America's 10 Most Dangerous Cities

Surging crime rates have been a point of concern for many across the United States, and efforts to deal with the problem have formed the basis of many political campaigns. According to a study from MoneyGeek, the total cost of crime in America’s most dangerous cities was an astonishing $203 billion in 2020, which is quite an increase from $176 billion in 2019. With a combination of homicides, gun violence, assault, and theft, curbing the spread of crime in these areas remain an everlasting struggle. The following article looks at the 10 Most Dangerous Cities in the United States, ranked by the highest cost of crime per capita. 

1. St. Louis, Missouri - $11,574 per capita

St. Louis, Missouri
A dark shady street with industrial buildings in urban St. Louis, Missouri. 

St. Louis has the highest crime cost per capita of $11,574, with reportedly high levels of assault. In addition, this city, with a population of 298,422 residents, also ranks as a dangerous place with allegations of police assaults and several unsolved murder cases. Moreover, the violent crime rate of 2,016 per 100,000 people has made St. Louis the country’s most dangerous urban center.

2. Jackson, Mississippi - $9,138 per capita

Mississippi’s capital city, Jackson, is home to a population of nearly 153,701 residents and reports a high crime rate. The city has a per capita crime cost of $9,138. Moreover, the violent crime rate of 1,050 per 100,000 people suggests that the city has high rates of assaults, robbery, and rape. This sad statistical reality has led to an increased push to make this capital city a safer and more prosperous place for everyone. 

3. Detroit, Michigan - $7,292 per capita

Detroit, Michigan crime
Detroit police officers in action. Editorial credit: Lester Graham / Shutterstock.com

Unfortunately, Detroit has long held a reputation for being a dangerous city, even though many parts of the city are indeed a beacon of culture, art, and industry. Detroit has a per capita crime cost of $7,292. With a population of 659,616 inhabitants, the “Motor City,” has a violent crime rate of 2,179 per 100,000 people. Still, the historic and geographic importance of Detroit cannot be negated, and many efforts continue to be made to ensure the city effectively tackles its crime problems.

4. New Orleans, Louisiana - $7,214 per capita

new orleans crime
A sign warns tourists of the recent crime wave in the New Orleans French Quarter on January 17, 2015, and encourages people to walk in large groups for safety. Editorial credit: Chuck Wagner / Shutterstock.com

New Orleans has a per capita crime cost of $7,214. The city has the unenviable distinction of having the highest homicide rate among all major cities in the United States. Having a population of 393,779 residents, New Orleans has a violent crime rate of 1,324 per 100,000 people. Over the years, a more concentrated effort is required to help stop the plague of homicides in this most cultural and special Southern city.

5. Baltimore, Maryland - $7,091 per capita

Baltimore has a per capita crime cost of $7,091 and a violent crime rate of 1,461 per 100,000 people. In 2019, about 348 homicides were reported in Baltimore, the highest in 26 years, while 2020 and 2021 have only seen minor decreases.

6. Memphis, Tennessee - $6,884 per capita

A police car parked in downtown Memphis. Editorial credit: Mont592 / Shutterstock.com

The second-most populous city of Tennessee with a population of 650,937 residents, Memphis has a per capita crime cost of $6,884. In 2020, Memphis was the country's most violent metropolitan area, and in 2021, the city set a record with 346 murders. Memphis has a violent crime rate of 2,352 per 100,000 people.

7. Cleveland, Ohio - $6,423 per capita

One of the chief cities in the Great Lakes region, having a population of 379,121 residents, Cleveland has a per capita crime cost of $6,423. Due to its high rate of criminal violence, Cleveland is one of the country's most heavily policed cities, with about 1,475 police officers being deployed in the city in 2021. The city has a violent crime rate of 1,657 per 100,000 people.

8. Baton Rouge, Louisiana - $6,150 per capita

Baton Rouge, the capital of Louisiana, forms the heart of the Baton Rouge metropolitan area along the eastern shores of the Mississippi River. With a population of 219,245 inhabitants, Baton Rouge has a per capita crime cost of $6,150. It is to be noted that the combined rate of violent and property crime in Baton Rouge is higher compared to other places that have a similar population size. Baton Rouge has a violent crime rate of 952 per 100,000 people.

9. Kansas City, Missouri - $5,382 per capita

Kansas city
Kansas City policemen in riot gear. Editorial credit: Jenny Davis Bauman / Shutterstock.com

Having a population of 499,335 inhabitants, Kansas City is Missouri's largest and the country's 36th most populous city. The city has a per capita crime cost of $5,382, and a violent crime rate of 1,586 per 100,000 people.

10. Shreveport, Louisiana - $5,153 per capita

Louisiana's third-most populous city, Shreveport, has a population of 185,588 residents and a per capita crime cost of $5,153. In 2021, with 87 homicides, Shreveport recorded the highest number of homicides in its history. Shreveport also has a violent crime rate of 923 per 100,000 people.

Addressing criminal activities and ever-increasing rates of crime continues to be one of the most prominent issues in the United States. Whether it is murder, robbery, or assault, the variety of crimes reduces any city’s favorability. In addition, people who live in higher crime areas pay much higher prices for vital needs and witness depressed home values. The ten American cities on this list continue to struggle with the containment of crimes and yet are great examples of art, culture, and human achievement.

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