There’s no denying it. Chicago has gained a reputation in recent years as a city with a high incidence of violent crime. Whilst there are many areas of the city that are relatively safe to be in, there are some neighborhoods that you really don’t want to find yourself even visiting.
- Top 10 Most Dangerous Neighborhoods in Chicago
- 10 Chatham
- Which crime type is worse in Chatham?
- 9 South Shore
- Violent crime?
- 8 Riverdale
- As you probably guessed…
- Some slightly good news?
- 7 West Englewood
- No good news here, I’m afraid…
- 6 Grand Crossing
- How many violent crimes are we talking about?
- 5 North Lawndale
- Starting to get hairy, and we’re only halfway through our list…
- 4 Englewood
- It’s actually one of Chicago’s most hazardous neighborhoods…
- And it might be technically better than North Lawndale, but…
- 3 East Garfield Park
- Far from healthy…
- 2 Washington Park
- And burglaries?
- 1 West Garfield Park
- In fact…
- And we have liftoff…
- Is Chicago Dangerous as a Whole?
- What Can You Do About Crime Rates in Chicago?
- Final Thoughts
These areas are often plagued by high poverty levels and unemployment, leading to an extreme rise in often gang-related violent crime and property offenses. Compared to the national average of 381 violent crimes per 100,000 people, Chicago has a far higher rate of 913 violent crimes per 100,000. That’s almost 2.5 times more!
So, if you are planning on visiting or moving to the windy city, here’s a countdown of the 10 most dangerous neighborhoods in Chicago that you might want to avoid.
Top 10 Most Dangerous Neighborhoods in Chicago
Chatham, a locality with a populace of 30,760 residents, is plagued by a high overall crime rate that is over twice the citywide rate. The total number of violent crimes and property crimes in Chatham is reported as 7,642 crimes for every 100,000 people. So, if you live here, you have a 1 in 13 shot of suffering this type of crime.
Which crime type is worse in Chatham?
The violent crime rate in Chatham is alarmingly high, with 2,096 violent crimes occurring for every 100,000 people, which is 5.5 times above the national average. So, if you live in Chatham all year round, there’s a 1 in 50 chance that a violent crime will be committed against you.
However, as mentioned, the rate of property crime in Chatham is also considerable. With a technically higher rate. 5,546 property crimes were committed for every 100,000 people, according to the latest reports. Among the various types of property crime, theft is the most frequently reported.
9 South Shore
South Shore, which is home to a population of approximately 47,000 people, also has a high rate of crime. The incidence of crime in South Shore in the latest stat release was 7,573 crimes for every 100,000 people. So, residents of this locality have a 1 in 13 chance of falling prey to either violent or property crime.
The rate of violent crime in South Shore is particularly alarming, with a rate of 2,454 violent crimes for every 100,000 people, a disturbing 6.4 times the national average. Therefore, residents of South Shore have a 1 in 40 chance of becoming a victim of violent crime.
Additionally, the rate of property crime in South Shore is also substantial, with 5,119 property crimes occurring for every 100,000 people. This means there’s a roughly 1 in 20 chance of suffering a property crime of some sort.
Despite sounding like the elfin sanctuary in Tolkien’s Middle-earth, Riverdale is currently ranked at number 8 in the league table of dangerous Chicago neighborhoods. The incidence of crime in Riverdale is shockingly high, with 7,357 crimes occurring for every 100,000 people each year. This translates to a 1 in 14 chance that the residents of Riverdale will experience either a violent or property-based crime in a year.
As you probably guessed…
The violent crime rate in Riverdale is even higher than in South Shore, with a rate of 2,614 violent incidents for every 100,000 people, which is 6.9 times greater than the national average. Therefore, residents of Riverdale have a 1 in 38 likelihood of becoming victims of violent crime.
Some slightly good news?
The rate of property crime in Riverdale is also significant but not quite as high as in South Shore. The latest reported year saw 4,743 property crimes for every 100,000 people. Giving you a 1 in 21 probability of becoming a victim of property crime if you live in this Chicago neighborhood.
7 West Englewood
As we hit number 7, those violent crime statistics keep on rising. 32,317 people live in West Englewood, and they collectively suffer 9,551 crimes for every 100,000 people, which is 3.5 times the national average.
Violent crimes in West Englewood edge higher still, with 2,773 violent crimes occurring for every 100,000 people. This equates to a worryingly high 1 in 36 chance that a violent crime will come your way. And this is 7.25 times higher than the level nationwide.
No good news here, I’m afraid…
The property crime rate in West Englewood is particularly high, with a total of 6,778 property crimes for every 100,000 people. So, if you live in West Englewood, make sure you’ve got a good alarm system. As you have a devilish 1 in 15 chance of suffering property crime.
Burglary is the most common property crime in this poverty-stricken neighborhood.
6 Grand Crossing
With a crime rate 3.2 times the national average, the 32,317 residents of Grand Crossing suffered 8,724 violent and property crimes, according to the latest stat release. This places them 6th on my 10 most dangerous neighborhoods in Chicago list because there were more violent crimes compared to West Englewood.
How many violent crimes are we talking about?
Last year, 2,858 violent crimes occurred per 100,000 people. The primary form of violence reported in this neighborhood is gun related, with many residents reporting hearing gunshots at night regularly.
Because of the high level of violence, police frequently patrol the area. And the sheer number of gun-related homicides in Grand Crossing makes it one risky place to live. There’s a 1 in 35 chance, as a resident, of being a violent crime victim.
You’re slightly less likely to suffer property crime here than in West Englewood. But it’s still astronomically high at 5,866 property crimes per 100,000 people. That’s a not completely unrealistic 1 in 17 chance of being the victim of property crime.
5 North Lawndale
Another neighborhood with a lovely name that belies the reality of living there. North Lawndale is, in fact, the fifth most dangerous neighborhood in Chicago, with a high crime rate of 3.9 times the national average. 10,606 crimes per 100,000 people mean residents have a staggering combined 1 in 9.5 shot of suffering either a property-based or violent crime.
3,003 violent crimes were committed per 100,000 people in North Lawndale throughout the latest year of counts. That’s a nauseating 1 in 33 chance of being attacked in some way if you reside there.
Starting to get hairy, and we’re only halfway through our list…
The property crime stats make an equally sad reading, with 7,603 property crimes for every 100,000 people. This means there’s an unenviable 1 in 13 likelihood of having a property offense committed against you as a North Lawndale resident. That’s the highest number we’ve seen so far.
But wait, there’s more coming…
Englewood conjures images of a picturesque woodland populated with quaint cottages. That couldn’t be further from the truth.
It’s actually one of Chicago’s most hazardous neighborhoods…
The long-suffering population of 25,858, has to put up with a per capita total of 9,386 crimes per 100,000 people. Consequently, the likelihood of experiencing a criminal offense of a violent or property-based nature is approximately 1 in 11 for Englewood residents.
Regrettably, the violent crime rate is one of the area’s main concerns. It stands at 3,026 violent crimes per 100,000 residents, which is almost eight times the national average. As in North Lawndale, there’s a horrifying 3% chance of being on the wrong end of a violent crime.
And it might be technically better than North Lawndale, but…
The high level of violent crime is accompanied by disturbing levels of property crime. 6,360 property crimes for every 100,000 individuals were recorded most recently. That’s a worrying 2.3 times the national average. If you live in Englewood, there’s a one in 16 chance you will be burgled, robbed, or maybe even have your car stolen.
3 East Garfield Park
Never mind the 3rd most perilous neighborhood in Chicago. East Garfield Park is the 3rd most dangerous hood in the whole of Illinois. It’s home to 20,100 residents who experience crime at a rate of 10,195 incidents per 100,000 people. That’s just over a 1 in 10 chance of falling victim.
Far from healthy…
The data on crime in East Garfield Park reveals a shocking rate of violent crime eight times the national average, with 3,078 violent crimes occurring per 100,000 people. As a result, residents of East Garfield Park have a 1 in 33 chance of experiencing violent crime.
In addition to violent crime, the rate of property crime in East Garfield Park is also right up there at 7,117 property crimes for every 100,000 people. That’s a far from healthy 1 in 14 chance that residents will fall victim to property crime.
These numbers can start looking confusing, being seemingly lower than the previously discussed neighborhoods. However, one must remember to factor in the very small total population. Essentially, approximately 7k property crimes amongst 20k people can be seen as nearly half the residents potentially being exposed!
Hang on to your hats; we’re nearly there…
2 Washington Park
The violent crime rates climb further still in the 2nd most treacherous area of Chicago, Washington Park. Again, it’s one of the smaller demographics on this list, with a population of 11,871 residents. But they are faced with 3,290 crimes of violence per 100,000 people. The odds you will add to that total are running at 1 in 30 nationally if you’re unfortunate enough to reside here.
Property crimes are also ridiculously high running at 6,614 incidents per 100,000 people, way above the national figure. At a 1 in 15 chance of personally falling prey to property crime, at the very least, you will likely know a number of victims personally.
When we add these figures up, we get a total of 9,904 crimes for every 100,000 residents. Virtually a 1 in 10 chance of something seriously bad happening to you. Those odds are really frightening, especially if you have lived there for years.
Drum roll, please…
1 West Garfield Park
Not to be outdone by their Eastside rivals, the inauspicious title of the most dangerous neighborhood in the Windy City goes to West Garfield Park. When violent crime and property offenses are added together, we get a mind-blowing figure of 13,135 crimes per 100,000 people. This is one of the highest in the nation.
The crime rate in this area is 4.8 times higher than the nationwide average. To put things in perspective, residents have just under a 1 in 8 or 13% chance of being a part of those horrifying statistics.
West Garfield Park is infamous for its high violent crime rate, with 3,596 incidents per 100,000 population. This is 9.4 times higher than the national average. Meaning that there is a 1 in 28 chance for residents to end up victims of violent crime in this notoriously dangerous area.
And we have liftoff…
Property crime is off the scale in West Garfield Park, with the number of reported offenses numbering 9,539 for every 100,000 people. This means that residents almost have a 1 in 10 chance of becoming victims of property crime!
In the unlikely event that any of our dear readers are considering a move to Washington Park, hopefully, these awful statistics will make you question such a risky move.
Is Chicago Dangerous as a Whole?
Chicago is often considered a dangerous city, in part because of the notorious gang violence that plagues the most rundown areas. However, it’s essential to keep in mind that Chicago is a large city and, like all major cities, it experiences its fair share of crime. Probably a little more than its fair share, if we’re honest.
However, there are plenty of neighborhoods in the Windy City that don’t suffer from these nightmarish levels of crime. If you live or work in one of these areas, you substantially mitigate the risk of something terrible happening.
And the most important thing to remember is…
Millions of people reside in Chicago without any major incidents. So as long as you stay out of no-go zones like the neighborhoods I’ve listed, the risk is considerably lowered. That’s not to say the rest of Chicago is all unicorns and rainbows, but you get my drift.
What Can You Do About Crime Rates in Chicago?
Well, as a Chicago resident, one way to get involved is to actually work in the field of crime prevention and management.
This is obviously not for sissies…
But if this idea appeals to you, take a look at our Crime Scene Investigator Job Description, or find out How to Become a Paramedic, How to Become a Correctional Officer, or How To Become A Police Officer.
Got a passion for high-level crime sciences?
You may also be interested in these Popular Jobs in Forensic Science or what kind of Jobs You Can Get with a Criminology Degree? Also, find out, Is Cabo San Lucas Safe? Or learn more about the Most Dangerous Neighborhoods in NYC or the Safest Cities in Texas.
Simply use our search facility to answer your specific questions!
Ok, back to today’s US city crime report…
So there you have it. Chicago has more than a few problem neighborhoods that are wracked by some frankly insane levels of violence and property-based crime. Top of the bunch is West Garfield Park, where you have a jaw-dropping 13% or 1 in 8 shot of being among the crime stats if you’re unfortunate enough to live there all year round.
Don’t let this put you off visiting this great city, though. It has a lot more to offer than the negative side we’ve focused on here. Stay out of the dangerous spots, and the Windy City will likely show you a great time.
As always, stay safe and happy informed city hopping!