Special Report

25 Most Dangerous Cities in America

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25. Odessa, Texas
> Violent crime rate in 2019: 1,038 per 100,000 people (1,282 total)
> Total homicides reported in 2019: 13
> 2019 poverty rate: 10.7%
> 2019 annual unemployment rate: 2.5%
> 2019 population: 123,468

Odessa in West Texas ranks as one of the most dangerous cities in America, with a violent crime rate of 1,038 incidents per 100,000 residents, according to the FBI’s 2019 Uniform Crime Report. This is well beyond the U.S. violent crime rate of 367 incidents per 100,000 people.

Odessa has higher than typical rates of all four different types of violent crime — murder, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. The bulk of violent crimes in Odessa are aggravated assaults, as is the case in most cities. Odessa has the 19th highest aggravated assault rate, with 810 reported assaults per 100,000. The nationwide rate of aggravated assault is 250 per 100,000.

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24. Peoria, Illinois
> Violent crime rate in 2019: 1,044 per 100,000 people (1,158 total)
> Total homicides reported in 2019: 25
> 2019 poverty rate: 20.7%
> 2019 annual unemployment rate: 5.3%
> 2019 population: 110,955

Peoria, Illinois, has one of the highest violent crime rates in the country, with 1,044 reported violent crimes for every 100,000 people in 2019. It also has the 15th highest murder rate among large U.S. cities, with 23 homicides per 100,000 residents. Nationwide, the murder rate is 5 per 100,000.

Areas with higher rates of violent crime tend to also face other challenges, such as low incomes, as well as high poverty and unemployment rates. More than one out of every five Peoria residents live below the poverty line, well above the national 14.1% poverty rate.

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23. Beaumont, Texas
> Violent crime rate in 2019: 1,047 per 100,000 people (1,241 total)
> Total homicides reported in 2019: 19
> 2019 poverty rate: 19.9%
> 2019 annual unemployment rate: 5.2%
> 2019 population: 118,562

Beaumont is one of three Texas cities to rank among the 25 most dangerous in America. In 2019, there were 19 homicides reported in the city, equating to 16 murders per 100,000 residents — more than triple the U.S. murder rate. Beaumont’s robbery rate of 272 incidents per 100,000 people is also more than three times higher than the U.S. robbery rate.

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22. Chattanooga, Tennessee
> Violent crime rate in 2019: 1,070 per 100,000 people (1,946 total)
> Total homicides reported in 2019: 33
> 2019 poverty rate: 18.8%
> 2019 annual unemployment rate: 3.6%
> 2019 population: 181,848

There were 1,946 violent crimes reported in Chattanooga in 2019, or 1,070 incidents per 100,000 residents. The vast majority of these crimes were aggravated assaults. There were 856 reported assaults per 100,000 residents. In addition to having one of the highest violent crime rates in the country, Chattanooga also has one of the 10 highest property crime rates, at 5,557 per 100,000. Nationwide, there were 2,110 property crimes reported per 100,000 people.

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21. Houston, Texas
> Violent crime rate in 2019: 1,072 per 100,000 people (25,257 total)
> Total homicides reported in 2019: 275
> 2019 poverty rate: 20.6%
> 2019 annual unemployment rate: 3.7%
> 2019 population: 2,355,606

With a population over 2.3 million people, Houston is by far the largest city to rank among the 25 most dangerous. The city reported 275 homicides in 2019, or a murder rate of 12 per 100,000 residents — more than double the national murder date of 5 incidents per 100,000 people. Houston also reported the sixth highest rate of robbery of any large U.S. city, with 388 incidents per 100,000 residents. Nationwide, there were 82 robberies per 100,000 residents.