Special Report

This Is America's Most Dangerous City

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35. South Bend-Mishawaka, IN-MI
> Violent crime rate: 655 per 100,000 people (2,121 total crimes)
> 1-yr. change in violent crime rate: N/A
> Homicide rate: 9.3 per 100,000 people (30 total homicides)
> Poverty rate: 15.9%

South Bend is the most dangerous metro area in Indiana and one of the most dangerous nationwide. There were 2,121 violent crimes reported in South Bend in 2020, or 655 for every 100,000 people.

In a State of the City address earlier this year, South Bend Mayor James Mueller acknowledged the rising rates of violence in the city during the pandemic and called for residents to work together to reduce crime committed — often with firearms — by local youth. There were 133 shooting victims in South Bend proper in the first seven months of 2021 alone.

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34. Jonesboro, AR
> Violent crime rate: 660 per 100,000 people (893 total crimes)
> 1-yr. change in violent crime rate: +18.6%
> Homicide rate: 9.6 per 100,000 people (13 total homicides)
> Poverty rate: 18.9%

Over half of the 50 most dangerous U.S. metro areas are in the South with five are in Arkansas alone — and Jonesboro is one of them. After jumping 18.6% year over year, Jonesboro’s violent crime rate stands at 660 incidents for every 100,000 people. The increase was driven by a surge in cases of aggravated assault.

Crime in the United States is often disproportionately concentrated in poor communities, and in Jonesboro, 18.9% of the population live below the poverty line, compared to 12.3% of the U.S. population.

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33. Farmington, NM
> Violent crime rate: 661 per 100,000 people (817 total crimes)
> 1-yr. change in violent crime rate: N/A
> Homicide rate: 3.2 per 100,000 people (4 total homicides)
> Poverty rate: 21.2%

Farmington, New Mexico, is one of only 10 metro areas located in a Western state to rank among the 50 most dangerous metro areas in the country. There were 817 violent crimes reported in Farmington in 2020, or 661 for every 100,000 people.

Rates of violence are often higher in places with limited economic opportunity — and in Farmington, 21.2% of the population live below the poverty line, and average unemployment in 2020 was 10.0%. This compares to the national 12.3% poverty rate and 8.1% jobless rate that year.

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32. Kalamazoo-Portage, MI
> Violent crime rate: 663 per 100,000 people (1,763 total crimes)
> 1-yr. change in violent crime rate: +15.9%
> Homicide rate: 7.5 per 100,000 people (20 total homicides)
> Poverty rate: 13.4%

After jumping 15.9% year over year, the violent crime rate in the Kalamazoo-Portage, Michigan, metro area stands at 663 incidents for every 100,000 people. The increase was driven by a 33% surge in aggravated assault cases and a 67% spike in homicide cases.

Rising rates of gun violence are contributing to the trend. All but one of the homicides reported in Kalamazoo proper were carried out with a firearm, and the number of non-fatal shootings in the city doubled from 2019 to 2020. Gun violence shows no signs of slowing as shootings year to date are higher in 2021 than they were in 2020.

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31. Battle Creek, MI
> Violent crime rate: 664 per 100,000 people (886 total crimes)
> 1-yr. change in violent crime rate: +6.3%
> Homicide rate: 10.5 per 100,000 people (14 total homicides)
> Poverty rate: 13.4%

Battle Creek is one of five Michigan metro areas to rank among the 50 most dangerous U.S. cities. There were 886 violent crimes reported in the metro area in 2020, or 664 for every 100,000 people. Homicides in Battle Creek more than doubled year over year, from six in 2019 to 14 in 2020.

Rates of violence are often higher in places with limited economic opportunity — and in Battle Creek, 13.4% of the population live below the poverty line and average unemployment in 2020 was 9.7%. This compares to the national 12.3% poverty rate and 8.1% jobless rate that year.

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