Special Report

The Most Dangerous Cities in America

6. Little Rock, Ark.
> Violent crimes per 100,000: 1,407
> Population: 197,399
> 2013 murders: 35 (49th highest)
> Poverty rate: 18.7% (131st lowest)
> Pct. of adults with high school degree: 89.9% (80th highest)

Little Rock not only had one of the highest violent crime rates in the nation in 2013, it also had one of the country’s worst property crime rate. Last year, more than 1,400 violent crimes and over 7,800 property crimes were reported for every 100,000 residents. By comparison, nationwide there were 368 and 2,731 such crimes per 100,000 people, respectively. Yet, Little Rock’s crime rate has improved slightly since 2010, when when more than 1,500 violent crimes were reported for every 100,000 people. Prison overcrowding remains a major issue for Pulaski County, which includes Little Rock. Police have claimed that preventing repeat offenders from being detained for long enough periods of time may be exacerbating the local crime problem.

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5. Cleveland, Ohio
> Violent crimes per 100,000: 1,478
> Population: 389,181
> 2013 murders: 55 (29th highest)
> Poverty rate: 36.9% (3rd highest)
> Pct. of adults with high school degree: 78.2% (44th lowest)

Low educational attainment and poverty rates among Cleveland residents may explain, in part, the area’s high violent crime rate. Just 78.2% of area adults had completed high school and 16.5% had at least a bachelor’s degree as of last year, both among the lower figures nationwide. Also, Cleveland’s median household income of $26,096 was lower than that of every other large U.S. city except for Detroit. Robberies accounted for the bulk of Cleveland’s violent crime rate, with 897 reported per 100,000 last year, second only to Oakland. The burglary rate was even higher. More than 2,100 burglaries — thefts occurring without the victim present — were documented per 100,000 area residents last year, the second highest rate in the country and more than three times the national rate of 610.

4. St. Louis, Mo.
> Violent crimes per 100,000: 1,594
> Population: 318,563
> 2013 murders: 120 (12th highest)
> Poverty rate: 26.6% (44th highest)
> Pct. of adults with high school degree: 83.3% (91st lowest)

More than 5,000 violent crime were reported in St. Louis last year, or nearly 1,600 per 100,000 people. Still, much like the rest of the nation, violent crime in St. Louis has dropped in recent years. In 2010, more than 6,200 violent incidents were reported in the city, or 1,747 per 100,000 residents. Despite this improvement, St. Louis still struggles with tragic levels of certain serious crimes. A total of 120 murders were reported in St. Louis last year, or 38 per 100,000 people, among the worst rates for any large U.S. city. Additionally, according to local news reports, there were considerably more murders this year through October than during the same period in 2013.