25 Most Dangerous Cities in America

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Source: Reagan Rothenberger / Wikimedia Commons

25. Beaumont, Texas
> 2017 Violent crime rate: 1,063 per 100,000
> 2017 Homicides: 16
> Poverty rate: 20.8%
> Unemployment rate: 6.4%

Beaumont has the second highest violent crime rate in Texas among major cities, narrowly trailing Houston, located 80 miles to the west. Violent crimes, which include homicide, rape, and aggravated assault, totaled 1,259 in 2017, or just over 1,000 for every 100,000 people in Beaumont.

Places with high violent crime often also have high rates of nonviolent offenses. The city’s nonviolent crime rate, which includes crimes like burglary, larceny, and motor vehicle theft, is also high.

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24. Chattanooga, Tennessee
> 2017 Violent crime rate: 1,066 per 100,000
> 2017 Homicides: 31
> Poverty rate: 21.1%
> Unemployment rate: 3.9%

The southeastern Tennessee city of Chattanooga reported a near-record high 31 homicides in 2017. According to local police, fewer of these murders were the result of gang violence compared to the year before, when a bloody gang war contributed to the city’s 132 shooting incidents for the year.

However, while gang-related violence has declined, the city’s murder rate, and overall violent crime rate, are up. Between 2016 and 2017, Chattanooga’s violent crime rate rose from 1,023 incidents per 100,000 to 1066 incidents per 100,000.

Source: John Phelan / Wikimedia Commons

23. Hartford, Connecticut
> 2017 Violent crime rate: 1,093 per 100,000
> 2017 Homicides: 29
> Poverty rate: 31.9%
> Unemployment rate: 8.1%

The number of homicides in Hartford fose from 14 in 2016 to 29 in 2017. The city’s homicide rate of 23.6 per 100,000 residents is the 15th highest among cities with data in 2017. This is up from a rate of 11.3 per 100,000 in 2016, which was 61st highest among cities.

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

22. Houston, Texas
> 2017 Violent crime rate: 1,095 per 100,000
> 2017 Homicides: 269
> Poverty rate: 21.9%
> Unemployment rate: 4.8%

The number of murders in Houston, Texas’ most populous city, was down from 301 in 2016 to 269 in 2017. However, while homicide is down in Houston, the number of violent crimes rose in Houston by about 1,600 to 25,609 reported incidents. One of the components of violent crime — robbery — was particularly common in Houston. The city’s 2017 robbery rate of 418 cases per 100,000 people in 2017 is over four times the national rate of 98.05 robberies per 100,000 people, and the 10th highest rate among major U.S. cities.

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21. Chicago, Illinois
> 2017 Violent crime rate: 1,099 per 100,000
> 2017 Homicides: 653
> Poverty rate: 21.7%
> Unemployment rate: 5.5%

Chicago has gained attention in recent years for its alarmingly high murder rates, but homicide in the metro area is actually down in the city since it made headlines for its deadliest year in decades in 2016. The city reported a 16% decline in homicides, to 650 in 2017 from 771 in 2017. The city looks to continue its progress. Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said, “In 2018, we are going to work to build on the progress we made last year,” he said in a prepared statement in January.