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Top 50 Most Dangerous Cities in the United States

Which American Cities Rank as the Most Dangerous?

The United States has always had crime in not only urban areas, but also some rural towns. This is one reason to not be surprised that the “Top 50 Most Dangerous Cities in the United States” has some small towns on it. Some reasons for rural areas having crime stem from hard drugs usage and having high unemployment. In urban areas there are the same problems, but it is more densified and concentrated geographically.




The Neighborhood Scout website published a recent “Top 50 Most Dangerous Cities in the United States (2013)”. Some of the cities on the list are repeat offenders because of the crime overload in areas of these cities. The state with most representatives in the top 10 most dangerous are not surprisingly from Michigan.


Michigan has had a hard time ever since the de-industrialization of Midwestern cities. Movements have been created and politicians have made new and stricter laws to combat crime. Sadly, many of them have failed and the cities have gone underwater even more. Check out which cities made the list below.

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Top 50 Most Dangerous Cities in the United States:

50Philadelphia, PA
49Nashville, TN
48Kansas City, MO
47Miami, FL
46Washington, DC
45Desert Hot Springs, CA
44Bridgeton, NJ
43Fort Myers, FL
42Fall River, MA
41Brockton, MA
40Buffalo, NY
39Salisbury, MD
38Texarkana, TX
37Hartford, CT
36Alexandria, LA
35New Haven, CT
34Daytona Beach, FL
33Cleveland, OH
32Rockford, IL
31Pine Bluff, AR
30Harrisburg, PA
29Trenton, NJ
28Stockton, CA
27Baltimore, MD
26Atlanta, GA
25Birmingham, AL
24Little Rock, AR
23Homestead, FL
22Memphis, TN
21Myrtle Beach, SC
20Riviera Beach, FL
19Chester, PA
18York, PA
17Wilmington, DE
16Bessemer, AL
15Harvey, IL
14Monroe, LA
13Oakland, CA
12Spartanburg, SC
11Chelsea, MA
10Inkster, MI
9Newburgh, NY
8St. Louis, MO
7Atlantic City, NJ
6Detroit, MI
5Saginaw, MI
4West Memphis, AR
3Flint, MI
2Camden, NJ
1East St. Louis, IL


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East St. Louis, Illinois

East St. Louis, Illinois tops the chart this year for many reasons. It turns out to be the poorest part of the already poor St. Louis Metropolitan area. Wherever there is poverty, there is crime. It is a simple proportional relationship, an increase in poverty means and increase in crime. This rule of thumb is actually true most of the time.







Camden, New Jersey

Camden, New Jersey is a suburb just east of Philadelphia. Camden is a city known for its drug trade and use. Many young adults from affluent suburbs next door, like Cherry Hill, come to Camden in order to buy drugs off the crime ridden streets.





Flint, Michigan

Flint, Michigan is surprisingly not higher on this list. This city was hit the hardest of any other city in the United States by the deindustrialization of the automobile industry. Flint has been trying to make a comeback after losing half of its population.

A new law now allows the government to knock down abandoned houses for cheap and in bulk to aid in the demolition of the eroding areas and neighborhoods of Flint. You can read more on Flint, Michigan and the impact of deindustrialization here! The article has a very detailed description on the history of the town, its crime, and its economic problems. Check it out – The Government Came in like a Wrecking Ball for Flint, Michigan






What do you think of the list? If the city you live in is on this list, do you agree with its rank or with it even being on the list? Why or why not? Leave answers below please.


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Some other Top Ten Lists Related to the Urban Context:

Top 10 American Cities By Area

Most Affordable Cities in the United States

Top Ten Architecture Books of All Time

Top Ten Most Expensive Real Estate Markets in the United States

Top Ten Most Breathtaking Coastlines in the World

The Top Kitchen Renovation Ideas


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In addition to exploring topics related to civil engineering, I enjoy making house beats.


  1. Myrtle Beach is more dangerous than Philadelphia? I find that VERY hard to believe! Have been to Myrtle Beach many times to stay for awhile and never had any real crime problems (and most of the crime is committed by out of state visitors…like a certain bike week everyone dreads). I have no fear walking around Myrtle Beach streets, going shopping, going out places. But I damn well would not do that in Philly. I live in south Jersey…right outside of Philly, and there is rampant crime and murders on the news EVERY NIGHT. NOT so in Myrtle Beach.

  2. Camden nj is in the right spot but philly should be right next to it i lived in both there the worst to me

  3. Spartanburg s.c.!?#12?ridiculous!! I live here now n must say this can’t be true. There r counties around here that r way worse but they choose not to add in the minor charges like unpaid child support n possession of weed driving w suspended license this keeps their %slower.apparently its legal but it definitely skews the numbers! Wonder how many of the larger cities do the same!? Because of this I don’t put much credence in this report.

    • SPG/Gville, and Asheville man, the tri city area. I am right there with some of these other people. I don’t know of a day when I can turn the TV on and not hear about a murder or some stupid ass scheming some absurd thing to cause harm to others.

  4. I’m from newburgh where cousins and brothers fight each other…gun shots sounds all through the day were it’s not safe to play basketball downtown

  5. I live in st louis quit tellin people how bad there city is it makes easily swayed people to think it is cool

  6. Where is Gary in, chicago I’ll, Youngstown oh, new Orleans, list not accurate at all.

  7. And have all or most of these Cities been run by The Democratic Party for the past 50 years or so? Keep up the good work.

  8. Are you kidding me? Omaha NE isn’t on this list??? I moved the hell away from there so many people get shot and killed ROUTINELY. Wait…not only is it not on the list….it should be moved to top 10.

  9. I was just in a city that I have never been more afraid in, none the less there were two shootings, the day before we got there and 2 days after we left, and every local there told us to stay on main roads and away from uncrowded streets. How is New Orleans, Louisiana not on this list. And I have lived outside of Newburgh for years and can’t see how NOLA is much different.

    • I’ve been tracking the FBI Uniform Crime Report numbers for New Orleans in a spreadsheet for five years now. It really isn’t that bad. We have an extremely high murder rate, but that is typically confined to small pockets of the city and is mostly “criminals killing criminals” so to speak. NOLA is actually one of the safer cities in the state when it comes to overall violent crime. You will be pretty safe as long as you stay out of certain neighborhoods, but isn’t that true of most places?

  10. Wow, lots of chatter about York being so high on this list. We just relocated from York to Green Bay–or to put it more directly, from HellSpan Wealth to St. Vincent Hospital.

    We lived on Grantley Road in York Township, not York proper, for seven years. Never even locked the doors. Yes, a short ride down the hill put you in a different world. But we always went to York events at the Strand/Capitol, the Valencia Ballroom, York Fair, York Heritage Trust. Dined all over York and never even felt threatened. York has vexing problems, including a serious gang violence/drug problem. But all around York is a paradise called York County, and if you can’t see what a wonderful place it is, and how wonderful its people are, just get out and meet them.

    The only place in York we ever felt threatened was at HellSpan. If you work for that clannish bunch, I advise you to watch your six. But in no way does that detract from our overall love of the place. It’s unfortunate that so much of it has been allowed to deteriorate so badly. Crime will do that to a place–make it so repairs and upgrades to property just aren’t worth the cost.

    York has such a great location, and such delightful people, that if it can finally get serious about putting the thugs away for good and running the rest out of town, the resulting hope and peace can lead to a real renaissance. There isn’t a city on this list more worth saving than York.

    We love the kind people and the peaceful absence of crime in Green Bay. But we will never stop loving and missing York.

    • Bahaha! Grantley Road huh? Where the big huge fancy houses are… That’s a tough neighborhood where doctors and professors live… Valencia ballroom and Heritage too? Thanks for the joke Steve… if by any chance you took a road on opposite side of George St you’ll notice it’s not the luxury lifestyle your sweet precious York is…

  11. Hartford is way too far down the list. I live in Newington, right next to Hartford, and their criminal activities are starting to spread into our small town. Every day you hear about someone shooting someone, drug busts, LEOs getting shot at or killed. New Haven being worse then Hartford? I think not. New Haven is pretty bad, but definitely not worse then Hartford.

    • Hear what you sayin but most our murders in bmore dont make the news since we got so many. Hearing of a murder on tv here have unfortunately been normal my whole life. An please..never ask for directions from someone off the street if you drivin. They WILL take you car at da least. Stay safe hacket

  12. Completely false born and raised on philly not a good spot on the list where’s Chicago? This whole list I fucked up

    • Crazy as it sounds, New Orleans and two of its suburbs are actually in the top five safest cities in Louisiana, according to the FBI Uniform Crime Report. NOLA has one of the highest murder rates in the country, but those crimes are concentrated in very small areas of the city, and the overall violent crime rate (including crimes such as assault, armed robbery, rape, etc.) is relatively low. It sounds crazy when you constantly see murders on the news, but I have been tracking the numbers for the past five years so that I will know if the local politicians are lying or not. I know, I’m a nerd.

  13. I currently live in downtown York, PA. I was born and raised in York County but have had the opportunity to spend time in a pretty wide range of cities. York certainly has a long way to go before it will be on any top 50 cities to live in but I disagree with anyone who suggests the notion that York is in a downward spiral. If you feel that way I would suggest coming back for a visit if you had a negative experience your last time in town. Although crime rates may suggest that York is in a downward spiral there is more to the story. In recent years a cultural resurgence has begun. Street art and beautification projects are becoming common place. There have been lots of investments made which include the recent additions of the baseball stadium and team, new high end loft apartments, new bars and restaurants, as well as some nice shops opening along Philadelphia st. and Beaver st., as well as York College’s continual investment and support of the greater York community lead me to believe there is a lot of promise in downtown York and things are moving in a positive direction.

    While poverty, a failing school district, and a heavily indebted city government are some of the big hurdles we have to overcome, the people of York seem to be coming together and are taking these issues head on. York is the home of some of the oldest historic buildings/architecture in the entire country and also has one of the most beautiful biking and running trails I have ever been on cutting right through the center of town. There is a lot to be proud of and a strong foundation to build on in York. I believe only looking at the numbers paints an unfair picture. However, I acknowledge that in order to create a list such as this you are working with strictly numbers so there is no easy way to compare the intangibles. There are certainly sections of the city which I try to avoid but that is common with most urban communities. In my opinion, York is certainly NOT more dangerous than Philadelphia or Baltimore. I would much rather walk through the worst neighborhood in York then the worst neighborhood in either of those cities although I would rather avoid any of those areas to be honest. If you want to find trouble you can certainly find it in York. But you will also find if you avoid playing in the dirt it is pretty easy to stay clean and live safely and comfortably within the confines of York, city. If however, you choose to play in the dirt, one should expect to get dirty.

    • AMEN! I lived in York City. Raised my children while living in York City. My husband and I have coached many children on different sports teams in York City.I have the up most RESPECT for all those who are working so hard to bring change to this city. I know sometimes it seems like an up hill battle, but thank God for every one of you for your tireless work for all who live there. God Bless this City.

  14. Bigger city’s have more people so the % will be lower say NY city has 1 million people york has 400,000 each city has the same deaths of 50 do the math

    • Right? Murder capital of the country doesn’t make the list?

  15. I grew up in York. And live in south Central Pa. I’m currently at the Harrisburg bus station getting on a one way bus to South Carolina. I lived in North Philly for years as well as Hbg and had no problem , but York is a warzone and probably should been in the top ten

  16. Agree with Gina, born and raised in Baltimore but lived in York for past 5yrs and York is not nearly as bad.. Having Salisbury MD even on the list automatically lost a lot of credibility.. Maybe they ment Edgewood MD

    • Living in Baltimore coming from Salisbury they have that correct violence and drugs have been streaming rapidly down into the shore and out of Baltimore to small of a town for such people

    • I live just outside of Baltimore, and though Salisbury may not be as rough, it is still trash. There are undoubtedly nice areas, but there’s still plenty of trouble with general crime, drugs, and prostitution.

  17. I have to disagree, surprised to see York as more dangerous than Baltimore. Born and raised in Baltimore and have seen/heard pretty terrifying things and seen some very scary places. Lived in York for 7 years, work in the city and am regularly driving all through the city…not nearly as bad as Baltimore. Yes, there are some unsafe areas but it doesn’t even compare…

    • You obviously are blind to what really goes on in york city

    • Blind? Come da bodymore murdaland n see fo yourself. New york aint got ish on bmore, i do hope baltimore get better tho. Been horrible there my whole life unfortunately. An yea..been da new york, cool place but not as hard as bmore. Sidenote, google ehat tupac said about bmore when he lived here. You might be shocked. Nuff said, be safe.

    • Of course NYC isn’t as hard, it’s one of the safest cities in the country, even in the top 20 of the 265 largest U.S. cities.

      But they aren’t talking about NYC….They mean York, Pennsylvania.

    • BAHAHAHA what an idiot!!! Crawl back under your rock. “FO SHO FO SHO”

    • They’re probably not counting what the cops do.

    • I agree with you, I have lived right outside of Baltimore City for 22 years in Glen Burnie. And all that crime has made its way here, thanks to the lightrail.

    • It’s possible that these cities are ranked by crime to population ratios. York is smaller than Baltimore but has a higher crime per person ratio

    • Yes I was waiting for someone to say that that’s what they’re going by per capita

  18. I live in Philadelphia and grew up in York. I completely agree with the placement of both cities on this list. It’s sad but true. I am considering relocating.

    • I just moved from York, PA. That city is in a downward spiral… And fast! It’s sad that a once great city has turned into this!

    • I also grew up in York and live in Philadelphia. I don’t know that there’s THAT much of a divide between the two, but I’d agree in principle that York being placed ahead is correct. What I don’t agree with is York being ahead of Chester, nor do I agree with the omission of Reading from this list. If York’s on it, Reading needs to be, too.

    • My wife Grew up in York, c/o 90′, we both went to Temple, I’m amazed at how delopitated York became in just 10-12 years


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