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NeighborhoodScout’s Murder Capitals of America – 2021

Jan 2, 2021 | by: Dr. Andrew Schiller | Crime, Top Lists
NeighborhoodScout’s Murder Capitals of America – 2021

2021 Top 30 Cities in the U.S. with the Highest Murder Rates, Ranked

For the seventh straight year our research reveals that East St. Louis, IL continues to dominate the nation regarding murders per capita, again claiming the number one spot on our annual Top 30 Cities in the U.S. with the Highest Murder Rates list.  With a population of 26,047, East St. Louis reported  36 murders, increasing the murder rate nearly 37% compared to last year.  The city now has a murder rate more than twenty-seven times the national average.  To put this in further perspective, East St. Louis had nearly the same number of murders this year as Boston, a city with more than twenty-six times the population of East St. Louis.

There are 12 new cities making the list this year.  The newcomer on this list with the highest murder rate is Jackson, MS.  The number of murders in Jackson has more than doubled from the previous year.  Another newcomer, Richmond, VA, has not appeared on the list since our first list was released in 2014.

Cities in the South and Midwest regions of the United States make up over 75% of this year’s list.  Notably, not a single city in the Western United States is featured.  While seven cites in the North East region make the list, none of them are in New England.  In contrast, 36% of cities on this year’s Safest Cities in America list are in New England.

Big cities and small, our crime research reveals the 30 cities in America with the highest number of murders per 1,000 residents.  Murder is the willful (non-negligent) killing of one human being by another.  We limited our research to cities with 25,000 or more people.  Data used for this research are the number of murders reported to have occurred in each city, and the population of each city.

Crime data we use are the most recent data the FBI classifies as ‘Final, non-preliminary.’  It is the most up-to-date and fully vetted data with complete national coverage that is available.  We insist on using Final, Non-Preliminary data for our analyses and analytics, rather than basing our research on preliminary data that may need to be updated or have errors in it.  Based on the latest national data available at the time of publication, representing calendar year 2019 and released in September 2020, this report reveals interesting patterns about crime and murder in America.

Click on any city in the list below to see a full crime report and neighborhood crime map.

 

For more information, see our FAQ on how we rank the cities with the highest murder rates in America.

 

Countdown for the Top 30 Murder Capitals of America:

30. Danville, IL

  • Murder Rate (per 1,000 residents): .23
  • 4.6X U.S. Average
  • No. of Murders:  7

29. Washington, DC

  • Murder Rate (per 1,000 residents): .24
  • 4.7X U.S. Average
  • No. of Murders:  166

28. Miami Gardens, FL

  • Murder Rate (per 1,000 residents): .24
  • 4.7X U.S. Average
  • No. of Murders:  26

27. Flint, MI

  • Murder Rate (per 1,000 residents): .24
  • 4.8X U.S. Average
  • No. of Murders:  23

26. Cleveland, OH

  • Murder Rate (per 1,000 residents): .24
  • 4.8X U.S. Average
  • No. of Murders:  92

25. Richmond, VA

  • Murder Rate (per 1,000 residents): .24
  • 4.9X U.S. Average
  • No. of Murders:  56

24. East Chicago, IN

  • Murder Rate (per 1,000 residents): .25
  • 5.0X U.S. Average
  • No. of Murders:  7

23. Jackson, TN

  • Murder Rate (per 1,000 residents): .25
  • 5.1X U.S. Average
  • No. of Murders:  17

22. Hot Springs, AR

  • Murder Rate (per 1,000 residents): .26
  • 5.2X U.S. Average
  • No. of Murders:  10

21. Harrisburg, PA

  • Murder Rate (per 1,000 residents): .26
  • 5.3X U.S. Average
  • No. of Murders:  13

20. Atlantic City, NJ

  • Murder Rate (per 1,000 residents): .29
  • 5.8X U.S. Average
  • No. of Murders:  11

19. Memphis, TN

  • Murder Rate (per 1,000 residents): .29
  • 5.8X U.S. Average
  • No. of Murders:  190

18. Rocky Mount, NC

  • Murder Rate (per 1,000 residents): .30
  • 5.9X U.S. Average
  • No. of Murders:  16

17. Kansas City, MO

  • Murder Rate (per 1,000 residents): .30
  • 6.1X U.S. Average
  • No. of Murders:  150

16. New Orleans, LA

  • Murder Rate (per 1,000 residents): .31
  • 6.2X U.S. Average
  • No. of Murders:  121

15.  Raytown, MO

  • Murder Rate (per 1,000 residents): .31
  • 6.2X U.S. Average
  • No. of Murders:  9

14. Baton Rouge, LA

  • Murder Rate (per 1,000 residents): .32
  • 6.4X U.S. Average
  • No. of Murders:  70

13. Camden, NJ

  • Murder Rate (per 1,000 residents): .34
  • 6.8X U.S. Average
  • No. of Murders:  25

12. Dayton, OH

  • Murder Rate (per 1,000 residents): .34
  • 6.9X U.S. Average
  • No. of Murders:  48

11. Wilmington, DE

  • Murder Rate (per 1,000 residents): .36
  • 7.1X U.S. Average
  • No. of Murders:  25

10. Meridian, MS

  • Murder Rate (per 1,000 residents): .39
  • 7.7X U.S. Average
  • No. of Murders:  14

9. Detroit, MI

  • Murder Rate (per 1,000 residents): .41
  • 8.3X U.S. Average
  • No. of Murders:  276

8. Jackson, MS

  • Murder Rate (per 1,000 residents): .47
  • 9.5X U.S. Average
  • No. of Murders:  76

7. Chester, PA

  • Murder Rate (per 1,000 residents): .53
  • 10.6X U.S. Average
  • No. of Murders:  18

6. Pine Bluff, AR

  • Murder Rate (per 1,000 residents): .55
  • 11.1X U.S. Average
  • No. of Murders:  23

5. Baltimore, MD

  • Murder Rate (per 1,000 residents): .59
  • 11.8X U.S. Average
  • No. of Murders:  348

4. Petersburg, VA

  • Murder Rate (per 1,000 residents): .65
  • 12.2X U.S. Average
  • No. of Murders:  19

3. St. Louis, MO

  • Murder Rate (per 1,000 residents): .65
  • 13.0X U.S. Average
  • No. of Murders:  194

2. Gary, IN

  • Murder Rate (per 1,000 residents): .77
  • 15.6X U.S. Average
  • No. of Murders:  58

1.  East St. Louis, IL

  • Murder Rate (per 1,000 residents): 1.38
  • 27.8X U.S. Average
  • No. of Murders: 36