The 15 Most Dangerous Cities In Illinois: 2022's Ultimate List
Illinois holds many dangerous cities, despite being the land of Lincoln. The prairie state is home to 12.67 million people, as of 2019, living amongst 1,299 municipalities. Unfortunately, Illinois is the 19th most dangerous state, and it has 10 cities, in particular, to thank for it.
Based on FBI statistics, Mount Vernon, Danville, Centralia, Wood River, and Springfield are the most dangerous cities in Illinois. When it comes to violent and property crimes, these cities rank highest per capita consistently, with between 163 – 222% higher crime occurrences than all of the other cities in Illinois. Other areas you should avoid include Cahokia, Metropolis, and Peoria.
Illinois residents must consider the 1 in 247 chance that they’ll experience violent crime. Violent crime is defined as robbery, assault, murder, and rape, but property crime is more common in Illinois. A whopping 1 in 52 Illinois residents falls victim to property crime.
What Are The Most Dangerous Cities In Illinois?
Theft is far and away from the most common property crime in IL, with 187,591 thefts reported annually. Illinois is by no means a small state and covers 57,915 sq. miles. However, the danger some Illinois cities offer can be summed up by the 33 crimes per sq. mile the state suffers.
Follow this guide and explore the most dangerous cities in Illinois and what is responsible for their ranking.
1. Mount Vernon
- Population: 14,880
- Violent Crime: 1,446
- Property Crime: 4,939
- Total Reported Crime: 6,384
Mount Vernon is home to some beautiful views at the cost of living in a dangerous environment. There are 14,880 residents in Mount Vernon. 1 in 65 of them are victim of violent crime.
No murders have occurred in Mount Vernon recently. However, residents report 183 assaults annual assaults, so it is a dangerous place to live. Caution is necessary for Mount Vernon, as 1 in 19 residents are victims of property crime.
There are 76 crimes pers sq. mile in Mount Vernon, and most of them are property crimes. Safe areas in Mount Vernon include Fleetwood and Chester Hill Park.
A total of 6,384 crimes were reported in 2020. Murder and rape were among the offenses committed, as were property-related incidents.
According to FBI records, there were 1,446 violent crimes and 4,939 property crimes. With a population of 14,880, these figures ensure that you will be a victim of crime.
- Population: 32,030
- Violent Crime: 1,749
- Property Crime: 4,471
- Total Reported Crime: 6,220
Sadly, if you live in Danville, you have to worry about the 1 in 20 chance of property crime. Violence is another real possibility in Danville, and you face a 1 in 55 chance of falling victim to it. With over 1,050 reports of theft so far, stolen property is the biggest concern for Danville residents.
According to FBI statistics, there were a total of 6,220 reported crimes for the Danville area in the 2020 calendar year. These included both violent and property crimes.
Of the total crime tally, there were 1,749 violent crimes and 4,471 property crimes reported per capita. This is among a city with a population of 32,030.
- Population: 12,696
- Violent Crime: 1,473
- Property Crime: 4,639
- Total Reported Crime: 6,112
Technically speaking, property crime is the biggest concern in Centralia, IL. With that said, the 1 in 79 chance of violent crime means there is plenty to fear in Centralia.
In Centralia, 1 in 25 residents has a property crime, such as theft, burglary, or car theft, committed against them. The common violent crimes in Centralia include rape, robbery, and assault.
Out of every 1,000 people in Centralia, IL, roughly 8 of them risk being assaulted. There has only been one murder in Centralia in recent times, but that does not mean it is safe.
According to FBI statistics, there were a total of 6,112 reported crimes for the Centralia area in the 2020 calendar year. These included both violent and property crimes.
Of the total crime tally, there were 1,473 violent crimes and 4,639 property crimes reported per capita. This is among a city with a population of 12,696.
4. Wood River
- Population: 10,360
- Violent Crime: 570
- Property Crime: 5,171
- Total Reported Crime: 5,749
You may not be at high risk for assault in Wood River, but you could easily be robbed. There are 440 reports of theft this year alone in Wood River, IL. In Wood River, 1 in 19 people face property crime, and burglary is a big part of that.
Wood River residents reported 56 reported burglaries in Wood River this year, and that number will surely rise. For every sq. mile of Wood River’s 7-mile span, there are 82 crimes.
Unfortunately, the poverty rate in Wood River, IL, is currently 21.28%. Between the poverty and high volume of property crimes, Wood River is a dangerous city to live in. The cost of living in Wood River is low and averages $656 a month.
In 2020 there were a total of 5,749 reported crimes. These included everything from murder and rape to car theft and burglary. Of this total, there were 570 violent crimes and 5,171 property crimes reported per capita.
- Population: 116,745
- Violent Crime: 889
- Property Crime: 5,080
- Total Reported Crime: 5,969
Springfield is one of the most dangerous American cities, making it a shoo-in for hazardous cities in Illinois. Out of every 1,000 Springfield residents, 57 of them are victims of crime.
Nobody anticipated that Springfield would be such a dangerous city when it was made the capital of Illinois. Springfield, IL, is 67.23 sq. miles and has a rate of 99 crimes per sq. mile.
The poverty rate in Springfield, IL, is 20.3%, which likely stokes the flames of crime in the city. Unemployment is also an issue in Springfield, and the 5.5% rate is higher than the 4.7% national unemployment rate.
A total of 5,969 offenses were reported in 2020. Murder, rape, car theft, and burglary were among the crimes committed. There were 889 violent crimes and 5,080 property crimes reported per capita out of this total.
- Population: 14,574
- Violent Crime: 599
- Property Crime: 4,537
- Total Reported Crime: 5,136
Cahokia, IL, contains the gorgeous Cahokia Mounds. Crime overshadows Cahokia’s beauty with the 48 crimes per 1,000 residents in the city.
Property crime is more common than violent crimes in Cahokia. Residents face a 1 in 23 people risk of property crime in Cahokia. 1 in 187 residents experiences violent crime.
There are 69 crimes per sq. mile in Cahokia, IL. To put that in perspective, that is over double the 33 crimes per sq. mile median for all of Illinois. Theft and burglary are the biggest and most common crimes reported in Cahokia, IL.
According to FBI statistics, the Tucson area had a total of 5,136 reported crimes in the calendar year 2020. There were both violent and property offenses among them.
There were 599 violent crimes and 4,537 property crimes registered per capita out of the total number of crimes reported. This is in the context of a city with a population of 14,574 people.
- Population: 6,366
- Violent Crime: 551
- Property Crime: 4,427
- Total Reported Crime: 4,978
If only Superman resided in Metropolis, IL, maybe it wouldn’t be on this list. Metropolis, IL, has the 3rd highest rate of property crimes throughout the state. Theft is the most prevalent property crime in Metropolis, at a rate of 45 thefts per 1,000 residents.
Metropolis is the definition of a small town with just over 6,000 people and only 6.05 sq. miles of space. However, each sq. mile of Metropolis, IL, endures 66 crimes. Luckily, Metropolis does not have much violent crime when looking for a silver lining.
According to FBI statistics, there were a total of 4,978 reported crimes for the Metropolis area in the 2020 calendar year. These included both violent and property crimes.
Of the total crime tally, there were 551 violent crimes and 4,427 property crimes reported per capita. This is among a city with a population of 6,366.
- Population: 115,990
- Violent Crime: 1,158
- Property Crime: 4,160
- Total Reported Crime: 5,318
Two or three years ago, Peoria would not have made this list. Sadly, Peoria saw an uptick in violent and property crimes in the last three years.
Violent crimes such as robbery, rape, murder, and assault are rare in Peoria, but they occur. Robbery and assault are the main violent crime. Peoria residents reported 201 robberies and 569 assaults this year in the city.
In 2020, there were a total of 5,318 reported crimes. These crimes included everything from murder and rape to property-based incidents.
According to FBI statistics, there were 1,158 incidents of violent crimes and 4,160 property crimes. With a population of 115,990, these numbers aren’t too threatening, but there is still a chance of you becoming the victim of a crime.
- Population: 149,597
- Violent Crime: 1,711
- Property Crime: 4,848
- Total Reported Crime: 6,559
Rockford is the 3rd biggest city in IL, and it matches its size in crime reports. There is a national median of 4 crimes per 1,000 residents, but Rockford exceeds that with 14 crimes per 1,000 people.
Many Rockford residents fear having their cars stolen. That is because there have been 450 car thefts thus far in 2020, and so are signs of slowing down. Regular property theft topped car theft with 3,780 reported cases this year.
Assault is when you physically harm another human, and it is an awful crime. In Rockford, there are 1,544 annual assaults reported. Violent crime is over three times higher in Rockford than in the rest of Illinois.
In 2020 there were a total of 6,559 reported crimes. These included everything from murder and rape to car theft and burglary. Of this total, there were 1,711 violent crimes and 4,848 property crimes reported per capita.
- Population: 26,424
- Violent Crime: 912
- Property Crime: 3,374
- Total Reported Crime: 4,286
Kankakee is just 59 miles from Chicago and is more dangerous than the city known as “Chiraq.” It’s tough to discern what is worse in Kankakee: property crime or violent crime. In Kankakee, 1 out of 30 residents suffers property crime.
Just as scary, 1 in 113 residents in Kankakee live through violent crime. Assault is the most common violent crime in Kankakee, and 144 assaults occurred in 2020. Since Kankakee measures 15.51 sq. miles, the 75 crimes per sq. mile rate are disturbing.
A total of 4,286 offenses were reported in 2020. Murder, rape, car theft, and burglary were among the crimes committed. There were 912 violent crimes and 3,374 property crimes reported per capita out of this total.
- Population: 2,714,017
- Violent Crime: 25,532
- Property Crime: 80,742
- Total Reported Crime: 106,274
If you are surprised that Chicago did not make the top 10 dangerous cities, that is entirely understandable. Chicago got the nickname “Chiraq” for a reason. The 20.6% poverty rate in the city bolsters the crime rate in Chicago.
Property crimes come at a rate of 32.48 per 1,000 Chicago residents. Chicago is a large city spread out over 234 sq. miles. There are 499 crimes per sq. mile in Chicago, fueled by poverty, theft, and violent crime.
According to FBI statistics, there were a total of 106,274 reported crimes for the Chicago area in the 2020 calendar year. These included both violent and property crimes.
Of the total crime tally, there were 25,532 violent crimes and 80,742 property crimes reported per capita. This is among a city with a population of 2,714,017.
Photo Credit: Business Insider
- Population: 40,689
- Violent Crime: 608
- Property Crime: 3,028
- Total Reported Crime: 3,637
According to FBI statistics, there were a total of 3,637 reported crimes for the Quincy area in the 2020 calendar year. These included both violent and property crimes.
Of the total crime tally, there were 608 violent crimes and 3,028 property crimes reported per capita. This is among a city with a population of 40,689.
During a typical year, the crime rate in Quincy is 33.69 per 1,000 residents. Quincy residents often believe the city’s northeast section to be the safest. Your chances of becoming a victim of crime might range from 1 in 10 in the west to 1 in 54 in the northeast.
- Population: 84,672
- Violent Crime: 930
- Property Crime: 2,478
- Total Reported Crime: 3,409
The name may sound celebratory. Champaign residents won’t raise a glass to the crime rate anytime soon. The crime rate here is worse than 88% of the rest of Illinois.
Champaign is mainly known as a college town. Try to avoid going north of the University of Illinois in Champaign because it is dangerous.
In 2020 there were a total of 3,409 reported crimes. These included everything from murder and rape to car theft and burglary. Of this total, there were 930 violent crimes and 2,478 property crimes reported per capita.
14. East St. Louis
- Population: 26,731
- Violent Crime: 1,020
- Property Crime: 1,579
- Total Reported Crime: 2,599
East St. Louis has problems of its own. It pops up on many dangerous city lists and overshadows its neighbor St. Louis some years. The poverty rate in East St. Louis is a staggering 37.81%. Years ago, it was branded the most dangerous city in the U.S. Today, it is still dangerous, and 41 out of 1,000 residents have a crime committed against them.
A total of 2,599 crimes were reported in 2020. Murder and rape were among the crimes committed, as were property-related incidents.
According to FBI records, there were 1,020 violent crimes and 1,579 property crimes. With a population of 26,731, these figures are a bit worrisome.
- Population: 78,368
- Violent Crime: 495
- Property Crime: 1,403
- Total Reported Crime: 1,899
In 2020, there were a total of 1,899 reported crimes. These crimes included everything from murder and rape to property-based incidents.
According to FBI statistics, there were 495 incidents of violent crimes and 1,899 property crimes. With a population of 78,638, these numbers are relatively low in comparison to the population, but crime is still a threat!
During a typical year, crime in Bloomington is 25.26 per 1,000 residents. Bloomington residents often believe the city’s northeast section to be the safest. Your chances of becoming a victim of crime can range from 1 in 17 in northwest neighborhoods to 1 in 70 in northeast neighborhoods.
How Dangerous Is Illinois?
Currently, Illinois is ranked the 19th most dangerous state in the U.S. Illinois is placed between Colorado and South Dakota in the ranking. Violent crime is rampant in Illinois, and the state ranked #4 for most murders in 2018.
In Illinois, 418 out of 100,000 adults face imprisonment. The poverty rate in Illinois throughout the entire state is 12.1%.
As you can see, property crimes are the most common crimes in Illinois. There have been 51,490 violent crimes and 246,646 property crimes in Illinois this year. You have a 1 in 247 chance of being murdered, assaulted, or robbed in Illinois.
However, the biggest concern in Illinois is that you have a 1 in 52 chance of experiencing property crime. Illinois may have the 2nd highest property taxes, but it has the 10th most vehicle thefts in the nation currently.
What Did We Learn?
Mount Vernon and Danville are the two most dangerous cities in Illinois. As a whole, there are 51,490 annual violent crimes and 246,264 annual property crimes in Illinois. Consider living somewhere like Deerfield, or Barrington, where there is little to no crime.
Try to use safety measures like alarm systems and fortified doors if you live in an Illinois city. Avoid Illinois cities that have violent crime rates, such as Rockford or Danville. However, property crime is the biggest problem in IL for the most part.
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Nick Durante is a professional writer with a primary focus on home improvement. When he is not writing about home improvement or taking on projects around the house, he likes to read and create art. He is always looking towards the newest trends in home improvement.
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