The top 15 most dangerous cities, based on high crime rates, include St. Louis, Mobile, Birmingham, Baltimore, and Memphis, among others, with many crimes being violent in nature. It’s essential to stay informed, avoid dangerous areas, and take precautions if visiting or moving to these cities to ensure personal safety and protect property.
Whether you’re researching a trip or a potential move to a new city, knowing the most dangerous cities in the USA is key to choosing a safe destination.
Find out the 15 most dangerous cities in the USA and learn tips to protect yourself and your property if you need to visit a city designated as dangerous below.
What Are the Most Dangerous Cities in the USA?
Prefer to avoid visiting or moving to one of the most dangerous cities in the USA? Then you need to review this year’s list of the cities with the highest crime rates for the population size.
The most dangerous cities in the USA are as follows:
- St. Louis, Missouri
- Mobile, Alabama
- Birmingham, Alabama
- Baltimore, Maryland
- Memphis, Tennessee
- Detroit, Michigan
- Cleveland, Ohio
- New Orleans, Louisiana
- Shreveport, Louisiana
- Baton Rouge, Louisiana
- Little Rock, Arkansas
- Oakland, California
- Milwaukee, Wisconsin
- Kansas City, Missouri
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
The list of the most dangerous cities was originally compiled by MoneyGeek, a financial firm that puts together an annual list of cities that experience the highest levels of crime in the US.
But MoneyGeek analyzes crime in terms of the financial consequences, which doesn’t paint the full picture of crime in the most dangerous areas of the United States.
So we analyzed detailed Neighborhood Scout crime reports for each city to bring you the overall violent crime and property crime numbers, rates, and most commonly committed crimes.
The result is a clearer picture of the most dangerous cities in America and the types of crimes that occur most often in each.
The 15 Most Dangerous Cities in the USA
Check the descriptions below to learn more about crime in each of these cities and keep reading beyond the list to learn how to stay safe if you need to travel to any of these places!
1. St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis, Missouri is the most dangerous city in the USA currently with 20,533 crimes reported in 2022 (violent and property crimes).
Your chances of becoming the victim of a crime in St. Louis are 1 in 67 – an alarming rate that far surpasses the rest of the state, with many crimes here being of a violent nature.
The murder rate in St. Louis is 0.64 per 1,000 people compared to the overall United States murder rate of 0.07, according to Neighborhood Scout.
The most dangerous areas in St. Louis are the northern and eastern areas of the city, with more violent crimes occurring here.
Property crimes are the norm in tourist areas, however, so it can be safe to visit if you avoid the most crime-ridden areas.
2. Mobile, Alabama
Mobile, Alabama is the second most dangerous city in the USA, according to MoneyGeek. Here, there were 26,089 crimes reported in 2022, including violent and property crimes.
Your chances of becoming the victim of a crime in Mobile are 1 in 36 with an overall 27.94 crime rate in the city.
This seems like a higher rate than in St. Louis, the most dangerous city in the USA, but it’s important to consider that most of the crimes here are property-related and not violent.
The murder rate in Mobile is 0.46, which is disturbing considering the US murder rate average of 0.07.
3. Birmingham, Alabama
Not far behind Mobile is Birmingham, Alabama as the third most dangerous city in the USA. With 15,231 crimes reported in 2022 here, it’s in the bottom 1% of the safest cities in the country.
Your chances of being victimized in Birmingham are 1 in 49, which means that in a group of 49 people, at least one will be the victim of a violent or property crime.
Here, most crimes are property-related and not violent, however. With over 11,100 property crimes taking place in 2022, there were 4,065 violent crimes in contrast.
The murder rate in Birmingham has risen in recent years, with 2022 being the deadliest on record for the city with 144 homicides.
Anniston, Lanett, and Gadsden are the most dangerous counties in the immediate and surrounding area, so these are best avoided.
4. Baltimore, Maryland
Baltimore, Maryland is number 4 on the list of the most dangerous cities in the USA. The crime rate is high here and 26,546 crimes took place in the city in 2022.
Most of the crimes here involved property, but violent crimes represent 9,029 of the total crimes throughout the year and make it a dangerous city to live in or visit.
Your chances of becoming the victim of a crime in Baltimore are 1 in 64 with an overall violent crime rate of 15.66.
Violent crime, theft, and mugging are the most common crimes committed in Baltimore and make it an unsafe city to visit.
5. Memphis, Tennessee
Memphis, Tennessee is in the top 5 most dangerous cities in the USA and has been experiencing increased crime rates over the past several years.
What makes Memphis dangerous? With 50,566 crimes committed here in 2022, nearly 16,000 were violent crimes that caused injury or death to victims.
One in 40 people in Memphis will be the victim of a violent crime in a given year. That’s astronomical, especially considering that the statewide violent crime rate in Tennessee is 1 in 148.
Memphis is generally not considered safe to visit, but it’s possible to enjoy a secure trip here by sticking to the tourist zones with higher levels of security, police presence, and safety measures in place.
6. Detroit, Michigan
Detroit, Michigan has been a regular on the list of the most dangerous cities in the USA for years. While violent crime is actually down 11% here, property crime is on the rise.
Detroit sees about 37,320 crimes annually with about 14,580 of those being violent crimes. One in 43 people were victimized by violent criminals in 2022 here.
Compare that to the Michigan overall violent crime rate affecting 1 in 202 people and it’s clear how dangerous the bad neighborhoods in Detroit can be.
The waterfront areas in Detroit are generally the safest, but neighborhood boundaries here are fluid and tourists can easily end up in bad neighborhoods with few landmarks to make navigation easy.
7. Cleveland, Ohio
Cleveland, Ohio may not be within the top 5 most dangerous cities in the USA, but it’s dangerous nonetheless. With 20,546 crimes committed here in 2022, violent crimes represent 6,316 of the overall number.
Property crimes are far more common in Cleveland, with about 14,200 property crimes reported during the last year.
One in 58 people will be the victim of a violent crime each year in Cleveland, according to current data, and 17.16 people out of 1,000 are targeted by violent criminals.
Crime is certainly high in Cleveland, but it mostly affects locals and much less commonly affects tourists. Violent crime tends to take place outside of tourist zones, so keep this in mind if you choose to visit.
8. New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans, Louisiana may be called the Big Easy, but don’t let the nickname fool you – it’s one of the most dangerous cities in the USA.
In fact, New Orleans was recently named the new “Murder Capital” of the US with the highest number of homicides in the country for the number of residents.
There were 280 homicides (murders) here in 2022, the city’s highest number in 26 years. That translates into 52 murders per 100,000 residents.
With 20,722 crimes (violent and property) reported here in 2022, 5,200+ were considered violent crimes. New Orleans saw huge increases in violent carjackings, shootings, and armed robberies in 2022.
The most dangerous areas in New Orleans include Saint Roch, Central City, Seventh Ward, and the Florida Area – thankfully, all outside of the most popular tourist zones.
9. Shreveport, Louisiana
Shreveport, Louisiana can be a dangerous city for locals and tourists alike, though it doesn’t have nearly as many violent or property crimes as larger cities on the list.
Shreveport saw 9,294 violent and property crimes in 2022, with 1,771 being violent crimes like armed robbery, carjacking, and homicide.
The crimes here are concentrated in bad neighborhoods where tourists generally don’t venture, but some statistics from Travel Safe – Abroad make Shreveport especially concerning for female and solo travelers.
There are a disturbing number of rapes in Shreveport – about 133 per 100,000 people, compared to the also-harrowing national average of 40-45 per 100,000 people.
The overall crime rate in Shreveport is 9.62 per 1,000 residents. About 1 in 104 people become the victim of a violent crime in Shreveport.
10. Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Baton Rouge, Louisiana is a very dangerous city in Louisiana and one of 3 cities in the state to land on the list of the most dangerous cities in the USA.
In Baton Rouge, there were 12,426 violent and property crimes reported in 2o22. Of those, 2,651 were considered violent crimes.
Violent crime affects nearly 12 in 1,000 people and your risk of becoming a victim of a violent crime is 1 in 84 here. The murder rate here is 0.40 compared to the US average of 0.07.
The risk is far greater for non-violent property crime, where 1 in 23 people are likely to be victimized annually. Burglary, theft, and carjacking are the most common threats.
11. Little Rock, Arkansas
Little Rock, Arkansas is notorious for property crime, but it also experiences high levels of violent crime. That makes it one of the most dangerous cities in the USA.
About 1 in 49 people, or 20.29 out of 1,000 will be the victim of a violent crime in Little Rock each year. Murder, rape, robbery, and assault are the most common violent crimes.
Little Rock had 3,388 assaults reported in 2022, along with 397 robberies, 252 rapes, and 62 murders. While these numbers are alarming, property crime is much more common.
About 1 in 19 people experience property crime each year in Little Rock, with most crimes being theft related by far.
12. Oakland, California
Oakland, California is one of the most dangerous cities in America with more than 30,300 violent and property crimes reported in 2022 alone.
Most of the crimes here are non-violent property crimes (24,900+), but violent crime can and does occur (5,400+) as well.
About 1 in 80 people will be the victim of a violent crime in Oakland each year, while the number is about 1 in 17 for property crimes.
Most crimes occur in bad neighborhoods in Oakland, including North Kennedy Tract, Coliseum Industrial, Fitchburg, Fruitvale Station, Coliseum, Eastmont, Woodland, South Stonehurst, and Acord-Acord Industrial.
San Francisco is less than 30 minutes away and is generally a much safer city to visit, so consider it instead if you’re thinking about heading to Oakland.
13. Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Milwaukee, Wisconsin is one of the lesser-known most dangerous cities in the USA. Violent crime dropped 7% here in 2022, but the rates are still high for the population size.
There were 34,443 crimes committed in Milwaukee during 2022, with violent crime representing 9,493 of those. The rest were property crimes that didn’t result in threat, injury, or death.
Assault is the most common violent crime here (nearly 7,000 reported in 2022), followed by robbery (1,800+), rape (448), and murder (196).
Property crime is far more common in Milwaukee, with 1 in 23 people being the victim of crimes like burglary, theft, and carjacking annually.
You can avoid crime in Milwaukee by sticking to the tourist areas and attractions, where less crime occurs and more safety measures are in place for visitors.
14. Kansas City, Missouri
Kansas City, Missouri is one of 2 Missouri cities on the most dangerous cities in the USA list. While it’s not quite as perilous as St. Louis, it still ranks highly in violent and property crime rates.
With just under 30,000 crimes reported in Kansas City in 2022, about 7,400 were violent crimes like assault, robbery, rape, and murder.
About 1 in 69 people are the victim of violent crimes in Kansas City, MO each year. Compare that to the much higher property crime rate, where about 1 in 23 people are victimized annually.
Theft, carjacking, and burglary (in that order) are the most common property crimes in Kansas City. Still, the city experienced its second-highest homicide number ever in 2022 (167), a worrying statistic for potential tourists.
15. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
At the bottom of the list of the most dangerous cities in the United States is Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It may be the City of Brotherly Love, but crime is unfortunately quite common here.
Philadelphia is not the safest city to visit, especially its more violent neighborhoods like Kensington, Fairhill, Nicetown, and South Street.
Violent crime happens to about 1 in 123 people here, but property crime is the real problem with 1 in 38 being the victim of burglary, carjacking, or theft.
Philadelphia saw an 8.18% decrease in homicides from 2021, but it still remains on the list of the 15 most dangerous cities in America for now. Stick to tourist areas with higher police presence and security measures to reduce your chances of becoming the victim of a crime.
Frequently Asked Questions
Learn more about the most dangerous cities in the USA and places with the highest crime rates by reading through the most frequently asked questions below.
What city in U.S. has the highest crime rate?
According to Wikipedia, the city in the U.S. with the highest crime rate is actually Mobile, Alabama. Note that crime rate isn't the only factor in our list of the 15 most dangerous cities.
While it doesn't have the highest numbers of violent and property crimes (6,217 per 100,000 people) due to its lower population, higher rates of crime occur in Mobile.
What are the 10 highest crime cities in the United States?
The 10 most dangerous cities with the highest crime rates are St. Louis, MO, Mobile, AL, Birmingham, AL, Baltimore, MD, Memphis, TN, Detroit, MI, Cleveland, OH, New Orleans, LA, Shreveport, LA, and Baton Rouge, LA.
These cities have higher than average violent and property crime rates for their population size that put locals and tourists at increased risk.
What large U.S. city has the lowest crime rate?
Honolulu is the safest large U.S. city with the lowest crime rate for its population size, according to 2022 data from MoneyGeek.
In Honolulu, the overall violent crime rate is 2.56 per 1,000 residents with 1 in 390 people becoming the victim of a violent crime.
What city in PA has the highest crime rate?
Pennsylvania's most dangerous city is Philadelphia, which is the only city in the state to make it on the list of the 15 most dangerous cities in the country.
PropertyClub cites McKees Rocks, a borough of Pittsburgh, as being the city with the highest crime rate in Pennsylvania, but we weren't able to locate an accurate source for this information.
What city has the worst crime?
St. Louis, Missouri is the city with the worst crime overall, considering its overall violent and property crime rates and population size. WalletHub named it as the most dangerous city to live in for 2022 as well.
Crime occurs mostly in concentrated areas considered bad neighborhoods in St. Louis, but it can affect tourists as much as locals with theft, carjacking, and mugging being common here.
So, What Are the Most Dangerous Cities in the USA?
Staying safe is one of the most important considerations when you’re traveling or even considering moving to a new place.
Knowing the most dangerous cities in the USA is a great start – it gives you a list of places to be very cautious about visiting or staying in.
The 15 cities on our list aren’t completely unsafe. For the most part, crime takes place in limited areas within these cities and tourists won’t run into the crime hotspots on a normal vacation.
But if you don’t like taking chances and want to feel more at ease on your trip, consider skipping the destinations on this list and choosing one of the safest places to visit instead!