Oakland, Calif.

most dangerous cities oakland
  • Crime index*: 435.7
  • Population: 400,740

Oakland's crime rate has been climbing over the years as the city struggles with budget cuts and a shrinking police force.

At current levels, Oakland's force is less than one-third the size of the average California's city -- even though it's the most crime ridden in the state.

Related: More people moving to Oregon

The department is trying to turn things around, with a renewed emphasis on the CompStat system, according to interim police chief Sean Whent. Focusing on areas that are most prone to crime seems to be helping. The murder tally plunged nearly 30% last year to a level not seen since 2004. Assaults and rapes also fell, according to department stats.

First published February 3, 2014: 6:24 PM ET
Source: Source: CQ Press compiled this index using data reported by the Federal Bureau of Investigation's "Crime in the United States 2012." CQ Press notes that the FBI no longer ranks cities based on their crime statistics because each city reports crimes differently and some crimes go unreported, causing the index to be an unreliable indicator of crime. There are many factors that cause the nature and type of crime to vary from place to place.
*The crime index is a formula that takes into account the weighted average of six crime categories murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault and property crimes of burglary and motor vehicle theft, as well as the population of the city. The national rate is 1 and any number higher than that indicates a higher than average incidence of crime. To read CQ Press' methodology, click here.
**List includes cities with populations of 75,000 or more.

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