The 25 most dangerous neighborhoods in America

A new study puts northwest Detroit at the top of the list, but other areas may surprise you.

By Kim Peterson Apr 29, 2013 7:21AM

Image: Criminal with gun -- Flying Colours Ltd, Digital Vision, Getty ImagesWhat's it like to live and work in the most dangerous neighborhood in America? Theodore Parker can tell you.

He's the pastor at St. Cecilia's Rectory, a church of about 350 parishioners in northwest Detroit. The rectory is just down the street from the area that NeighborhoodScout has named the country's most dangerous. People there have a one in seven chance of becoming a victim of a violent crime this year. It doesn't get much worse than that in this country.

"It feels neglected," Parker said in an interview with MSN moneyNOW. "I would say it feels sort of nervous, if a neighborhood can feel nervous."

Parker said he still finds it unnerving when gunshots ring through the street, and he doesn't know whether to get on the floor or hide behind a desk. Parishioners have gotten robbed while riding the bus to church. Years ago, someone stole all the brass knobs on the church's doors.

Buildings in the neighborhood are empty, often ransacked. Some city streetlights don't turn on at night, and when he goes out, Parker drives through stretches of dark, empty blocks.

NeighborhoodScout, a real-estate neighborhood search website, combed through mountains of FBI data to develop its list of the 25 most dangerous neighborhoods in America. Most of the cities shared similar characteristics: high poverty rates, high vacancy rates and a large percentage of households run by single mothers.

The neighborhood south of St. Cecilia's has nearly a 36% vacancy rate. Just 0.9% of its adult residents graduated from college. Some 43% of the children live below the federal poverty level.

Parker has quick answers when asked what could improve his neighborhood. A decent grocery store, for starters -- the city is a "food desert," he adds. A positive city government would help, one that wouldn't have closed the library down the street last fall. Finally, he asked for something most of America takes for granted: decent housing.

"Housing that was reasonable where people could actually live," he said. "That would be a wonderful asset for the city."

Read on to see the remaining 24 neighborhoods that NeighborhoodScout says are the most dangerous in America.


More on moneyNOW

Apr 29, 2013 1:22PM
God forbid that they put a black man in the picture.......... We would never hear the end of it.
Apr 29, 2013 8:22PM

Hate to say it, but why would a decent grocery store or any other business want to do business in a run down crime infested neighborhood.  Just like when black neighborhood riot they act like animals and destroy things-even their own neighborhoods and their neighbors.  I don't think you can ever bring back those areas.


Teach people to have respect.

Don't have children out of wedlock, especially multiple children with multiple non present fathers.

These neighborhoods are breeding grounds for thugs and criminals who would rather make fast money selling drugs than work hard for an honest living.

Unfortunately, only a few break the mold and achieve something good in those type of neighborhoods.

Everyone says MORE education for drugs, MORE education for birth control, MORE education about AIDS.  They know-they just do it any way.


Keep the kids busy with home projects so they don't go off shooting up the neighborhood.   


A list of things they can do. 

Clean the house. 

Clean the yard. 

Clean the church. 

Clean themselves. 

Make them stay out of groups that have nothing good to do. 


What the police can do is ---their jobs.   Pick up the groups and question them.   They will have all the probable cause they need when they see them smoking or acting funny.  Then search the first one and find the gun, the knife, the cigarettes or the drugs.  Put them in the system.  Anything to get them off the streets.   When they are released, pick them up again and again until they learn or move away. 


Time to take back the streets from their own kids.

Apr 29, 2013 4:31PM
Just look for the highest density of democrats and you will find the most dangerous hoods.
Apr 29, 2013 8:25PM
A decent grocery store?  It would get robbed every five minutes and it's clerks shot.  What grocery chain is going to go into that environment?  NONE.
Apr 29, 2013 10:06PM
I have worked in Kabul and Baghdad and felt safer sleeping with a 9mm pistol under the pillow and a 9mm Beretta machine gun under the covers. In Chicago only the crooks, criminals and crazies are allowed to have guns. The law abiding citizens voted for the libs to run their city and deserve what they get
Apr 29, 2013 10:56PM
We have a drug problem, and a black society problem. The trillions we have sunken into the hoods has only made it worse. Time for consequences.
Apr 29, 2013 8:32PM
Don't use drugs.Don't sell drugs. Get a job,even if you have to move away.Obey the law,even if you are poor. In the Great Depression,Americans mostly obeyed the law,even when starved. We stayed civilized,even though we could have had a civil war.Lastly,keep your fricking knees together and not spread for every two-bit sperm donor daddy out there. Most of this poor and single mom crap can be avoided by some better choices! Welfare should not be a career. If I lived in a craphole neighborhood,I'd find a way to raise my standards,and I'd try real hard! Black on black violence is just an excuse for lawlessness and drug culture idiots. You know right from wrong,but choose to live by the latter.
Apr 29, 2013 8:44PM

I raised my boys in the HOOD without them ending up as ****ers or anything else negative.  They have real jobs and/or going to college.  They were kept busy in sports or other community activities where they had no time to get in trouble.

Apr 29, 2013 9:04PM
I, too resent the characterization of Caucasian males as delineated on TV........anybody decent who can get out of Detroit is either trying or has already left.........there should be martial law in Detroit until a provisional city government can take over the day to day responsibilities of law enforcement and emergency services, armored firetrucks?
Apr 29, 2013 8:52AM
Interesting, I suppose, depending upon your political purpose. How can this be credible when LA and especially New Orleans are not listed?
Apr 29, 2013 9:01PM
I get so tired of hearing racist comments from both whites and blacks. It is pathetic to think anyone owes anybody because of slavery long ago. First off, and foremost, there were blacks with white slaves back during the slavery timeframe. There were just as many white slaves as black but no one wants to admit that. Sad to say, it is all past and no one owes anyone else for it.
Apr 29, 2013 11:23AM
For the record, the 100k cops were fully funded by the feds for 2-3 years, then the local gov had to assume the costs.   And, there were 50k police/sheriff's departments in the country at the time.  2 extra cops didn't matter much to large departments, and the small ones which really got the impact couldn't come up with the funding after the first couple of years.  All in all, most chiefs, sheriffs and commissioners that I've talked to agree Clinton's 100K cops program was just another flash in the pan failure.
Apr 29, 2013 11:10PM
take the washington dc walking tour  with your congessman or state senator ha ha ha  not on your life
Apr 29, 2013 8:46PM

Me and my husband used to joke, if the boys wanted to join the gang, they could join the football, basketball, track. baseball. Boys and Girls Club or anything else that would be a positive influence.

Apr 29, 2013 9:04AM
If you spend 5 minutes looking at their methodology, you'll see it's really flawed.  They do a lot of extrapolating, which skews the results big time.
Apr 30, 2013 9:01AM
One of the  missing characteristics  regarding the most dangerous places to live was a minority neighborhood. Wonder why they didn't include that?
Apr 30, 2013 8:16AM

Lets see, high poverty, high vacancy, high single mothers.


Me thinks there is something missing

Apr 30, 2013 1:43PM

We build a park...they trash it

We paint a wall...they grafitti it

We give them welfare...they buy crack

We continue to pour billions into the system...they continue to suck billions from the system.


Put down the crack pipe and get a job...

Close your legs and stop having more babies just to increase your welfare check...Nnn-kay?

Apr 30, 2013 10:34AM
welfare. They gov't warehoused the urban poor ( mainly black) , provided artificially subsidized housing and food, no access to jobs, education ( financed by real estate taxes ) was substandard. Allow employers to ask and penalize applicants about prior legal convictions. If time is service no one should have access to the records and it should be illegal to ask about arrests. The 'debt' to society has been paid but employers can  continue the punishment to the grave. Men cannot find work so it is back to the streets. Do you think people are going to starve to death? This revolving door does support the privatized penal system by providing a steady stream of men to be incarcerated. This is paid for by tax dollars. Tax  dollars that could be used for education. Also, Urban planners are going to have to look at neighborhoods that are no longer viable and take them down. 
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