The American Dream has captured the imagination of millions across the globe, and the long queues for green cards and American visas are evidence to this fact. While students are excited about admits that they have received to top universities, it is also important to make an informed choice considering aspects like safety, economic feasibility and internship/job prospects. With students staying off-campus and often commuting at night from the universities, safety becomes a primary concern. Staying in a safe and secure environment is increasingly gaining importance, especially for international students staying far away from home. Know more about the Top 10 Safe Cities in the USA for a student or professional.

While the pro-gun laws lobbied hard by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) have no doubt, empowered citizens to protect themselves, these civil liberties have been misused by angry and conflicted individuals and groups. Among crimes like homicide, drug consumption, rape, human trafficking and property break-ins, random school shootings have risen drastically since the 18th century to present day, with as many as 36 shootouts from the year 2015 to present.

Given the rising influx of international students in the United States of America, here’s the Forbes list of the top 10 American cities that have high crime rates in comparison with other cities in America, which you should stay away from if possible:

  1. Detroit

Population – 713, 239

Violent crime rate – 2, 137 per 100,000 residents

The murder rate in Detroit is 8.7 times the national average while the aggravated assault rate is only 4.7 times the national average. The property crime rate is only 1.6 times the national average. Also, Detroit has a high ratio of violent crimes like arson, homicide, murder etc. and the chances of a person being a victim is 1 in every 49 persons, by far, the highest in the country.

  1. Louis

Population – 320, 454

Violent crime rate – 1, 857 per 100, 000

The city of St. Louis has been consistently ranked the highest in the crime rate count of cities in America. With the highest murder rate in America, two-thirds (67%) of all the murders and one-half of all the assaults are concentrated in a triangular area in the northern part of St. Louis.

  1. Oakland

Population – 395, 317

Violent crime rate – 1, 683 per 100, 000

Violent crimes including assault, rape and murder, occurred from two to five times the U.S. average, but the city is beginning to change as more people migrating into the city are cooperating with the local law enforcement officials.

  1. Memphis

Population – 652, 725

Violent crime rate – 1, 583 per 100, 000

Memphis has been the poorest large city in the US, which is a contributing factor to its very high crime rate. Memphis has a history of violent crime driven by gangs. If a break-in is something you are worried about, then be wary about becoming a victim of property crime here, there is a 1 in 16 chance of falling victim to property crimes for the average citizen.

  1. Birmingham, Alabama

Population – 213, 258

Violent crime rate – 1, 483 per 100, 000

Once ravaged by the Ku Klux Klan, the most common property crimes include burglary, arson and motor vehicle theft. Within the city limits of Birmingham, citizens have a 1 in 14 chance of being a victim of property theft.

  1. Atlanta

Population – 425, 433

Violent crime rate – 1, 433 per 100, 000

More than half of violent crime in Atlanta involves gang members. In addition to violent crimes, crimes related to drug dealing, carjacking, identity theft and credit card fraud abound. Atlanta is also a major transportation hub when it comes to trafficking young girls from Mexico and is one of the fourteen U.S. cities with the highest levels of sex trafficking of children.

  1. Baltimore

Population – 626, 848

Violent crime rate –   1, 417 per 100, 000

With a crime rate higher than the national average, Baltimore has kept its rankings steady on its list. Homicides in Baltimore are heavily concentrated within a small number of high-poverty neighbourhoods. Ghetto-culture, poverty and racial rioting are some of the problems that plague Baltimore.

  1. Stockton

Population – 295, 136

Violent crime rate – 1, 408 per 100, 000

According to a report by NeighbourhoodScout, violent offences tracked in Stockton included rape, murder and non-negligent manslaughter, armed robbery, and aggravated assault, including assault with a deadly weapon.

  1. Cleveland

Population – 397, 106

Violent crime rate –1, 363 per 100, 000

Cleveland has the fifth highest murder rate in the country per capita. Property crime ratings are higher than state and national average and can be due to acute poverty, poor education, drugs etc. coupled with racial discrimination makes Cleveland a poor choice of school for international students.

  1. Buffalo

Population – 262, 484

Violent crime rate – 1, 238 per 100, 000

Violent offences tracked included rape, murder and non-negligent manslaughter, armed robbery, and aggravated assault, including assault with a deadly weapon. Buffalo is also home to drug lords, mafia, prostitution, racial crime etc. which gives it a broad profile.

Although this list is not exhaustive, there are several factors, which cut down the choice of city and neighbourhoods when selecting your city of residence, be it for education or for work. Brockton, Bridgeport, Edison and other cities rank in the following order to the above cities in the crime rankings list.

When choosing a neighbourhood, please ensure to check the ratings for the same on https://www.neighborhoodscout.com/ and other community sites that reveal statistical data on the county and city’s hotspots for crime. Living in the United States is exciting and so it should be, while also being safe.