St. Louis & Rockford Ranked Most Dangerous Cities in the U.S., Irvine is Still the Safest


Law Street Media, LLC
Christie Jenkins

WASHINGTON D.C. & NEW YORK, September 26, 2016: St. Louis, Missouri is America’s most dangerous large city, replacing Detroit, Michigan for the first time in three years after a significant spike in violent crime. Rockford, Illinois is America’s most dangerous city under 200,000 in population, and Irvine, California is the safest city for the fourth year in a row, all according to rankings by Law Street Media based on FBI data, released earlier today.

Full Crime in America 2017 coverage available at Law Street Media

These rankings constitute the first tabulation of the FBI’s latest data for calendar year 2015–the most recent year for which FBI data is available. The Crime in America 2017 coverage revealed some important year-over-year trends: most notably, violent crime increased by 3.9 percent overall from the previous year. Among the Top 10 Most Dangerous U.S. Cities with populations over 200,000, Baltimore, Maryland (#6) had the largest increase in violent crime of all the cities appearing in the Top 10. For the first time in three years the #1 spot did not go to Detroit, Michigan, but instead to St. Louis, Missouri, due to an 8 percent increase in its violent crime rate, which brought it from #4 to the top spot.

In the Top 10 Most Dangerous Cities with populations under 200,000 Little Rock, Arkansas was displaced by Rockford, Illinois as the #1 most dangerous city. Rockford saw a 28 percent increase in violent crime last year, moving it up to the #1 spot. Odessa, Texas joined the list this year while Springfield, Missouri at #3, Lansing, Michigan at #4, Hartford, Connecticut at #5 and Springfield, Massachusetts at #6 held the same ranks as the previous year.

Irvine, California and Gilbert, Arizona kept the top spots as the #1 and #2 Safest Cities in the United States. Glendale, California and Scottsdale, Arizona were newcomers to the list while most other cities remained steady in their spots from last year’s rankings.

Law Street used the FBI’s four major violent crime categories – murders, aggravated assaults, robberies, and rapes – to create a standard measure of violent-crimes-per-100,000 people among all cities reporting crime data to the FBI. This allows year-to-year and city-to-city comparisons. To derive the rate, the total number of violent crimes reported to the FBI is divided by the city’s population, with the result then multiplied by 100,000. The formula for this calculation is shown below:

Violent Crime Rate = (Total Violent Crime in a City/City Population) x 100,000. Crime ratings were further broken down by population, with 200,000 used as the dividing point.

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