and crime.
Last year was not a proud one for Memphians, with 13,077 violent crimes reported in their city. 8,849 of those were assaults, and there were 3,457 robberies, 590 rapes, and 181 murders.
Camden County, New Jersey
(Population: 510,719; Violent Crime Rate: 1,967)
The FBI list of the most dangerous cities ranks, for reasons unknown, the entirety of Camden County in the 8th position for places with the highest violent crime rate in the US. More detailed crime data is not available, but just the city of Camden, NJ, itself is estimated to have had 421 total violent crimes in 2018.
(Population: 16,245; Violent Crime Rate: 1,950)
What is the most dangerous city in the United States? Opa-Locka concludes our top 10 list in answer to this question.
With a total of 325 violent crimes, Opa-Locka is not your ideal Florida retirement spot. The city had 225 assaults, 87 robberies, 9 rapes, and 4 murders in 2018.
Top 20 Most Dangerous Cities
(Population: 98,918; Violent Crime Rate: 1,945)
With the total of 1,879 violent crimes committed in 2018 (1,466 assaults, 272 robberies, 104 rapes, 37 murders), Flint is the 11th most dangerous American city.
Pine Bluff, Arkansas
(Population: 45,404; Violent Crime Rate: 1,847)
Extremely violent for a city of its size, Pine Bluff exceeds the state violent crime rate by more than 232%, with 795 violent crimes (606 assaults, 133 robberies, 34 rapes, and 22 murders).
(Population: 22,340; Violent Crime Rate: 1,826)
Prichard, Alabama, is the third city this state has on the list, with its lax gun laws and high murder rates.
One of the most dangerous cities in the US going into 2019, Prichard had a grand total of 404 violent crimes (288 assaults, 96 robberies, 11 rapes, and 9 murders).
Muskegon Heights, Michigan
(Population: 10,792; Violent Crime Rate: 1,808)
Here’s another example of small town madness: With less than 11,000 residents, Muskegon Heights had 195 violent crimes last year (134 assaults, 38 robberies, 20 rapes, 3 murders).
West Memphis, Arkansas
(Population: 25,411; Violent Crime Rate: 1,779)
West Memphis, AR, shouldn’t be confused with Memphis, TN—the only thing these two cities have in common is the fact that they’re among the most dangerous places to live in the US. 447 violent crimes were reported in West Memphis last year (302 assaults, 103 robberies, 35 rapes, 7 murders).
(Population: 32,030; Violent Crime Rate: 1,741)
Danville is our first, but definitely not the last, city from Illinois.
The FBI’s crime statistics show that the city had 546 violent crimes in 2018 (412 assaults, 88 robberies, 36 rapes, 10 murders).
Alexander City, Alabama
(Population: 14,859; Violent Crime Rate: 1,730)
Sweet Home Alabama, with its fourth appearance on the list, provides us with another contender for the title of Worst City in America. Alexander City had 255 violent crimes last year (230 assaults, 15 robberies, 7 rapes, 3 murders).
Kansas City, Missouri
(Population: 471,767; Violent Crime Rate: 1,724)
Kansas City was the second most violent city in Missouri last year, with 8,362 violent crimes (5,909 assaults, 1,858 robberies, 445 rapes, 150 murders).
Highland Park, Michigan
(Population: 10,978; Violent Crime Rate: 1,701)
183 violent crimes occurred in the small city of Highland Park, MI, last year (131 assaults, 39 robberies, 8 rapes, 5 murders), which puts it at 19th among the highest crime rate cities in America.
(Population: 13,155; Violent Crime Rate: 1,635)
The last spot on the list of the 20 most dangerous cities belongs to Crowley, LA. This small city reported 213 violent crimes during 2018 (194 assaults, 12 robberies, 4 rapes, 3 murders).
Top 50 Most Dangerous Cities
Little Rock, Arkansas
(Population: 197,640; Violent Crime Rate: 1,634)
What is the best city in America? Little Rock might be the answer you’re looking for if you don’t mind the amount of violent crime that the city sees. Last year, 3,256 violent crimes were reported in this Arkansas city (2,256 assaults, 502 robberies, 175 rapes, 55 murders).
(Population: 10,677; Violent Crime Rate: 1,615)
Darby is a city that sits just outside of Philadelphia, PA. This small suburban community fell within the top 25 of the 100 most dangerous cities in the US for 2018, with 172 violent crimes reported (110 assaults, 50 robberies, 8 rapes, 4 murders).
(Population: 34,056; Violent Crime Rate: 1,610)
Located a bit further to the west from Darby is Chester, PA, another suburban city with a horrific violent crime record. 547 crimes of this type were reported in Chester during 2018 (319 assaults, 178 robberies, 21 rapes, 29 murders).
(Population: 598,672; Violent Crime Rate: 1,597)
Milwaukee is the city with the highest crime rate in Wisconsin. It had 9,507 reported instances of violent crime last year (6,036 assaults, 2,919 robberies, 434 rapes, 118 murders).
(Population: 71,502; Violent Crime Rate: 1,596)
Delaware is considered an unsafe state, with a violent crime rate of 453 per 100,000 people. Wilmington managed to exceed the state averages by more than three times. 1,142 violent crimes were reported in the city (694 assaults, 381 robberies, 33 rapes, 34 murders), making Wilmington one of the most dangerous cities in America.
(Population: 149,597; Violent Crime Rate: 1,588)
You’re four times more likely to be a victim of a violent crime in Rockford, IL, than you are in most US cities, statistics show. Last year, this fairly large city had 2,331 violent crimes (1,773 assaults, 427 robberies, 113 rapes, 18 murders).
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
(Population: 30,106; Violent Crime Rate: 1,577)
Myrtle Beach was the city with the highest crime rate in South Carolina for 2018. The city had 523 crimes that were classified as violent (312 assaults, 146 robberies, 60 rapes, 5 murders).
(Population: 49,892; Violent Crime Rate: 1,568)
In Saginaw, MI, 762 violent crimes were reported during the previous year (622 assaults, 75 robberies, 50 rapes, 15 murders). These numbers made it the fifth most violent city in the state of Michigan.
Gallup, New Mexico
(Population: 22,523; Violent Crime Rate: 1,543)
Next one on the list of the top 100 most dangerous cities in America is Gallup, NM. The number of violent crimes committed in the city was 352 during 2018 (244 assaults, 87 robberies, 20 rapes, 1 murder).
(Population: 11,515; Violent Crime Rate: 1,500)
The fourth most violent city in Arkansas is Camden, a small city where, luckily, no murders occurred last year. However, 166 other violent crimes did (142 assaults, 11 robberies, 13 rapes).