Michigan is an incredible place to live. We’re lucky to have such a beautiful state full of world-class attractions and stunning natural beauty. But every rose has its thorns, and Michigan is certainly not a state without crime. Here are some grim statistics about a few of Michigan’s most dangerous cities — places you might not want to wander through after dark.
While Detroit is a city on the mend after its devastating financial crises in recent years, it still tops the list in terms of crime. According to a 2015 crime study by the FBI, Detroit had the highest rate per capita of violent crime (defined as murder, aggravated assault, and robbery, among others) in the entire country.
Unfortunately, Flint holds its longtime spot as America’s second most violent city, ranking just below Detroit in the same FBI study listed above. From 2014 to 2015, the number of murders in Flint increased from 30 to 45 — a sad statistic for a city already facing a number of struggles.
Saginaw was recently ranked the fourth most violent city in America by an FBI investigation — which is actually an improvement for the city, which once held the number three spot. With continued efforts to reduce crime in the area, perhaps Saginaw will slip further down the list before the publication of next year’s study.
While Lansing is a safe haven compared to some of the state’s larger cities, it still saw over 450 reports of violent crime during 2015. The good news? This is a marked decrease from 2014, when an FBI Uniform Crime Report listed 537 such reports in the Lansing area.
5. Benton Harbor
Benton Harbor is also one of Michigan’s most criminally active cities, with an average rate of 2500 violent crimes for every 100,000 residents. In all, the city’s average is 167% higher than the national average for crime. Yikes.
6. Muskegon Heights
In 2013, Muskegon Heights was actually ranked more dangerous than Flint in terms of violent crimes, though it has since dropped a few pegs in the listings. Nonetheless, Muskegon Heights maintains a much higher-than-average level of violent crimes per 100,000 people.
The city of Jackson holds a crime index of 5, meaning that Jackson is safer than just 5% of cities in the United States. This grim statistic is illustrated further by the fact that Jackson sees, on average, 162 crimes per square mile on an annual basis. Michigan’s overall average is 30.
8. Battle Creek
A 2014 FBI crime study ranked Battle Creek as the 9th most dangerous metro area in the midwest, with a national rank of 44. Its violent crime rate per 100,000 people was 450 at the time of the study — certainly not ideal.
Just next to Battle Creek is Kalamazoo, which struggles with its own less-than-savory crime statistics. The city has seen massive numbers of property crimes and thefts in recent years: 3,824 and 2,683 reports per 100,000 people, respectively.
The lesser-known city of Inkster has a handful of rough statistics to examine, as it its crime rate is 46% higher than the national average. Inkster’s rates of violent crime and burglary are more than double those of Michigan as a whole. But it’s not all bad news: the city has seen a 25% decrease in crime over the past few years.
While these numbers might be frightening to look at, it’s important to remember that no city in the world is without its difficulties. These spots aren’t the safest in the Great Lakes State, but each offers a plethora of positive points to be celebrated. As we work together to reduce the crime rate in our state, let’s remember that the places we live are worth more than any statistic can say.