America’s Most Dangerous Cities

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Shreveport, Louisiana
Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

50. Shreveport, Louisiana
> 2018 violent crime rate: 832.3 per 100,000 people
> 2018 homicides: 49
> Poverty rate: 25.7%
> 2018 unemployment rate: 5.5%

Shreveport, a relatively small northern Louisiana city of fewer than 200,000 people, ranks among the most dangerous cities in the United States. There were 832 violent crimes — a broad category of criminal offenses that includes robbery, rape, aggravated assault, and homicide — for every 100,000 people in the city in 2018, the 50th highest violent crime rate of any U.S. city and more than double the national violent crime rate of 369 incidents per 100,000 people.

The murder rate in Shreveport is particularly high. There were 49 homicides reported in the city in 2018, or 26 for every 100,000 people, a higher murder rate than in all but 10 other cities nationwide.

Springfield, Illinois
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49. Springfield, Illinois
> 2018 violent crime rate: 833.2 per 100,000 people
> 2018 homicides: 9
> Poverty rate: 20.3%
> 2018 unemployment rate: 4.5%

Illinois’ capital is one of three cities in the state to rank among the most dangerous U.S. cities. There were 833 violent crimes in the city for every 100,000 people in 2018. As is typically the case, aggravated assaults accounted for the vast majority of violence in the city. Two-thirds of the 955 violent crimes reported in Springfield last year were cases of aggravated assault.

Crime rates tend to be higher in areas with limited economic opportunity, and in Springfield, 4.5% of the workers were unemployed in 2018. Nationwide, unemployment stood at 3.9% last year.

Cincinnati, Ohio
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48. Cincinnati, Ohio
> 2018 violent crime rate: 839.5 per 100,000 people
> 2018 homicides: 57
> Poverty rate: 28.7%
> 2018 unemployment rate: 4.5%

Cincinnati is one of five Ohio cities to rank among the most dangerous cities nationwide. Aggravated assault was the most commonly reported violent crime in the city in 2018, with 1,288 incidents, followed by robbery, with 897 reported incidents.

As is often the case in cities on this list, shootings account for a considerable share of aggravated assault and homicide cases. Currently, shootings appear to be happening more frequently in the city, despite the best efforts of police. So far in 2019, 871 firearms have been taken off the streets in Cincinnati.

New Haven, Connecticut
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47. New Haven, Connecticut
> 2018 violent crime rate: 842.3 per 100,000 people
> 2018 homicides: 10
> Poverty rate: 25.6%
> 2018 unemployment rate: 5.1%

New Haven is one of only two Connecticut cities — and one of only three in the broader New England region — to rank among the most dangerous cities nationwide. There were 842 violent crimes reported for every 100,000 people in the city in 2018, more than double the national rate of 369 per 100,000.

The city’s near nation-leading violent crime rate may be attributable in part to an understaffed police department. Going into 2019, there were about 100 vacancies in the department, which is budgeted for about 500 positions.

Toledo, Ohio
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46. Toledo, Ohio
> 2018 violent crime rate: 848.3 per 100,000 people
> 2018 homicides: 37
> Poverty rate: 26.5%
> 2018 unemployment rate: 5.8%

With a violent crime rate of 848 incidents per 100,000 people, Toledo ranks as the 46th most dangerous city in the United States. The northern Ohio city’s rates of aggravated assault, rape, and homicide, each ranks among the 50 highest of all U.S. cities tracked by the FBI.

As is often the case in high-crime cities, economic opportunity is limited in Toledo. An average of 5.8% of workers in the city were unemployed in 2018, a far greater share than the 3.9% national unemployment rate.