What city comes to mind as the most dangerous place in the United States before you look at the list? If you assumed Chicago or Los Angeles would be among the top 10, you might be startled to learn otherwise.
You might wish to look at the cities listed as you plan your trip schedule for the year. We’re not saying you shouldn’t go there, but you should definitely do your research and know which parts of the city are safest to visit before you arrive.
Here Is The List
1. St. Louis, Missouri
In 2022, St. Louis, Missouri reported 20,533 crimes, both violent and property-related, making it the most dangerous city in the United States at present. The likelihood of falling victim to a crime in St. Louis is 1 in 67, which is significantly higher than the state’s average. Furthermore, violent crimes are prevalent in this area, making the situation even more alarming.
As compared to the national murder rate of 0.07, St. Louis’s murder rate is 0.64 per 1,000 individuals, according to Neighborhood Scout. This figure indicates that the murder rate in St. Louis is considerably higher than the national average. The most dangerous areas in St. Louis are located in the north and east regions of the city, where violent crimes occur more frequently.
While property crimes are common in tourist areas, it is still possible to have a safe visit to St. Louis by avoiding the most crime-ridden parts of the city. Despite this, it is crucial to remain vigilant and take precautions to ensure personal safety, particularly in high-crime areas.
2. Mobile, Alabama
MoneyGeek has ranked Mobile, Alabama as the second most dangerous city in the United States. In 2022, 26,089 crimes were reported in Mobile, including both violent and property-related offenses.
The likelihood of becoming a victim of crime in Mobile is 1 in 36, with an overall crime rate of 27.94 in the city. Although this may appear to be a higher rate than that of St. Louis, the most dangerous city in the US, it is important to note that the majority of crimes in Mobile are property-related and not violent in nature.
The murder rate in Mobile is 0.46, which is alarming when compared to the US murder rate average of 0.07. This disparity in murder rates emphasizes the severity of the situation in Mobile.
Despite the prevalence of property crimes, it is important to remain cautious while in Mobile, especially in areas where crime rates are higher. By taking precautions and staying alert, individuals can reduce their chances of becoming victims of crime while in this city.
3. Birmingham, Alabama
Birmingham, Alabama ranks as the third most dangerous city in the United States, with 15,231 crimes reported in 2022. This puts it in the bottom 1% of the safest cities in the country.
The likelihood of being victimized in Birmingham is 1 in 49, meaning that at least one person out of every 49 will be the victim of a violent or property crime. Although most crimes in Birmingham are property-related rather than violent, there were still 4,065 violent crimes and over 11,100 property crimes reported in 2022.
In recent years, the murder rate in Birmingham has increased, with 2022 being the deadliest year on record for the city, with 144 homicides.
The most dangerous counties in the immediate and surrounding area, including Anniston, Lanett, and Gadsden, are best avoided to ensure personal safety while in this region. It is important to remain vigilant and take necessary precautions to avoid becoming a victim of crime while in Birmingham.
4. Baltimore, Maryland
Baltimore, Maryland, ranks as the fourth most dangerous city in the United States, with a high crime rate of 26,546 crimes reported in 2022. While property crimes represent the majority of incidents, there were still 9,029 violent crimes throughout the year, making Baltimore a dangerous city to live in or visit.
The likelihood of becoming a victim of crime in Baltimore is 1 in 64, with an overall violent crime rate of 15.66. Violent crimes, theft, and muggings are among the most common crimes committed in the city, making it an unsafe destination for tourists.
It is important to take necessary precautions and remain vigilant while in Baltimore to ensure personal safety. Avoiding high-crime areas and practicing situational awareness can help reduce the risk of becoming a victim of crime while in this city.
5. Memphis, Tennessee
Memphis, Tennessee, is among the top five most dangerous cities in the United States and has seen an increase in crime rates over the past several years. With 50,566 crimes reported in 2022, nearly 16,000 were violent crimes that caused injury or death to victims.
The likelihood of becoming a victim of violent crime in Memphis is high, with one in 40 people experiencing such a crime in a given year. This figure is significantly higher than the statewide violent crime rate in Tennessee, which stands at 1 in 148.
While Memphis is generally not considered a safe city to visit, it is possible to enjoy a secure trip by sticking to tourist zones with higher levels of security, police presence, and safety measures in place. It is important to remain vigilant and take necessary precautions while in Memphis, especially in areas with high crime rates.
6. Detroit, Michigan
Detroit, Michigan, has been a regular fixture on the list of the most dangerous cities in the United States for several years. While violent crime in Detroit has decreased by 11%, property crime has been on the rise.
Annually, Detroit sees around 37,320 crimes, with approximately 14,580 of those being violent crimes. In 2022, one in 43 people were victimized by violent criminals in Detroit. Comparing this to the Michigan overall violent crime rate of affecting 1 in 202 people, it is clear how dangerous the bad neighborhoods in Detroit can be.
While the waterfront areas in Detroit are generally considered to be the safest, neighborhood boundaries can be fluid and tourists can easily end up in bad neighborhoods with few landmarks to make navigation easy. It is important to exercise caution and avoid high-crime areas while in Detroit, especially during late hours.
7. Cleveland, Ohio
While not ranking among the top 5 most dangerous cities in the United States, Cleveland, Ohio, is still considered a dangerous city. In 2022, there were 20,546 crimes committed in Cleveland, with violent crimes representing 6,316 of the overall number.
Property crimes are more prevalent 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, with 17.16 people out of 1,000 targeted by violent criminals.
Although crime rates are high in Cleveland, they mostly affect locals and less frequently tourists. Violent crime tends to occur outside of tourist zones, so visitors should keep this in mind if choosing to visit. Nonetheless, it is important to remain vigilant and take necessary precautions while in Cleveland to ensure personal safety.
8. New Orleans, Louisiana
Despite its nickname as the Big Easy, New Orleans, Louisiana, is considered one of the most dangerous cities in the United States. In fact, it was recently named the new “Murder Capital” of the US, with the highest number of homicides in the country for the number of residents.
In 2022, there were 280 homicides (murders) in New Orleans, the highest number the city has seen in 26 years. This translates to 52 murders per 100,000 residents. Of the 20,722 crimes (violent and property) reported in 2022, more than 5,200 were considered violent crimes. New Orleans saw significant increases in violent carjackings, shootings, and armed robberies during the year.
The most dangerous areas in New Orleans include Saint Roch, Central City, Seventh Ward, and the Florida Area. Fortunately, these areas are outside the most popular tourist zones. Nonetheless, visitors to New Orleans should exercise caution and be mindful of their surroundings to ensure personal safety while in the city.
9. Shreveport, Louisiana
Shreveport, Louisiana, can be a dangerous city for both locals and tourists, although it does not have as many violent or property crimes as larger cities on the list. In 2022, Shreveport saw 9,294 violent and property crimes, with 1,771 being violent crimes such as armed robbery, carjacking, and homicide.
The crimes in Shreveport are concentrated in bad neighborhoods where tourists generally do not venture. However, some statistics from Travel Safe – Abroad make Shreveport particularly concerning for female and solo travelers. There is a disturbingly high number of rapes in Shreveport, approximately 133 per 100,000 people, compared to the harrowing national average of 40-45 per 100,000 people.
The overall crime rate in Shreveport is 9.62 per 1,000 residents, and approximately 1 in 104 people become victims of a violent crime in Shreveport. While tourists should exercise caution and avoid high-crime areas, female and solo travelers in particular should take extra precautions to ensure personal safety while in this city.
10. Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is a highly dangerous city in Louisiana and one of three cities in the state to make the list of the most dangerous cities in the United States. In 2022, there were 12,426 violent and property crimes reported in Baton Rouge, of which 2,651 were considered violent crimes.
Violent crime in Baton Rouge affects nearly 12 in 1,000 people, and the likelihood of becoming a victim of a violent crime in this city is 1 in 84. The murder rate in Baton Rouge is 0.40, compared to the national average of 0.07.
The risk of non-violent property crime is even greater, with 1 in 23 people likely to be victimized annually. Burglary, theft, and carjacking are among the most common threats in Baton Rouge. Visitors to this city should exercise caution and avoid high-crime areas to ensure personal safety.
Things to Consider
Keep these travel safety tips in mind to protect yourself and stay safe if you choose to visit any of the most dangerous cities in the USA.
One important tip to stay safe while visiting the cities on our list is to avoid bad neighborhoods. In most of these cities, crime occurs at much higher rates outside of the main tourist areas that visitors are interested in seeing. By researching the safest zones and avoiding bad neighborhoods (which are typically recognizable by their lack of amenities or attractions), visitors can greatly reduce their risk of becoming victims of crime. It is important to remain vigilant and take necessary precautions while exploring these cities to ensure personal safety.
Another helpful tip for staying safe while visiting these cities is to learn the layout of the city. Knowing the general lay of the land can make it easier to avoid bad neighborhoods. Prior to traveling to the city, check out maps to become familiar with the main roads, neighborhood and street names, and the locations of the main tourist attractions. This can help you plan your itinerary and avoid areas of the city where crime is more prevalent. It is important to remain aware of your surroundings and take necessary precautions to ensure personal safety while exploring the city.
When selecting a hotel in these cities, it is important to choose wisely. Opt for hotels that are located near tourist areas and attractions, not just for convenience but also for safety reasons. Staying close to heavily-trafficked tourist zones ensures a higher police presence and reduces the likelihood of encountering local violent or property crime. By selecting a hotel in a safer area, visitors can feel more secure and enjoy their trip to the fullest. Nonetheless, it is important to remain vigilant and take necessary precautions while exploring the city to ensure personal safety.
When traveling to these cities, it is important to dress plainly and avoid displaying expensive jewelry, bags, or other items that may attract unwanted attention from criminals. This is not the time to dress up in fancy clothes or try to stand out with attention-drawing outfits. By dressing plainly and avoiding flashy items, visitors can reduce their risk of becoming targets for thieves or other criminals. It is important to remain vigilant and take necessary precautions to ensure personal safety while exploring the city.