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The Top 12 Most Dangerous Cities in America

rsz_us_image-300x186 Understanding the importance of security means understanding your area's risk. Because of widely varying economic and demographic profiles, identifying your individual danger can help determine whether a security system is worth the investment. For the following 12 cities, however, the risk is simply unavoidable. For this list, information was gathered from US News and World ReportInsiderMonkey, and CQ Press.

12. Kansas City

Heading off the list is the border city between Missouri and Kansas. In 2009, the crime rate was more than triple the national average, seeing an increase in forcible rape of 11% over a single year. According to NeighborhoodScout.com, residents have a 1 in 79 chance of becoming a victim of violent or property crime.

11. Memphis

Ranking in the top 10 of three different crime metrics, Memphis' reputation as the most dangerous city in Tennessee is well justified. What's interesting, however, is that local government and law enforcement are using this information to identify crime hotspots and improve enforcement for a brighter future.

10. New Orleans

"The Big Easy", while a popular tourist destination, has a dangerous underbelly, helped in no way by the destruction of Hurricane Katrina. As the number 1 city in the country for murder, at a rate of 53 per 100,000 residents, travelers would do well to stick to the main thoroughfares.

9. Jackson

Cracking the top 10, the southern city features a crime rate high in burglaries. The city's record put them at number 21 in murders, 26 in rapes, 14 in motor vehicle theft, 16 in robberies, and 3 in burglaries. At 454 robberies and 77 rapes per 100,000 residents, Mississippi's largest city presents plenty of danger for its 173,000 inhabitants.

8. Oakland

While many cities possess a prolific reputation for violent crimes, few beat Oakland in property crime. The city ranked number 1 in motor vehicle theft and number 5 in robbery in 2013, with a remarkable 1086 robberies per 100,000 residents.

7. Baltimore

Maryland's largest city and home of the Super Bowl winning Ravens has an unfortunate dark side. Ranking in the top 15 of assaults, murders, and robberies, the city saw 86 violent crimes per 100,000 residents in 2013.

6. Detroit

Once a center of the economic prowess at the height of the auto industry, news outlets now regularly document the devastation wrought on the Motor City. In 2009, the number of violent and property crimes in the city totaled over 68,000, holding strong at 740 per 100,000 residents in 2013. The city also experienced 624 acts of arson the last time data was available in 2009.

5. Birmingham

The home of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, this campus town is also home to an inordinate amount of violent crime. Coming in at number 12 in murders, 8 in rapes, and 6 in burglaries, the city's crime levels sit at nearly twice the national average in each category.

4. Cleveland

While the police department in the area reports a decline in crime rates in Cleveland between 2006 and 2010, the cities troubles are far from over. In 2013, the city saw 21 murders, 826 robberies, and 92 rapes per 100,000 residents, putting them in the top 10 of all three categories.

3. Camden

Camden's reputation as the most dangerous city in New Jersey is backed by a prolific rate of violent crimes. The city ranks 2nd in assaults, 4th in murders, 1st in rapes, and 1st in robberies nationally, putting it among the most deadly cities in the entire country.

2. Flint

The devastation wrought by the failed automotive and industrial industry has created a proliferation of crime in the state of Michigan. Flint, once the proud home to a burgeoning economy has since become the number 1 city in the country for assaults, number 2 in burglaries, and number 10 in murders.

1. St. Louis

Topping our list, few cities have seen the kind of consistent danger that St. Louis has experienced. According to US News and World Report, the crime risk in the city was more than five times the national average over a 7-year period ending in 2009. In 2013, the murders, robberies, and rapes per 100,000 residents reached 35, 558, and 62 respectively, putting them in the top 5 of 4 separate crime metrics. While few municipalities can reach the levels of crime seen here, knowing your risk is an essential part of keeping your family safe. Consult local statistics and pay attention to the nature and rate of crime in your area when determining how to secure your home and your loved ones.

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