10. Cleveland, Ohio
> Violent crimes per 100,000: 1,383.8
> Population: 393,781
> 2012 murders: 84
> Poverty rate: 34.3%
> Pct. of adults with high school degree: 77.0%
More than 825 robberies were reported in Cleveland for every 100,000 residents last year, the second highest robbery rate in the nation behind only Oakland. The total number of robberies in the city rose from 3,156 in 2011 to 3,252 in 2012. Cleveland also had the nation’s second highest burglary rate in 2012, with close to 2,500 burglaries per 100,000 residents. Unlike robbery, burglary does not involve force or coercion and is not considered a violent crime. Recently, the highly publicized discovery of three area women that had been missing for roughly a decade and held captive within the city led to extensive criticism of the Cleveland Police Department. Cleveland is one of the nation’s poorest large cities with a median household income of just $25,731 in 2011 — barely over half the national median.
9. Baltimore, Md.
> Violent crimes per 100,000: 1,405.7
> Population: 625,474
> 2012 murders: 219
> Poverty rate: 25.1%
> Pct. of adults with high school degree: 80.5%
There were 219 murders in Baltimore in 2012, more than all but five other major cities both in absolute terms and per capita. In addition, the city’s robbery rate of 576.4 cases per 100,000 people was the ninth highest in the country. Despite remaining one of the most violent cities, city officials noted that crime rates have been declining. While the total number of murders increased, total gun crime fell by 6% compared to 2011, according to the Baltimore Police Department. In addition, the city’s property crime rate of 4,660.3 cases per 100,000 residents was lower than any of the top cities for violent crime.
8. New Haven, Conn.
> Violent crimes per 100,000: 1,439.2
> Population: 129,934
> 2012 murders: 17
> Poverty rate: 30.1%
> Pct. of adults with high school degree: 78.4%
There were 766 robberies in New Haven in 2011, or 589.1 cases per 100,000 residents, the eighth highest rate among all cities considered that year. In 2012, the number of robberies in the city jumped to 844. At 649.6 robberies per 100,000 residents, this was one of the highest rates recorded in 2012. But while both robberies and aggravated assaults rose last year, the number of murders declined from 34 in 2011 to just 17 in 2012. Gun violence remains a concern for the community. Recently, police began reaching out to known gang members on probation or parole to offer help to members looking to earn a high school diploma or otherwise improve their lives. As of 2011, just 78.4% of New Haven residents over 25 had a high school diploma, much lower than the 85.9% rate nationwide.
7. Birmingham, Ala.
> Violent crimes per 100,000: 1,517.8
> Population: 213,266
> 2012 murders: 67
> Poverty rate: 32.0%
> Pct. of adults with high school degree: 81.3%
Birmingham had among the 10 highest murder and aggravated assault rates at 31.4 cases per 100,000 people and 954.2 cases per 100,000 residents, respectively, in 2012. The city also had 6,934.1 property crimes per 100,000 people in 2012, higher than all but four other cities. This included 2,205.7 burglaries per 100,000, the sixth highest of all cities. City residents are in a far worse economic position than the nation as a whole. The median household income in Birmingham was just $28,646 in 2011, far lower than the $50,502 across the United States. Also, 32% of the population lived below the poverty line that year, compared with just under 16% nationwide.
6. Stockton, Calif.
> Violent crimes per 100,000: 1,548.0
> Population: 299,105
> 2012 murders: 71
> Poverty rate: 25.8%
> Pct. of adults with high school degree: 75.1%
The number of violent crimes reported in Stockton rose from 4,155 in 2011 to 4,630 in 2012. This was partly due to the increase in the number of robberies, from 1,323 in 2011 to 1,556 last year, and the increase in the number of aggravated assaults, from 2,684 in 2011 to 2,913 in 2012. As a result of this uptick in crime, Stockton had some of the highest incidences of murder, robbery and aggravated assault in the nation. Stockton also holds the dubious distinction of being the largest city in U.S. history, by population, to enter bankruptcy. In the city proper, the unemployment rate was 18.3% in 2012, more than 10 percentage points above the national rate last year.