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Crime in America 2015: Top 10 Most Dangerous Cities Under 200,000

Little Rock, Arkansas is the #1 Most Dangerous City in the United States according to data released today by the FBI. Overall violent crime in Little Rock increased nearly seven percent over the course of 2013–the latest year for which the FBI has published data. Rockford, Illinois and New Haven, Connecticut switched positions this year to #2 and #2, respectively. Flint, Michigan, last year’s #1 Most Dangerous City, is not ranked this year as its population according to the FBI dropped 59 people below the 100,000-person threshold to rank. Look at the list below to see the full Top 10 Most Dangerous Cities in America under 200,000, and click here to see full Crime in America 2015 coverage.

Click here to view a slideshow of the Top 10 Most Dangerous Cities Over 200,000.

#1 Little Rock, Arkansas

Little Rock, Arkansas is the #1 Most Dangerous Small City in America. Little Rock has moved up by four spots to #1 on the list after coming in at #5 last year. The city’s overall violent crime rose from approximately 1,315/100,000 people in 2012 to 1,407/100,000 people in 2013; this increase is responsible for Little Rock’s rise on the list. However, there may be some good news. While Little Rock’s overall violent crime rate is up, the murder rate is down by almost 22 percent.

Violent Crime Rate: 1,407/100,000 people | Murder Rate: 18/100,000 people

Population: 197,399 | Officer to Population Ratio: 1:354

Median Household Income: $45,135 | Pop. Below Poverty Line: 18.2%

Rank last year: #5

 

#2 Rockford, Illinois

Rockford, Illinois is the #2 Most Dangerous City with a population under 200,000, moving up from its position at #3 last year. Most notably, Rockford’s murder rate has more than doubled since last year, when the ratio was 5.91/100,000 people. Last year Rockford saw 9 murders, this year they reported 19. Unfortunately, Rockford’s report of 19 this year was more on par with what the city has seen in recent years; last year’s 9 murders was a notable abnormality.

Violent Crime Rate: 1,375/100,000 people | Murder Rate: 13/100,000 people

Population: 150,209 | Officer to Population Ratio: NA

Median Household Income: $38,157 | Pop. Below Poverty Line: 25.1%

Rank last year: #3

 

#3 New Haven, Connecticut

New Haven, Connecticut is the #3 Most Dangerous City with a population under 200,000.  It moved down from its position last year at #2. The first of two Connecticut cities in the top small dangerous cities, New Haven is often viewed as marred by extreme economic inequality. However, New Haven is getting better overall. While the murder rate increased marginally, the overall violent crime rate is down by almost 13 percent.

Violent Crime Rate: 1,254/100,000 people | Murder Rate: 14/100,000 people

Population: 131,071 | Officer to Population Ratio: 340:1

Median Household Income: $38,482 | Pop. Below Poverty Line: 26.9%

Rank last year: #2

 

#4 Hartford, Connecticut

Hartford, Connecticut maintains its position as the #4 Most Dangerous City in America for the second year in a row. Hartford’s number of murders–23–remained stagnant. However, Connecticut’s capital did have some good news in the form of a small decrease in the overall violent crime rate. Violent crimes in Hartford decreased by about 11 percent.

Violent Crime Rate: 1,179/100,000 people | Murder Rate: 18/100,000 people

Population: 124,927 | Officer to Population Ratio: 275:1

Median Household Income: $28,931 | Pop. Below Poverty Line: 33.9%

Rank last year: #4

 

#5 Springfield, Missouri

Springfield, Missouri makes its debut this year as the #5 Most Dangerous City with a population under 200,000. Springfield’s presence on the list can mostly be attributed to the large jump in violent crime that the city saw this year. Previously, the violent crime rate was 992/100,000 people, representing a 17 percent increase. Part of the dramatic increase can be attributed to the new definition of rape employed by the FBI statistics. Last year, Springfield reported 141 rapes, this year the city saw that nearly double to 281.

Violent Crime Rate: 1,162/100,000 people | Murder Rate: 7/100,000 people

Population: 163,062 | Officer to Population Ratio: 516:1

Median Household Income: $33,379 | Pop. Below Poverty Line: 24.0%

Rank last year: #14

 

#6 Springfield, Massachusetts

Springfield, Massachusetts is the #6 Most Dangerous City in the United States, moving up four spots from its rank last year of #10. Springfield moved so quickly up the list because its murder rate essentially doubled from 7.1/100,000 to 14/100,000. While the violent crime rate only increased a small amount, about 5%, the dramatic increase in murders is certainly concerning.

Violent Crime Rate: 1,089/100,000 people | Murder Rate: 14/100,000 people

Population: 153,586 | Officer to Population Ratio: 347:1

Median Household Income: $35,163 | Pop. Below Poverty Line: 28.7%

Rank Last Year: #10

 

#7 Paterson, New Jersey

Paterson, New Jersey makes its debut on the list of Most Dangerous Cities with a population under 200,000 at #7. It was not among the Top 10 last year. Surprisingly, Paterson’s violent crime rate only increased slightly, by about 2 percent. However, while other cities in last year’s top 10 saw their crime go down, a 2 percent increase was enough to land Paterson on the list.

Violent Crime Rate: 1,072/100,000 people | Murder Rate: 12/100,000 people

Population: 145,082 | Officer to Population Ratio: 397:1

Median Household Income: $33,538 | Pop. Below Poverty Line: 27.6%

Rank last year: Not in the top 10

 

#8 Lansing, Michigan

Lansing, Michigan makes its debut on the list of Top 10 Most Dangerous Cities with a population under 200,000 at #8. It was not among the Top 10 last year. Lansing saw a 12 percent increase in crime, which bumped them up to #8 on the list. Despite the overall rise in violent crime, Lansing’s murder rate actually fell significantly, from 11.33/100,000 to 7/100,000. That means that most of Lansing’s increase came from other violent crimes, including robbery and aggravated assault.

Violent Crime Rate: 1,057/100,000 people | Murder Rate: 7/100,000 people

Population: 113,907 | Officer to Population Ratio: 616:1

Median Household Income: $48,471 | Pop. Below Poverty Line: 16.3%

Rank last year: #21

 

#9 Beaumont, Texas

Beaumont, Texas makes its debut as the #9 Most Dangerous City in America with a population under 200,000. It was not in the Top 10 last year. Beaumont squeaked into the top 10 with a very small increase in overall crime–around .42 percent. One notable increase that Beaumont saw was a small uptick in their murder rate. Last year, Beaumont’s murder rate was approximately 10/100,000 people.

Violent Crime Rate: 1,037/100,000 people | Murder Rate: 14/100,000 people

Population: 118,177 | Officer to Population Ratio: 467

Median Household Income: $40,765 | Pop. Below Poverty Line: 22.3%

Rank last year: #11

 

#10 Richmond, California

Richmond, California is the #10 Most Dangerous City with a population under 200,000 in the United States. It was ranked #7 last year. Richmond fell three spots because of its overall decrease in violent crime by about 5 percent. In addition, their murder rate fell slightly, from almost 17/100,000 to 15/100,000.

Violent Crime Rate: 1,036/100,000 people | Murder Rate: 15/100,000 people

Population: 107,341 | Officer to Population Ratio: 577:1

Median Household Income: $54,657 | Pop. Below Poverty Line: 17.9%

Rank last year: #7

Research and analysis by Law Street’s Crime in America Team: Kevin Rizzo, Chelsey Goff, and Anneliese Mahoney.

Click here for additional information on Law Street’s methodology.

Sources:

FBI: Violent crime, population, murder, and officer statistics, measured January – December 2013.

U.S. Census Bureau: Median household income, measured 2007-2011.

U.S. Census Bureau: Poverty, measured 2008-2012.

Featured image courtesy of [Nicolas Henderson via Flickr]

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