With a population of 2,746,388, Chicago is a diverse and sprawling metropolis with a lot to offer. But unfortunately, the Windy City is infamous for its high violent crime rates. On average, Chicago is about 67% more dangerous than the US average. Both violent and property crimes are a problem in the city, with a high incidence of gun violence.
10 Most Dangerous Neighborhoods in Chicago
- West Garfield Park
- Washington Park
- East Garfield Park
- North Lawndale
- Grand Crossing
- West Englewood
- South Shore
West Garfield Park
The most dangerous neighborhood in Chicago is West Garfield Park. Located on Chicago’s South Side, West Garfield Park has a disproportionately high violent crime rate. With crime being 257% higher in West Garfield Park than in the rest of the city, residents have a 1 in 20 chance of becoming victims of a violent crime. West Garfield’s violent crime can be attributed to extensive gang activity in the area.
Washington Park is another one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in Chicago due to its extremely high violent crime rate, which is 701% higher than the national average. Washington park has a population of 12,707 and an overall crime rate that is 297% higher than the national average. In addition, violent crimes like murder, robbery, and assault are extremely high, making Washington Park one of the worst areas in Chicago if safety is a concern.
Located on the West end of Chicago, Austin is one of the worst Chicago neighborhoods in terms of crime. In 2022, Austin was ranked 11th in Chicago in violent crime and 25th in property crime. The same year, Austin was ranked 5th in Chicago in quality-of-life crimes (loitering, vagrancy, unruly conduct).
East Garfield Park
Located in West Chicago, Garfield Park has a historically high violent and property crime rate. In 2022, there were over 2,800 instances of violent crime and over 6,500 instances of property crime. Gun violence and gang activity are problems in East Garfield. In 2021, there were over 77 shootings in the area.
The overall crime rate is 10,195 crimes per 100,000 people. This means there is approximately a 1 in 10 chance that East Garfield Park residents will become a victim of any type of crime. In 2020, there were 7,117 property crimes per 100,000 people, meaning residents have a 1 in 14 chance of becoming the victim of a property crime. Violent crimes in the same year were 3,078 per 100,000 people. This means residents have a 1 in 33 chance of becoming the victim of a violent crime.
Another one of the worst areas in Chicago is Englewood. This neighborhood is located in Chicago’s South Side and has a population of 24,369. Englewood has a historically high number of residents living below the poverty line. In 2022, Englewood’s crime rate was 125% higher than the Chicago average. Violent crimes like robbery, assault, and robbery are common. The neighborhood also has high murder rates and gun violence occurrences.
North Lawndale is another one of the most dangerous places in Chicago. North Lawndale was a growing and developing neighborhood on Chicago's West Side, but it was greatly affected by the 2008 recession. The neighborhood has of 34,794 residents, and it's estimated that approxiamtely 70% of men aged 17-45 in North Lawndale had 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 at least a 1 in 9 chance of becoming the victim of some kind of crime. In addition, violent crime incidents in 2020 were 3,003 per 100,000 people, meaning residents have a 1 in 34 chance of becoming a victim of a violent crime.
Grand Crossing is located on Chicago’s South Side and has a population of 31,471. The rate of crime in 2020 was 8,724 incidents per 100,000 people. That makes the crime in this neighborhood 317% higher than the national crime rate.
In 2020, violent crimes were ranked at 2,858 incidents per 100,000 people. Gun violence is a major problem in this neighborhood, and residents often complain about hearing gunshots at night. Property crime in Grand Crossing is 5,866 incidents per 100,000 people, meaning residents have a 1 in 18 chance of becoming a victim.
West Englewood is located in Southwest Chicago and has a population of 32,317 people. This neighborhood has an overall crime rate of 9,551 crime per 100,000 people, making it twice the Chicago average.
The violent crime rate in West Englewood is 2,773 violent crimes per 100,000 people, making the chances of becoming a victim 1 in 37. Property crimes were reported at 6,778 per 100,000 people. This makes the chances of becoming a victim of a property crime 1 in 15. Burglary, assault, and robbery are common in West Englewood, and it is not advised to travel alone at night.
Riverdale is another one of Chicago's most dangerous neighborhoods due to its high rate of violent crime in proportion to the area's population. Riverdale is located on the far South end of Chicago and in 2021 there were about 7,682 crimes per 100,000 people. The violent crime rate is extremely high, with each resident having a 1 in 39 chance of becoming a victim. Property crime is rampant, with 4,743 incidents per 100,000 people. This makes the chances of becoming a victim of a property crime 1 in 22.
With a population of 54,000, South Shore is located on Chicago’s South side and is known for its beaches along the Great Lakes. The overall crime rate in South Shore is 7,573 crimes per 100,000 people. This makes the chances of becoming a victim of any type of crime 1 in 13. The violent crime rate is 2,454 per 100,000 people, and robbery and assault are common. Murder and gun violence are much higher than the national average.
The property crime rate in South Shore is 5,120 incidents per 100,000 people. This makes the chance of being a victim of property crime 1 in 20.
Chicago's Most Dangerous Neighborhoods Bottom Line
Chicago is a major city filled with diverse and sprawling neighborhoods. Many of the neighborhoods on this list have made significant contributions to the culture and identity of Chicago. However, these neighborhoods have consistently ranked as being the most dangerous in Chicago and some of the worst areas in the entire country. Therefore, when looking to buy or rent, it’s always best to research the area to make sure you don't end up in one of the most dangerous parts of Chicago. And if you're still unsure after checking statistics, you can always ask residents if they feel safe living there.