21. Fall River, Massachusetts
> City violent crime rate: 1,093 per 100,000
> State violent crime rate: 377 per 100,000 (23rd highest)
> City poverty rate: 22.0%
> City unemployment rate: 6.4%
The Bay State’s most dangerous city, Fall River is also New England’s second most dangerous, trailing only Hartford, Connecticut. And Fall River’s 2016 violent crime rate of 1,093 incidents per 100,000 people is nearly triple the state’s rate for that year.
Fall River is one of nearly 100 U.S. cities that adopted ShotSpotter, a technology designed to alert law enforcement about shootings in real time, as well as to share the number of shots fired, the direction they were fired, and the caliber of weapon used. Earlier this year, Fall River police announced, however, a decision to discontinue the product’s use, citing its failure effectively assist in reducing gun violence.
22. Detroit, Michigan
> City violent crime rate: 2,047 per 100,000
> State violent crime rate: 459 per 100,000 (13th highest)
> City poverty rate: 39.4%
> City unemployment rate: 9.3%
Detroit law enforcement logged 13,705 violent crimes in 2016, representing a rate of 2,047 incidents for every 100,000 residents. This represents the highest violent crime rate in Michigan and the fifth highest of any city in the country. Nonviolent offenses are also common in Motor City. In addition to bearing the state’s highest violent crime rate, Detroit also has more burglary and motor-vehicle theft than any other city in the Great Lake State.
A high rate of violent crime is more likely in areas bereft of economic opportunity, and for many in Detroit opportunity is scarce. The city’s 9.3% annual unemployment rate and 39.4% poverty rate both rank among the highest in the country.
23. Minneapolis, Minnesota
> City violent crime rate: 1,109 per 100,000
> State violent crime rate: 243 per 100,000 (9th lowest)
> City poverty rate: 21.3%
> City unemployment rate: 3.1%
Minneapolis’s 2016 violent crime rate of 1,109 incidents per 100,000 residents ranks as the highest of any city in Minnesota for that year. The city had more rapes, robberies, and aggravated assaults per capita than any other municipality in the North Star State and its murder rate of 8.4 homicides per 100,000 residents trailed only that of Faribault, Minnesota, that year.
In most cities on this list, the percentage of adults with a four-year college education is lower than the national rate of 30.3%. Minneapolis stands as one of the exceptions. Almost 48% of Minneapolis’ adults have at least a bachelor’s degree, a share that’s well above the state’s 34.2% rate as well as the national one.
24. Jackson, Mississippi
> City violent crime rate: 853 per 100,000
> State violent crime rate: 281 per 100,000 (15th lowest)
> City poverty rate: 30.7%
> City unemployment rate: 5.0%
Of the 14 cities in Mississippi for which the FBI compiles crime statistics, Jackson’s violent crime rate is the highest. In 2016, the city’s law enforcement tallied 1,451 violent crimes, adding up to a rate of 853 incidents for every 100,000 residents. In comparison, Mississippi’s violent crime rate for the same year was only 281 incidents per 100,000 residents and the national rate was 386 incidents per 100,000. As is true for most cities on this list, Jackson is a community of relatively poor inhabitants. Its 30.7% poverty rate is well above the state’s 22.3% and nation’s 15.1% rates.
25. St. Louis, Missouri
> City violent crime rate: 1,913 per 100,000
> State violent crime rate: 519 per 100,000 (8th highest)
> City poverty rate: 26.7%
> City unemployment rate: 4.4%
Directly across the Mississippi River from East St. Louis — Illinois’ most unsafe city — lies St. Louis, the most dangerous city in Missouri. St. Louis’ violent crime rate of 1,913 incidents per 100,000 residents is higher than that of any other city in the state and greater than that of all but five other U.S. cities. While this Midwest city struggles with nearly the nation’s top rates for aggravated assault and robbery, its murder rate is also especially high: St. Louis’ 2016 rate was 60 homicides per 100,000 individuals, higher than that of all but three other U.S. cities. In an effort to reduce homicide, the St. Louis Police Department is increasing the presence of police in problem areas.
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