Note: This article’s statistics come from third-party sources and don’t represent the opinions of this website.

Michigan is quite a lovely state worth touring because it has many wonderful sights and sounds. But there’s also a dark side in the form of some dangerous cities. Like any other state in the US, there are several dangerous cities in Michigan.

In this article, we will learn more about the most dangerous cities in Michigan. In the cities in this article, you are more likely to fall victim to violent, property, and other forms of crime compared to other cities within the state. We’ll see why these places are dangerous and the measures the authorities are taking to bring crime rates down.

divider 4

The 10 Most Dangerous Cities in Michigan:

1. Muskegon Heights

zephyr gas Muskegon Michigan
Image Credit: John Margolies, Picryl

[su_table class=”breed-table”]

Population 10,730
Murder Crime Rate 28.0 per 100,000 people
Average Household Income $38, 088
Poverty Rate 36.72%
Violent Crime Rate 2021 1716 per 100,000 people

[/su_table]

At the top of the list of the most dangerous cities in Michigan is Muskegon Heights. In fact, this city is ranked among the most dangerous in the whole country. Often, this title would be for bigger cities across the US, but Muskegon, with its smaller population, does find itself in this infamous list.

Crime in this city is 130% higher than the national average. People fall victim to violence, property crimes, and others. Violent crimes are 342% higher than the national average. The murder rate is also quite high averaging at three people per every 100,000. There are also cases of assault, rape, and robbery in this city.

Muskegon Heights also has a high rate of property crime. 3,674 property crimes take place per 100,000 people. As a resident, investing in a better security system is important in this city. Burglary cases are at 14.55%, and cases of vandalism are at 12.63%.


2. Benton Township

Downtown Benton Harbor
Downtown Benton Harbor (Image Credit: Humbles Art, Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 3.0)

[su_table class=”breed-table”]

Population 14,374
Murder Crime Rate 6.1 per 100,000 people
Average Household Income $32, 236
Poverty Rate 45.52%
Violent Crime Rate 2021 2198 per 100,000 people

[/su_table]

Benton Township is among the most dangerous cities in Michigan because of its high crime rate. Any resident has a 1 in 17 chance of becoming a victim of theft or property crime. There are burglaries and car thefts taking place each day.

The city is also not immune to violent crimes. It experiences 2,198 violent crimes per 100,000 people.

In 2021, per every 100000 people, there were 282.7 assaults, 6.1 murders, 40.7 rape, and 135.5 robberies with violence. Rape cases are actually quite high here compared to anywhere else in Michigan.

The mean household income is $32,236, and the median is $21,916. Residents experience a high poverty rate and many young people lack opportunities to better themselves. For them, a life of crime seems like a better option than living in abject poverty.


3. Detroit

Downtown Detroit MI
Downtown Detroit MI (Image Credit: sandertheone, Wikimedia Commons CC BY 3.0)

[su_table class=”breed-table”]

Population 635,596
Murder Crime Rate 324 per 100,000 people
Average Household Income $ 44,730
Poverty Rate 35.02 %
Violent Crime Rate 2021 2,258 per 100,000 people

[/su_table]

Coming in third among the most dangerous cities in Michigan is the city of Detroit. While the city is famous for its car industry, it also experiences high violent and property crime rates. In fact, it ranks among the most dangerous big cities in the US.

Murder is quite high, such that in 2021, there were 309 homicides in the city. This was a drop from the 324 murders that took place in 2020, but the rate is still quite high compared to the national average.

In addition, there is a 1 in 44 chance of becoming a victim of a violent crime and a 1 in 30 chance of becoming a victim of property crime. Detroit is a big city and has quite a high population which in 2021 experienced 309 murders, 610 rapes, and 1,830 robberies.

In 2021, Detroit saw an increase in violent crime which led to protests. Protesters marched and stopped at the Detroit Police Station, demanding more effort by the police department to solve the issue. Gun violence is among the many reported cases of violent crimes in Detroit.


4. Jackson

Jackson Michigan Carnegie Library
Jackson Michigan Carnegie Library (Image Credit: Darren56brown, Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 4.0)

[su_table class=”breed-table”]

Population  32,188
Murder Crime Rate 2 per 100,000 people
Average Household Income $ 47,478
Poverty Rate 28.69%
Violent Crime Rate 2021 1,191 per 100,000 people

[/su_table]

Jackson is another notably dangerous city in Michigan. There are many cases of violence, rape, assault, murder, robbery, and other crimes. There is a 1 in 93 chance of one becoming a victim of a violent crime.

An average of 7 murders, 56 rapes, 39 robberies, and 277 assaults take place here each year.

Apart from violent crime, Jackson also experiences property crime. Many of these crimes are break-ins to houses in many parts of the city. Thieves tend to target these homes when the owners are away. Day break-ins are high.

Incidences of property crime in Jackson are a combination of property theft, car theft, arson, and burglary. While the perpetrators do make away with money and other valuables, there isn’t any violence towards the victim.


5. Flint

Civic Park Historic District Flint, Michigan
Civic Pak Historic District Flint, Michigan (Image Credit: kennethaw88, Wikimedia Commons CC BY 4.0)

[su_table class=”breed-table”]

Population 94,762
Murder Crime Rate 0.58 per 1,000 people
Average Household Income $ 39,575
Poverty Rate 38.77%
Violent Crime Rate 2021 1,281 per 100,000 people

[/su_table]

Flint has been on the news for many reasons, including having a high crime rate.

In 2021, the city saw an increase in murders that’s not been seen there for nine years. There were 60 murders, a 21% increase in comparison to 2020. According to the police, most of these murders were fatal gun shootings as gun crime continues to increase in Flint. The last time Flint had so many murders was back in 2012.

While living in Flint, you stand a 1 in 78 chance of falling victim to a violent crime. At the same time, you stand a 1 in 49 chance of becoming a victim of property crimes.

The average rate of violent crimes in Flint is 12.81 per 1,000 people. In addition, the city has 20.39 property crimes taking place per 1,000 people. This makes the crime rate in Flint 33.21 per 1,000 people.


6. Kalamazoo

Michigan Central Depot Kalamazoo
Michigan Central Depot Kalamazoo (Image Credit: rossograph, via Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 4.0)

[su_table class=”breed-table”]

Population75,634 75,634
Murder Crime Rate 0.58 per 1,000 people
Average Household Income $ 58,536
Poverty Rate 28.40%
Violent Crime Rate 2021 1281 per 100,000 people

[/su_table]

Kalamazoo ranks among the most dangerous cities in this state. The city experienced a 166% increase in crime in 2021 as more property, violent, and other crimes took place. Crime increased in the city as many more people lost their jobs and businesses as a result of the global pandemic.

A total of 4,764 crimes were reported in 2021. However, 6,235 incidents of crime took place per 100,000 people. Of these crimes, there were 1,432 violent crimes. These included 14 murders, 867 assaults, 77 rapes, and 136 robberies.

Residents of Kalamazoo also experienced property crimes totaling 488 vehicle thefts, 2445 thefts, and 737 burglaries. The city continued to experience higher crime as the poverty rate grew. Kalamazoo has a 6.7% unemployment rate as of November 2021.


7. Albion

Orlando Gale House Albion
Orlando Gale House Albion, (Image Credit: kennethaw88, Wikimedia Commons CC BY 4.0)

[su_table class=”breed-table”]

Population 8,310
Murder Crime Rate 1 per 100,000 people
Average Household Income $ 47,341
Poverty Rate 27.62%
Violent Crime Rate 2021 1,325 per 100,000 people

[/su_table]

Although this city has a small population, it makes it on the list of dangerous cities in Michigan. In 2020, there was an 83% increase in all crimes, including violent and property crimes. Violent crimes experienced the most significant increase of 205%, followed by property crime at 59%.

Albion averaged 1,181 violent crimes per 100,000 people. Such an increase in violent crimes can be attributed to many reasons. Currently, Albion is experiencing a high unemployment rate. Many people lost their jobs during the pandemic, and many more are yet to secure stable sources of income.

Property crime is also on the rise, with 261 reported cases in 2020. These included 55 burglaries, 12 vehicle thefts, and 194 cases of theft.

Albion is a small city and lacks economic opportunities, leading to the growing cases of crime. There is also a lack of better education opportunities, so young people see a life of crime as an easier way to earn a living.


8. Highland Park

Highland Park MI General Hospital
Highland Park MI General Hospital (Image Credit: Andrew Jameson, Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 3.0)

[su_table class=”breed-table”]

Population 10,699
Murder Crime Rate 1 per 100,000 people
Average Household Income $ 32,884
Poverty Rate 38.77%
Violent Crime Rate 2021 1281 per 100,000 people

[/su_table]

In Wayne County is the city of Highland Park. This is a small city with an even smaller population compared to places like Detroit. But, despite its small population, Highland Park has quite a high crime rate.

In 2020, the city saw an increase in both violent and property crimes. Violent crimes went up by 94% as the city saw six murders, 13 rapes, 161 assaults, and 26 robberies. There were also 51 burglaries, 61 motor vehicle thefts, and 170 thefts.

This city lacks a thriving economy and has a high poverty rate. The education system is simply average, so to speak. It lags behind when compared to places like Detroit. As many people lack opportunities to better their lives, a life of crime seems more lucrative.


9. Saginaw

Temple Theater Masonic temple E Saginaw Michigan
Temple Theater Masonic temple (Image Credit: Ian Poellet via Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 4.0)

[su_table class=”breed-table”]

Population 190,035
Murder Crime Rate 0.57 per 1,000 people
Average Household Income $ 40,509
Poverty Rate 34.85%
Violent Crime Rate 2021 2378 per 100,000 people

[/su_table]

In Saginaw, Michigan, incidences of crime are rampant. Incidences of violent crimes are 46% higher than the national average. There is a 1 in 28 chance of you becoming a victim of a violent crime here.

Not to mention cases of property crime are also taking place. In 2020, the city saw 234 burglaries, 109 motor thefts, and 409 thefts.

As a homeowner in this city, it’s important to invest in a good security system. Also, be vigilant and alert the authorities if you witness any crime.


10. Harper Woods

Harper Woods High School Michigan
Harper Woods High School Michigan (Image Credit: Notorious4life, Wikimedia Commons CC0 1.0)

[su_table class=”breed-table”]

Population 13,588
Murder Crime Rate 1 per 100,000 people
Average Household Income $ 58,695
Poverty Rate 17.40%
Violent Crime Rate 2021 9.3 per 1,000 people

[/su_table]

Last on this list of dangerous cities in Michigan is the city of Harper Woods. It’s a small city but it experiences violent and property crimes. Despite its small population, the city averages 36 crimes per 1000 people.

In 2020, there were a total of 558 crimes that comprised of 414 property and 144 violent crimes. Incidences of assault were high at 126. In addition, there were 241 thefts, 110 motor vehicle thefts, and 63 burglaries.

divider 4

What Can Be Attributed to the Crime Rate in Michigan?

The state of Michigan has a lot of positives, which makes it a great place to live or visit. However, there are some places you should be cautious as you travel through. Crimes are topping in some cities deemed dangerous. These criminal activities include burglary, theft, violence, and even homicides.

The leading cause is the high poverty rate.

In reality, many of these cities have inequalities in terms of wealth distribution. While crime does take place in the posh parts of the cities, the rate is higher in poor neighborhoods.

Some people living in these places lack some basic amenities, like well-funded schools, supportive health care systems, and employment opportunities. As a result, they see criminal activity as an option to getting by.

Another cause of a higher crime rate is the lack of sufficient police officers. The ratio of police officers to the residents is quite low. As a result, there’s less patrol and chances of police stopping or responding to a crime on time is low.

Measures Taken By Authorities in Michigan to Reduce Crime Rate

Despite having high crime rates in some cities in Michigan, the police continue to find ways to tackle this matter. Now more than ever, the Michigan Police Department is determined to salvage the situation and make the state safer.

One of the biggest complaints from residents is a lack of efficient police patrol. They believe more patrols will help discourage criminals from breaking into houses or committing acts of violence. Many city police departments are increasing patrols to ensure neighborhoods remain safe.

In a bid to have more police officers patrolling these areas, the police departments are recruiting more officers. Additionally, the police department is working with the local communities by building better relationships. This way, it becomes easier for people to report any crime witnessed.

Also, there are programs in place to help young people find a better path and avoid a life of crime. These programs are targeting the poor parts of the cities where young people lack job opportunities.

police car with police tape
Image Credit: Filmbildfabrik, Shutterstock

How to Stay Safe in Michigan

Safety must be at the top of your priorities when living or visiting these dangerous cities.

Always be alert and aware of your surroundings when walking or driving around. Check to see who is near you and trust your gut.

In addition, plan your visit and if possible have a guide with you to help you navigate. The bigger dangerous cities tend to have so many people and streets, making it hard to navigate. Tourist offices can give you details of where to tour and where to avoid.

Also, avoid carrying or wearing your valuables when out in public. Leave your gold rings and diamond earrings at home or in the hotel. Being out in public means you’re exposed to many situations. Wearing valuables out in public can make you a target for thieves.

Lastly, if you encounter a thief, don’t fight them to keep the items. In such situations, things can get from bad to worse in a matter of seconds. Since they don’t want to get caught, thieves can turn violent and injure you. So, let them have the items, then report the incident to the nearest police station.

Related Read: 10 Safest Cities in Michigan (with Pictures)

divider 4

Conclusion

There is quite a lot to see and do in the state of Michigan. However, it’s worth noting that there are some dangerous cities that experience high violent and property crime rates, murder, rape, assault, and robbery. Most take place during the day when the owners of the property are away.

Still, there are some measures in place by the police department to resolve these high crime rates. Thus, all hope is not lost as the situation can be salvaged. As an individual, you could play your part by being vigilant and reporting any crime witnessed.

You might also be interested in: 10 Safest Cities in Indiana

[su_accordion class=””] [su_spoiler title=”Sources” open=”no” style=”default” icon=”plus” anchor=”” anchor_in_url=”no” class=””]

[/su_spoiler] [/su_accordion]


Featured Image Credit: Downtown Flint Michigan (Image Credit: Flintmichigan, Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 4.0)