Where are the Most Dangerous Places to Live in America 

When we talk about dangerous places to live, it usually brings to mind cities abroad. That or notorious “ghettos” as seen on TV. But you would be surprised at the number of dangerous places to live in America. Many things factor into what makes a place dangerous to live in. From weather conditions to more socio-economic issues. Either way, if you are planning on moving residence anytime soon, here are some of the most dangerous places to live in America that you might want to steer clear of.

Downtown Detroit 

Editorial credit: Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.

The American city of Detroit was once both a hub of industry and a home to all things music. “Motor City” was where the big three car manufacturers in America were founded. Since then things have changed drastically. It is now considered to be one of the most dangerous cities in America. High levels of homicide and robbery are to blame for this fact.


Editorial credit: Jacob Boomsma / Shutterstock.

Few people have heard of the Californian city of Stockton. You would think that being in the sunny state of California would make it a great place to live. But with the city facing bankruptcy in 2012, things have gone steadily downhill from there. One of the main problems in Stockton is gang-related crime.

Birmingham Alabama 

Editorial credit: Jacob Boomsma / Shutterstock.

A jewel in the south, Alabama is home to one city that has broken records for its high number of crimes per year. With a murder rate that is twice as high as the national average, this city should be passed by at all costs. So much for that southern hospitality.

Orlando Florida

Editorial credit: Chansak Joe / Shutterstock.

Known for its amusement parks such as Magic Kingdom, Universal Studios and of course Walt Disney World, you would think that this is a great place to live, and a safe one. But you would be mistaken. With one of the highest crime rates in America, Orlando boasts a rate of 49 per 1000 residents. And the chances of becoming a victim are one in 21.


Editorial credit: Bfkenney / Wikimedia Commons /CC BY-SA 4.0

One of the biggest cities in the state of Wisconsin, this is one of the most ethnically diverse cities in America. In most places, this translates to a wealth of culture and all the plusses that come with it. With a high crime rate and massive loss of population, this city makes the list.


Editorial credit: Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.

In the southern state of Georgia lies one of America’s most dangerous places to live. Just traveling through this city could end in tragedy. This is due to some of the highest levels of auto theft on record. In Atlanta, you are 65% more likely to have your car stolen than the national average.


Editorial credit: f11photo/ Shutterstock.

Situated on the banks of the Mississippi River, this city was once known as “Murderapolis.” In 1995 there were 95 killings in just one year. While that was a bad year for the city, the crime rate is still three times that of the national average.


Editorial credit: Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.

In New Mexico, there is a city that has earned its place amongst the most dangerous places to live in America. Between the years 2019 and 2023, the murder rate alone has risen by over 19%.

St Louis in Missouri

Editorial credit: Kevin Ruck / Shutterstock.

Known for its tremendous Gateway Arch which has become a massively popular tourist attraction, this is another city where looks are deceiving. Figures collected by the FBI show that while falling slightly over the last few years, St Louis has a crime risk that is five times the national average.


Editorial credit: Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.

Made famous by the song “Walking in Memphis” by Marc Cohn, this is a music city. A music city in a music state. But this long history of musical nostalgia does not negate the fact that it has one of the highest crime rates on record. The city’s police force has to use data to locate and identify so-called “crime hotspots” to adequately police them.

Miami Vice

Editorial credit: Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.

The hugely popular television show bearing the name of this city was about two police officers. This should tell you all you need to know about the coastal city of Miami. Statistics show that auto theft, burglary and violent crimes are all down in previous years. They also show that they are still some of the highest in America.


Editorial credit: Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.

This port city can be found in the American state of Ohio. Boasting museums of art, natural history and its own orchestra, here is a city that has been working hard to lower crime rates. They have been successful in regards to homicide and auto theft, which are both down over 40%. The rate for burglaries however is up on previous years.


Editorial credit: Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.

You might know Indianapolis from its world-famous car race. The “Indy 500” brings crowds from far and wide. But this race was started by criminals who used souped-up cars to transport their cargo of bootleg alcohol during the prohibition. Now it is gun crime that is the city’s main problem with 2019 seeing over 1,300 violent crimes per 100,000 people, making it among the most dangerous cities in America.


Editorial credit: Sean Pavone/ Shutterstock.

Another city that television failed to show in a flattering light is Baltimore. Arguably one of the main characters in the TV show “The Wire” was the city itself. The show focuses on the crack and heroin epidemic that cut through the city in the mid-90’s. The city has struggled to regain its footing since those times and is still a very dangerous place to live.


Editorial credit: Maria Sbytova / Shutterstock.

Here in one of the largest cities in America, there is so much to see. But to see these things you would also have to look past the political corruption and the gang-related violence. In the year 2021, the city saw a 25-year high in murder rates, earning it the nickname “Chiraq.”

Los Angeles

Editorial credit: ESB Professional / Shutterstock.

The infamous City of Angels is situated in the state of California. While home to the recent food revolution and countless museums, it is also home to more gang violence than many other cities combined. The odds of being a victim in LA is one in 28. 

Kansas City 

Editorial credit: Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.

“We are not in Kansas anymore,” said Dorothy in the “Wizard of Oz.” Who would have thought that Oz would have been the safer of the two places to be? Another of the most dangerous cities in the state of Missouri, Kansas City’s property crime rate is still higher than the national average with few signs of improving anytime soon.

Land of the Free

Editorial credit: ESB Professional / Shutterstock.

In the land of the free there sure are several cities that would also make it the home of the brave. While all these cities will have various reasons to move to them, they also have negative factors aplenty. When picking a place to live, you might want to leave these cities off your wish list.

About the author
Thomas James

Leave a Comment