Most dangerous U.S. cities

Crime rates inched slightly higher in 2011. Here are the cities that reported the highest rates of murder, rape, robbery, assault, burglary and car theft, according to CQ Press' annual analysis of FBI data.

Detroit
detroit michigan highest crime
Crime index*: 4.71
Population: 713,239
Murder rate (per 100,000): 48.2

Motor City claimed the top spot for highest overall crime rate among cities with 250,000 or more residents, according to CQ Press' annual analysis of FBI data for 2011.

With 342 murders in 2011, Detroit trailed only New Orleans in terms of homicide rate. And the city reported the highest rate of assaults out of any other major city.

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The FBI warns that ranking cities based on crime data can be misleading because each city reports crimes differently and some crimes go unreported.

However, an increase in crime can have a significant negative impact on a population, according to a 2009 study by the Furman Center for Real Estate & Urban Policy at New York University. And Detroit's unsafe streets are aggravating the city's struggle to maintain its already-dwindling population, which has shrunk by 25% since 2000.


Source: CQ Press compiled this index using data reported by the Federal Bureau of Investigation's "Crime in the United States 2011."
*The crime index is a weighted average of six crime categories murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, and motor vehicle theft. The national rate is 1 and any number higher than that indicates a higher than average incidence of crime.
**List includes cities with populations of 250,000 or more.
- Last updated January 23 2013 03:22 PM ET
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