10 Most Dangerous Chicago Neighborhoods, Ranked

Chicago is a destination known for its summer fun, sports, entertainment, food scene, diversity, and harsh winters.

Unfortunately, it also has a reputation as a crime-plagued city. However, the Police Department reported a lower rate of shootings or homicides last year compared to the prior ones.

Let’s see which are the most dangerous neighborhoods based on statistics and stories.

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10. South Shore

We love the beaches in South Shore. It’s located on Chicago’s South Side with a population of 54,000, and despite the scenic views along the Great Lakes, it has an overall crime rate of 7,573 crimes per 100,000 people. So, the possibility of becoming a victim of crime here is 1/13 (the chance to be a victim of any type of crime).

For violent crimes, the rate is 2,545 per 100,000, with common robbery and assault incidents. When it comes to murder and gun violence, the rates are considerably higher in South Shore than the national average. While this is a serious concern for residents and potential newcomers, sparks of getting safer than in previous years are visible.

9. Riverdale

Situated on the far south end of Chicago, Riverdale is another one of the most dangerous neighborhoods. It has a high rate of violent crime in proportion to its population. In 2021, the reports show a rate of 7,682 crimes per 100,000 people. Violent crimes are extremely common here, and the chances of experiencing them are 1/39.

There are also widespread property crimes, with 4,743 incidents per 100,000 residents. This translates into a 1 in 22 chance of being a victim of property crime. However, Riverdale is home to a community of people striving for improvement that fosters unity, support, and resilience to face all the challenges.

8. Austin

Austin is a West End Chicago neighborhood that faces significant safety challenges. It seems to constantly be on the list of “bad neighborhoods” due to its high crime rate. A 2022 report ranks Austin in the 9th position for Chicago violent crimes, while it was in the 20th for property crimes. On a quality-of-life scale, in terms of crimes such as unruly conduct, vagrancy, or loitering, Austin ranks 5th.

Despite the challenges, Austin is a community with a rich history and cultural heritage. You can find amazing historic architecture, as there are various well-preserved buildings from the 19th and 20th centuries, offering the place a strong sense of identity. Moreover, the locals are making noticeable efforts to improve safety and the quality of life.

7. Chantam

Chantam is a neighborhood that faces a high rate of crimes such as drug trafficking, possession, and gang situations. Even if it’s a middle-class neighborhood, that makes it safer than the other ones on the list, Chantam still has a higher rate of crime than the rest of the US.

There is a total crime rate of 6,471 crimes per 100,000 people, this is 178% higher than the national average. For violent crimes, the rate is 198% higher than the national average, so the overall chances of becoming a victim of crime in Chantam are 1 in 16.
Being located just east of another star neighborhood, Auburn Gresham, they build the reputation of Southside Chicago as a place to avoid.

6. West Englewood

West Englewood places Southwest Side on the list of dangerous areas. The total population of 32,317 translates to a general crime rate of 9,551 crimes per 100,000 people. This is twice the Chicago average. To become a victim of violent crime in West Englewood, there is a chance of 1 in 37. Burglary, robbery, and assault are common, with the possibility of 1 in 15 people to become a victim of property crime.

With these statistics, it’s better not to adventure alone at night in West Englewood.
Facing the challenges, West Englewood manages to be a community with a strong local spirit somehow. Residents are working to improve safety and living conditions, revitalize the zone, and provide better opportunities.

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5. East Garfield Park

Garfield Park, located in West Chicago, has a history of high rates of violent and property crimes. There are significant issues, such as violence and gang activity. 2022 reported 7,500 instances of property crime and 2,800 instances of violent crimes. 2021 had reported 77 shootings in East Garfield.

The rate for general crimes stands at 10,195 crimes per 100,000 residents, which means a 1/10 chance of being a victim of any type of crime. Property crime comes with a shot of 1 in 14 chances, and violent crimes are reported at 3,078 per 100,000 residents, meaning a 1 in 33 chance to be a victim of violent crime here.

With all these daunting statistics, Garfield Park is famous for its community efforts. Community leaders are working to address the crime issues and make positive changes.

4. North Lawndale

Another one of the most dangerous places in Chicago is North Lawndale. What makes it different is the fact that it used to be a growing neighborhood with an excellent quality of life until the 2008 recession, which exacerbated its challenges. The neighborhood faces severe socio-economic issues, with a population of 34,794 residents and an estimated 70% of men aged 17–45 own criminal records.

North Lawndale was ranked in 4th place, with a crime rate 198% higher than the Chicago average. Residents here have a 1 in 9 chance of becoming the victim of any kind of crime, with a report of 10,606 crimes per 100,000 people. In 2020, there were reported 3,003 violent crimes per 100,000 people, and according to this, there is a 1 in 34 chance of becoming a victim of violent crime.

3. Englewood

Ranked as one of the worst areas in Chicago when it comes to safety, Englewood is a challenging neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side. The crime rate is estimated to be 125% higher than the Chicago average, and it comes with a history of struggles, high poverty rates, and social and economic disparities.

Robbery and assault are common things here, but it also has high murder rates and gun violence that are contributing to its reputation as one of Chicago’s most dangerous neighborhoods. Residents efforts continue to address the root causes of crime, and they try to improve the quality of life for the community, fostering hope for a brighter future.

2. West Garfield Park

With a violent crime rate that is 257% higher than the Chicago average, being here gives you a shot at being a victim of a violent crime. The extensive gang activity persisting in this area seems to be responsible for the high crime rate, as this one is disproportionally and alarmingly high considering the population.

Situated on Chicago’s South Side, it stands out as one of the most troubled neighborhoods, and the area poses significant safety concerns for its residents. However, there is a resilient community here engaged in activities improving safety and quality of life, such as youth development, economic opportunities, and community policing to create a vibrant and safer area.

1. Washington Park

701% higher rate than the national average in Violent Crimes!?

Washington Park is the most dangerous neighborhood in Chicago. With a population of 12,707 and an excruciating general crime rate, 297% higher than the national average, it highlights many safety concerns. Murder, assault, and robbery are alarmingly prevalent in Washington Park, making it an area with outrageous public safety challenges.

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Here are some amazing books about the history of Chicago. You can find their reviews on Amazon and you can choose to dive into the most interesting light to ever see the city in.

Chicago: A Biography 

Chicago Flashback: The People and Events That Shaped a City’s History

Read next: Top 5 Economic Disasters

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