The most dangerous cities in the United States for 2023 have been revealed, revealing unexpected contenders for the top spots.
Monroe in Louisiana, previously holding the title for the city with the highest crime rate for two consecutive years, has been dethroned this year for the ignominious distinction. Research conducted by Security Gauge identifies a small southwestern suburb of Birmingham, Alabama, with a mere population of 27,000, as the city with the highest crime per capita for this year.
Bessemer, located in Jefferson County, now holds the unfortunate title of the most dangerous place to live in America based on proportional crime rates.
The data, meticulously gathered from all 18,000 law enforcement agencies in the U.S., paints a grim picture of the state of safety in these cities. Bessemer’s crime rate, especially alarming given its population size, stands out for physical violence, property crime and motor vehicle theft.
“Bessemer became an industrial powerhouse as a center for ore mining, iron smelting, and the manufacture of iron and coke,” historians note. Founded in 1887 by coal magnate Henry DeBardeleben, the city’s rapid growth throughout the 20th century earned it the moniker “The Marvel City.”
However, its prosperity began to wane around 1970, coinciding with the decline of railcar manufacturing and steelmaking. While efforts have been made to diversify its industrial portfolio, including the establishment of a massive Amazon fulfillment center, crime surged, likely influenced by rising unemployment.
Monroe, Louisiana, now in second place, presents a one in 38 chance for its residents to fall victim to violent crime. This northern Louisiana city, home to approximately 47,000 residents, boasts several museums and the University of Louisiana at Monroe. “It has one of the highest murder rates in the United States,” the FBI analysis revealed. Monroe’s reign as the most dangerous city lasted two years before Bessemer’s rise this year.
Saginaw, Michigan, located a mere 100 miles from Detroit, a city notorious for its crime, reports a violent crime rate of 25.1 per 1,000 residents. Recent events, such as a tragic shooting during an unauthorized street party, have further tarnished its reputation.
Memphis, Tennessee, shares the third spot with Saginaw in terms of crime rates. This city, renowned for its rich musical heritage and as the home of Elvis Presley, has a population nearing 700,000. Scholars have drawn connections between the city’s escalating murder rates and lenient Democratic leadership, coupled with declining police morale. A WalletHub study highlighted that murder rates in major cities surged by a 10th between the first quarter of 2001 and the same period this year, with no signs of slowing down.
Detroit, Michigan, with a population of 620,000, reports a violent crime rate of 23 per 1,000. The likelihood of becoming a victim in this city stands at one in 43. Detroit’s urban decay and shrinking population have consistently placed it among the top cities for crime.
Birmingham, Alabama, isn’t faring much better.
“The crime scene in Bessemer leaks into nearby Birmingham too,” analysts observed. This year, Birmingham ranks sixth with a violent crime rate of 20.6 per 1,000. Residents face a one in 49 chance of becoming a victim.
Pine Bluff, Arkansas, with a violent crime rate of 20.5 per 1,000 residents, ranks as the seventh most dangerous city in the U.S. This city, home to approximately 40,000 residents, reports 50 more crimes per square mile than the Arkansas average. Not far behind is Little Rock, Arkansas, with 20.2 violent crimes per 1,000 residents. Alexandria, Louisiana, follows closely with a violent crime rate of 18.8 per 1,000 residents.
“Cleveland, Ohio, with a rating of 17.1 per 1,000, rounds out the top ten,” Security Gauge stated. The chances of becoming a victim in this city, nestled by Lake Erie, stand at one in 58.