15 Most Dangerous Neighborhoods In Chicago (with Statistics)
Chicago is one of the most beloved and culturally significant cities in America. Sadly, it is also one of the more dangerous cities to live in. Navigating the streets of Chicago can be tricky, especially as a visitor or if you plan to move there.
Based on FBI statistics, West Garfield Park, North Lawndale, East Garfield Park, Washington Park, and West Englewood are the most dangerous neighborhoods in Chicago. These neighborhoods rank highest per capita consistently in both violent and property crimes, with between 129-214% higher crime occurrences than all of Chicago. Other areas you should avoid include Englewood, Grand Crossing, and Chatham.
Many of the cheap houses and apartments in Chicago are in bad neighborhoods. Because of that, the old phrase “it’s too good to be true” often applies to leasing apartments in Chicago.
Use this guide to understand which neighborhoods in Chicago are worth avoiding. Follow along and try to be safe if you find yourself in Chicago!
Video: Bad Areas to Avoid in Chicago
The Most Dangerous Neighborhoods In Chicago
Whether you’re traveling through an area or looking to move to one, it’s very important you know where the worst parts of the city is so that you can best avoid them. Therefore, we’ve listed the most dangerous cities in Chicago below for you to review.
1. West Garfield Park
- Population: 17,277
- Violent Crime (per 100k): 3,371
- Property Crime (per 100k): 8,974
- Total Reported Crimes: 12,345
West Garfield Park is the most notable impoverished neighborhood there is. West Garfield Park combined with East Garfield Park and Humboldt Park totals 69,000 people in poverty
If you are new to Chicago and looking for an apartment, West Garfield Park may be tempting. After all, rent in the neighborhood costs 10% less than the rest of Chicago.
However, it is not worth saving money on rent when crime rates are 214% higher in this neighborhood than in others in Chicago.
FBI Statistics report the total amount of reported crimes for 2020 to be 12,235. This includes everything from rape and murder, to property crimes such as vehicle theft. Violent crimes per capita totaled 3,371 while property crimes were more than double that, totaling 8,974.
2. North Lawndale
- Population: 35,417
- Violent Crime (per 100k): 2,816
- Property Crime (per 100k): 7,153
- Total Reported Crimes: 9,969
The crime rate in North Lawndale might be lower if only the poverty rate were not so high. However, 43% of North Lawndale residents live below the poverty line. Median earnings in North Lawndale only total $22,000, which is low for such a high-cost city.
More than 10% of all people in North Lawndale are unemployed. Crime in North Lawndale is not restricted to dark alleys. Many muggings, robberies, and assaults take place in broad daylight, and even on sidewalks.
In the first 3 months of 2020, there were already 20 shootings in Northdale. Despite 20 shootings being a lot, it is only half as 2019 saw. There was a total reported 9,969 crimes throughout the year, and these included everything from murder to vehicle theft.
Of the total amount of reported crimes, there was over 3 times the amount of property crime than violent crime. However, violent crime was still high at 2,816 per capita, and property crime was 7,153.
3. East Garfield Park
- Population: 20,100
- Violent Crime (per 100k): 2,886
- Property Crime (per 100k): 6,696
- Total Reported Crimes: 9,582
East Garfield Park has a 144% greater crime rate than other neighborhoods in Chicago, and you have a 1 in 11 chance of being a victim of a violent crime. East Garfield is also 4% safer than the majority of Illinois communities.
Tourists visiting Chicago should use extreme caution when passing through this neighborhood. Anyone passing through East Garfield Park, especially for the first time, should be street-wise. Stats show that the total reported crimes for 2020 were 9,582.
There were more property crimes in the East Garfield Park neighborhood than violent crimes for 2020. Property crimes per capita were reported as 6,696, while violent crimes towered at 2,886.
4. Washington Park
- Population: 11,871
- Violent Crime per (100k): 3,084
- Property Crime per (100k): 6,222
- Total Reported Crimes: 9,306
Washington Park is one of the most impoverished neighborhoods in Chicago. 1,790 people live in poverty in Washington Park. Residents have to live the sad reality of a 48.2% poverty rate, and a high crime rate as well.
A shocking amount of Washington Park natives suffer property crimes, however. You risk a 1 out of 11 chance that you’ll have your home burglarized, or property stolen in Washington Park. That is almost double the property crime rate of the state of Illinois.
Furthermore, FBI stats show that the total number of reported crimes for the Washington Park neighborhood equaled 9,306 in 2020. These crimes ranged from murder and rape to vehicle theft and property damage.
The total number of violent crimes that were reported for 2020 out of the total, was 3,084 while there were 6,222 reported property crimes for this same time frame.
5. West Englewood
- Population: 30,662
- Violent Crime (per 100k): 2,599
- Property Crime (per 100k): 6,377
- Total Reported Crimes: 8,976
The cheaper a neighborhood is, the more likely it is that crime will make its home there. West Englewood is 10% cheaper than other neighborhoods in Chicago. You can buy a home for $90,000 in West Englewood, which is 60% cheaper than the rest of Chicago.
The national average poverty is 13.1%, but in West Englewood, 34.2% of residents live in poverty. Because West Englewood is such a poor neighborhood with a high population density, crime runs rampant.
The FBI reported the total number of reported crimes in the Englewood neighborhood to be 8,976. Of this total, there were 2,599 violent crimes which included murder, rape, and assault. The property crime tally was 6,377, which included vehicle theft and other property damages.
- Population: 25,858
- Violent Crime Rate (per 100k): 2,837
- Property Crime (per 100k): 5,984
- Total Reported Crimes: 8,821
Violent crime is almost 9 times more common in Englewood than in the rest of American cities. In the most recently released FBI crime log, there were 2,837 violent crimes in Englewood.
Crime and low-income neighborhoods go hand in hand. The average income in Englewood is just under $12,000. The rest of Chicago averages $27,000 annually. Bold, public crime is common in Englewood and there are many muggings.
Property crime is also quite common in Englewood, and there are 5,984 thefts and burglaries per 100,000 people. Rent has increased by 3% recently in Englewood and costs roughly $1,600 a month. Chicago as a whole average $1,900 a month.
Of the total reported 8,821 crimes, which include everything from murder to property damage, 2,837 of these were violent crimes while there were 5,984 property crimes reported per capita.
7. Grand Crossing
- Population: 32,217
- Violent Crime (per 100k): 2,679
- Property Crime (per 100k): 5,519
- Total Reported Crimes: 8,198
Grand Crossing is yet another neighborhood in the Windy City that suffers from extreme poverty. The poverty rate in Grand Crossing is 34.2%. Widespread poverty combined with a 13.6% unemployment rate has kept crime going in Grand Crossing.
The average income for residents of Grand Crossing is $16,000. Households and families, however, generally net $30,000. Rent costs $1,100 a month in Grand Crossing on average, and $1,600 a month is not enough to make it.
Crime is more than 100% more common in Grand Crossing than in the rest of Chicago. Sure, homes cost 50% less in Grand Crossing, but it comes at major risk for violence and property crime.
The FBI statistics for 2020 show a total of 8,198 reported crimes, which include both violent and property crimes alike. Violent crimes made up 2,679 of this total, while property crimes were reported to be 5,519 per capita.
- Population: 30,760
- Violent Crime (per 100k): 1,965
- Property Crime (per 100k): 5,218
- Total Reported Crimes: 7,183
Chatham has an 83 percent higher crime rate than other neighborhoods in the Chicago neighborhood. In the last few years, however, the crime rate has dropped by 14 percent in a row.
According to a poll conducted in the area last year, 67 percent of residents believe there is little crime in the area and that the city is safe. However, half of the respondents felt it was absolutely safe to go alone at night, while the other half said it was highly risky.
Stats show that there were a total reported 7,183 crimes in 2020 which included murder, rape, burglary, grand theft auto, and other property crimes. There were 1,965 violent crimes, and the rest were property crimes, totaling 5,218.
9. South Shore
- Population: 47,197
- Violent Crime (per 100k): 2,301
- Property Crime (per 100k): 4,816
- Total Reported Crimes: 7,117
You can find a house 25% cheaper in South Shore than the rest of Chicago, and for good reason. This south Chicago neighborhood is highly dangerous. The majority of crimes in South Shore are burglary, theft, and vehicle theft.
Living expenses are 7% cheaper in South Shore. Crime is likely driven by the 11% unemployment rate in South Shore. For those employed in South Shore, the median income is $20,000 a year.
Of the total reported 7,117 crimes, which included both violent and property crimes, there were 2,301 violent-based incidents and 4,816 property crimes per capita.
- Population: 2,423
- Violent Crime (per 100k): 1,955
- Property Crime (per 100k): 4,453
- Total Reported Crimes: 6,408
Only 65% of Burnside residents live above the poverty line. The other 35% of people in Burnside live in deep poverty, also known as extreme poverty. Many people stay in Burnside despite the crime because it is 24% cheaper to live there than in nearby neighborhoods. Crime is more than 63% more common in Burnside than in the rest of Chicago.
There were recently more than 4,453 thefts, car thefts, and burglaries in Burnside. Violence is another sad part of everyday life in Burnside, with rapes, robberies, assaults, and murders totaling 1,955. The FBI reported that the total amount of crimes in Burnside was 6,408.
Rent is extremely low in Burnside. You can rent a studio or one-bedroom apartment in Burnside for $742. It’s too good to be true holds up in the case of Burnside, and the low rent is overshadowed by high frequent crime.
- Population: 6,565
- Violent Crime (per 100k): 1,269
- Property Crime (per 100k): 5,068
- Total Reported Crimes: 6,337
There may only be 6,565 people in Pullman, but they reported more crimes than that recently. Pullman residents are less fortunate than 61% of the residents in Chicago. Almost 50% of the children alone live below the poverty line in Pullman.
You can find great attractions like the Hotel Florence and Pullman Park National Monument in the city. In 2019, Pullman saw an increase in economic strength and a decrease in crime. Crime dropped by 4% by early 2019 and contributed to the overall crime decrease trend in Chicago.
The total amount of reported crimes for Pullman for 2020 was 6,337. The violent crime made up 1,269 of this total, while property crime towered at 5,068. These crimes include everything from murder to property damage.
12. South Chicago
- Population: 27,113
- Violent Crime (per 100k): 1,900
- Property Crime (per 100k): 4,251
- Total Reported Crimes: 6,151
There is a wide range of people that live in South Chicago, from wealthy to impoverished. Because South Chicago is less rigidly defined than other neighborhoods, stats place the poverty rate between 40% and 60%.
Rent increased last year by 13% in South Chicago. Even with that decrease, South Chicago is still 27% cheaper than other neighborhoods within Windy City. Houses are also cheaper in South Chicago and often sell for 50% of what their value would be elsewhere.
Burglary, theft, and car theft make up the majority of South Chicago crimes, totaling 4,251, while murder, rape, and assault made up 1,900 of the total 6,151 incidents reported in FBI Statistics.
13. Fuller Park
- Population: 2,348
- Violent Crime (per 100k): 1,399
- Property Crime (per 100k): 4,424
- Reported Crimes: 5,823
You can find Fuller Park on Chicago’s south side. Fuller Park is a small neighborhood that only covers 455 acres. More than 50% of all Fuller Park residents live in poverty, and 34% of them are unemployed entirely.
Just 8 years ago, Fuller Park was ranked the 1st most dangerous neighborhood in Chicago. However, in the last 2 years, all of Chicago’s crime has dropped by 1.6%. Fuller Park residents have a median income of $22,962, with only 10 other neighborhoods having a worse economy.
In the last few months, there have been a string of burglaries in Fuller Park area businesses and homes. You are far more likely to have your home broken into or your property stolen than be assaulted in Fuller Park.
The total reported crimes in 2020 for Fuller park were 5,823 which included both violent and property crimes alike. The violent crimes made up 1,399 of the total incidents while property crime was a staggering 4,424.
14. South Deering
- Population: 14,598
- Violent Crimes (per 100k): 1,222
- Property Crime (per 100k): 3,542
- Total Reported Crimes: 4,764
Many people may be tempted to buy a house in South Deering, at first glance, that is. That is because the cost of houses in South Deering is up to 60% cheaper than the rest of Chicago.
However, cheaper is not always better, and that applies to the nearly 20% cheaper rental rates. There were 1,222 violent crimes alone recently, and many of them occurred on sidewalks. Crime is worse than other Chicago neighborhoods by 21% in South Deering.
Avoid Trumbull Park in South Deering, as it is a hotspot for crime in the neighborhood. Calhoun is a street worth avoiding at nighttime as well. You can avoid trouble oftentimes if you travel with a group and conceal valuables.
There were a total of 4,764 reported crimes for South Deering, which included murder, rape, auto theft, and burglaries. Violent crimes accounted for 1,222 of the incidents while property crime equaled 3,542 incidents.
- Population: 13,047
- Violent Crime (per 100k): 866
- Property Crime (per 100k): 2,690
- Total Reported Crimes: 3,556
Riverdale is situated in the southeast part of Chicago. Crime in the neighborhood may have to do with how accessible Riverdale is by city streets and the freeway.
Sadly, Riverdale residents have the worst financial situation in all of Chicago. Most people in Riverdale make less than $8,000 annually. The widespread 40% unemployment rate also drives crime in the neighborhood.
You risk a 1 out of 29 chance of property crime in Riverdale. Burglary occurs at an alarming rate in Riverdale, with 88 recent reports. There are 18 thefts and 6 robberies for every 1,000 Riverdale residents.
However, the FBI reported 866 violent crimes and 2,690 property crimes for the year 2020. This equates to a total of 3,556 reported crimes, which include murder, rape, assault, auto theft, and more.
Is Chicago A Dangerous City?
As with any big city, property crime is a normal part of everyday life in Chicago. The windy city saw 87,884 total property crimes as of the last census. Just as shocking are the 27,395 acts of violence that Chicago residents reported.
Right now, unemployment sits at 15% in Chicago. However, in early 2020, unemployment was at 18%, so things may be improving in Windy City. Rent costs an average of $1,900 a month in Chicago.Unemployment
Chicago has the 10th highest number of gun violence incidents in America. The Windy City earned the nickname “Chiraq” because you are more likely to die of guns in Chicago than in Iraq.
Summing It Up
Riverdale, Englewood, and Washington Park are the most dangerous neighborhoods in Chicago. Due to widespread poverty and unemployment, Chicago is highly violent and dangerous. Chicago boasts the 10th most gun violence incidents in America.
The last census shows 115,279 total crimes in Chicago. Sadly, crime exists in every pocket of Chicago. However, if you avoid the above-mentioned neighborhoods and look for a neighborhood with slightly higher rent, you can avoid it. No matter where you live, it is important to know how to secure your property at all times.
See How Chicago Compares To Other Major Cities
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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