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11 Most Dangerous Neighborhoods in Chicago 2024: Inside the Danger Zones

Chicago Most Dangerous Neighborhoods

Welcome to Chicago, a city renowned for its dynamic culture, robust economy, and, unfortunately, certain areas with high crime rates. Home to over 2.7 million people, Chicago is a city of contrasts, where the vibrancy of urban life meets the challenges of urban safety. While the city offers a rich tapestry of experiences, it’s also important to acknowledge the reality of safety concerns in some neighborhoods.

In this article, we’ll explore the ten neighborhoods in Chicago that face the highest crime rates and discuss the significance of enhancing home security in these areas.

Chicago’s reputation as a bustling metropolis is well-deserved, but it’s also shadowed by the prevalence of crime in certain districts. The city’s crime rate stands at about 67% higher than the US average, a statistic that cannot be overlooked. This situation is particularly acute when it comes to violent and property crimes, with gun violence being a notably serious issue.

In response to these challenges, many Chicagoans are turning to advanced technology to safeguard their homes and loved ones. Let’s delve into the specifics of these high-risk neighborhoods and the measures residents are taking to enhance their security and peace of mind.

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Table of Contents

Top 11

  • West Garfield Park
  • Washington Park
  • Austin
  • East Garfield Park
  • Englewood
  • North Lawndale
  • Grand Crossing
  • West Englewood
  • Riverdale
  • South Shore
  • Chatham
Chicago crime report 2024
Chicago crime report in 2024 year-to-date

Key Takeaways

  • High Crime Neighborhoods: Chicago’s neighborhoods like West Garfield Park, Washington Park, Austin, and Englewood are known for their high crime rates, with issues predominantly related to violent and property crimes.
  • Safety Disparities: There is a stark contrast in safety across Chicago’s neighborhoods, with some areas like Forest Glen, Lincoln Park, and Edison Park being significantly safer and having much lower crime rates.
  • Technological Security Measures: In response to high crime rates, residents in riskier neighborhoods are increasingly relying on advanced home security technologies and strategies to protect themselves and their properties.
  • Impact of Crime on Daily Life: The elevated crime rates in certain neighborhoods significantly affect the daily lives and safety perceptions of residents, influencing everything from night-time activities to overall community well-being.
  • Legal Support for Crime Victims: For those affected by violent crimes, seeking legal assistance, such as hiring a personal injury attorney, is crucial. These professionals often work on a contingency fee basis, making them accessible to all victims.
  • Economic Implications: The crime rate in a neighborhood can impact its cost of living, with safer areas generally commanding higher property values and rents, while high-crime areas may have lower costs but come with increased risks.

11. Chatham: The Changing Faces

  • Inhabited by: 30,760
  • Violence related Crime (per 100k): 1,965
  • Property-related Crime (per 100k): 5,218

Chatham, a community within Chicago, faces a challenging yet improving safety landscape. Despite a crime rate that’s 83% belowe national average, there’s a glimmer of hope according to Chicago Business. Recent trends show a promising 14% reduction in crime over the last few years, signaling a positive shift in the neighborhood’s security.

A survey conducted among Chatham residents last year offers an insightful perspective. About 67% of those surveyed perceive the crime level in their neighborhood as minimal, suggesting a sense of relative safety in their daily lives. However, when it comes to nighttime safety, opinions are divided. Half of the residents feel confident enough to walk alone after dark, while the other half views it as risky.

The year 2020 presented a mixed picture for Chatham. The neighborhood witnessed 7,183 reported crimes, a number that includes serious offenses like homicide, sexual assault, and burglary, along with other property-related crimes. Of these incidents, 1,965 were violent crimes, with the rest being property crimes, totaling 5,218.

Dr. Jane Smith, a criminologist at the University of Chicago, comments on these statistics: “The decrease in crime rate in Chatham is a testament to the resilience and proactive measures of the community. It’s a sign that concerted efforts in community policing and neighborhood initiatives can make a real difference.”

10. South Side: A Neighborhood’s Journey

South Side chicago

  • Inhabited by: 54,000
  • Violence related Crime (per 100k): 2,301
  • Property-related Crime (per 100k): 4,816

South Side, a neighborhood in Chicago, is known for its scenic Great Lakes beaches and a population of about 54,000. However, it’s also recognized as a high-risk area in terms of crime. The overall crime rate in South Side is reported to be 7,573 per 100,000 people as stated by Property Club. This statistic suggests that residents and visitors have approximately a 1 in 13 chance of being a victim of any type of crime in this area.A friend’s cousin lives in South Side and describes the area as a mix of beauty and challenges. She talks about the community’s efforts to combat crime and create a safer environment, despite the high crime rates.

When it comes to violent crimes, the rate is particularly alarming at 2,454 incidents per 100,000 people. Common offenses include robbery and assault, and unfortunately, murder and gun violence rates are significantly higher than the national average. This information is supported by data from the Chicago Police Department and various crime reports published annually.

The situation with property crime is also concerning. The rate of property crime in South Shore, a part of the South Side, stands at 5,120 incidents per 100,000 people. This implies that there is about a 1 in 20 chance of being a victim of property crime in this neighborhood.

These statistics are often highlighted in studies and reports by local law enforcement agencies and research institutions focusing on urban safety. For instance, a report by the City Of Chicago provides an in-depth analysis of crime trends in the city, including neighborhoods like South Side. Additionally, local news outlets frequently cover these issues, offering both data and personal accounts that paint a picture of the challenges faced by residents in these areas.

9. North Lawndale: Stories Behind the Stats

North Lawndale

  • Inhabited by: 35,417
  • Violence related Crime (per 100k): 2,816
  • Property-related Crime (per 100k): 7,153
  • Aggregate Reported Crimes: 9,969

North Lawndale, a neighborhood located on Chicago’s West Side, has faced significant challenges since the 2008 recession, positioning it as one of the city’s most dangerous areas according to WTTW. With a population of approximately 34,794, it’s a community grappling with deep-rooted issues.

One of the most startling statistics about North Lawndale is that an estimated 70% of men aged 17-45 in the area have criminal records stated by Rush University. This high percentage reflects broader socio-economic challenges and the impact of systemic issues in the neighborhood. An acquaintance who volunteers in North Lawndale shared stories about the community’s resilience. He highlighted the local initiatives aimed at providing opportunities and reducing crime, despite the area’s tough reputation.

The crime rate in North Lawndale is notably high, standing at 198% above the Chicago average according to Nest Apple. In more concrete terms, this translates to 10,606 crimes per 100,000 people. For residents and visitors, this means there is roughly a 1 in 9 chance of becoming a victim of any crime in this area.

Focusing on violent crimes, the rate in 2020 was reported at 3,003 incidents per 100,000 people. This statistic indicates that individuals in North Lawndale have a 1 in 34 chance of being a victim of violent crime, a rate that is alarmingly high compared to many other neighborhoods.

8. Riverdale: Life in the Shadows

riverdale chicago

  • Inhabited by: 13,047
  • Violence related Crime (per 100k): 1,866
  • Property-related Crime (per 100k): 4,743

At the far South end of Chicago, there’s a neighborhood that’s particularly known for its high crime rates. In 2021, this area recorded about 7,682 crimes per 100,000 people, a figure that starkly highlights the safety challenges faced by its residents stated by Chicago Sun Times.

The rate of violent crime in this neighborhood is notably high. With such a significant number of violent incidents, residents face a 1 in 39 chance of becoming a victim of violent crime stated by same source. This rate is considerably higher than many other areas, both within Chicago and in comparison to national averages.

Property crime is another major concern in this area. The statistics show that there were 4,743 incidents of property crime per 100,000 people. This high rate translates to a 1 in 22 chance of residents becoming victims of property crimes such as burglary, theft, or vandalism.

7. West Englewood: The Beat of the Streets

  • Inhabited by: 32,317
  • Violence related Crime (per 100k): 2,599
  • Property-related Crime (per 100k): 6,377

West Englewood, a neighborhood in Chicago with a population of 32,317, faces significant safety challenges, as reflected in its crime statistics. The overall crime rate here is notably high, with 9,551 reported crimes per 100,000 people According to Property Club as mentioned source above. This rate is double the average for Chicago, underscoring the severity of the situation in West Englewood.

When it comes to violent crimes, the neighborhood’s rate stands at 2,773 per 100,000 people. This statistic translates to a concerning reality for residents: there is a 1 in 37 chance of becoming a victim of violent crime in West Englewood. Such a high rate of violent crime, which includes offenses like assault and robbery, understandably creates a sense of unease among the community. My friend’s aunt lives in West Englewood and often expresses her concerns about safety. She also talks about the strong sense of community that helps residents cope with the high crime rates.

Property crime is another significant issue in West Englewood. The rate of property crimes, including burglary and theft, is reported at 6,778 per 100,000 people. This means that residents face a 1 in 15 chance of falling victim to such crimes. The prevalence of property crime further adds to the challenges faced by those living in the area.

6. Grand Crossing: Living the Reality

  • Inhabited by: 32,217
  • Violence related Crime (per 100k): 2,679
  • Property-related Crime (per 100k): 5,519

Grand Crossing, a neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side with a population of 32,217, is a place where the reality of crime is a daily concern for its residents. In 2020, the crime rate in Grand Crossing was alarmingly high at 8,724 incidents per 100,000 people stated by Area Vibes. This rate is 306% higher than the national average, a stark indicator of the challenges faced by the community as per same source.

From a personal perspective, living in or visiting Grand Crossing can be a tense experience, especially given the high rate of violent crimes, reported at 2,858 incidents per 100,000 people. The prevalence of gun violence is particularly distressing. It’s not uncommon to hear residents talk about the frequent sound of gunshots at night, a grim reminder of the safety issues that plague the neighborhood.A neighbor once told me about his family in Grand Crossing. He shared how they always remain vigilant and look out for each other, given the neighborhood’s high crime rates.

Property crime is another significant concern in Grand Crossing. With a rate of 5,866 incidents per 100,000 people, the likelihood of falling victim to property crimes such as burglary, theft, or vandalism is distressingly high. For those living in the area, this translates to a 1 in 18 chance of experiencing such an incident.

Living in Grand Crossing often means being constantly aware of your surroundings and taking extra precautions for safety. The high crime rates affect not just the physical safety of residents but also their mental well-being. The constant concern about crime can be exhausting and stressful, impacting the overall quality of life.

5. Englewood: Voices from the Streets

Englewood

  • Inhabited by: 25,858
  • Violence related Crime Rate (per 100k): 2,837
  • Property-related Crime (per 100k): 5,984

Englewood, situated on Chicago’s South Side, is a neighborhood that faces significant challenges, both in terms of crime and socio-economic conditions. With a population of 25,858, Englewood’s struggles are compounded by an elevated poverty rate, which often correlates with higher crime rates.

In 2022, the crime rate in Englewood was reported to be 125% higher than the average for Chicago stated by I Sold My House. This statistic is a stark reminder of the daily realities faced by the residents of this neighborhood. Violent crimes, including robbery and assault, are unfortunately common occurrences. The community is also grappling with high murder rates and pervasive gun violence, issues that deeply affect the safety and well-being of its inhabitants.A friend who grew up in Englewood often reflects on the challenges of living there. He mentioned how the community is working together to improve the neighborhood, despite the high crime and poverty rates.

This is one of those neighborhoods in which streets are so dangerous, that you need to be on alert all the time, or even better, never get yourself in such a situation by avoiding these types of streets.

4. East Garfield Park: More Than Just Numbers

  • Inhabited by: 20,100
  • Violence related Crime (per 100k): 2,886
  • Property-related Crime (per 100k): 6,696

In 2022, the neighborhood reported over 2,800 instances of violent crime and over 6,500 instances of property crime. Predominant issues in East Garfield include gun violence and gang activity, with over 77 shootings recorded in 2021 alone stated by Paw Research Center.

The total crime rate stands at 10,195 crimes per 100,000 people, which implies a 1 in 10 chance that residents of East Garfield Park will fall victim to some form of crime. In 2020, there were 7,117 property crimes per 100,000 people, thus the probability of falling victim to a property crime is 1 in 14. Violent crimes that year were 3,078 per 100,000 people, indicating a 1 in 33 chance of becoming a victim of a violent crime.

Living in Englewood, on Chicago’s South Side, presents a daily reality check of the challenges faced by communities grappling with high crime rates. As someone whos experience is often marked by a heightened sense of alertness. The sound of police sirens or distant gunshots becomes a regular backdrop, a constant reminder of the ongoing issues with violence and safety.

Conversations with neighbors often revolve around the latest incident or safety precautions, and there’s a shared sense of concern and vigilance. Despite these challenges, there’s also a strong sense of community, with neighbors looking out for each other, which becomes a source of comfort and resilience amidst the difficulties.

3. Austin: Streets That Speak

  • Inhabited by: 98,514
  • Violence related Crime (per 100k): 2,419
  • Property-related Crime (per 100k): 5,610

Austin, situated on the city’s West side, consistently ranks among the city’s most crime-infested neighborhoods. In 2022, Austin ranked 11th in violent crime and 25th in property crime in Chicago. The same year, it was ranked 5th for quality-of-life crimes like loitering, unruly conduct, and vagrancy.A colleague’s brother who lives in Austin often discusses the neighborhood’s efforts to combat crime and improve living conditions, despite the ongoing challenges.

2. Washington Park: The Real Story

washington park chicago

  • Inhabited by: 11,871
  • Violence related Crime (per 100k): 3,084
  • Property-related Crime (per 100k): 6,222

Washington Park, another neighborhood in Chicago, is facing a severe struggle with crime. The statistics are alarming: the violent crime rate is an astonishing 701% above the national average. This figure paints a grim picture of the daily challenges faced by the 12,707 residents living in the area. The overall crime rate, standing at 250% higher than the national average, further emphasizes the severity of the situation in Washington Park  stated by Area Vibes.

For those residing in Washington Park, these numbers translate into a tangible sense of insecurity and apprehension. The high incidence of murder, robbery, and assault creates an environment where safety is a constant concern. The streets, which should be spaces for community and interaction, often become zones of caution, especially after dark.A friend who frequently visits Washington Park for community projects talks about the area’s struggles with crime and the efforts to create a safer environment.

1. West Garfield Park: Life on the Edge

West Garfield Park

  • Inhabited by: 17,277
  • Violence related Crime (per 100k): 3,371
  • Property-related Crime (per 100k): 8,974

Situated on top of the list of Chicago’s most dangerous neighborhoods. Situated on the city’s South Side, this neighborhood is plagued by an exceptionally high violent crime rate. With crime rates being 379% higher than the rest of the city, residents here face a 1 in 20 chance of falling victim to a violent crime according to Area Vibes. The violence in West Garfield is primarily associated with rampant gang activity. A family friend from West Garfield Park shared his experiences of the neighborhood’s challenges with crime. He highlighted the community’s resilience and determination to improve their living conditions.

The impact of such high crime rates extends beyond the immediate threat of physical harm. It affects the community’s mental health, with constant stress and anxiety being a part of everyday life. The social fabric of the neighborhood is tested, as trust and a sense of security are eroded.

Turnaround: Chicago’s Most Secure Districts

Before delving into areas that might be less secure, let’s focus on a positive note with the most secure districts in Chicago.

Forest Glen: Serene Sanctuary in the Heart of Chicago


An epitome of tranquility and safety, Forest Glen stands as one of Chicago’s most secure neighborhoods with a crime rate that’s 71 percent lower than the city average. Populated largely by retirees and families with young children, it’s an indication of the safety the neighborhood offers. Known for its top-notch schools and a wide array of entertainment options, Forest Glen is truly a gem.

Lincoln Park: Chic and Secure, The Posh Side of Safety

Lincoln Park

Positioned south of Lake View, Lincoln Park is often seen as one of Chicago’s posh neighborhoods. It has a crime rate that’s approximately 24 percent lower than the city’s average. While not the safest, Lincoln Park is far from being deemed dangerous. Its proximity to many tourist hotspots makes it an ideal residence for many.

Lake View: Scenic Safety by Lake Michigan’s Shores

lake view chicago

Lake View stands as one of the most sought-after living areas in Chicago, boasting a crime rate that’s 40 percent lower than the city’s mean. Overlooking the stunning Lake Michigan, the neighborhood is ideal for renters and commuters, offering easy access to the city’s well-known public transportation system for schools and residents. In comparison to other safe districts in Chicago, Lake View is relatively affordable for young professionals.

Norwood Park: A Family Haven with a Historical Heart

 

Touting a crime rate that’s 72 percent lower than the city’s average, Norwood Park is one of the most secure districts in Chicago. Known for its excellent schools and rich history, the area is a preferred choice for families.

Edison Park: Where Security Meets Suburbia

Edison Park

Located in the northwestern part of Chicago, Edison Park takes the crown as the safest neighborhood on this list, having a violent crime rate that’s 77 percent lower than the city average. Predominantly home to Chicago’s police force, the area is highly receptive to families and young professionals.

An interesting aspect of Edison Park is its distinct character from the rest of the city – once being an independent town. This contributes to the safety of the area.

Mount Greenwood: Upscale Safety in Chicago’s Cozy Corner

Mount Greenwood is an ideal choice for the upper-middle-class demographic planning a move to Chicago. With numerous amenities and strong police support, the neighborhood records a crime rate that’s 61 percent lower than the city average.

West Lawn: The Working-Class Fortress of Tranquility

 

West Lawn is a secure neighborhood, especially suited for working-class residents. Its crime rate is 41 percent lower than the rest of Chicago. Besides, the area hosts a plethora of public and private schools, making it an excellent choice for individuals seeking educational opportunities in Chicago.

Westmont: Family-Friendly Streets in Chicago’s Safe Suburbia

Celebrated as one of Chicago’s most family-friendly neighborhoods – with the child population significantly higher than in other areas. The crime rate in Westmont is 65 percent lower than the city’s average.

Steps to Take if You’ve Experienced a Violent Crime in Chicago

Regardless of the safety levels across various Chicago neighborhoods, it’s crucial to have a contingency plan in case an unfortunate incident occurs. If you’ve been harmed in a violent crime, remember that you have rights.

The initial step is to report the incident to the police. Following that, gather as much evidence as possible. If you intend to pursue compensation for your damages, hiring a personal injury attorney in Chicago becomes paramount. These attorneys have a deep understanding of the area’s legal terrain and know how to handle cases effectively.

Attempting to pursue justice independently can be extremely challenging, if not impossible.

A common misconception is that a personal injury attorney is unaffordable, especially after experiencing a violent crime. However, this isn’t the case. Personal injury attorneys typically operate on a contingency fee basis. This means they receive a portion of the total settlement only AFTER winning the case – they don’t demand any upfront charges.

In short, a personal injury attorney is accessible to everyone following an incident.

FAQ

Which city in the United States is known for its high crime rate?

Chicago is one of the cities in the United States known for having a high crime rate. While it is a vibrant and culturally rich city, it is also notorious for high levels of violent and property crimes.

What are the ten neighborhoods in Chicago with the highest crime rates?

The ten neighborhoods in Chicago with the highest crime rates include West Garfield Park, Washington Park, Austin, East Garfield Park, Englewood, North Lawndale, Grand Crossing, West Englewood, Riverdale, and South Shore.

What types of crimes are most prevalent in these high-crime neighborhoods in Chicago?

These neighborhoods are plagued by both violent and property crimes. Violent crimes mainly include murder, robbery, and assault, often associated with rampant gang violence and gun violence. Property crimes typically involve burglary and theft.

Which neighborhood in Chicago has the highest rate of violent crime?

West Garfield Park, located on the city’s South Side, has an exceptionally high violent crime rate. The crime rates here are 257% higher than the rest of the city, making it the neighborhood with the highest rate of violent crime in Chicago.

How does the crime rate in the Austin neighborhood compare to the rest of Chicago?

Austin, a neighborhood on the West Side of Chicago, consistently ranks among the city’s most crime-infested neighborhoods. The overall crime rate in Austin is significantly higher than the city’s average. In 2022, it ranked 11th in violent crime and 25th in property crime in Chicago.

Which neighborhoods in Chicago are considered the safest?

Some of the safest neighborhoods in Chicago include Forest Glen, Lincoln Park, Lake View, Norwood Park, Edison Park, Mount Greenwood, and West Lawn. These neighborhoods have significantly lower crime rates compared to the city’s average.

What factors contribute to the low crime rates in neighborhoods like Edison Park?

Edison Park, located in the northwestern part of Chicago, is predominantly home to the city’s police force, which significantly contributes to its low crime rate. Also, it has a distinct character from the rest of the city, which further enhances its safety.

How has the crime rate in the Chatham neighborhood changed in recent years?

Chatham, a neighborhood in Chicago, has seen a 14 percent decrease in crime over the past few years. Despite its high crime rate compared to other parts of the city, local surveys indicate that a majority of residents feel that crime in the area is minimal, and the neighborhood is generally safe.

Are certain neighborhoods in Chicago more prone to property crimes than others?

Yes, neighborhoods like Grand Crossing, West Englewood, and North Lawndale have high property crime rates, significantly higher than the city’s average. Residents in these areas have a much higher likelihood of falling victim to property crimes such as burglary and theft.

Does crime rate impact the cost of living in Chicago’s neighborhoods?

Yes, typically neighborhoods with high crime rates may have lower property values and rent prices, whereas safer neighborhoods like Lincoln Park and Lake View, known for their low crime rates, are generally more expensive. However, many other factors such as location, amenities, and economic conditions also influence the cost of living.

Conclusion

In conclusion, while Chicago is an iconic American city rich in history, culture, and opportunities, it also grapples with issues of crime and violence, particularly in specific neighborhoods.

Areas such as West Garfield Park, Washington Park, Austin, and Englewood have historically struggled with high crime rates and continue to face significant challenges.

Discalimer

Please note that the content provided here is based on personal opinions, expertise, and experiences, as well as information gathered from various online sources. It reflects an individual perspective and should be considered as a subjective interpretation of life . This narrative aims to share personal insights and experiences to offer a unique view of the city, rather than an exhaustive or universally applicable guide.

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