The 25 most dangerous Illinois cities

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Kevin HoffmanReboot Illinois

December 05, 2014
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With a rate of 380 violent crimes per 100,000 people, Illinois is the 20th most dangerous state in the nation, according to a new report.

Law Street Media published its second annual rankings of America’s “Safest & Most Dangerous States” for 2015 using the latest available violent crime data from the FBI. The report also ranks cities with populations of at least 25,000 from highest to lowest based on violent crime rates, which comprise of murder, forcible rape, aggravated assault and robbery, under the national Uniform Crime Report guidelines.

While Chicago’s headline-grabbing violence and 414 reported murders in 2013 might make it seem like a candidate for most dangerous city in Illinois, it did not receive a ranking for a couple of reasons, according to Law Street Media:

The FBI determined that Chicago’s data were underreported, thus the city cannot be ranked relative to any other city. The FBI also determined that Chicago’s data collection methodology for the offense of rape (which is included in violent crime) does not comply with national Uniform Crime Report guidelines.

In a separate rating for cities with populations under 200,000, Rockford was ranked the second-most dangerous in the nation — worsening from the No. 3 spot in 2012.

Most notably, Rockford’s murder rate has more than doubled since last year, when the ratio was 5.91/100,000 people. Last year Rockford saw 9 murders, this year they reported 19. Unfortunately, Rockford’s report of 19 this year was more on par with what the city has seen in recent years; last year’s 9 murders was a notable abnormality. 

Here’s a map of where the 25 most dangerous Illinois cities are located. Hover over or click on the marker to view the city, rank and population.

The 25 most dangerous Illinois cities based on violent crime rates per 100,000 people.

25. Evanston

  • Violent crime rate: 249.64
  • Population: 75,709
  • Murders: 1

24. Burbank

  • Violent crime rate: 267.28
  • Population: 29,183
  • Murders: 2

23. Moline

  • Violent crime rate: 280.27
  • Population: 43,172
  • Murders: 0

22. Aurora

  • Violent crime rate: 299.67
  • Population: 200,551
  • Murders: 4

21. Urbana

  • Violent crime rate: 338.96
  • Population: 41,598
  • Murders: 2

20. Pekin

  • Violent crime rate: 352.06
  • Population: 34,085
  • Murders: 4

19. Joliet

  • Violent crime rate: 375.18
  • Population: 148,462
  • Murders: 10

18. Lansing

  • Violent crime rate: 382.19
  • Population: 28,520
  • Murders: 0

17. Galesburg

  • Violent crime rate: 395.54
  • Population: 31,602
  • Murders: 2

16. Alton

  • Violent crime rate: 395.94
  • Population: 27,277
  • Murders: 0

15. Cicero

  • Violent crime rate: 410.91
  • Population: 84,204
  • Murders: 3

14. Waukegan

  • Violent crime rate: 456.27
  • Population: 88,763
  • Murders: 3

13. Quincy

  • Violent crime rate: 460.32
  • Population: 40,841
  • Murders: 1

12. DeKalb

  • Violent crime rate: 466.13
  • Population: 43,765
  • Murders: 2

11. Decatur

  • Violent crime rate: 466.82
  • Population: 75,190
  • Murders: 5

10. Bloomington

  • Violent crime rate: 511.15
  • Population: 78,060
  • Murders: 2

9. Rock Island

  • Violent crime rate: 514.23
  • Population: 38,893
  • Murders: 5

8. Granite City

  • Violent crime rate: 590.89
  • Population: 29,447
  • Murders: 4

7. Peoria

  • Violent crime rate: 676.14
  • Population: 115,953
  • Murders: 16

6. Kankakee

  • Violent crime rate: 718.32
  • Population: 27,286
  • Murders: 4

5. Champaign

  • Violent crime rate: 788.27
  • Population: 82,966
  • Murders: 4

4. Carbondale

  • Violent crime rate: 929.59
  • Population: 26,248
  • Murders: 2

3. Springfield

  • Violent crime rate: 1014.90
  • Population: 117,351
  • Murders: 4

2. Rockford 

  • Violent crime rate: 1374.75
  • Population: 150,209
  • Murders: 19

1. Harvey

  • Violent crime rate: 1601.86
  • Population: 25,408
  • Murders: 10

 


Nationwide

Alaska, one of the most sparsely populated areas in the world, ranks as the nation’s most dangerous state with a rate of 640 violent crimes per 100,000 people. Check out which states made the top 10 for most dangerous and safest in America.

*Note: Washington D.C. was not ranked because its population density and status as a district make it incomparable to other states since its violent crime rate would be significantly higher than all 50 states. The report noted D.C.’s violent crime rate is not unusual for its size, such is the case for other major U.S. cities like Chicago, New York and Los Angeles. 

The 10 most dangerous states and city with the highest violent crimes rate (per 100,000 people):

1. Alaska – 640

  • Anchorage

2. New Mexico – 613

  • Hobbs

3. Nevada – 603

  • North Las Vegas

4. Tennessee – 591

  • Memphis

5. Louisiana – 519

  • Alexandria 

6. South Carolina – 509

  • Myrtle Beach

7. Delaware – 491

  • Wilmington 

8. Maryland – 474

  • Baltimore 

9. Florida – 470

  • Homestead

10. Arkansas – 460

  • Little Rock

 

The 10 safest states and city in each state  with the highest violent crimes rate (per 100,000 people):

1. Vermont – 121

  • N/A

2. Maine – 129

  • Portland

3. Virginia – 196

  • Richmond

4. Wyoming – 205

  • Cheyenne

5. Kentucky – 210

  • Covington

6. New Hampshire – 215

  • Manchester

7. Idaho – 217

  • Coeur d’Alene

8. Utah – 224

  • Salt Lake City

9. Minnesota – 234

  • Minneapolis 

10. Hawaii – 252

  • N/A

Methodology:

Law Street’s Crime Team used the FBI’s four major violent crime categories–murders, aggravated assaults, robberies, and forcible rapes–to create a standard measure of violent-crimes-per-100,000 people among all cities over 100,000 people reporting crime data to the FBI. This allows year-to-year and city-to-city comparisons. To derive the ratio, the total number of violent crimes reported to the FBI  is divided by the city’s population, with the result then multiplied by 100,000. The formula for this calculation is shown below. Crime rankings were further broken down by population, with 200,000 used as the dividing point.

Violent Crime Rate = (Total Violent Crime in a City/City Population) x 100,000

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