10 Most Dangerous Cities in Michigan 2023: The Battle for Safety

detroit dangerous cities

When people picture Michigan, they often envision deserted structures, economically downtrodden industrial regions, and high crime rates in areas such as Detroit and Flint. Despite some regions being quite beautiful, there are areas in the state notorious for violence and best steered clear of.

This article presents a list of the top ten most hazardous cities in Michigan. The cities on this list suffer from high homicide rates, gang-related activity, urban decay, and destitution.

Top Ten High-Risk Places

  1. Muskegon Heights
  2. Detroit
  3. Benton Harbor
  4. Jackson
  5. Harper Woods
  6. Flint
  7. Kalamazoo
  8. Albion
  9. Highland Park
  10. Saginaw
City Population Crime Rate (per 100k) Violent Crime Rate (per 100k) Murders Robberies Assaults Burglaries
Muskegon Heights 10,730 5,390
Detroit 635,000 6,389 330 330 1,850 11,565
Benton Harbor 8,892 6,365 1,920 2 11 285 69
Jackson 32,188 4,179 875 7 33 277 178
Harper Woods 15,492 4,057 812 3 10 126
Flint 98,762 2,752 560 60 84 827
Kalamazoo 75,834 1,147 14 137 873 700
Albion 8,310 2 8 85
Highland Park 10,978 4,541 1,490 6 25 164
Saginaw 49,892 3,662 1,662

1. Muskegon


Heights Leading the list of Michigan’s riskiest cities is Muskegon Heights. This city, though home to only 10,730 residents, boasts an unusually high crime rate. In 2022, Muskegon Heights registered a crime rate that exceeded the national average by 330%, with 5,390 crimes per population, suggesting a 1 in 19 chance of residents falling victim to crime. The city is particularly notorious for burglary and property damage, with home invasions being a common occurrence.

  • Small population with a disproportionately high crime rate.
  • High incidence of violent and property crimes.
  • Common crimes include burglary and destruction of property.

2. Detroit

Taking the second spot is Detroit, a city once synonymous with the American auto industry. Home to 635,000 inhabitants, Detroit sees high rates of both violent and property crimes. With a crime rate 248% higher than the state average, Detroit has earned its place as one of the most dangerous major cities in the U.S. Residents have a 1 in 44 chance of being a victim of violent crime, with gang-related activities being a primary contributor to the city’s crime scene.

  • Well-known for its high crime rates.
  • Significant incidents of violent crimes such as murders, robberies, and assaults.
  • Gun violence and gang activity contribute to the city’s crime problem.

3. Benton Harbor


With a population of 8,892, Benton Harbor ranks third on the list. The city has a crime rate 246% higher than the Michigan average, suggesting a 1 in 29 chance of residents falling victim to a violent crime. The lack of job opportunities and high poverty rate, with the average resident income at $32,236, exacerbates the crime rate.

  • The high crime rate in both violent and property crimes.
  • Low-income levels and limited job opportunities contribute to the city’s challenges.
  • Common crimes include murders, robberies, assaults, and burglaries.

4. Jackson

jackson Michigan

With a population of 32,188, Jackson is another city with a high crime rate. Jackson’s crime rate, 127% higher than the Michigan average, suggests a 1 in 84 chance of residents falling victim to a violent crime. Property crime in Jackson is also high, with residents having a 1 in 31 chance of becoming a victim.

  • Noteworthy incidents of violent crime and property crime.
  • Presence of murders, robberies, and burglaries.
  • Significant challenges related to crime in the city.

5. Harper Woods

Harper Woods, Michigan

Harper Woods, situated near Detroit in Wayne County, is not surprisingly among Michigan’s most dangerous cities. The city, with a population of 15,492, has a crime rate that’s 121% higher than the average Michigan city. The chance of becoming a victim of a violent crime in Harper Woods is 1 in 108.

  • Located near Detroit, experiencing a higher crime rate than the state average.
  • Incidents of murders, robberies, and assaults are prevalent.

6. Flint

Frequently in the news for various reasons, including its high crime rate, Flint has a population of 98,762. Flint’s crime rate is 50% higher than the state average. The city saw a sharp increase in murders in 2021, recording a 9-year high, with an overall 1 in 78 chance of becoming a victim of a violent crime.

  • Infamous for its high crime rate, including a recent surge in murders.
  • Property crime is also a concern in the city.
  • Notable incidents of violent crimes and property crimes.

7. Kalamazoo


Home to 75,834 residents, Kalamazoo has a crime rate 166% higher than the national average, which suggests a 1 in 17 chance of residents becoming victims of crime. The city’s high poverty rates contribute to the high crime rate, along with an unemployment rate of 6.7%.

  • Above-average crime rate, encompassing murders, robberies, and assaults.
  • Considerable number of burglaries and home invasions in the city.

8. Albion

Albion Michigan

The city of Albion, with a population of just 8,310, has a crime rate 83% higher than the national average. In 2021, the city saw a significant increase in violent crime, up 205% from the previous year. The most common type of crime is property crime, with residents having a 1 in 28 chance of becoming a victim.

  • Crime rate higher than the national average, with a focus on property crimes.
  • Common crimes include burglaries and personal theft.

9. Highland Park

Situated within Detroit, Highland Park has a population of 10,978. The crime rate here is 94% higher than the national average, suggesting a 1 in 23 chance of residents falling victim to any type of crime. The city struggles with urban decay, with many buildings left deserted and dilapidated.

  • An enclave city within Detroit, experiencing a high crime rate.
  • Noteworthy incidents of murders, robberies, and assaults.

10. Saginaw


With a population of 49,892, Saginaw has a crime rate 99% higher than other Michigan cities. Residents have a 1 in 28 chance of becoming a victim of a violent crime. The city has a high poverty rate, and the homicide rate is 0.57 per 1,000 people.

  • Higher crime rate compared to other cities in Michigan.
  • Focus on violent crimes and property crimes, such as burglaries and thefts.

Turn-around With Most Safest Cities

  1. Farmington Hills: Known for its low crime rate and safe community.
  2. Rochester Hills: A city with a strong focus on safety and community well-being.
  3. Novi: Recognized for its proactive approach to public safety and low crime rates.
  4. Portage: Emphasizes community-oriented policing and has a relatively low crime rate.
  5. Troy: Known for its well-maintained neighborhoods and effective law enforcement.
  6. Canton: A city with a commitment to community safety and crime prevention.
  7. Royal Oak: Offers a safe environment and a strong sense of community security.
  8. West Bloomfield Township: Known for its high standard of living and low crime rates.
  9. Shelby Township: A city with a proactive approach to public safety and low crime rates.
  10. East Lansing: Home to Michigan State University, East Lansing benefits from a strong campus police presence and relatively low crime rates.


What makes Muskegon Heights one of the most dangerous cities in Michigan?

Muskegon Heights, despite its relatively small population, has an unusually high crime rate. The city, which is notorious for property crimes, specifically burglary, has a crime rate that far exceeds the national average. Certain neighborhoods, such as the area around Peck Street and Summit Avenue, are particularly prone to criminal activities. High poverty rates and limited employment opportunities in these areas contribute to the high crime rate.

Why is Detroit considered dangerous?

Detroit, once the heart of the American auto industry, has witnessed an unfortunate downturn over the past few decades. The city struggles with high rates of both violent and property crimes. Neighborhoods such as East Detroit and the area near the intersection of Livernois and Davison Street are especially notorious for crime. A significant factor contributing to the city’s crime is gang-related activities.

Why is Benton Harbor on this list?

Benton Harbor, though a small city, has a crime rate substantially higher than the Michigan average. The city’s economic struggles, marked by high poverty rates and a lack of job opportunities, contribute to this high crime rate. Certain neighborhoods, like the area around Pipestone Street, struggle with higher crime rates than other parts of the city.

Can you tell me about crime in Jackson?

Jackson is characterized by a high crime rate, which is significantly higher than the Michigan average. The city is particularly known for its high rate of property crimes, with residents having a relatively high likelihood of becoming a victim. Certain areas, like the neighborhoods around Martin Luther King Drive, have a higher prevalence of crime.

What areas in Flint are most notorious for crime?

Flint has been in the news frequently due to its high crime rate. Areas such as the Civic Park neighborhood, and the area around North Saginaw Street and West Pierson Road, are particularly notorious. The city saw a sharp increase in murders in 2021, indicating a high rate of violent crime.

What contributes to Kalamazoo’s high crime rate?

Kalamazoo suffers from a high crime rate, which is driven by the city’s high poverty rates and a slightly higher-than-average unemployment rate. Areas such as the Edison neighborhood and the Northside are particularly crime-prone. The city is working to address these issues through various initiatives and community programs.

What are some of the most dangerous neighborhoods in Highland Park?

Highland Park, located within Detroit, also experiences a high crime rate. The city, which struggles with urban decay, has numerous deserted and dilapidated buildings, particularly in areas along Hamilton Avenue and West McNichols Road, making these neighborhoods especially dangerous.

What type of crime is most prevalent in Albion?

Albion, a small city, has seen a significant increase in violent crime in recent years. The most common type of crime in the city is property crime, particularly burglaries and theft. Areas around Austin Avenue and East Cass Street have a higher prevalence of crime.

Final Words

In conclusion, while some cities in Michigan have notably high crime rates, it’s important to remember that crime is often concentrated in specific neighborhoods and is influenced by various socio-economic factors such as poverty, unemployment, and urban decay. Cities such as Muskegon Heights, Detroit, Benton Harbor, and Flint have particularly high crime rates, making them some of the most hazardous places in the state.

However, it’s worth noting that not all parts of Michigan are dangerous. Cities like Farmington Hills, Rochester Hills, and Novi, among others, are recognized for their low crime rates and commitment to community safety. Understanding the nuances of crime in each city, and within the city’s different neighborhoods, is essential to forming a well-rounded view of safety in Michigan.

It’s a reminder that proactive community engagement, effective law enforcement, and initiatives for socio-economic development are key strategies for reducing crime and improving overall safety.

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