These Are The 10 Most Dangerous Places in Michigan


We ran the numbers on the FBI Crime Report to determine which Wolverine State places you need to watch out for.

Do you live in one of the most dangerous cities in Michigan?

We all see our news feeds with reports of crimes happening all around us. From your couch, it’s easy to speculate on where you think the places are in your area to avoid. And you’re probably a little jaded as well; you might think your hometown is quite bad, but in fact, you might be relatively safe.

However, statistics never lie. In order to keep residents – and future residents – of this fine state in the know, we’ve crunched the numbers from the annual FBI report to determine, once and for all, where the danger hot spots are in Michigan. Some are surprising, and some are not.

Just where are the danger hot spots in Michigan? After analyzing all 322 cities, the data has determined that the 10 most dangerous places to live in Michigan are:

  1. Benton Harbor
  2. Muskegon Heights
  3. Detroit
  4. Benton Charter Township
  5. Harper Woods
  6. Flint
  7. Highland Park
  8. Flint Township
  9. Jackson
  10. Muskegon

Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers, or scroll to the bottom for a complete chart to check how your city ranked. Coastal communities near Lake Michigan are a lot more dangerous than you might think.

Additionally, we needed to put this list into context. While these are hard numbers on crimes that occur in a city, these numbers don’t reflect the fact that sometimes, crimes in a city are committed by tourists or people from outside the city. Tourist towns with lots of visitors might have higher numbers due to this fact.

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How we determined the most dangerous cities in Michigan

While there are surveys and public polls on what cities in a state are the most dangerous, we didn’t want to rely on speculation and opinion. Instead, we looked at the hard numbers from the FBI’s last three years of reporting. Specifically, we analyzed the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report which summarizes the number of property crimes and violent crimes in each city per year.
Violent crimes are defined as rapes, murders, robberies and aggravated assaults.

We crunched the numbers on every city in Michigan where a report was available. This left us with more than 300 cities in Michigan to rank.

Additionally, we made 2013 factor more heavily than 2012, since more recent crimes are a bigger determining factor in how dangerous a place is.

We must note that this report is not an analysis of the effectiveness of local police departments. It simply states where crimes occurred most frequently.

1. Benton Harbor

Most Dangerous Cities in Michigan

Source: Google Maps

Population: 10,039
Violent crime ranking: 2
Property crime ranking: 4

Benton Harbor is, statistically the most violent place to live in Michigan. Last year, there were 225 violent crimes there, meaning residents have a 1 in 45 chance of being raped, attacked or outright killed.

To put this into perspective, since the average person has 300 Facebook friends, if every single one of them lived in Benton Harbor, 6 of them would have faced death last year.

2. Muskegon Heights

Most Dangerous Cities in Michigan

Source: ElkhartTruth.com

Population: 10,768
Violent crime ranking: 6
Property crime ranking: 8

The top three cities on this list are all on the coast of Lake Michigan. Muskegon Heights, a smaller town with almost 11,000 residents, is, according to the FBI, a very dangerous place.

There were more than 200 violent crimes here in 2013, meaning that 1 in 50 residents was the victim of a serious attack. Crime seems to be ticking up here as well, as violent crimes have gone up 10% since 2011.

3. Detroit

Most Dangerous Cities in Michigan

Source: Mike Boening Photography

Population: 699,889
Violent crime ranking: 5
Property crime ranking: 11

This isn’t the place to jump on and bash Detroit, though, if you were to do a poll of people, they’d most likely guess that Detroit would top this list. However, per capita, it does not. In fact, perhaps due to the population decrease of Detroit, the number of crimes has gone down since 2011.

Obviously, Detroit is a very dangerous place. Two years ago, there were more than 14,000 residents attacked, murdered or raped.

4. Benton Charter Township

Most Dangerous Cities in Michigan

Source: Google Maps

Population: 14,578
Violent crime ranking: 14
Property crime ranking: 3

We only had 2013 data to go by, meaning Benton Township didn’t report its data before that. But when you have a city with a total of 1,200 property crimes, this is definitely a place to watch your back. Nearly 1 in 12 Benton Township residents were robbed two years ago.

That means, if you live there, odds are at least a couple people on your street were victims of a crime.

5. Harper Woods

Most Dangerous Cities in Michigan

Source: Google Maps

Population: 13,922
Violent crime ranking: 13
Property crime ranking: 6

Harper Woods, a Detroit suburb, has seen its crime increase overall for the last few years. According to the FBI, violent crimes have nearly doubled here, and residents have a 1 in 15 chance of being robbed.

Additionally, there were 169 attacks in a city of only 14,000 residents.

6. Flint

Most Dangerous Cities in Michigan

Source: Google Maps

Population: 99,941
Violent crime ranking: 3
Property crime ranking: 20

Statistically, 1 in 52 people in Flint was the victim of a rape, attack or outright killed in 2013. That’s a really large number – even much higher than Detroit.

Crime in Flint has actually gone down; just four years ago, that number was 1 in 40. And that’s just residents who actually reported a crime. Chances are it was even higher than that.

7. Highland Park

Most Dangerous Cities in Michigan

Source: Google Maps

Population: 11,591
Violent crime ranking: 7
Property crime ranking: 17

Another Detroit suburb, Highland Park is, overall, slightly more dangerous than surrounding communities. However, between 2012 and 2013, the number of crimes dropped. Hopefully, that trend continues into the near future.

A resident of Highland Park had a 1 in 61 chance of being involved in a violent attack two years ago.

8. Flint Township

Most Dangerous Cities in Michigan

Source: Google Maps

Population: 31,182
Violent crime ranking: 16
Property crime ranking: 9

Flint Township is slightly less dangerous than Flint, but it is still a very uncomfortable place to live if you cherish safety. While the number of robberies here has gone down lately, violent crimes have gone up. Statistically, 1 out of 92 people was attacked just two years ago here.

9. Jackson

Most Dangerous Cities in Michigan

Source: Flickr user Michigan Municipal League

Population: 33,378
Violent crime ranking: 10
Property crime ranking: 16

Jackson is a bit of an outlier here. It’s one of the only cities not on the Lake Michigan coast or a Detroit suburb to make the top 10 for most dangerous places to live.

Jackson, a half hour drive west of Ann Arbor, saw almost 400 of its residents report violent attacks two years ago.

10. Muskegon

Most Dangerous Cities in Michigan

Source: Jonathan Seyferth, Downtown Muskegon Now

Population: 36,658
Violent crime ranking: 18
Property crime ranking: 14

Muskegon only recently reported its data to the FBI, but according to their reporting, there were 325 violent crimes and 1,970 property crimes in 2013.

There You Have It

This list may have been surprising to some who had expected to see more cities in the Detroit metro area rank highly. Additionally, it brings to light the level of danger in your community. Scroll down for a complete list.

Again, this list isn’t an indication of the effectiveness of police departments. It’s merely stating where crimes occurred and how often.

Detailed Ranking For Dangerous Places In Michigan

Check out the data here.
Skip to end of table

City Population Danger Score Rank
Benton Harbor 10,039 2 1
Muskegon Heights 10,768 6 2
Detroit 699,889 7 3
Benton Township 14,578 7.5 4
Harper Woods 13,922 8.5 5
Flint 99,941 10.5 6
Highland Park 11,591 11 7
Flint Township 31,182 11.5 8
Jackson 33,378 12 9
Muskegon 36,658 15 10
Inkster 24,850 20 11
Mount Morris Township 20,990 20.5 12
Newaygo 1,961 20.5 12
Hamtramck 22,017 28 14
Three Rivers 7,712 28.5 15
Ypsilanti 19,677 28.5 15
Emmett Township 11,648 29.5 17
White Cloud 1,387 29.5 17
River Rouge 7,723 31.5 19
Buena Vista Township 8,500 34 20
Caro 4,135 34 20
Grayling 1,872 34 20
Bangor 1,857 34.5 23
Mackinac Island 494 36.5 24
Lincoln Park 37,295 37 25
Mount Morris 3,012 37 25
Saginaw 50,580 37 25
Lansing 113,907 37.5 28
Cadillac 10,239 38 29
Gladwin 2,907 38 29
Burton 29,263 39 31
Eastpointe 32,402 40.5 32
Roseville 47,327 40.5 32
Utica 4,765 41 34
Monroe 20,474 41.5 35
Greenville 8,423 42.5 36
Lapeer 8,819 42.5 36
Grand Rapids 191,213 43.5 38
Taylor 61,836 45.5 39
Birch Run 1,525 47.5 40
Gaylord 3,615 50 41
Port Huron 29,542 51 42
Wayne 17,232 52.5 43
Croswell 2,379 54 44
Redford Township 47,432 54 44
Escanaba 12,531 54.5 46
Romulus 23,483 55 47
Lowell 3,858 57 48
Albion 8,524 58 49
Fowlerville 2,910 59.5 50
Cedar Springs 3,565 60.5 51
Holland 33,354 62 52
Hart 2,103 64 53
Cheboygan 4,789 64.5 54
Mackinaw City 808 64.5 54
Southfield 72,755 66.5 56
Clare 3,095 67 57
Bay City 34,395 68.5 58
Oak Park 29,684 68.5 58
Dearborn 96,012 69 60
Owosso 14,745 69 60
Paw Paw 3,470 69 60
Warren 134,167 69.5 63
Westland 82,554 70 64
Center Line 8,251 70.5 65
Hazel Park 16,642 70.5 65
Evart 1,877 71.5 67
Melvindale 10,473 72.5 68
Niles 11,471 74 69
Covert Township 2,833 75 70
Southgate 29,459 75 70
Alpena 10,299 76 72
Stockbridge 1,222 77 73
Howard City 1,786 78.5 74
Oscoda Township 6,819 80 75
Auburn Hills 21,680 82 76
Bad Axe 3,052 82.5 77
Roosevelt Park 3,800 82.5 77
Genesee Township 20,977 83.5 79
Charlotte 9,046 84 80
Coleman 1,231 85.5 81
Saugatuck-Douglas 2,173 87.5 82
Imlay City 3,586 89.5 83
Springfield 5,210 93 84
Madison Heights 30,080 96 85
South Haven 4,355 96 85
Reed City 2,396 96.5 87
Charlevoix 2,524 98 88
Dearborn Heights 56,583 101 89
Sylvan Lake 1,749 101 89
Clio 2,580 102 91
Ludington 8,035 103 92
Wyoming 73,786 103.5 93
Manistique 3,031 104 94
Hillsdale 8,188 105 95
Calumet 716 106 96
Sault Ste. Marie 14,203 106 96
Kentwood 50,016 106.5 98
St. Ignace 2,454 107 99
Ferndale 20,104 107.5 100
Van Buren Township 28,282 108.5 101
Yale 1,909 108.5 101
Burr Oak 820 110 103
Grand Haven 10,731 111.5 104
Portage 47,387 115.5 105
White Pigeon 1,508 116 106
St. Charles 2,021 116 106
Grandville 15,669 117.5 108
Iron River 2,951 118 109
West Branch 2,110 118 109
Clinton Township 98,071 120 111
Caseville 756 122 112
Jonesville 2,231 123 113
Brown City 1,292 124 114
Frankfort 1,281 124.5 115
Sparta 4,224 124.5 115
Capac 1,848 125 117
Tuscarora Township 2,996 125 117
Whitehall 2,683 125 117
Fraser 14,529 125.5 120
Garden City 27,110 126 121
Marlette 1,828 126 121
Harbor Beach 1,659 126.5 123
Hastings 7,288 129 124
Walker 24,158 129 124
Richmond 5,741 129.5 126
Carrollton Township 5,997 130 127
Allegan 5,055 130.5 128
Meridian Township 40,609 131.5 129
Wyandotte 25,378 131.5 129
Menominee 8,476 132.5 131
Alma 9,256 133 132
Bridgeport Township 10,341 133 132
Howell 9,514 133 132
Almont 2,678 135 135
Manistee 6,158 136.5 136
Marshall 7,050 138 137
Milan 5,875 138 137
Big Rapids 10,735 138 137
Fremont 4,034 139.5 140
Saginaw Township 40,636 142 141
Boyne City 3,757 143.5 142
Fenton 11,493 144 143
Ironwood 5,202 145 144
Carleton 2,324 145.5 145
Chesterfield Township 43,784 145.5 145
Vicksburg 146 147
Ann Arbor 146.5 148
Hartford 146.5 148
Lawton 148 150
Tawas 148.5 151
Belding 150 152
Union City 150.5 153
Belleville 151 154
Pittsfield Township 151 154
Oakley 151.5 156
Wixom 157 157
Hampton Township 157.5 158
Mundy Township 158.5 159
Shepherd 158.5 159
East Lansing 160.5 161
Holly 160.5 161
Mount Pleasant 160.5 161
Bronson 161 164
Grosse Pointe Park 164.5 165
North Muskegon 165 166
Sterling Heights 167 167
Allen Park 167.5 168
Sandusky 167.5 168
Mancelona 168 170
Akron 169 171
Essexville 169 171
Livonia 169 171
Keego Harbor 169.5 174
Cass City 171 175
Grand Blanc Township 171 175
Morenci 171 175
Luna Pier 173.5 178
Montrose Township 176.5 179
Davison Township 177 180
Waterford Township 177.5 181
Frankenmuth 177.5 181
Ionia 182 183
Walled Lake 182 183
Litchfield 182 183
Grand Blanc 182.5 186
Otsego 182.5 186
Northfield Township 183.5 188
Flat Rock 185 189
Memphis 185.5 190
Richfield Township, Roscommon County 186 191
Elk Rapids 186.5 192
Swartz Creek 187 193
Huron Township 187.5 194
Nashville 191 195
Plainwell 192.5 196
Negaunee 193.5 197
Zeeland 195 198
Lake Odessa 196 199
Gibraltar 197 200
Colon 202 201
Potterville 203 202
Chikaming Township 204.5 203
Forsyth Township 205 204
St. Joseph Township 205 204
Brownstown Township 205.5 206
Eaton Rapids 207.5 207
Chelsea 209.5 208
Gladstone 209.5 208
Denton Township 210 210
Harbor Springs 211 211
Rogers City 211 211
Royal Oak 211 211
Mason 213.5 214
Woodhaven 213.5 214
Sumpter Township 214 216
Ishpeming 216 217
Corunna 216.5 218
Grosse Pointe 216.5 218
Saline 218 220
Troy 220.5 221
Vassar 222.5 222
St. Clair 223.5 223
Rockford 225.5 224
Marquette 226.5 225
Munising 227 226
Bath Township 227 226
Lathrup Village 228 228
Laingsburg 230.5 229
Brighton 231 230
Cassopolis 232 231
Columbia Township 232.5 232
Clayton Township 233.5 233
Novi 234 234
Clay Township 234.5 235
Pentwater 235.5 236
Houghton 237 237
Sand Lake 237 237
Thomas Township 238.5 239
Canton Township 238.5 239
Chesaning 238.5 239
Frost Township 238.5 239
Orchard Lake 239 243
Plymouth 239 243
Rockwood 239 243
Trenton 239 243
Lennon 239.5 247
Farmington 240.5 248
Green Oak Township 245 249
Unadilla Township 245 249
Sebewaing 246.5 251
St. Johns 247 252
Breckenridge 247.5 253
Riverview 247.5 253
Marysville 247.5 253
Grand Ledge 248.5 256
Berrien Springs-Oronoko Township 248.5 256
Farmington Hills 249 258
Grosse Pointe Woods 249.5 259
Lake Linden 250.5 260
Linden 251 261
Lincoln Township 251.5 262
Mayville 252 263
Spring Lake-Ferrysburg 252 263
Oxford 252.5 265
Stanton 252.5 265
Kalkaska 254 267
Richfield Township, Genesee County 254.5 268
Lake Orion 256 269
Mattawan 256 269
Pinckney 257 271
Birmingham 257.5 272
White Lake Township 257.5 272
Romeo 259 274
Flushing 262 275
Perry 262 275
Pleasant Ridge 262 275
Franklin 263 278
Eau Claire 264.5 279
Tittabawassee Township 266.5 280
St. Louis 269.5 281
Laurium 269.5 281
South Lyon 270 283
Crystal Falls 270.5 284
Petoskey 272 285
Northville Township 274 286
Hancock 279.5 287
Metamora Township 279.5 287
Grosse Pointe Farms 280.5 289
Beverly Hills 281 290
Plymouth Township 281.5 291
Central Lake 282 292
Pinconning 284 293
Clawson 284.5 294
Reese 284.5 294
Dewitt 285 296
Concord 286 297
East Grand Rapids 286 297
Berkley 286.5 299
West Bloomfield Township 288 300
Rochester 288.5 301
Northville 289 302
Morrice 289 302
Grand Beach 291 304
Bloomfield Township 291.5 305
Dryden Township 294 306
Madison Township 294 306
New Baltimore 295.5 308
Bloomfield Hills 296.5 309
Thetford Township 296.5 309
Elkton 297.5 311
Barryton 297.5 311
Olivet 299 313
Williamston 300 314
Milford 301 315
Elsie 301.5 316
Ovid 305 317
Huntington Woods 305 317
Napoleon Township 308 319
Zilwaukee 309 320

About Nick Johnson

Nick has been working and writing about real estate for almost ten years. He's written about everything from the best places to live to the most boring places to live.

Nick's the creator of the HomeSnacks YouTube channel that now has over 140,000 subscribers and is an excellent source to learn about different parts of the country.

11 thoughts on “These Are The 10 Most Dangerous Places in Michigan

  1. I believe there is a flaw in your analysis that has thrown Fruitport under the bus. The Village of Fruitport does indeed have 1,090 people. However, I’m certain that not all of those crime statistics fell within the Village limits. More likely they also included Fruitport Charter Township which has 12,500 citizens. The photo from Google maps is not in the Village of Fruitport, but in the edge of Fruitport township where there are a large number of big-box stores surrounding the shopping mall that serves the greater Muskegon area. Muskegon county has a population of over 170,000 and I’m going to guess that the vast majority of the property crimes listed were for the mall and big-box stores for shoplifting or damaged vehicles in the parking lots of the stores. It certainly does not reflect the character of Fruitport Charter Township or the Village of Fruitport when ‘Fruitport’ is listed as the ‘Most Dangerous Place’ in Michigan.

  2. I live in the Village of Fruitport and I wonder how accurate this info is. The article mentions the village but the picture is of the township. The township and village boast more people than the number shared. Many people confuse the 2. I wonder if the number reported are all crimes ONLY from the Village of Fruitport or does it include Fruitport Township too? Crime is not something to take lightly, but when reporting on these crimes, fact should be.

  3. It would be nice if police would go after these criminals instead of focusing so much on writing a ticket for traffic violations get out and stop the real crime and we would not be in the top ten !

  4. No Hamtramck on this list? Seriously? The *entire town* is red/orange on Trulia’s crime map, the whole thing! I can only conclude this report is inaccurate, to say the least.

  5. As is frequently the case in similar studies, crime at the southern Michigan prison complex may have been added into the crime totals for Jackson. That makes Jackson looks far worse than it really is.

  6. What surprised me is that Jackson is ranked 9th but it seems to me that Lansing is far more violent than Jackson. Lansing isn’t in the top ten makes no sense.

  7. I think your numbers are seriously flawed. Downtown Muskegon is the downtown for the majority of the entire county. Not only does it serve a far greater population, Muskegon is also a tourist town with many festivals and activities. I noticed how the picture you used is very old and makes it look like it’s nothing but boarded up buildings. If you took a picture of the same place today you would see shops and restaurants there instead. Downtown Muskegon is thriving and very safe! I work downtown, in fact a block away on the same street as the buildings in this picture, sometimes I work very late at night, and not once have I ever felt unsafe. Maybe you need to visit Muskegon for yourself, I’m sure you would think much differently than this report portrays.

  8. A township is (generally) 36 square mile area and is not the same as a city, village, or town. The picture for Benton Township is actually the City of Benton Harbor’s Main Street. Benton township has industrial areas, commercial areas, villages/neighborhoods, and extensive agricultural areas. Benton Heights, an area within the township, is North of the city and has a severe problem with crime. Fairplain is South of the city and has very little crime. There is a whole city separating the two areas. I think in order to make a website about crime statistics by given area of a state, you need to know a bit about geographical versus political boundaries. That is, you can’t just plug in the numbers, you have to do the research too. This site has flawed reports of data, and at best is an irresponsible representation of Michigan life.

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