Discover America’s 20 most dangerous small cities

The designation of a city as ‘dangerous’ often considers factors such as violent and property crime rates. Below is a list of the 20 most dangerous small cities in America, along with explanations for their rankings:

  1. Bessemer, AL: Bessemer’s history as a major mining and steel-making city has seen a decline with the closure of steel factories and the departure of large companies, contributing to rising crime rates​​.
  2. Monroe, LA: Monroe’s growth was initially driven by the Great Migration. Currently, about 36.8% of its population lives below the poverty line, significantly contributing to its high crime rates​​.
  3. Saginaw, MI: Once an important lumber and manufacturing city, Saginaw’s decline in the auto industry led to urban blight and high unemployment, factors contributing to its crime rates​​.
  4. Memphis, TN: Known as the “Home of the Blues,” Memphis has seen demographic shifts and historical segregation contributing to its high crime rates​​.
  5. Detroit, MI: A city famous for its high crime rates, Detroit’s struggles with racial conflict and economic downturns have made it a center for violent crime​​.
  6. Birmingham, AL: Once the third-most dangerous city in America, Birmingham’s fluctuating economy and “white flight” have hindered its growth and recovery, impacting crime rates​​.
  7. Pine Bluff, AR: Pine Bluff’s economy suffered greatly during the Great Depression and subsequent natural disasters, which, along with racial tensions, have impeded the city’s development and contributed to its high crime rates​​.
  8. Little Rock, AR: The capital of Arkansas, Little Rock has a history of violent race riots and racial conflict, contributing to its ongoing crime issues​​.
  9. Alexandria, LA: Alexandria’s history as a small trading post has evolved, but over 27% of its population currently lives below the poverty line, influencing its crime rates​​.
  10. Cleveland, OH: A port city that struggled economically in the late 1900s, Cleveland’s high unemployment and population decline have contributed to its high violent crime rate​​.
  11. Kalamazoo, MI: Formerly known as the “paper city,” Kalamazoo’s decline in manufacturing and the 2008 recession significantly impacted its employment levels, influencing crime rates​​.
  12. Milwaukee, WI: Known for its segregation and poverty among large cities, Milwaukee’s high poverty and homelessness contribute to its violent crime rate​​.
  13. Albany, GA: Once a major transportation hub, Albany’s decline in railway importance and military base closures led to high unemployment and poverty, influencing its crime rates​​.
  14. Gadsden, AL: Gadsden’s transition from a major industrial center to economic decline in the late 20th century has contributed to its high crime rates​​.
  15. Danville, IL: The closure of coal mines and manufacturing companies in Danville led to high unemployment and poverty, influencing its crime rates​​.
  16. Lansing, MI: As the decline of American car production impacted Lansing, efforts to diversify employment have been underway to combat high crime rates​​.
  17. Baltimore, MD: Despite a drop in crime since the 1990s, Baltimore still struggles with high crime rates in a densely populated area​​.
  18. Springfield, MO: Known as the birthplace of Route 66, Springfield’s limited diversity and economic factors contribute to its crime rates​​.
  19. Spartanburg, SC: The departure of textile mills and industrial companies in the 1950s led to high unemployment in Spartanburg, affecting its crime rates​​.
  20. Rockford, IL: Rockford, once a major industrial center, faced high unemployment during the 1980s recession, contributing to its current crime rates​​.

These cities, while small, face challenges such as economic downturns, high unemployment, poverty, and racial tensions, which significantly contribute to their high crime rates.