Special Report

The Most Dangerous City in Every State

Source: Thinkstock

16. Wichita, Kansas
> City violent crime rate: 1,057 per 100,000
> State violent crime rate: 380 per 100,000 (22nd highest)
> City poverty rate: 17.1%
> City unemployment rate: 4.4%

Wichita is by far the most dangerous city in the Sunflower State. For 2016, its violent crime rate soared to 1,057 incidents per 100,000 inhabitants, well above the 706-per-100,000 rate in Junction City, Kansas’ second most dangerous city.

Yet Kansas as a whole is not especially burdened by crime. The state’s violent crime rate of 380 incidents per 100,000 people is in line with the country’s 386-per-100,000 rate. Nonetheless, more than a third of all of Kansas’ reported violent crimes in 2016 occurred in Wichita.

Source: Thinkstock

17. Louisville, Kentucky
> City violent crime rate: 676 per 100,000
> State violent crime rate: 232 per 100,000 (7th lowest)
> City poverty rate: 17.7%
> City unemployment rate: 4.4%

About 45% of the 10,308 violent crimes reported in Kentucky for 2016 took place in Louisville. Louisville’s violent crime rate for 2016 — 676 incidents per 100,000 residents — is nearly three times the state’s rate, and this city ranks as the state’s most dangerous.

According to crime analyst John Roman, violent cities are often situated at the confluence of major intersections, which criminal enterprises take advantage of to transport drugs. Indeed Interstates 71, 65, and 64 all converge in Louisville.

Source: Thinkstock

18. Monroe, Louisiana
> City violent crime rate: 3,005 per 100,000
> State violent crime rate: 566 per 100,000 (5th highest)
> City poverty rate: 34.7%
> City unemployment rate: 6.3%

With a violent crime rate of 566 incidents per 100,000 residents, Louisiana is less safe than most states. Monroe, the state’s most dangerous city and the country’s second most dangerous, experienced a 2016 violent crime rate of 3,005 incidents per 100,000 residents. That was nearly eight times the 386-per-100,000 U.S. rate. Robbery and aggravated assault dominated the violence in Monroe.

Areas bereft of economic opportunity tend to foster crime, and poverty is often indicative of a long-term lack of opportunity. More than a third of Monroe’s residents live in poverty, more than double the U.S. rate of 15.1%.

Source: Tomasso, English Wikipedia / Wikimedia Commons

19. Biddeford, Maine
> City violent crime rate: 409 per 100,000
> State violent crime rate: 124 per 100,000 (the lowest)
> City poverty rate: 18.1%
> City unemployment rate: 2.9%

With a violent crime rate of just 124 incidents per 100,000 residents in 2016, Maine ranks as the safest state in the country. Not all parts of the state have reported below-average levels of violence, however. The southern coastal city of Biddeford experienced a 2016 violent crime rate of 409 incidents per 100,000 residents; this is considerably higher than the nation’s rate of 386 crimes per 100,000 residents. Aggravated assault — which can range from a bar brawl to a shooting — accounted for the bulk of Biddeford’s reported violent crimes in 2016.

Source: Thinkstock

20. Baltimore, Maryland
> City violent crime rate: 1,780 per 100,000
> State violent crime rate: 472 per 100,000 (11th highest)
> City poverty rate: 23.1%
> City unemployment rate: 6.1%

Baltimore ranks as Maryland’s most dangerous city and one of the country’s most crime-ridden.. For 2016 Baltimore logged a violent crime rate of 1,780 incidents per 100,000 residents, nearly four times the state’s rate during thats year. Of Maryland’s 28,400 known incidents of violence in 2016, about 39% took place in Baltimore. The city’s homicide rate of 51.4 slayings per 100,000 residents is higher than those of all but five other cities nationwide.

The extent of Baltimore’s challenge in addressing widespread violence became apparent in February, with the city’s appointment of its third police commissioner in five years. The new commissioner’s strategy includes increasing police presence on city streets.

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