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Top 10 Most Violent Cities In The US By FBI. Photo KnowInsiders

The FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting Program classifies murder, non-negligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault as violent crimes. Violent crime suggests that a person or persons behave in a manner that threatens, attempts, or actually inflicts physical harm on another person or property. Violent crime includes both crimes where the violent act is the objective and crimes where violence is the means to an end.

The seriousness of the crime is altered by whether or not a weapon was used, the severity of injuries to the victim(s), and whether or not the perpetrator has a criminal record. Violent crimes include, but are not limited to, sexual assault, manslaughter, homicide, airplane hijacking, terrorism, rape, shootings, and kidnapping.

Most Dangerous Town In America

(Updated December 2021)

The most dangerous town in America is Nome, Alaska, which reported 4,205 violent crimes per 100,000 people — more than 10 times the national violent crime rate of 399 for every 100,000 people. The town of 3,900 residents had 164 violent crimes and two murders in 2020, according to FBI data. Nome’s five-year poverty rate of 7.5% is relatively low. The comparable national poverty rate is 13.4%.

Top 10 Most Violent Cities or Towns In The US

(By FBI - Updated 2021)

1.Memphis – Number of violent crimes each year (2020): 15,310

2.Detroit - 14,370

3. Milwaukee - 9,407

4. Kansas City - 7,919

5.Cleveland - 6,281

6.St.Louis - 6,017

7.Little Rock - 3,657

8. Springfield - 2,545

9.South Bend - 1,765

10. Lansing - 1,699


The Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program generates reliable statistics for use in law enforcement. It also provides information for students of criminal justice, researchers, the media, and the public. The program has been providing crime statistics since 1930.

The UCR Program includes data from more than 18,000 city, university and college, county, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement agencies. Agencies participate voluntarily and submit their crime data either through a state UCR program or directly to the FBI's UCR Program.

Which cities in the US have the highest violence rate today?


Photo Getty
Photo Getty

Memphis, which had 633,104 people in 2020, and Portland, Oregon, population 652,503, are the two cities city closest in size to Detroit that reported data. Portland reported only 53 murders, less than a fifth of what Detroit saw last year. The city also had 2,343 aggravated assaults, about a fifth of what was reported in Detroit. In total, its crime rate fell about 3.6%. Memphis, meanwhile, led the nation in violent crime. Thanks largely to a big rise in murders and assaults, its violent crime rate rose 27.3% from 2019 to 2020.

The most dangerous city in the United States usually changes from year to year. The data that is taken into consideration when determining which state is the most dangerous revolves around two aspects of a city.

The first concept that researchers tend to look at is the violent crime rate of a given area. The second detail that is looked at is how likely it is that a random passerby will be a victim of some type of crime. The most recent city to be named the most dangerous in 2019 is Bessemer, which is in the state of Alabama.

Some of the most dangerous parts of the world cannot even be considered in this list of top one hundred most dangerous US cities because, due to their population sizes, they cannot be classified as cities. So, just because a location is not listed in the queue of most dangerous United States cities does not make it safe necessarily.


Photo Getty
Photo Getty

In 2020, 14,370 violent crimes — which include assault, robbery, rape and criminal homicide — were reported by Detroit police, according to FBI data. That's a 10.25% increase from 2019 when 13,034 violent crimes were reported.

Homicides nationally jumped 29.4% from 2019 to 2020, the FBI data showed. Violent crimes also were up 5.6% in 2020 over the previous year across the country.

In Detroit, murders rose 19.3% and aggravated assaults increased 21.7%, leading to the city’s big jump in overall violent crime rate even though the number of reported rapes fell by 29% and robberies fell by 21.2%. The city reported 328 murders, including non-negligent manslaughter, 676 rapes, 1,848 robberies and 11,518 aggravated assaults, according to FBI data.

Why Detroit ranks higher than other cities

Those numbers are also how Detroit ranks higher in violent crimes per capita than cities like Chicago and St. Louis, where high numbers of homicides regularly make national news.

3. Milwaukee

Photo Getty
Photo Getty

Milwaukee set a new homicide record in 2020. The city's Office of Violence Prevention says it's committed to bringing down the violent crime statistics this year.

Several communities organizations, including 414 LIFE, gathered near 34th and Hampton on Saturday, Jan. 9 at the site of Milwaukee's first and second homicides of the year hoping to start to make that change.

They went door to door spreading information about resources available and handing out neon care care packages.

"Everybody's welcome to come out here and join us to stop the violence in our city," said Hamid Abd-Al-Jabbar, outreach supervisor for 414 LIFE. "There's something we can do to turn this around and so this is the start of that."

Milwaukee ended 2020 with 189 homicides, which shattered the previous record set back in 1991.

"We weren't the only city that broke its homicide record. Louisville, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, other cities also exceeded record-breaking homicide numbers ... The pandemic was the common denominator around the country," said Reggie Moore, injury and violence prevention director for the Milwaukee Office of Violence Prevention.

Are people fleeing the most dangerous metros?

Higher crime rates don’t seem to be keeping people away from the metro areas that report the most crimes per capita. Only four of the cities on our list saw net drops in population between 2010 and 2019. And a full 60% of our list saw net gains that outpace the number of folks moving to the safest metro areas.

4. Kansas City

Kansans experience 7.05 violent crimes per every 1,000 residents. It said Kansans experience 22.46 other personal crimes per every 1,000 residents and 66.07 other property crimes per every 1,000 residents. It said this accounts for the state’s score of 11.63.

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Of the 101 homicides reported, 95 involved a firearms. The other 6 were by other unspecified means. According to the data, the Cleveland Police District 4 and District 3 had the most homicides.

District 1

Includes West Park, Kamms Corner, and Edgewater/West Boulevard neighborhoods.

Eight homicides year-to-date.

District 2

Includes South Brooklyn, Tremont, Ohio City, Clark Fulton and South Brooklyn neighborhoods.

16 homicides year-to-date.

District 3

Includes Downtown, Asia Town, Hough and Central neighborhoods.

22 homicides year-to-date.

District 4

Includes Kinsman, Woodland Hills, Buckeye-Shaker, Mt. Pleasant and Union/Miles Park neighborhoods.

37 homicides year-to-date.

District 5

Includes Glenville, Forest Hills and the Collinwoods neighborhoods.

18 homicides year-to-date.


Photo Getty
Photo Getty

St. Louis is just less than half the size of Detroitwith a population of 301,578, but with 263 murders in 2020 and more than 4,200 aggravated assaults, the city nearly matches Detroit in terms of violent crime for its size. Its crime rate rose about 4.6% this year.

What it’s like to live in the most dangerous metro areas in America

Big-city life is fast paced, exciting, and full of challenges. More people, more problems (am I right?). We examined socioeconomic and lifestyle factors among the most dangerous cities in the US—like poverty rate, high school graduation rate, and median household income.

7.Little Rock

Photo Fox16
Photo Fox16

Little Rock crime statistics obtained through a public records request reveal the city is on track for one of the most violent years since at least 2015.

Documents show homicides, cases of battery in the first degree and incidents of terroristic acts have increased over the last five years.

Comparing statistics from the last six years between January 1 and September 7, the rates of all three of those kinds of crime are higher in 2021.

As of September 7, Little Rock had seen 45 homicides for the year. The only other year within 10 cases of that pace was 2017, which saw 41 homicides by September 7.

8. Springfield

Photo Getty
Photo Getty

Springfield’s metro area had a collective violent crime rate of 6.3 incidents per 1,000 residents and a property crime rate of 36.7, the city is reporting thoroughly. It’s something the author of the study says she knows can be skewed.

“Anybody who lives in Springfield can certainly name more than that many cities more dangerous than Springfield and we don’t have to think really hard about it,” Matt Morrow, President of the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce says.

9.South Bend

Last year was one of the most violent in recent memory for South Bend, as both shootings and aggravated assaults increased compared to 2019.

South Bend Police Department data, however, also show a decrease in property crimes like larceny and burglary, as pandemic restrictions led to fewer people on streets and fewer businesses open.

Overall, South Bend police reported 133 criminally assaulted shootings in 2020; 23 of which were fatal. In 2019, 109 people were shot in criminally assaulted shootings, which do not include accidental shootings or suicides, while 2018 saw 78 shootings, 2017 saw 102 and 2016 saw 81.

10. Lansing

Of Michigan's cities larger than 50,000 people other than Detroit, Lansing had 1,508.2 incidents of violent crime per 100,000 people, up 35.8% from the 1,110.7 per 100,000 documented in 2019. Kalamazoo followed, with 1,486.4 violent crimes per 100,000 people, up 19.35% from 1,245.4 per 100,000 last year. Pontiac had 1,364 violent crimes per 100,000 people, an increase of 5.39% from 1,293.79 last year.

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