St. Louis Ranked the 4th Most Dangerous City in America, Again



St. Louis is the fourth most dangerous city in America, behind Memphis, Oakland and No. 1 Detroit, says a new study from Law Street.

If this story is giving you deja vu, that's because St. Louis was ranked the No. 4 most dangerous city in 2008 and 2011. River City took the No. 1 most dangerous title in 2006, 2010, 2011 and 2013.

See also: Dangerous American Neighborhoods: Chief Sam Dotson Slams Study With St. Louis in Top Spots

The Law Street study says it based its ranking of the most dangerous cities in America on violent crime and property-crime rates from the FBI and demographic information from the U.S. Census Bureau. Here's what the study revealed about St. Louis:

St. Louis continued its downward trend in violent crime this year, moving down one spot to be the #4 Most Dangerous City in the United States. The city saw its fewest number of total crimes since 1966. Despite this trend, St. Louis still has the fourth highest violent crime rate among large cities in the United States. The city's encouraging 20 percent drop in crime during the first six months of 2013 continued through the year's end, as violent crime went down 10 percent for the entire year. St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson has attributed the trend in crime reduction to several of the city's new policing changes, such as the implementation of hotspot policing, movement from state to local control of the police force, and the redistricting of its police districts.

Violent Crime Rate: 1,594/100,000 people

Murder Rate: 38/100,000 people

Population: 318,563

Officer to Population Ratio: 1:248

Median Household Income: $34,384

Pop. Below Poverty Line: 27.0%

Rank Last Year: #3

St. Louis is consistently named one of America's most dangerous cities, though the statistics that back that up aren't always entirely accurate. The division between St. Louis city and St. Louis County often skews the numbers, making crime look worse than it is.

Here's a helpful (if whitewashed) video to explain:

St. Louis has been ranked one of America's most dangerous cities for nearly ten years. In 2006 a 20 percent crime bump rocketed St. Louis to the No. 1 spot. River City dropped to No. 2 in 2007 and No. 4 in 2008.

CQ Press ranked St. Louis as the second most dangerous city, behind Camden, New Jersey, in 2009. St. Louis also got a No. 2 ranking in a 2010 Forbes report that didn't include data from Chicago, Las Vegas or East St. Louis.

St. Louis earned the crown again in 2010 when CQ Press named it the most dangerous city in America.

By 2011 St. Louis dropped down to fourth place in the CQ Press rankings but jumped up to No. 1 in U.S. News and World Report, beating out Atlanta, Detroit and Baltimore. In 2012, St. Louis dropped back down to third most dangerous.

In 2013, St. Louis was known not just as the most dangerous city but as the deadliest because of a combination of crime and natural disasters.

Last year's CNN Money analysis put St. Louis as the No. 5 most dangerous city in America behind No. 4 Oakland and before No. 6 Cleveland.

Follow Lindsay Toler on Twitter at @StLouisLindsay. E-mail the author at


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