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The Most Dangerous Cities In America

May 26, 2011 by  


5. Memphis, Tennessee

> Population: 673,650
> Violent Crime Per 1,000: 15.4
> 2010 Murders: 89
> Median Income: $34,203 (31.8% below national average)
> Unemployment Rate: 9.9% (0.9% above national average)
Memphis has high rates for all the violent crimes considered for 24/7 Wall St.’s rankings. It has the sixth highest rate in the country. Incidents of violent crime in the city dropped slightly less than 15% between 2009 and 2010 though. Memphis Mayor A C Wharton attributes this decrease to Operation Safe Community, a citywide plan developed in 2005. The plan consists of a number of strategies meant to increase crime prevention, through toughening punishments for criminals, and the effectiveness of the city’s legal system, through changes such as expanding court programs so that they operate consistently and at full capacity.

4. New Haven, Connecticut

> Population: 124,856
> Violent Crime Per 1,000: 15.8
> 2010 Murders: 22
> Median Income: $38,279 (23.8% below national average)
> Unemployment Rate: 9.6% (0.6% above national average)
New Haven has historically had the highest rate of violent crime on the east coast. The impoverished, crime-ridden parts of the city stand in stark contrast to affluent Fairfield county to the West, and elite Yale University, which is located within the city itself. The number of murders in the city doubled last year. New Haven has the eighth highest rate of robbery and the fourth highest rate of assault in the U.S. The New Haven Police Department is considering adding cameras at every intersection in one of the neighborhoods where shootings are the most common.

3. St. Louis, Missouri

> Population: 355,151
> Violent Crime Per 1,000: 17.5
> 2010 Murders: 144
> Median Income: $34,801 (30.7% below national average)
> Unemployment Rate: 9.3% (0.3% above national average)
Violent crime in St. Louis fell dramatically between 2009 and 2010, and has decreased since 2007. Despite this, crime rates remain extremely high compared with other cities. In 2010, the city’s murder rate and rate of aggravated assault were each the third worst in the country. With regards to both violent and nonviolent crime, St. Louis was rated the most dangerous city based on FBI data released six months ago. As of December 2010, the murder rate in St. Louis was 6.3 times that of the state of Missouri. The city’s gunshot murder rate for residents between 10 to 19 years old is also the second highest in the country, behind only New Orleans, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

2. Detroit, Michigan

> Population: 899,447
> Violent Crime Per 1,000: 18.9
> 2010 Murders: 310
> Median Income: $26,098 (48% below national average)
> Unemployment Rate: 12.7% (3.7% above national average)
The city crippled the most in America’s post-industrial era is almost certainly Detroit. The Motor City has suffered from high rates of unemployment, homelessness, and crime. The city has one of the ten highest rates for three of the four types of violent crime identified by the FBI. Detroit has the sixth highest murder rate, the fifth highest robbery rate, and the second highest rate of aggravated assault. In 2005, a major reorganization of the city’s police department took place after a federal investigation identified inefficiencies within the system. According to an article in The United Press, opponents of Detroit Mayor David Bing called for further intervention by the Justice Department in several shootings that occurred last year.

1. Flint, Michigan

> Population: 109,245
> Violent Crime Per 1,000: 22
> 2010 Murders: 53
> Median Income: $27,049 (46.1% below national average)
> Unemployment Rate: 11.8% (2.8% above national average)
The number of violent crimes committed in Flint, MI, increased for all categories considered for this list between 2009 and 2010. Perhaps most notably, the number of murders in the city increased from 36 to 53. This moves the city from having the seventh highest rate of homicide to the second highest. The number of aggravated assaults increased from 1,529 to 1,579, a rate of 14.6 assaults per 1,000 residents, placing the city in the number one rank for rate of assaults. Flint police chief Alvern Lock stated late last year that he believed the city’s violence stemmed from drugs and gangs. Flint has a relatively small median income of about $27,000 per household. The city also has a poverty rate of 36.2%.
Douglas A. McIntyre, Michael B. Sauter, Charles B. Stockdale

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