When planning a vacation, it can feel daunting to decide where to go. Travel sites and recommendations from friends and family help, but sometimes you still wonder about the safety and draw of a given area. We can help. These risky American cities might not make great destinations for your family. The last one might come as a shock (page 10).
10. St. Louis, Missouri
It has one of the highest homicide rates. | f11photo/iStock/Getty Images
This Midwestern city has one of the highest homicide rates of American cities, which makes it a less than ideal travel destination. The possibility of becoming a victim of a violent crime rests at one in 53. A total of one in 10 people have suffered a property crime, like burglary. The city’s shrinking crime rate can take responsibility for the crime rate. Many of its 318,069 long-time residents have left the urban center, in recent years.
Next: This jazz outpost also has a high rate of crime.
9. Chicago, Illinois
Watch out for crime. | RudyBalasko/iStock/Getty Images
The Windy City has a population of more than 2.7 million people, and a rising crime rate to match. Despite its rich cultural assets, beautiful lakefront, and delicious cuisine, property crime, larceny, and car thefts have risen. The rates for murder and rape have remained static, however. The Windy City also appears on the list of the American cities with the worst traffic so if you have a road trip planned, steer clear.
Next: This city has cleaned up its act, but still has its issues.
8. Cleveland, Ohio
The city has high crime and poverty. | benkrut/iStock/Getty Images
Forbes ranked Cleveland as one of the most miserable American cities, which explains its nickname, “Mistake by the Lake.” And yes, the city has high crime, brutally cold and snowy winters, and a high poverty rate. Over the past five years, a shocking 71,000 have fled the city. However, a select few have worked to revitalize it with culture and culinary attractions. If you can overlook the blight, it might stay on your list, after all.
Next: The following city has also seen its share of struggle recently.
7. Baltimore, Maryland
The violent crime rate has inreased. | SeanPavonePhoto/iStock/Getty Images
The blue crab city has a beautiful waterfront and a revitalized economy, making for a weekend trip that won’t break the bank. But if you do travel there, keep your eyes open. The violent crime rate has increased recently in every category except property crime. The number of robberies and aggravated assault have also risen more than other crimes. Do your research ahead of time, so you know where to avoid.
Next: This area also has a very high crime rate.
6. Camden, New Jersey
Violent and property crime are a problem. | Aneese/iStock/Getty Images
An extremely high violent crime rate plagues Camden, New Jersey and scares away much of the tourism. Residents live with a 1 in 36 chance of falling victim to a violent crime and a 1 in 11 risk of a property crime. Poverty and gang violence also do not help matters. The crime rate in Camden rests at about eight times the national average and the 2011 U.S. Census Bureau also ranked the city “the poorest city in the nation.”
Next: The following city has more than bad football hurting it.
5. Jacksonville, Florida
It has a high level of pollution. | Rob Foldy/Getty Images
Jacksonville has a long reputation as a tough town. It has a high level of pollution, and a fairly high crime rate. With a population of just over 880,000, it has an overall crime rate of 2,696. In addition, it holds a spot on the list of the most dangerous American cities for pedestrians with a fatality rate of 3.4. If you do visit, look both ways.
Next: This blues city has its reasons for singing sad songs.
4. Memphis, Tennessee
Graceland still draws crowds. | CaronB/iStock/Getty Images
If you have pollen allergies, you will have a hard time in Memphis, right off the bat. It also ranks second among American cities in violent crime, corruption, poverty, and gang activity. However, the birthplace of the blues, home to Elvis’ Graceland, and the site of the East Coast Music Festival still draws crowds. If you do decide to visit, exercise caution, especially after dark.
Next: The following city features a prominent university and prevalent crime.
3. New Haven, Connecticut
It’s home to Yale. | f11photo/iStock/Getty Images
Most of us know New Haven as home to Yale University, one of the most prestigious universities in the U.S. However, the city also suffers one of the highest crime rates on the East Coast — that means approximately 16 in 1,000 incidents of crime, 22 murders in 2017 alone, and a 9.6% unemployment rate. High poverty and unemployment also makes it the eighth highest rate of robbery and the fourth highest rate of assault in the country.
Next: If headed to the West Coast, you might want to avoid the following destination.
2. Stockton, California
It has a high unemployment rate. | tntemerson/iStock/Getty Images
With a staggering unemployment rate of 18.5%, much of Stockton, California suffers in poverty. That also contributes to a high foreclosure rate, at one in 14 homes. The city subsequently declared bankruptcy recently, making it the most densely populated U.S. city to do so. Unfortunately, so much despair increases desperation, which in turn, raises the crime rate.
Next: The following city suffers from a combination of factors.
1. Oakland, California
It has serious traffic and pollution problems. | trekandshoot/iStock/Getty Images
The city of Oakland has a serious traffic congestion problem, which gets overshadowed by its other, more serious woes. Its pollution index weighs in at 190% worse than the national average, making its air quality very poor. In addition, escalating crime makes it one of the most dangerous American cities. The national crime rate in Oakland rest at a staggering 469% higher than the U.S. national average, with gun-related crimes topping the list.
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