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.
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The primary residence of writer Mark Twain, Hartford, Connecticut, is nicknamed the “Insurance Capital of the World” due to the high amount of insurance company headquarters in the area. However, insurance hasn’t protected Hartford from danger. The richest American city in the late 1800’s, Hartford is now one of the poorest: over 30% of families live below the poverty line and the city experienced 18.41 murders per 100k.
Fictional cocaine cowboys like Tony Montana made Miami famous but the real cowboys and other less-than-honest residents have kept it dangerous. The “Capital of Latin America”, Miami’s downtown hosts the largest concentration of international banks in the United States. Despite being a financial and leisure powerhouse, Miami is easily one of the most dangerous cities in America with 2,216 robberies in 2013 alone.
Ranking 6th in aggravated assaults per 100k on our list, Stockton, California, has actually been improving in the past few years. In 2013 alone, Stockton’s murder rate declined 45% from 71 in 2012 to 37. Stockton’s police chief credits the improvement to implementation of Project Ceasefire: a policing initiative focused on youth gun violence being implemented across the United States.
With 479 murders in 1991, Washington, D.C. was referred to as the murder capital of America. Despite its rough past, the city has greatly improved, recording only 103 murders in 2013. Robberies have been increasing due to rising incomes in the area but crime is still quite concentrated: 5% of the city recorded 25% of its crime.
The ATL still has a reputation for violent crime, but this Georgian city has really cleaned up its act in recent years. Home to the world’s busiest airport since 1998, Atlanta has crime rates above the national median including 524 robberies per 100k and 657 aggravated assaults per 100k. Despite these levels, the first decade of the 21st century saw Atlanta’s pubic safety increase at more than double the U.S. rate and forcible rapes decrease considerably.