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The most dangerous cities in America


Lighthouse Park in New Haven offers beautiful views of Long Island Sound. Unfortunately, the city struggles with a high crime rate. —City of New Haven photo

Lighthouse Park in New Haven offers beautiful views of Long Island Sound. Unfortunately, the city struggles with a high crime rate. —City of New Haven photo

On a list of the top ten most dangerous cities in America one might expect to find well-known places like New York City or Los Angeles. But neither of them made the list.

Instead, two cities in Michigan were ranked the most dangerous in the country according to information compiled by 24/7 Wall St.com from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report.

The list ranks the U.S. cities with populations of 100,000 or more with the highest rates of violent crime per 100,000 residents. Four types of violent crime were measured: Murder, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault.

In addition to crime data, median income and poverty rates from the U.S. Census and the Bureau of Labor Statistics were taken into account for each city.

Top Ten Most Dangerous Cities in America:

1. Flint, Michigan
2. Detroit, Michigan
3. Oakland, California
4. St. Louis, Missouri
5. Memphis, Tennessee
6. Stockton, California
7. Birmingham, Alabama
8. New Haven, Connecticut
9. Baltimore, Maryland
10. Cleveland, Ohio

Topping the list for the third year in a row as the most dangerous city in America is Flint, Michigan, which was popularized in Michael Moore’s 1989 documentary Roger & Me. The film showed the fallout and negative economic impact when General Motors closed several auto plants in Flint, costing more than 30,000 people their jobs. The city has never recovered.

In 2012, Flint had a staggering 2,729.5 violent crimes per 100,000 residents. No other city had a higher crime rate. There were 63 murders in Flint and 1,930 aggravated assaults. Its median household income in 2012 was $23,380, the second lowest of all 555 cities measured by the U.S. Census Bureau.

In my home state, New Haven, Connecticut, the state’s second largest city, finished eighth on the list, with 1,439.2 violent crimes per 100,000 residents. There were 844 robberies in New Haven reported in 2012. At 649.6 robberies per 100,000 residents, this was one of the highest rates in the country. While robberies and aggravated assaults increased, the number of murders declined from 34 in 2011 to 17 in 2012. Gun violence and gangs are an ongoing problem for the community.

New Haven has a rich colonial history and boasts gorgeous views of Long Island Sound. It’s home to Yale University and Yale New Haven Hospital. New Haven also has culinary gems. Some say you will find the best pizza in the country at Pepe’s, Sally’s or The Modern. You’ll also find the birthplace of the hamburger in New Haven at Louis’ Lunch.

But deindustrialization in the 1970s and 1980s led to the city’s economic downturn and like Flint, New Haven hasn’t recovered.

But New Haven is currently undergoing redevelopment in the downtown and other neighborhoods. So much potential here. Let’s hope things improve for this once beautiful and bright city.   

Facts and figures from 24/7 Wall St.com

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2 thoughts on “The most dangerous cities in America

  1. Is there another type of rape OTHER than forcible? Am I missing something here? You need the word “Forcible” in front of it as a statistic??

    I think economics and jobs, or lack of them, have a lot to do with the list. Detroit is in bankruptcy, but hoping they go to the World Series again if Boston can’t.

    St Louis is the surprise listing for me

    • Yes, there is statutory rape for example, involving a minor, which could be consensual in some cases, so it isn’t forcible rape per se.

      I was surprised to see New Haven on the list. Didn’t know it was that bad.

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