The list, compiled by neighborhood search engine NeighborhoodScout, is based on the most up-to-date reports of violent crimes from all law enforcement agencies. Violent crimes include “murder, rape, armed robbery, and aggravated assault,” meaning that theft and burglary data is not taken into consideration.
Small and mid-sized cities dominate the 2016 list. With a population of 680,250, Detroit, MI–the third most dangerous city in America–is one of the largest cities included. Detroit averages just over 20 violent crimes per 1000 residents every year. For comparison, the national average is 3.72.
Camden, NJ, last year’s most violent city, was bumped back to the number 2 spot this year. Camden’s data is not far off from Detroit, with 20.3 violent crimes per 1000 residents.
East St. Louis, IL holds the unfortunate distinction of being the most dangerous city in America in 2016. At 36.3 violent crimes per 1000 residents, East St. Louis inhabitants have a 1 in 28 chance of falling victim to a violent crime every year. East St. Louis is also one of the smallest cities on the list, with a population of just 26,672.
Other notable inclusions on the list this year are Flint, MI (number 7), San Bernardino, CA (number 42) and Philadelphia, PA (number 65). Click here for a full list of this year’s most dangerous cities.
While it might be wise to avoid cities like East St. Louis, Camden and Detroit for the time being, it is also important to keep in mind that the data used to compile this list is relative.
The FBI reports that violent crimes are on a steady decline across the country. With the exception of 2012, violent crime rates have dropped every year since 2009.
Sources: “Most Dangerous U.S. Cities Ranked by Crime Data,” Claims Journal, 9 February 2016.
“NeighborhoodScout’s Most Dangerous Cities – 2016,” NeighborhoodScout.
“Uniform Crime Reports,” The Federal Bureau of Investigation.