This list may surprise you! If you expected to see major cities like New York or Los Angeles on the list, you won’t find them here as they don’t even break into the top 90. Even Gainesville, Florida, and South Bend, Indiana, are more dangerous than NYC. Using aggregated rates of violent crime, murders, robberies, forcible rapes, and aggravated assaults from the FBI’s 2013 UCR (Uniform Crime Report), we have compiled a list of some cities where you really need to watch your back. Is your city on the list? Find out in this ranking of the 25 most dangerous cities in America.
Coming in at #25 on our list of the most dangerous cities in America is Lansing, Michigan. State capitols are often larger cities (and thus rougher places) and Lansing is no exception. Though the city experienced the lowest murder rate on our list at 7.02 per 100,000 people (from here on referred to as 100k), it had the second highest rate of forcible rape at 111.5 per 100k.
Paterson, New Jersey
Few outside of the NYC metropolitan area may have heard of Paterson, New Jersey, but this city is the second densest of any big U.S. city (after NYC). Paterson experienced 1,072 violent crimes per 100k and broke into the top 10 for robberies with almost 600 per 100k.
Springfield, Massachusetts, doesn’t stand out on our list as particularly high on any of the specific measures but is pretty dangerous across the board. Basketball was invented in Springfield, also the home of Milton Bradley (the board game creator) and birthplace of NFL Hall of Famer Nick Buoniconti. Its importance as a city hasn’t mitigated aggravated assaults at 628 per 100k in 2013.
Most people know Philadelphia is one of America’s most dangerous cities which is why you might be surprised to find it so low in the list. The City of Brotherly Love and cheesesteaks has seen improved statistics in recent years – its 247 murders in 2013 showed a 25% drop from 2012 and a 44% drop from 2007.
Less popular than The Simpsons’s Springfield, this Missouri city has a rough past. Beyond its reputation as the “Birthplace of Route 66”, Springfield was the scene of one of the best known Wild West duels between Wild Bill Hickok and Davis Tutt in 1865 and the lynching of three innocent black men (Horace Duncan, Fred Coker, and Will Allen) in 1906 (leading most African-Americans to leave the city). Its rough history has stuck around: Springfield had the highest amount of forcible rapes on our list in 2013 at 172.33 per 100k.