America's New Murder Capitals

The FBI has just issued its 2018 Crime in the United States report. It has posted the report annually for eight decades. The report covers both violent and property crimes, and data is presented by city. Nationwide, the number of violent crimes dropped by 3.3% to an estimated 1,206,836, compared to 2017.

In some cities, crime is still rampant, in particular violent crime. Data shows that murder rates continue to be very high in certain areas. 24/7 Wall St. looked at these and found the cities where murder rates were the worst last year.

24/7 Wall St. measured murder rates by city based on murders per 100,000 people. This is defined as “murder and non-negligent manslaughter.” The 11 cities with the highest murder rates posted numbers over 25 per 100,000 people. Several were among America’s largest and most robust cities in the middle of the 20th century, but they are now mostly low-income cities, the populations of which have declined since then.

The city with the worst murder rate was St. Louis, at 61 per 100,000, much higher than any other city in America. The city population was 306,876, as measured by the FBI. There were 187 murders in the city last year.

Baltimore followed St. Louis. Its rate was 51 per 100,000 residents, which the FBI said numbered 605,436. The city’s murder count last year was 309. Next on the list was Birmingham, Alabama, with a rate of 42 per 100,000 people. The FBI counts its population as 210,564. The number of murders in the city totaled 88. It was followed by Detroit, a city that has lost nearly half of its population since 1950 and is currently one of the poorest large cities in the country. Its murder rate per 100,000 was 39 last year, and its FBI measured population was 671,275. The city had 261 murders in 2018. These are the most dangerous cities in every state.

Here are the 10 U.S. cities where the FBI says murder rates were the highest last year.

City Population Murders Murder per 100,000
St. Louis, Mo. 306,875 187 60.94
Baltimore, Md. 605,436 309 51.04
Birmingham, Ala. 210,564 88 41.79
Detroit, Mich. 671,275 261 38.88
New Orleans, La. 396,374 147 37.09
Baton Rouge, La. 224,790 79 35.14
Memphis, Tenn. 652,226 186 28.52
Kansas City, Mo. 493,115 137 27.78
Newark, N.J. 282,258 75 26.57
Dayton, Ohio 140,094 37 26.41
Shreveport, La. 190,808 49 25.68

Note: FBI murder figures include non-negligent manslaughter.