Chicago, with a population of 2,746,388, is a vibrant cultural and economic hub in the United States. However, some neighborhoods in the city are known for their high crime rates and violence. Despite its many attractions, Chicago has earned a reputation for being one of the most dangerous cities in the country, with violent crime rates well above the national average. Gun violence is particularly prevalent in the city, and both property crimes and violent crimes are a significant issue. Overall, Chicago is about 67% more dangerous than the average US city.
10 Most Dangerous Neighborhoods in Chicago
- West Garfield Park
- Washington Park
- East Garfield Park
- North Lawndale
- Grand Crossing
- West Englewood
- South Shore
1. West Garfield Park
On Chicago’s South Side, West Garfield Park is considered the most dangerous neighborhood in the city, with an alarmingly high rate of violent crime. The crime rate in West Garfield Park is 257% higher than the rest of the city, meaning that residents face a one in twenty chance of being a victim of a violent crime. The area’s high levels of gang activity are believed to be responsible for the prevalence of violent crime in West Garfield Park.
2. Washington Park
Washington Park is also among the most dangerous neighborhoods in Chicago, with an extraordinarily high rate of violent crime that is 701% higher than the national average. The neighborhood, which has a population of 12,707, has an overall crime rate that is 297% higher than the national average. Violent crimes such as murder, robbery, and assault are prevalent in Washington Park, making it one of the least safe areas in Chicago.
Austin, situated in the western part of Chicago, is widely regarded as one of the city’s most dangerous neighborhoods. In 2022, Austin was ranked 11th in violent crime and 25th in property crime among all Chicago neighborhoods. Additionally, it was ranked 5th in quality-of-life crimes, which include offenses such as loitering, vagrancy, and unruly conduct.
4. East Garfield Park
Garfield Park, situated in the western region of Chicago, has a long history of high rates of both violent and property crimes. In 2022 alone, the area witnessed over 2,800 violent crimes and over 6,500 property crimes. Gun violence and gang activity remain major issues in East Garfield, with over 77 shootings reported in 2021.
The overall crime rate in Garfield Park is staggering, at 10,195 crimes per 100,000 residents. This means that East Garfield Park residents have a 1 in 10 chance of falling victim to any type of crime. In 2020, the rate of property crimes was 7,117 per 100,000 residents, translating to a 1 in 14 chance of becoming a victim of a property crime. Meanwhile, the rate of violent crimes in the same year was 3,078 per 100,000 residents, indicating that residents have a 1 in 33 chance of becoming a victim of a violent crime.
Englewood, situated in the southern part of Chicago, is yet another neighborhood known for its high levels of crime. The area has a population of 24,369, and a significant portion of its residents live below the poverty line. Englewood has a long-standing reputation for being one of the most dangerous areas in Chicago, with a crime rate that is 125% higher than the city’s average. The occurrence of violent crimes, such as robbery, assault, and homicide, is common, and the neighborhood experiences a high incidence of gun violence.
Located on Chicago’s West Side, North Lawndale is considered one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in the city. The neighborhood was once thriving but was severely impacted by the 2008 recession. With a population of 34,794, it’s estimated that around 70% of men aged 17-45 in North Lawndale have criminal records.
North Lawndale has a crime rate that is 198% higher than the Chicago average, with 10,606 crimes per 100,000 people. This means that residents have a greater than 1 in 9 chance of becoming a victim of some type of crime. Additionally, the violent crime rate in 2020 was 3,003 incidents per 100,000 people, indicating that residents have a greater than 1 in 34 chance of becoming a victim of a violent crime.
7. Grand Crossing
Grand Crossing is situated on the South Side of Chicago, with a population of 31,471. The crime rate in this area is high, with 8,724 incidents per 100,000 people in 2020, making it 317% higher than the national average. Violent crimes, which are at 2,858 incidents per 100,000 people, pose a significant threat to residents. Gun violence is a prevalent issue in this neighborhood, with frequent reports of gunshots being heard at night. Property crime in Grand Crossing is also prevalent, with 5,866 incidents per 100,000 people, giving residents a 1 in 18 chance of being victimized.
8. West Englewood
Located in the Southwest of Chicago, West Englewood is home to a population of 32,317 people. With an overall crime rate of 9,551 incidents per 100,000 people, the neighborhood’s crime rate is twice the Chicago average.
West Englewood’s violent crime rate is reported to be 2,773 incidents per 100,000 people, which means the likelihood of becoming a victim of violent crime is 1 in 37. In addition, property crimes were reported at a rate of 6,778 per 100,000 people, which means residents have a 1 in 15 chance of being a victim of property crime. Common crimes in the area include burglary, assault, and robbery, so it’s not recommended to travel alone at night.
Riverdale, located on the far South end of Chicago, is considered one of the city’s most dangerous neighborhoods due to its high rate of violent crime relative to its population. In 2021, there were approximately 7,682 crimes per 100,000 people, with a particularly high incidence of violent crime. Residents of Riverdale have a 1 in 39 chance of becoming a victim of violent crime, while property crime is also prevalent, with 4,743 incidents per 100,000 people and a 1 in 22 chance of becoming a victim.
10. South Shore
South Shore is situated on the South Side of Chicago and has a population of around 54,000 residents. The neighborhood is renowned for its beaches along the Great Lakes. The overall crime rate in South Shore is 7,573 incidents per 100,000 people, which translates to a 1 in 13 chance of becoming a victim of any kind of crime. The violent crime rate is 2,454 incidents per 100,000 people, and robbery and assault are frequent occurrences. Murder and gun violence are both much higher than the national average.
The property crime rate in South Shore is 5,120 incidents per 100,000 people, making the chance of being a victim of property crime 1 in 20.