Special Report

25 Most Dangerous Cities in America

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20. Nashville, Tennessee
> Violent crime rate in 2019: 1,073 per 100,000 people (7,376 total)
> Total homicides reported in 2019: 83
> 2019 poverty rate: 16.5%
> 2019 annual unemployment rate: 3.9%
> 2019 population: 687,361

Nashville is one of just 26 major cities in the U.S. out of nearly 300 to report a violent crime rate of over 1,000 incidents per 100,000 residents in 2019. For context, the U.S. violent crime rate is 367 per 100,000. Nashville also reported 12 homicides per 100,000 residents, more than double the homicide rate nationwide of five per 100,000.

Nashville also reported 710 aggravated assaults per 100,000 people, nearly triple the 250 per 100,000 national assault rate.

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19. Lansing, Michigan
> Violent crime rate in 2019: 1,104 per 100,000 people (1,313 total)
> Total homicides reported in 2019: 12
> 2019 poverty rate: 26.1%
> 2019 annual unemployment rate: 5.0%
> 2019 population: 118,953

Lansing, Michigan, is one of 19 cities with a violent crime rate more than triple the national rate of 367 violent crimes per 100,000 residents. The city has the seventh highest rate of rape in the nation, at 118 rapes per 100,000 residents. Nationwide, 43 rapes were reported per 100,000 people in 2019.

Areas with high violent crime rates, like Lansing, tend to also have relatively low incomes and high poverty rates. Lansing’s median annual household income of $40,325 is nearly $20,000 lower than the U.S. median. The city’s 26.1% poverty rate is much higher than the 14.1% U.S. poverty rate.

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18. Wichita, Kansas
> Violent crime rate in 2019: 1,141 per 100,000 people (4,451 total)
> Total homicides reported in 2019: 35
> 2019 poverty rate: 16.2%
> 2019 annual unemployment rate: 3.6%
> 2019 population: 390,080

Wichita, Kansas, reported much higher rates of all four categories of violent crime — murder, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault — than the U.S. as a whole. As is the case nationwide, the vast majority of Wichita’s 4,451 violent crimes in 2019 were aggravated assaults. The city reported 3,588 aggravated assaults, or 920 per 100,000 residents, the 12th highest rate of any large U.S. city.

Wichita also has the 11th highest rate of property crime, which includes burglary and theft, with 5,322 reported property crimes per 100,000 people. The U.S. property crime rate is less than half that, at 2,110 per 100,000.

17. New Orleans, Louisiana
> Violent crime rate in 2019: 1,145 per 100,000 people (4,516 total)
> Total homicides reported in 2019: 121
> 2019 poverty rate: 24.6%
> 2019 annual unemployment rate: 4.9%
> 2019 population: 394,498

New Orleans, Louisiana, has the 17th highest violent crime rate of any major American city, with 1,145 incidents per 100,000 people. Yet it has even more outsized rates of both homicide and rape.

The murder rate in New Orleans is the seventh highest of any U.S. city, at 31 homicides per 100,000 residents, over six times the U.S. murder rate. The city also reported the second highest rate of rape in the nation, with 196 rapes per 100,000 residents — nearly five times the national rate of 43 per 100,000.

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16. Rockford, Illinois
> Violent crime rate in 2019: 1,174 per 100,000 people (1,711 total)
> Total homicides reported in 2019: 14
> 2019 poverty rate: 22.6%
> 2019 annual unemployment rate: 6.8%
> 2019 population: 145,719

Rockford, Illinois, has one of the highest violent crime rates in the nation, at 1,174 per 100,000 people. The city’s murder rate of 10 homicides per 100,000 is nearly double the national rate, and its aggravated assaults rate of 885 incidents per 100,000 is well more than triple the national rate of 250 aggravated assaults per 100,000.

Areas with high shares of violent crime often also face other challenges, such as low incomes and high poverty and unemployment. Rockford had the third highest annual unemployment rate of any city in 2019, at 6.8%. The national unemployment rate was 3.7%.