This Is the Most Dangerous City in America

Danger can come in many forms—from eating undercooked chicken to riding your bike at night with no lights on. But what makes a certain area more dangerous than others? It’s not just about the crime rate. There are a number of factors that are just as important to consider, from dangerous drivers to natural disasters. That’s where we at Best Life come in, setting out to look at the 50 most populous metropolises and determine the most dangerous city in America.

First, we used U.S. Census Bureau data to make a list of the 50 largest cities and their populations, based on the 2019 estimate. (Results of the 2020 census aren’t out yet.) The first metric was the rate of violent crime per capita*, as recorded by the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI). Next, we investigated how many pedestrians have been killed in traffic accidents using data from Smart Growth America’s most recent research report.

Danger can also come from non-human factors, so we used ATTOM’s most recent natural disaster index, which measures the likelihood of earthquakes, floods, hail, hurricane storm surges, tornadoes, and wildfires—the higher the score, the greater the risk.

We also factored in how safe each city felt to the people who live there or visit using data collected by Numbeo to gauge the perceived safety of walking alone at night in each city—the higher the score, the safer people felt.

Finally, we decided to measure pandemic fatalities, using US News & World Report‘s COVID deaths per capita tracker. (The stated fatality figures are accurate as of Feb. 6, 2021).

Each of these metrics were then assigned a weighted value before being run through our exclusive algorithm to see how each city scored on our 100-point scale Danger Index, where 100 is the most dangerous. Read on to discover the most dangerous city in America and to see where the one closest to you falls in the mix. And for trouble on a larger level, This Is the Most Dangerous State in America.

*Per capita refers to per 100,000 people in all instances. 

50

Virginia Beach, Virginia

cityscape photo of a beach and hotels in Virginia Beach, Virginiacityscape photo of a beach and hotels in Virginia Beach, Virginia
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Violent crimes per capita: 129.12

Pedestrian deaths per capita: 1.24

Natural disaster risk: 14.30

Perceived safety walking alone at night: 66.67

COVID deaths per capita: 50.00

Danger Index Score: 0.00

49

Raleigh, North Carolina

city skyline of Raleigh, North Carolina at duskcity skyline of Raleigh, North Carolina at dusk
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Violent crimes per capita: 257.77

Pedestrian deaths per capita: 1.37

Natural disaster risk: 17.10

Perceived safety walking alone at night: 64.52

COVID deaths per capita: 44.60

Danger Index Score: 6.07

48

Columbus, Ohio

cityscape photo of downtown Columbus, Ohio at nightcityscape photo of downtown Columbus, Ohio at night
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Violent crimes per capita: 507.59

Pedestrian deaths per capita: 1.13

Natural disaster risk: 13.50

Perceived safety walking alone at night: 50.00

COVID deaths per capita: 54.10

Danger Index Score: 17.17

47

Austin, Texas

city skyline of Austin, Texas at sunsetcity skyline of Austin, Texas at sunset
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Violent crimes per capita: 403.82

Pedestrian deaths per capita: 1.56

Natural disaster risk: 25.00

Perceived safety walking alone at night: 54.88

COVID deaths per capita: 60.10

Danger Index Score: 23.33

And for the part of the country that has the biggest problem with acceptance, This Is the Most Hateful State in America.

46

Portland, Oregon

Portland, OregonPortland, Oregon
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Violent crimes per capita: 550.75

Pedestrian deaths per capita: 1.22

Natural disaster risk: 20.00

Perceived safety walking alone at night: 46.34

COVID deaths per capita: 59.20

Danger Index Score: 24.99

45

Colorado Springs, Colorado

skyline and mountains in Colorado Springs, Colorado at duskskyline and mountains in Colorado Springs, Colorado at dusk
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Violent crimes per capita: 586.76

Pedestrian deaths per capita: 1.22

Natural disaster risk: 20.00

Perceived safety walking alone at night: 52.44

COVID deaths per capita: 99.40

Danger Index Score: 29.51

44

Charlotte, North Carolina

city skyline of Charlotte, North Carolina at nightcity skyline of Charlotte, North Carolina at night
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Violent crimes per capita: 788.30

Pedestrian deaths per capita: 1.510

Natural disaster risk: 14.50

Perceived safety walking alone at night: 51.25

COVID deaths per capita: 71.00

Danger Index Score: 30.53

43

Omaha, Nebraska

cityscape photo of downtown Omaha, Nebraskacityscape photo of downtown Omaha, Nebraska
iStock

Violent crimes per capita: 602.90

Pedestrian deaths per capita: 0.65

Natural disaster risk: 32.20

Perceived safety walking alone at night: 45.29

COVID deaths per capita: 103.10

Danger Index Score: 30.80

42

Boston, Massachusetts

stone road in bostonstone road in boston
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Violent crimes per capita: 612.76

Pedestrian deaths per capita: 0.98

Natural disaster risk: 12.30

Perceived safety walking alone at night: 12.30

COVID deaths per capita: 196.70

Danger Index Score: 33.20

41

Seattle, Washington

Vibrant Lights Illuminate Modern Fountain Sculpture in Night Scene with Seattle Great Wheel in Seattle, WashingtonVibrant Lights Illuminate Modern Fountain Sculpture in Night Scene with Seattle Great Wheel in Seattle, Washington
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Violent crimes per capita: 593.23

Pedestrian deaths per capita: 0.98

Natural disaster risk: 46.4

Perceived safety walking alone at night: 45.29

COVID deaths per capita: 56.7

Danger Index Score: 33.60

40

San Francisco, California

houses and street cars along a hill in San Francisco, Californiahouses and street cars along a hill in San Francisco, California
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Violent crimes per capita: 673.02

Pedestrian deaths per capita: 1.44

Natural disaster risk: 38.9

Perceived safety walking alone at night: 38.94

COVID deaths per capita: 39.1

Danger Index Score: 39.56

And for the place where people need to chill out a little more, This Is the Angriest State in America.

39

Mesa, Arizona

cityscape photo of downtown Mesa, Arizonacityscape photo of downtown Mesa, Arizona
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Violent crimes per capita: 377.02

Pedestrian deaths per capita: 1.95

Natural disaster risk: 5.10

Perceived safety walking alone at night: 50.00

COVID deaths per capita: 176.90

Danger Index Score: 41.49

38

San Diego, California

city skyline of San Diego, Californiacity skyline of San Diego, California
iStock

Violent crimes per capita: 673.02

Pedestrian deaths per capita: 1.44

Natural disaster risk: 58.80

Perceived safety walking alone at night: 57.62

COVID deaths per capita: 107.80

Danger Index Score: 42.33

37

Fort Worth, Texas

cityscape photo of Main Street and the downtown Fort Worth, Texas at nightcityscape photo of Main Street and the downtown Fort Worth, Texas at night
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Violent crimes per capita: 447.24

Pedestrian deaths per capita: 1.49

Natural disaster risk: 49.50

Perceived safety walking alone at night: 48.68

COVID deaths per capita: 107.80

Danger Index Score: 44.61

36

San Jose, California

shops in the downtown area of San Jose, Californiashops in the downtown area of San Jose, California
Shutterstock

Violent crimes per capita: 446.18

Pedestrian deaths per capita: 1.45

Natural disaster risk: 65.0

Perceived safety walking alone at night: 49.26

COVID deaths per capita: 79.00

Danger Index Score: 45.40

35

Sacramento, California

riverboat in and city skyline of downtown Sacramento, Californiariverboat in and city skyline of downtown Sacramento, California
iStock

Violent crimes per capita: 627.50

Pedestrian deaths per capita: 1.81

Natural disaster risk: 30.30

Perceived safety walking alone at night: 41.05

COVID deaths per capita: 83.90

Danger Index Score: 45.89

34

Arlington, Texas

Global Life Park in Arlington, TexasGlobal Life Park in Arlington, Texas
iStock

Violent crimes per capita: 515.23

Pedestrian deaths per capita: 1.49

Natural disaster risk: 49.50

Perceived safety walking alone at night: 47.22

COVID deaths per capita: 107.80

Danger Index Score: 46.96

33

Minneapolis, Minnesota

downtown minneapolis minnesotadowntown minneapolis minnesota
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Violent crimes per capita: 928.76

Pedestrian deaths per capita: 0.68

Natural disaster risk: 38.90

Perceived safety walking alone at night: 39.12

COVID deaths per capita: 122.30

Danger Index Score: 47.86

32

Denver, Colorado

Denver, ColoradoDenver, Colorado
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Violent crimes per capita: 750.68

Pedestrian deaths per capita: 1.28

Natural disaster risk: 55.60

Perceived safety walking alone at night: 49.46

COVID deaths per capita: 102.00

Danger Index Score: 49.29

31

New York, New York

New YorkNew York
Shutterstock

Violent crimes per capita: 573.61

Pedestrian deaths per capita: 1.60

Natural disaster risk: 13.20

Perceived safety walking alone at night: 51.43

COVID deaths per capita: 224.10

Danger Index Score: 50.83

30

Washington, D.C.

cherry blossom in washington d.c.cherry blossom in washington d.c.
Shutterstock

Violent crimes per capita: 977.12

Pedestrian deaths per capita: 1.27

Natural disaster risk: 20.10

Perceived safety walking alone at night: 38.65

COVID deaths per capita: 134.20

Danger Index Score: 51.38

29

San Antonio, Texas

cityscape photo of San Antonio, Texas at duskcityscape photo of San Antonio, Texas at dusk
Shutterstock

Violent crimes per capita: 713.91

Pedestrian deaths per capita: 2.23

Natural disaster risk: 18.10

Perceived safety walking alone at night: 46.67

COVID deaths per capita: 125.20

Danger Index Score: 51.50

28

El Paso, Texas

Southern Rocky Mountains and flowers in El Paso, Texas at sunriseSouthern Rocky Mountains and flowers in El Paso, Texas at sunrise
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Violent crimes per capita: 355.27

Pedestrian deaths per capita: 2.07

Natural disaster risk: 17.50

Perceived safety walking alone at night: 62.98

COVID deaths per capita: 259.90

Danger Index Score: 52.79

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27

Tucson, Arizona

The skyline of Tucson, Arizona with cacti in the foregroundThe skyline of Tucson, Arizona with cacti in the foreground
iStock

Violent crimes per capita: 688.78

Pedestrian deaths per capita: 1.98

Natural disaster risk: 8.40

Perceived safety walking alone at night: 45.90

COVID deaths per capita: 181.60

Danger Index Score: 53.10

26

Nashville, Tennessee

nashville tennessee neon lights at nightnashville tennessee neon lights at night
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Violent crimes per capita: 1,099.55

Pedestrian deaths per capita: 1.29

Natural disaster risk: 36.40

Perceived safety walking alone at night: 39.42

COVID deaths per capita: 114.10

Danger Index Score: 53.16

25

Dallas, Texas

city skyline of Dallas, Texascity skyline of Dallas, Texas
iStock

Violent crimes per capita: 875.58

Pedestrian deaths per capita: 1.49

Natural disaster risk: 32.00

Perceived safety walking alone at night: 39.42

COVID deaths per capita: 114.10

Danger Index Score: 53.33

24

Atlanta, Georgia

atlanta georgia state capitol buildingsatlanta georgia state capitol buildings
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Violent crimes per capita: 784.91

Pedestrian deaths per capita: 1.79

Natural disaster risk: 19.30

Perceived safety walking alone at night: 19.30

COVID deaths per capita: 88.70

Danger Index Score: 53.54

23

Louisville, Kentucky

downtown louisville kentuckydowntown louisville kentucky
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Violent crimes per capita: 751.25

Pedestrian deaths per capita: 1.77

Natural disaster risk: 34.30

Perceived safety walking alone at night: 35.53

COVID deaths per capita: 94.80

Danger Index Score: 54.73

22

Phoenix, Arizona

cityscape photo of Phoenix, Arizona at nightcityscape photo of Phoenix, Arizona at night
Shutterstock

Violent crimes per capita: 702.14

Pedestrian deaths per capita: 1.95

Natural disaster risk: 5.10

Perceived safety walking alone at night: 38.58

COVID deaths per capita: 176.90

Danger Index Score: 55.43

21

Tulsa, Oklahoma

cityscape photo of downtown Tulsa, Oklahoma at nightcityscape photo of downtown Tulsa, Oklahoma at night
iStock

Violent crimes per capita: 988.06

Pedestrian deaths per capita: 1.52

Natural disaster risk: 38.50

Perceived safety walking alone at night: 36.76

COVID deaths per capita: 94.90

Danger Index Score: 57.34

20

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Milwaukee, WisconsonMilwaukee, Wisconson
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Violent crimes per capita: 1,334.22

Pedestrian deaths per capita: 1.13

Natural disaster risk: 0.40

Perceived safety walking alone at night: 22.65

COVID deaths per capita: 124.80

Danger Index Score: 57.49

19

Tampa, Florida

tampa florida skylinetampa florida skyline
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Violent crimes per capita: 405.80

Pedestrian deaths per capita: 3.07

Natural disaster risk: 24.90

Perceived safety walking alone at night: 39.44

COVID deaths per capita: 24.90

Danger Index Score: 58.17

18

Chicago, Illinois

chicago cityscape over the riverchicago cityscape over the river
iStock

Violent crimes per capita: 947.74

Pedestrian deaths per capita: 1.07

Natural disaster risk: 17.20

Perceived safety walking alone at night: 26.34

COVID deaths per capita: 174.70

Danger Index Score: 60.93

17

Las Vegas, Nevada

overview of the las vegas stripoverview of the las vegas strip
Shutterstock

Violent crimes per capita: 604.62

Pedestrian deaths per capita: 2.19

Natural disaster risk: 25.90

Perceived safety walking alone at night: 38.45

COVID deaths per capita: 151.30

Danger Index Score: 61.02

16

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia City HallPhiladelphia City Hall
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Violent crimes per capita: 910.32

Pedestrian deaths per capita: 1.73

Natural disaster risk: 7.40

Perceived safety walking alone at night: 32.45

COVID deaths per capita: 187.10

Danger Index Score: 63.22

15

Fresno, California

cityscape photo of downtown Fresno, Californiacityscape photo of downtown Fresno, California
iStock

Violent crimes per capita: 555.52

Pedestrian deaths per capita: 2.17

Natural disaster risk: 32.00

Perceived safety walking alone at night: 24.24

COVID deaths per capita: 122.50

Danger Index Score: 66.40

14

Kansas City, Missouri

fountain and park in Kansas City, Missourifountain and park in Kansas City, Missouri
iStock

Violent crimes per capita: 1,433.19

Pedestrian deaths per capita: 1.13

Natural disaster risk: 38.40

Perceived safety walking alone at night: 31.62

COVID deaths per capita: 111.50

Danger Index Score: 67.30

13

Houston, Texas

houston texas skylinehouston texas skyline
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Violent crimes per capita: 1,088.54

Pedestrian deaths per capita: 1.82

Natural disaster risk: 31.00

Perceived safety walking alone at night: 25.09

COVID deaths per capita: 95.20

Danger Index Score: 67.73

12

Jacksonville, Florida

cityscape photo of river and broad walk in Jacksonville, Floridacityscape photo of river and broad walk in Jacksonville, Florida
iStock

Violent crimes per capita: 645.74

Pedestrian deaths per capita: 2.94

Natural disaster risk: 16.60

Perceived safety walking alone at night: 25.00

COVID deaths per capita: 99.60

Danger Index Score: 68.31

11

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

oklahoma city skyline state capitol buildingsoklahoma city skyline state capitol buildings
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Violent crimes per capita: 725.28

Pedestrian deaths per capita: 1.66

Natural disaster risk: 101.90

Perceived safety walking alone at night: 44.05

COVID deaths per capita: 76.60

Danger Index Score: 71.89

10

Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles SkylineLos Angeles Skyline
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Violent crimes per capita: 738.77

Pedestrian deaths per capita: 1.91

Natural disaster risk: 59.60

Perceived safety walking alone at night: 47.34

COVID deaths per capita: 176.90

Danger Index Score: 72.30

9

Long Beach, California

boats, pier, and city skyline of Long Beach, Californiaboats, pier, and city skyline of Long Beach, California
Shutterstock

Violent crimes per capita: 512.07

Pedestrian deaths per capita: 1.91

Natural disaster risk: 59.60

Perceived safety walking alone at night: 38.79

COVID deaths per capita: 176.90

Danger Index Score: 72.78

8

Oakland, California

cityscape photo of a waterfront and the downtown area in Oakland, Californiacityscape photo of a waterfront and the downtown area in Oakland, California
iStock

Violent crimes per capita: 1,274.74

Pedestrian deaths per capita: 1.44

Natural disaster risk: 59.90

Perceived safety walking alone at night: 24.07

COVID deaths per capita: 61.60

Danger Index Score: 73.56

7

New Orleans, Louisiana

french quarter in louisiana, iconic state photosfrench quarter in louisiana, iconic state photos
Shutterstock

Violent crimes per capita: 1,157.52

Pedestrian deaths per capita: 2.06

Natural disaster risk: 9.20

Perceived safety walking alone at night: 26.70

COVID deaths per capita: 189.4

Danger Index Score: 77.53

6

Miami, Florida

aerial view of miami floridaaerial view of miami florida
Shutterstock

Violent crimes per capita: 609.02

Pedestrian deaths per capita: 2.61

Natural disaster risk: 44.60

Perceived safety walking alone at night: 40.26

COVID deaths per capita: 183.30

Danger Index Score: 78.27

5

Indianapolis, Indiana

Indianapolis, Indiana, USA downtown cityscape on the White River at dusk.Indianapolis, Indiana, USA downtown cityscape on the White River at dusk.
iStock

Violent crimes per capita: 1,274.56

Pedestrian deaths per capita: 1.37

Natural disaster risk: 45.10

Perceived safety walking alone at night: 31.72

COVID deaths per capita: 169.20

Danger Index Score: 78.96

4

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Suburb in Albuquerque, NMSuburb in Albuquerque, NM
Shutterstock

Violent crimes per capita: 1,355.19

Pedestrian deaths per capita: 2.35

Natural disaster risk: 21.00

Perceived safety walking alone at night: 22.84

COVID deaths per capita: 116.00

Danger Index Score: 81.13

3

Baltimore, Maryland

baltimore skylinebaltimore skyline
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Violent crimes per capita: 1,870.46

Pedestrian deaths per capita: 1.78

Natural disaster risk: 16.70

Perceived safety walking alone at night: 18.03

COVID deaths per capita: 139.90

Danger Index Score: 89.42

2

Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis TennesseeMemphis Tennessee
Shutterstock

Violent crimes per capita: 1,899.48

Pedestrian deaths per capita: 2.21

Natural disaster risk: 20.30

Perceived safety walking alone at night: 17.74

COVID deaths per capita: 144.70

Danger Index Score: 98.20

1

Detroit, Michigan

cityscape photo of Detroit, Michigan at nightcityscape photo of Detroit, Michigan at night
Shutterstock

Violent crimes per capita: 1,946.18

Pedestrian deaths per capita: 1.76

Natural disaster risk: 12.00

Perceived safety walking alone at night: 23.36

COVID deaths per capita: 231.0

Danger Index Score: 100.0

And for the place where ethics don’t seem to be much of a priority, This Is the Most Corrupt State in America.

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