Special Report

25 Most Dangerous Cities in America

Source: Rex_Wholster / Thinkstock

20. Beaumont, Texas
> Violent crime rate: 1,113 per 100,000
> 2016 murders: 14
> Poverty rate: 21.8%
> Unemployment rate: 6.2%

Violent crime in Beaumont rose faster in 2016 than in nearly any other U.S. city. As the number of violent crimes nationwide rose 4.1% from 2015 to 2016, it spiked 21.0% in Beaumont. While there were two fewer murders and six fewer rapes reported in the city in 2016, there were 81 more robberies and 155 more aggravated assaults. In total, there were 1,113 violent crimes reported per 100,000 Beaumont residents, far more than the national rate of 386 violent crimes per 100,000 Americans. As a result, the city’s rank rose from 40th most dangerous in 2015 to 20th most dangerous.

Source: Thinkstock

19. Springfield, Illinois
> Violent crime rate: 1,116 per 100,000
> 2016 murders: 6
> Poverty rate: 19.5%
> Unemployment rate: 5.2%

Springfield, Illinois is one of two Springfields in the United States with very high violent crime rates. While the Missouri city sharing this name has a slightly higher violent crime rate, figures for this Springfield are not that much better. There were over 1,100 rapes, robberies, murders, and aggravated assaults for every 100,000 city residents in 2016. Most of these incidents were aggravated assaults, which accounted for about 950 of the area’s 1,301 total violent crimes last year.

While violent crime in Springfield rose by about 4% between 2015 and 2016 — roughly in line with the national increase — property crime in the city declined by 3.1%, faster than the national decline of 1.3%.

Source: Thinkstock

18. Washington, District of Columbia
> Violent crime rate: 1,132 per 100,000
> 2016 murders: 138
> Poverty rate: 18.0%
> Unemployment rate: 6.0%

There were 1,132 violent crimes reported per 100,000 Washington, D.C. residents in 2016, nearly three times the national rate and among the most of any U.S. city. While D.C. is one of the most dangerous cities in the country, violent crime in the nation’s capital fell over the past year. Bucking the national trend, the number of violent crimes in the city fell 4.6% from 2015 to 2016, as the population increased by 1.3%. Property crime, however, rose 4.3% — one of the larger increases of any U.S. city.

Source: Thinkstock

17. Anchorage, Alaska
> Violent crime rate: 1,144 per 100,000
> 2016 murders: 28
> Poverty rate: 8.2%
> Unemployment rate: 5.3%

While crime is often most prevalent in cities with widespread poverty, just 8.2% of Anchorage’s population lives below the poverty line, roughly half the U.S. poverty rate. Anchorage is the only large city where fewer than 3% of all households earn less than $10,000 a year while the violent crime rate is greater than 300 incidents per 100,000 residents.

Anchorage also had the third sharpest increase in property crime of any large city. While property crime nationwide fell 1.3% in 2016, it rose 24.1% in Anchorage. The increase was led by a rise in motor vehicle thefts, and may be due to a rise in drug use and addiction in the area.

Source: Thinkstock

16. Lansing, Michigan
> Violent crime rate: 1,164 per 100,000
> 2016 murders: 9
> Poverty rate: 29.6%
> Unemployment rate: 5.9%

Michigan’s capital is one of two in the state to make this list of the most dangerous cities in the country. As is the case nationwide, the majority of violent crimes in Lansing are aggravated assaults. Of the total 1,341 violent crimes reported in the city of approximately 115,000 people in 2016, 930 were aggravated assault incidents. Lansing also has one of the highest incidences of rape in the country. There were 123 reported rapes in Lansing in 2016 for every 100,000 residents, the seventh highest rate among major U.S. cities and more than three times the national rate.

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