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30 Cities With the Highest Murder Rates

Pittsburgh, PA

In the past, Pittsburgh has actually had one of the highest homicide rates in the nation. Between 2016 and 2018, there were around 58 cases per year. Last year, there was a 35% decrease – pretty impressive! With only 38 homicides, that’s something to brag about.

This year, that number is just 10, according to Allegheny County. That seems like a great statistic until you find out that it only goes through April. The last two months have seen more homicides, so that number is much higher in reality. 

(Image via Flickr)

Cincinnati, OH

While some cities have seen a drop in homicides because of the pandemic, we can’t say the same about Cincinnati. The city has long been on the list of one of the most dangerous places in the United States, but this year broke a new record.

Fox 19, a Cincinnati local news station, reported that homicides in the major metro area were up 115%. There were 28 homicides as early as April when there were 12 year-over-year. Many of these crimes are from gun violence.

(Image via Flickr)

Oakland, CA

There’s been a definite uptick in violence in Oakland. In 2019, there were 400 more cases of violent crime compared to the previous year. That’s a 7% increase. There were also 74 homicides in 2019, seven more than the past year.

The biggest problem (other than the high homicide rate) is the increase in vehicle burglaries and laptop thefts. This certainly isn’t good news, but things could change. The mayor introduced anti-violence expert Guillermo Cespedes, who helped LA see a 57% drop in gang-related violence.

(Image via Flickr)

Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C. saw a big uptick in crime. There were 166, a number that’s been increasing since 2012. The city hasn’t seen crime stats like this in over a decade. The news gets worse when you find out that nearly half of the year’s homicides remain unsolved. 

This year is turning out to be just as bad as there have already been 76 homicides. This time last year, there were 69, a 10% increase. It seems like things aren’t going to get much better for the nation’s capital unless there are some major changes.

Atlanta, GA

Atlanta is consistently one of the cities with the highest homicide rates. Last year, it was apparent that things were terrible early on. Before we reached June, there had already been more murders year-over-year. This year isn’t shaping up to be much better.

The Atlanta Police Department has seen almost as many homicides as the previous year. The only good news is that other types of crime seem to have fallen. Gun violence is a major concern and is a significant contributing factor to the homicide stats. 

(Image via Unsplash)

Milwaukee, WI

Milwaukee’s statistics aren’t that awful for the previous years. Because it’s such a big city, having around 100 murders only amounts to around 16 homicides per 100,000 residents. That could make it safer than other cities, but this year isn’t turning out to be the same.

The homicide rate in Milwaukee is up 96% compared to this time last year, according to CBS 58. In the first few months, there have been 49 homicides, when there had been 25 this time last year. Considering most major cities are seeing an increase, this isn’t a great trend for Milwaukee. It could be the most violent year yet.

(Image via Unsplash)

Kansas City, MO

Kansas City has had a hard time over the last decade. There’s been over 100 murders every year, with the previous year being one of the worst. There were 148, while the past year had 138. Considering the last deadly year, residents hoped that the homicides would decrease, but the news hasn’t been good.

There have already been 66, compared to 54 this time last year, before reaching the halfway point. The gun violence in Kansas City is also getting much worse, causing the county prosecutor to request communities to help decrease killings. 

(Image via Unsplash)

Chicago, IL

Chicago is one of the most populated cities in America, so it’ll naturally have a high number of murders. No one expected this many, however. For 2019, numbers decreased 13% to 490, but that’s where the good news stops.

This year is showing to be much deadlier than the previous (and possibly years before it). Without reaching the halfway point, there were already 239 murders. Most murders are a result of gun violence and are concentrated on the South and West side, according to Chicago Tribune.

(Image via Unsplash)

Memphis, TN

City officials and residents are getting very concerned about a rising trend of homicides in Memphis. In 2017, there were 176 murders. Then, in 2018, there were 186. Finally, last year was one of the deadliest at 191.

Health experts are now calling it a crisis, and U.S. Attorney General William Barr announced a new plan to decrease gun violence. Apparently, it didn’t work. This year, there’s already been 85 murders when there had been 69 this time last year.

(Image via Unsplash)

Orlando, FL

Last year was a good year for Orlando. Orlando Police Department was happy to see a decrease in homicides, 26 compared to 43 for 2018. Is 2020 following the same trend? So far, things aren’t looking good.

A string of gun violence has caused residents to be understandably uneasy. Officials are remaining optimistic, however, as overall violent crime has decreased. Only time will tell if this year will be the deadliest or follow a downward trend. 

(Image via Unsplash)

Cleveland, OH

Cleveland manages to land on this list nearly every year, but this time it’s getting really bad. For 2020, homicides are up a shockingly high 55%. It got so bad that there was a two-week period where there was a murder a day.

Since the start of the year, there have been 62 homicides, and during the same time last year, there were 40. Communities wonder why there aren’t more patrols sent to curb the violence, claiming they were protecting buildings during protests rather than lives.

(Image via Unsplash)

Newark, NJ

Newark has some of the most amazing attractions in the United States – including a Cherry Blossom Festival. Unfortunately, it made the list as one of the most dangerous cities due to the high murder rate. However, it isn’t all bad news.

Newark’s murders are actually decreasing. Last year, the city had the lowest level of murders since 1961, with a 25% drop since the previous year (according to Newark PD). There were still 51 homicides, but that’s definitely an improvement. This year is aiming up to be even better (although there’s still a long way to go).

New Orleans, LA

New Orleans thought they were on to something. Last year, it had one of the lowest murder rates the city’s seen since the ’70s. Well, that trend didn’t continue. The pandemic hit, and homicides actually increased.

Shootings and homicides increased by 58% compared to the previous year, according to NOPD. Much of this is due to gun violence. Considering the city was shut down for several months, it’s shocking there were so many murders. 

(Image via Unsplash)

Baltimore, MD

Baltimore was one of the cities that shut down due to the pandemic, so you’d think homicides would be down. We’re sad to say that violent crime and murders are getting worse. So far, there’s been 75 murders.

It isn’t much higher than last year around this time (71), but it isn’t something officials want to see. Last year, there were 348 total murders, a rate of 57 homicides per 100,000 citizens. It was the worst rate in Baltimore’s history, and now, 2020 appears to be worse.

(Image via Flickr)

East St. Louis, IL and St. Louis, MO

East St. Louis has the worst homicide rates in the whole nation. The city’s stats sit at 96 homicides per 100,000 people, much higher than the national average of five murders per 100,000. An even scarier statistic is the fact that only 25% of the murders are charged in court, according to Belleville News-Democrat.

Due to this violence, the murder rate in St. Louis is also fairly high, which is why we’ve included both as one city. St. Louis also sits at 66 homicides per 100,000 residents. Overall, this is a tale of two cities you don’t want to hear about.

(Image via Unsplash)

Gary, IN

Gary, Indiana sounds seriously terrifying. Last year, the city had 58 homicides, which was a 45% jump from the previous year, according to NWI Times. There were also 123 shootings and an 87% increase in domestic violence situations.

Every year, it seems like the number gets larger. Last year broke the record for the most violent year since 2007 when there were 71 homicides by the end of December. Fortunately, gang-related violence is down, but the rest of the statistics show a terrifying trend.

(Image via Wikipedia)

Chester, PA

Pennsylvania may not seem like it has a bad reputation until you look at the statistics. Chester has been rocked by a wave of gun violence, something that is disturbingly common in the city.

Inquirer recently reported on this issue, stating only a third of the murders get solved. A nurse reported, “That’s how it is [in Chester]. You can end up dead at any time . . . And the [killers]? Well, they’re still walking around.” The murder rate in the city is more than double the state’s, and things aren’t getting much better.

(Image via Wikipedia)

York, PA

Violence in York is just the way of life, and residents have come to expect it. Last year, there were 22 homicides. While that may not seem like a lot, York has just over 40,000 residents (according to the 2010 U.S. Census). That means there are over 50 murders per 100,000 people – a much darker statistic.

Over the years, this number has been steadily increasing. The police force attempted to explain things by saying the perception of the city’s reputation could be because of the “random gun violence that occurs...rather than the actual homicides.” Considering the high homicide count per 100,00 residents, we can’t see how additional gun violence makes the city any safer. 

Petersburg, VA

Petersburg, Virginia has been ranked as one of the most dangerous cities in the United States by multiple publications. The Center Square reported that Petersburg has a 794 violent crime rate per 100,000 people.

By the end of last year, there were 18 homicides, one more than the previous year. Since Petersburg has a population a little over 32,000, that means there are 56 homicides per 100,000 people. For such a small place, this city has a lot of terror. 

(Image By Ken Lund from Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - Downtown Petersburg, Virginia, CC BY-SA 2.0)

Birmingham, AL

A sad statistic marked the end of the year. December 28th brought Birmingham’s 113th homicide. The city has always had a reputation for violence and crime, but who knew it was one of America’s most dangerous cities?

The CDC has deemed Alabama the second deadliest in the nation for rate of firearm deaths, with 1,100 total (many of those in Birmingham). Officials are trying to combat the traumatic living situation by encouraging the community to come together. According to Alabama Local News, that may not work as 71% of residents don’t trust the police.

(Image By Jrbawden - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0)

Detroit, MI

Detroit had to make this list. It’s been long deemed one of the most violent cities in America, and there’s a good reason for that. The homicide rate is off the charts. There were 272 homicides last year. That’s down from 2016, but the previous three years saw steady increases.

Detroit has one of the highest murder rates in the nation, only behind St. Louis and Baltimore. It also has the 42nd highest in the world. Many people see the city’s homicide rate as an improvement, as the ’80s saw those numbers rise to the 600s. This year has shown a marked decrease, but it could be due to quarantining.

(Image via Unsplash)

Danville, IL

Danville is at the top of the list – at least for bad things. Recently, 24/7 Wall Street listed Danville as one of the worst cities to raise kids, mostly thanks to its high violent crime rate. At the time, the rate was “780 incidences of murder, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault for every 100,000 residents.” The bad news? That report was from 2017.

The following year saw an even bigger increase, and last year wasn’t any better. In 2018, there were 40 homicides per 100,000 people. Last year saw a slight decrease, but it’s still a city that’s best to drive through. Residents are fleeing due to the violence.

(Image via Wikipedia)

Baton Rouge, LA

We’ll start with the good news first. Baton Rouge’s murder rate for 2019 was actually down 20% from the previous year, according to The Advocate. The bad news is that there were still 83 murders in the city.

Unfortunately, Baton Rouge’s gun violence rate is well above the national average. The city doesn’t seem to be on track for another decrease as there were four murders in one day not long ago. Reports of homicides are pouring out of the city, so we’ll just have to wait and see. 

(Image By Ben Record, CC BY-SA 2.0)

Pine Bluff, AR

Before December of last year, Pine Bluff was already on its 26th homicide. Because it’s a city of a little over 40,000 residents (although that’s quickly shrinking), that amounts to approximately 65 homicides per 100,000 residents.

Pine Bluff PD has teamed up with federal law enforcement to help quell crime while the state is working toward revitalization. So far, it doesn’t seem to be affecting violent crime rates. As early as May this year, the city had its 12th homicide.

(Image By Roland Klose - Main Street, Pine Bluff, Arkansas, CC BY 2.0)

Youngstown, OH

Good news came at the start of the year, stating that homicides were down in Youngstown for the first time since 2016. There were 20 homicides, which is much less than 26 and 28 it had in 2018 and 2017, respectively. Much of that is thanks to a busy police department, but things aren’t over yet.

This year could be another high year as several have already been killed due to the ever-increasing gun violence. Soon after the third triple homicide in 15 months, the police department pleaded with the state to help curb the violence in Youngstown.

(Image By Blue80, CC BY-SA 3.0)

Flint, MI

Flint has had an extremely hard time lately. In 2018, a report from the FBI showed that violent crime increased in Flint by 23%. That statistic dropped the following year, but homicides increased. By November, there were already 40 for the year.

The previous year resulted in 32 murders. Due to all of the environmental issues and violence, the population has begun to shrink dramatically. In fact, it’s one of the fastest shrinking cities in Michigan. 

(Image By Flintmichigan - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0)

Indianapolis, IN

For years, Indianapolis has been one of the most dangerous cities in the whole United States. A recent report on Wish TV stated that the morgues were getting full due to the number of homicides in Marion County, where Indianapolis is located.

Safewise looked into Indianapolis’s crime rate and found that there were 41 reports of property crime per 1,000 residents and over 12 violent crimes per 1,000 residents. For 2019, there were 171 homicides in total, which is down from the previous year, but that number is terrifyingly high.

(Image By Deltapilot97 - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0)

Camden, NJ

Last year, Camden had a total of 25 homicides. That’s an increase from the previous year of 22. Overall, police departments and officials are looking at the number as a good thing. It’s much lower than in 2012 when there were 67 homicides.

The only good news coming out of Camden is that all violent crime fell 3%, with 1,161 incidences in 2019 compared to 1,197 (according to the Inquirer). It isn’t much, but progress is progress. Now, if the city could work on its homicide rate, it may have a better reputation.

(Image By Dev JLap - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0)

San Juan, PR

San Juan is the biggest city in Puerto Rico, and it’s also one of the most violent cities in the world. In 2019, there were a total of 179 homicides. That’s an increase year over year. Now, this year, there’s already been a wave of killings that is terrifying residents.

With a population of over 300,000, it’s expected to have a large number of deaths, but 51 per 100,000 isn’t what most people would consider “safe.” Those who live there claim that they’re scared to walk down the street while officials seem to deny that San Juan is even dangerous.

(Image By Breezy Baldwin - Flickr: Flying into San Juan, CC BY 2.0)

Jackson, MS

Jackson has such a bad reputation that it’s the subject of songs. Last year, the city saw 82 homicides. It’s better than the previous year, but only by two. It seems like this year will be just as bad as the number is already as high as 45.

According to the FBI, just two years before, Jackson hit the highest-ever homicide rate in history, with 50.3 per 100,000 residents. Considering the rate is already at 27 per 100,000, 2020 could be another record-breaking year (in a bad way).

(Image via Unsplash)