Dangerous Neighborhoods: 25 Worst Focus on Single-Family Areas, Not Inner-Cities

VIDEO: Alex Perez reports the progress in city's fight against violent crime.
ABCNEWS.com

You're more likely to be the victim of violent crime in Detroit—specifically, in the neighborhood near the intersection of Livernois Avenue and West Chicago Street—than in any other neighborhood in the United States, according to a new study by NeighborhoodScout.com.

Your chances of becoming a victim there are 1 in 7, as compared to 1 in 15 for the No. 25 neighborhood on the list, near the intersection of South Indiana Avenue and East 60th Street in Chicago.

The study analyzed real estate data and crime statistics from some 72,000 neighborhoods to find the 25 most-plagued by violent crime--murder, forcible rape, armed robbery and aggravated assault.

Andrew Schiller, PhD, founder and chief scientist of NeighborhoodScout, tells ABC News that the study was conducted in such a way as to cancel out differences in population size. "The bigger the neighborhood, the more crime you'd expect," he explains. "We focused on the rate of crime per 1,000 people." Full details of how the study was conducted can be found here.

Since the last such study was done by the firm over 10 years ago, much has changed, he says. New York City, for example, has dropped off the list altogether. "Last time around, there was a neighborhood in Harlem near St. Nicholas Avenue and 125th Street," he says. "Now that's nowhere even close to qualifying." The change he ascribes partly to gentrification: "There's been a re-distribution of wealth," he says, to NYC from the rest of America. Some of that has found its way to Harlem.

The "Over the Rhine" neighborhood of Cincinnati likewise has dropped from the 25-worst, he says. It too, has been gentrified, he says. Schiller calls that neighborhood's transformation "a wonderful story."

People shouldn't write these places off, he says. "It's wonderful how quickly things can change for the better." The sunbelt, as a whole, has improved: Jacksonville is no longer on the list, nor are Miami, Orlando or Tampa.

The very stereotype of a high-crime neighborhood, says Schiller, has changed.

"People used to think of Appalachia. Then, the image became more urban—a high-rise tenement like Chicago's Cabrini Green." Now, however, what he calls "the epicenter of violent crime" has moved from tenements to single-family neighborhoods plagued by high vacancy rates and pock-marked with derelict homes.

In some instances, one neighborhood can spawn so much violent crime as to cast a pall over an entire city: In Indianapolis, he says, a single zip code is responsible for 40 percent of homicides.

Pockets of violence can lurk in unlikely places: The 15th worst neighborhood on this year's list, in what the Houston Chronicle calls Houston's "historic Third Ward," is home to "stately mansions, the University of Houston and Texas Southern University," according to the paper.

"We have no horse in this race," says Schiller, referring to criticism he gets from politicians and police chiefs of the most crime-ridden locales. "Sometimes we get faulted for being for-profit, as if that means we have some kind of agenda." The list, he says, has no other agenda than to reveal the truth.

It does a service, he believes, by turning a spotlight on the nurseries of crime. Once people see where violent crime is originating, he says, they can start a dialog about how to fix it.

"Even in the most dangerous places—St. Louis, say—it's usually just a handful of neighborhoods. If you can hone in on those, look at the social architecture, you can help extinguish the flames by pointing the nozzle at the base."

NeighborhoodScout provides location-based data and risk analysis information for corporate users nationwide. According to the site, here's how they cooked up the rankings: "Crime rates are based on data and crime statistics from the FBI and the U.S. Justice Department--in all, some 17,000 local law enforcement agencies in the United States. Those statistics were crunched by proprietary mathematical algorithms to statistically estimate the incidences of violent crimes for each neighborhood in America. The resultant formulae produce numbers of crimes and crime rates for neighborhoods with upwards of 90% accuracy in most cases."

violent crime rate per 1,000: 149.48

1.
Detroit, Mich. (W. Chicago / Livernois Ave.)

Chances of becoming victim here in a year: 1 in 7

violent crime rate per 1,000: 145.29

2.
Detroit, Mich. (Mack Ave / Helen St.)

Chances of becoming victim here in a year: 1 in 7

violent crime rate per 1,000: 123.93

3.
Detroit, Mich. (Gratiot Ave. / Rosemary)

Chances of becoming victim here in a year: 1 in 8

violent crime rate per 1,000: 116.56

4.
Chicago, Ill.

Chances of becoming victim here in a year: 1 in 9

violent crime rate per 1,000: 96.55

5.
Spartanburg, S.C.

Chances of becoming victim here in a year: 1 in 10

violent crime rate per 1,000: 91.27

6.
Houston, Texas

Chances of becoming victim here in a year: 1 in 11

violent crime rate per 1,000: 90.82

7.
Detroit, Mich. (Wyoming St. / Orangelawn St.)

Chances of becoming victim here in a year: 1 in 11

violent crime rate per 1,000: 86.38

8.
Greenville, S.C. (Woodside)

Chances of becoming victim here in a year: 1 in 12

violent crime rate per 1,000: 86.14

9.
Atlanta, Ga. (Hopkins St. SE / Adair Ave. SE)

Chances of becoming victim here in a year: 1 in 12

violent crime rate per 1,000: 85.64

10.
Saginaw, Mich. (E. Holland Ave. / E. Genesee Ave.)

Chances of becoming victim here in a year: 1 in 12

violent crime rate per 1,000: 82.91

11.
Memphis, Tenn. (E. Eh Crump Blvd./ S. 4th St.)

Chances of becoming victim here in a year: 1 in 12

violent crime rate per 1,000: 82.76

12.
St. Louis, Mo. (Delmar Blvd. / N. Euclid Ave.)

Chances of becoming victim here in a year: 1 in 12

violent crime rate per 1,000: 80.17

13.
Chicago, Ill.

Chances of becoming victim here in a year: 1 in 12

violent crime rate per 1,000: 77.6

14.
Rockford, Ill. (Kishwaukee St. / Grove St.)

Chances of becoming victim here in a year: 1 in 13

violent crime rate per 1,000: 75.89

15.
Houston, Texas (Sauer St. / Mcgowen St.)

Chances of becoming victim here in a year: 1 in 13

violent crime rate per 1,000: 73.05

16.
Chicago, Ill. (S. Ashland Ave. / W. 76th St.)

Chances of becoming victim here in a year: 1 in 14

violent crime rate per 1,000: 72.71

17.
Indianapolis, Ind. (North Indianapolis)

Chances of becoming victim here in a year: 1 in 14

violent crime rate per 1,000: 70.59

18.
Nashville, Tenn. (8th Ave. S / Wedgewood Ave.)

Chances of becoming victim here in a year: 1 in 14

violent crime rate per 1,000: 70.05

19.
Flint, Mich. (Chambers St. / Stonegate Dr.)

Chances of becoming victim here in a year: 1 in 14

violent crime rate per 1,000: 69.02

20.
Indianapolis, Ind. (North Indianapolis)

Chances of becoming victim here in a year: 1 in 14

violent crime rate per 1,000: 68.9

21.
West Memphis, Ark. (E Broadway St. / Stuart Ave.)

Chances of becoming victim here in a year: 1 in 15

violent crime rate per 1,000: 67.75

22.
St. Louis, Mo. (Cass Ave. / N. 9th St.)

Chances of becoming victim here in a year: 1 in 15

violent crime rate per 1,000: 67.26

23.
Memphis, Tenn. (Saint Paul Ave. / Walnut St.)

Chances of becoming victim here in a year: 1 in 15

violent crime rate per 1,000: 66.88

24.
Tulsa, Ok. (E Apache St. / N Quaker Ave.)

Chances of becoming victim here in a year: 1 in 15

violent crime rate per 1,000: 65.77

25.
Chicago, Ill. (S Indiana Ave / E 60th St.)

Chances of becoming victim here in a year: 1 in 15

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