When you hear the word Michigan, the first thing that comes to mind for most people are images of abandoned buildings, deteriorating industrial areas, and high crime rates in cities like Detroit and Flint. Although there are parts of the state that are breathtakingly beautiful, there are also areas that have earned their reputation for being unsafe and violent. In this article, we will explore the ten most dangerous cities in Michigan, where high murder rates, gang activity, urban decay, and poverty are prevalent.
10 Most Dangerous Cities in Michigan
- Muskegon Heights
- Benton Harbor
- Harper Woods
- Highland Park
1. Muskegon Heights
Muskegon Heights has gained notoriety for being the most dangerous city in Michigan. Despite having a population of only 10,730, the city has an alarmingly high crime rate. The amount of violent and property crime that takes place in Muskegon Heights is disproportionately high compared to its size. Shockingly, in 2022, the city’s overall crime rate was 330% higher than the national average, with a crime rate of 5,390. This means that every resident in Muskegon Heights has a 1 in 19 chance of becoming a victim of any type of crime. Home invasions and incidents involving burglary and destruction of property are also extremely prevalent in the city.
Detroit, with a population of 635,000, is the second most dangerous city in Michigan. Although it was once known as a hub for the US car industry, it currently has high rates of violent and property crimes. Regrettably, Detroit is considered one of America’s most dangerous large cities, with a crime rate of 6,389 per 100k people, making it 248% more hazardous than the state average. In 2021, there were 330 murders, 1,850 robberies, and 11,565 assaults recorded, with a 1 in 44 chance of becoming a victim of violent crime. Gang activity is a significant contributor to the city’s crime, and gun violence is rampant in the area.
3. Benton Harbor
Benton Harbor, a city with a population of 8,892, is considered to be one of the most dangerous cities in Michigan. The city has a crime rate of 6,365 per 100k people, which is 246% higher than the state average. This makes the chances of becoming a victim of a violent crime 1 in 29. In 2021, the city recorded two murders, eleven robberies, and 285 assaults, indicating the severity of the situation. Property crime is also an issue in Benton Harbor, with 69 burglaries reported in 2021. The city has a high poverty rate, with an annual resident income of $32,236 and limited employment opportunities.
With a population of 32,188, Jackson has a crime rate of 4,179 per 100k, which is 127% higher than the Michigan average. The city has a high chance of violent crime, with a 1 in 84 probability of becoming a victim. In 2021, Jackson recorded seven murders, 33 robberies, and 277 assaults. Property crime is also a major concern, with residents having a 1 in 31 chance of being victimized. The city reported 178 incidents of burglary, 736 counts of personal theft, and 111 counts of motor vehicle theft in 2021.
5. Harper Woods
Harper Woods, situated in Wayne County and in close proximity to Detroit, has established a reputation for being one of Michigan’s most hazardous locations. With a population of 15,492, Harper Woods has a high crime rate of 4,057 per 100,000 individuals, making it 121% more perilous than the average city in Michigan. The probability of falling prey to violent crime is 1 in 108. The year 2021 witnessed 3 murders, 10 robberies, and 126 assaults, all contributing to the city’s notoriety.
Flint has been in the news recently due to its high crime rate. With a population of 98,762, the city has a crime rate of 2,752 per 100,000 people, making it 50% more dangerous than the state average. In 2021, Flint experienced a sharp rise in the number of murders, reaching a nine-year high. Of the 60 recorded murders that year, there was a 21% increase from the previous year. The likelihood of falling victim to a violent crime in Flint is 1 in 78. On average, the city experiences around 47 murders, 84 robberies, and 827 assaults per year. Property crime is also a major issue, with residents having a 1 in 49 chance of becoming victims.
With a population of 75,834, Kalamazoo has a crime rate that is 166% higher than the national average. Unfortunately, residents have a 1 in 17 chance of becoming victims to any crime. Shockingly, in 2021, there were 14 murders, 137 robberies, and 873 assaults. This means that the chances of becoming a victim of violent crime are 1 in 67. Additionally, the city experienced over 700 burglaries and home invasion incidents in the same year. The high poverty rates contribute to the high crime rate, and the unemployment rate in the city is 6.7%.
With a population of only 8,310, Albion has a crime rate that is 83% higher than the national average. The year 2022 saw a staggering 83% increase in overall crime, with violent crime experiencing a surge of 205% compared to previous years. In 2021, there were two murders, eight robberies, and 85 assaults reported. Though violent crimes are a concern, property crimes are the primary worry for residents of Albion, with a 1 in 28 chance of becoming a victim. Burglary and personal theft are the most common types of property crime in the area.
9. Highland Park
Highland Park, located within Detroit, is an enclave city with a population of 10,978. The city has a crime rate of 4,541 per 100,000 people, which is 94% higher than the national average. This means that the overall chance of becoming a victim of any type of crime in Highland Park is 1 in 23. In 2022, the city witnessed six murders, 25 robberies, and 164 assaults. Urban decay is a major issue in Highland Park, with numerous buildings left abandoned and in a state of disrepair.
With a population of 49,892, Saginaw has a crime rate of 3,662 per 100,000 people, making it 99% more dangerous than other cities in Michigan. The city has a higher violent crime rate, which is 46% higher than the national average. Unfortunately, residents of Saginaw have a 1 in 28 chance of becoming a victim of a violent crime. In 2020, the city reported 234 burglaries, 109 motor thefts, and 409 thefts. The poverty rate in Saginaw is 34.85%, and the murder crime rate is 0.57 per 1,000 people.