When we think about the most dangerous cities in America, big names like New York or Los Angeles might jump to mind. However, when it comes to crime rates and safety concerns, it’s often the smaller cities at the top of the list. These cities, which might not dominate the headlines as much, face significant challenges contributing to their high crime rates. Many of the cities are top tourist destinations – places you likely have visited or plan to go to for work or pleasure.
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The List: Most Dangerous Cities in America, According to Experts
1. Bessemer, Alabama
Here are some disturbing numbers. According to Traveling Lifestyle, “The odds of becoming a crime victim in Bessemer are 1 in 9.” This places the city of 27,000 at the top of our list of the most dangerous cities in the U.S.
Once called “The Marvel City,” due to its rapid growth in its early years, Kim Komando says Bessemer is now known as the community with the highest crime rate in the nation, clocking 33.18 violent crimes per 1,000 residents.
2. Memphis, Tennessee
Memphis is a much different place than it was when Elvis Presley walked the halls of Graceland. Now, it has a crime rate that is 237 percent higher than the national average. According to Property Club, “The most dangerous neighborhoods in Memphis are Downtown, Parkway Village-Oakhaven, and Berclair-Highland Heights.“
If you visit Memphis, Traveling Lifestyle reminds you to “keep your wits about you,” especially at night, so you don’t become a crime victim.
The Memphis police department has spent decades trying to reduce the city’s crime rate. According to U.S. News and World Report, the city uses reporting data to “identify and target crime hot spots around the city.” The data is posted weekly to the police department’s website.
3. St. Louis, Missouri
While the St. Louis Arch may be welcoming, you may not get such a homey feeling if you come into harm’s way while visiting St. Louis. According to Property Club, you have a one in 50 chance of being targeted by a criminal in the Gateway to the West. The neighborhoods with the highest crime? Peabody-Darst-Webbe, Hamilton Heights, Walnut Park West, and College Hill.
It’s been difficult for St. Louis to find its way off this list, due to high poverty rates and unemployment. Norada Real Estate Investments writes, “The concentration of poverty in certain neighborhoods amplifies the strain on social systems and increases the risk of criminal involvement.” The prevalence of firearms also plays a role in the number of violent crimes.
According to The Hill, St. Louis has the third highest crime cost per capita, at $11,055.
4. Detroit, Michigan
Detroit is no stranger to danger, coming in at number four on our list. Norada Real Estate Investments says thanks to urban decay many abandoned buildings attract “illicit drug trade, squatters, and gang-related activities.” Efforts remain underway to try to revitalize some of those areas, to reduce crime.
The Motor City may be known for auto manufacturing, but it’s also known for its high crime. Traveling Lifestyle says its crime rate is “several times the national average” making it one of the most dangerous cities in the country.
According to The Hill, Detroit fares a little better than St. Louis when it comes to the cost of crime per capita, coming in at $9291, but it still ranks highly in terms of being dangerous by many experts.
5. Birmingham, Alabama
Another Alabama city rounds out our top five. Traveling Lifestyle reports local authorities in Birmingham have tried to reduce crime, but it remains “higher than 98% of other communities” in the state.
Birmingham is known for being the founding city of Veteran’s Day. Like the other spots on this list, there are a lot of great qualities about the community, but crime still lingers beneath the surface. According to Norada Real Estate Investments, Birmingham’s violent crime index “encompasses homicides, robberies, and assaults” and is off the charts.
When it comes to the cost of crime per capita, The Hill says Birmingham comes in at the top with a whopping cost of $11,392.
- Real Estate News
- Property Club
- Daily Mail
- New York Post
- U.S. News & World Report
- Traveling Lifestyle
- The Hill
- Norada Real Estate Investments
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