Top 10 American Cities With the Highest Murder Rates in 2023

In 2023, St. Louis leads the list of U.S. cities with the highest murder rates (69.4 per 100,000 people), highlighting challenges such as urban decay and a growing unhoused population. Baltimore, New Orleans, and Detroit follow, each facing unique safety concerns. Despite its family-friendly reputation, Cleveland surprises with a high rate (33.7). Las Vegas, Kansas City, Memphis, Newark, and Chicago also grapple with elevated murder rates, reflecting complex social, economic, and governance challenges in these cities.

The U.S. cities with the highest murder rates in 2023, as defined by murders per 100,000 people, are:

  1. St. Louis, Missouri: Leading the list with a staggering 69.4 murder rate, St. Louis is currently the most dangerous city in the United States. Factors contributing to this high rate include urban decay, damaged infrastructure, drug use, and a growing unhoused population. The local government struggles to address these issues effectively​​.
  2. Baltimore, Maryland: Known for its portrayal in the television show “The Wire,” Baltimore has a murder rate of 51.1. The city grapples with significant safety challenges, although areas like the Inner Harbor and Fell’s Point are considered safe. The high murder rate raises concerns about the city’s overall stability​​.
  3. New Orleans, Louisiana: Despite being a popular tourist destination known for its vibrant culture and cuisine, New Orleans faces a high murder rate of 40.6. This figure underscores the need for improved safety measures to protect both tourists and residents​​.
  4. Detroit, Michigan: With a murder rate of 39.7, Detroit’s struggle with high crime rates has been a barrier to development, particularly in low-income areas. Despite this, the city’s downtown area remains a highlight​​.
  5. Cleveland, Ohio: Surprisingly high on the list with a 33.7 murder rate, Cleveland’s reputation as a family-friendly city is being challenged by these rising crime figures​​.
  6. Las Vegas, Nevada: Attracting millions of tourists annually, Las Vegas has a murder rate of 31.4. The city’s focus on gambling and entertainment is thought to contribute to its safety issues​​.
  7. Kansas City, Missouri: With a murder rate of 31.2, Kansas City’s high crime rate is surprising given its reputation for sports and entertainment​​.
  8. Memphis, Tennessee: Experiencing a tourism boom, Memphis still struggles with a murder rate of 27.1, indicating a need for improved public safety measures to sustain its growing popularity​​.
  9. Newark, New Jersey: Despite efforts to improve safety, Newark’s murder rate is 25.6. The city is known for its urban challenges and serves as a major international travel hub​​.
  10. Chicago, Illinois: Once known as America’s most dangerous city, Chicago has seen improvements in safety, but with a murder rate of 24.0, it still ranks high in terms of danger​​.

These cities reflect a complex interplay of social, economic, and governance challenges that contribute to their high murder rates.