17 of America’s Most Dangerous Places to Live

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By Jonathan Trent

While many places in the U.S. offer an excellent quality of life, with a range of diverse urban areas and scenic natural spots, some face serious challenges. Here, we’ll explore 17 of the most dangerous places to live in the U.S., which are plagued by high crime rates, economic difficulties, and social disparities.

Detroit, Michigan

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Detroit suffers from very high violent crime rates, including homicides and assaults. In fact, CBS News mentions that Detroit ranks number three in the U.S. for homicides per capita. It also deals with poverty struggles, economic decline, and limited access to education and healthcare.

St. Louis, Missouri

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St. Louis, situated in the state of Missouri, consistently ranks high in violent crime statistics. It is renowned for issues with gun violence and gang activity, as well as significant socio-economic disparities among residents.

Baltimore, Maryland

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Baltimore frequently experiences high rates of drug-related crimes and violence. Its residents also face widespread poverty, a lack of economic opportunities, and ongoing challenges with police corruption and misconduct.

Memphis, Tennessee

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Memphis deals with consistently elevated rates of aggravated assaults and robberies, high unemployment rates that lead to poverty, and significant issues with gang violence and drug trafficking. This makes it a dangerous place to live, with many choosing to steer clear.

Albuquerque, New Mexico

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The increasing violent crime rates, particularly in certain neighborhoods, make Albuquerque a dangerous place to live. Drug abuse and related criminal activities are huge issues, as well as struggles with poverty and limited job opportunities.

Birmingham, Alabama

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According to Forbes, Birmingham is top of the list for the highest crime cost in the U.S., at $11,392 per capita, due to high violent crime rates, including shootings and robberies. This is linked with the economic hardship and high poverty rates in many areas. We do not recommend moving here if you have the choice!

Kansas City, Missouri

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Kansas City experiences a high incidence of homicides and violent crimes, problems with gang violence, and continuous drug-related offenses. Economic disparities and a struggling education system mean that there are few opportunities for people to increase their quality of life.

Cleveland, Ohio

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Cleveland, Ohio, deals with persistent violent crime issues, including serious assaults and murders. The economic decline has also contributed to poverty and unemployment, and problems with drug trafficking and addiction further perpetuate the cycle. As a result, people are choosing to move to other cities or areas of the state.

Oakland, California

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Oakland has serious issues with violent crimes and property crimes. Gang activity and drug-related violence are also prevalent here. Socio-economic inequalities and the homelessness crisis mean that this area is one to avoid moving to.

Chicago, Illinois

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Britannica says that Chicago is the largest and third most populous city in the state of Illinois. However, it’s also notorious for high murder rates and gang violence. Gun use, criminal activity, and poverty have led to the city facing many challenges and its safety being greatly impacted.

New Orleans, Louisiana

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New Orleans, which hosts the famous Mardi Gras, also suffers from a high murder rate and violent crime statistics. Drug trafficking and related violence are also common, and severe economic challenges and poverty exist in many areas. Despite its fame, residents need to be cautious, resulting in some leaving the city.

Stockton, California

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Stockton, located in California, has experienced rising violent crime rates and gang-related violence, as well as significant issues with drug trafficking and abuse. Economic challenges and high poverty levels have led to this area being incredibly dangerous for residents.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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Milwaukee is one of the most dangerous places to live in the U.S., as it experiences persistent issues with violent crime, including homicides. Problems with drug trafficking and gang activity, as well as high poverty rates, add to the many challenges faced by the city.

Little Rock, Arkansas

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According to U.S News, Little Rock’s metropolitan area has a higher-than-average violent crime rate. Assaults and shootings are not uncommon, and the area experiences many issues with gang presence and drug-related crimes, making it a pretty dangerous place to live.

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

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Baton Rouge is a dangerous place to live, with violent crimes happening regularly and reducing the safety of residents. Gangs are common, and significant poverty levels in several areas cause many people to turn to crime.

Indianapolis, Indiana

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Indianapolis experiences a high rate of violent crime, most notably assaults and robberies. Drug-related offenses are on the rise, and gang violence is prolific. Economic struggles across the city are further increasing the danger of living in this city.

Newark, New Jersey

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Newark is situated in New Jersey and deals with significant crime rates in the form of shootings and assaults. Drug trafficking and gangs are a huge problem, too, and widespread poverty is consistently increasing. All in all, there’s not much to attract people to move here!

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