Special Report

America's Most Dangerous Cities

Chattanooga, Tennessee
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25. Chattanooga, Tennessee
> 2018 violent crime rate: 1,048.2 per 100,000 people
> 2018 homicides: 19
> Poverty rate: 20.7%
> 2018 unemployment rate: 3.7%

In Chattanooga, Tennessee, the violent crime rate is driven primarily by aggravated assaults. There were 783 cases of aggravated assault for every 100,000 people in the city in 2018, more than triple the national rate of 247 aggravated assault per 100,000 people.

Police in Chattanooga are stepping up surveillance capabilities in an attempt to bring the crime rate down. In November, 2019, the city will add eight more public safety cameras to the 29 already installed throughout the city.

Beaumont, Texas
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24. Beaumont, Texas
> 2018 violent crime rate: 1,059.7 per 100,000 people
> 2018 homicides: 13
> Poverty rate: 19.7%
> 2018 unemployment rate: 5.6%

Of the four Texas cities on this list, Beaumont is the most dangerous. There were 1,060 violent crimes for every 100,000 city residents in 2018, slightly more than the violent crime rate of 1,026 per 100,000 in Houston, the second most dangerous city in the Lone Star State.

The Beaumont Police Department recently became the latest recipients of a high-tech tool from the ATF that could lead to a reduction in gun violence the city. The tool, known as the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network, creates a database of 3D images of shell casings from crime scenes, allowing law enforcement to determine whether the same firearm was used in different crimes — information that could prove valuable in catching perpetrators.

Tulsa, Oklahoma
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23. Tulsa, Oklahoma
> 2018 violent crime rate: 1,065.1 per 100,000 people
> 2018 homicides: 60
> Poverty rate: 20.0%
> 2018 unemployment rate: 3.6%

Tulsa is the most dangerous mid- to large-size city in Oklahoma and 23rd most dangerous nationwide. There were 1,065 violent crimes in the city for every 100,000 residents in 2018, higher than the violent crime rate of 867 per 100,000 in Oklahoma City, the second most dangerous city in the state, and well above the national violent crime rate of 369 per 100,000.

Recently, Tulsa police have reported a considerable increase in the number of firearms — legally owned and otherwise — removed from the streets. Some 1,543 guns were seized in the city in 2018, and 1,070 were confiscated between Jan. 1 and Oct. 10, 2019. Officials attribute the climbing gun seizures to increased anti-gang enforcement.

Hartford, Connecticut
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22. Hartford, Connecticut
> 2018 violent crime rate: 1,066.5 per 100,000 people
> 2018 homicides: 21
> Poverty rate: 30.5%
> 2018 unemployment rate: 7.0%

Hartford is the most dangerous major city in both Connecticut and the broader New England region. There were 1,067 violent crimes for every 100,000 people in Connecticut’s capital city in 2018, nearly triple the national violent crime rate of 369 per 100,000.

Crime rates are often higher in areas with limited economic opportunity — and in Hartford, unemployment is high. An average of 7.0% of the city’s labor force were unemployed in 2018, well above the comparable 3.9% national unemployment rate. The lack of jobs is contributing to serious financial hardship for many in the city. Some 30.5% of Hartford residents live below the poverty line, more than double the 14.9% national poverty rate.

Lansing, Michigan
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21. Lansing, Michigan
> 2018 violent crime rate: 1,108.4 per 100,000 people
> 2018 homicides: 8
> Poverty rate: 27.1%
> 2018 unemployment rate: 5.2%

Trailing only Detroit, Lansing is the second most dangerous city in Michigan. The city’s violent crime rate of 1,108 incidents per 100,000 people is driven primarily by cases of aggravated assault. Of the 1,301 violent crimes reported in the city in 2018, 962 were aggravated assaults.

Earlier this year, the Department of Justice awarded the state of Michigan to $122 million to fight violent gang, drug, and firearm-related crimes. Specifically, the money will be used to hire and train law enforcement officials and process DNA evidence to help solve crimes.