Most Dangerous Neighborhoods in Chicago

Top 10 Most Dangerous Neighborhoods in Chicago With Higher Crime Rate (2023)

Chicago is a renowned cultural and economic hub in America, but unfortunately, certain areas of the city have gained notoriety for being unsafe and crime-ridden. If you’re curious about the neighbourhoods in Chicago considered the most dangerous, read on to find out the top ten.

Chicago is a vibrant and vast city, home to a population of 2,746,388 people with a rich diversity of culture and experiences. However, despite its many attractions, the Windy City has gained notoriety for its alarmingly high violent crime rates. Shockingly, Chicago is approximately 67% more dangerous than the national average and is plagued by property and violent crimes, with gun violence being a particularly pressing issue.

10 Most Dangerous Neighborhoods in Chicago

1. Washington Park

Washington Park is known to be the most dangerous neighbourhood in Chicago. With a population of 12,707, this locality has an alarmingly high crime rate, which surpasses the national average by 297%. Additionally, Washington Park faces an extremely high rate of violent crimes such as murder, robbery, and assault, which are 701% higher than the national average. Considering all the facts, it is evident that Washington Park is the most hazardous part of Chicago.

2. West Garfield Park

West Garfield Park, situated in Chicago’s South Side, stands out as one of the most dangerous neighbourhoods in the city. The area has an alarmingly high violent crime rate, with incidents being 257% higher than other parts of the city. This means that the residents of West Garfield Park are at a 1 in 20 risk of falling prey to violent crime. Gang activity in the region is the primary contributing factor to the area’s violent crime rate.

3. Englewood

Englewood, situated on the South Side of Chicago, is another area that tops the list of the worst neighbourhoods in the city. With a population of 24,369, Englewood has a long-standing issue of residents living below the poverty line. As of 2022, the crime rate in Englewood was 125% higher than the average in Chicago. The area is known for frequent incidents of violent crimes such as robbery, assault, and burglary. Moreover, the neighbourhood has alarming rates of murders and gun violence, making it a highly unsafe area to reside in.

4. North Lawndale 

Located on Chicago’s West Side, North Lawndale is a community severely impacted by the 2008 recession. Once a thriving neighbourhood, it is considered one of Chicago’s most dangerous places. With a population of 34,794 residents, it’s estimated that around 70% of men between the ages of 17 and 45 in North Lawndale have criminal records. Despite its struggles, the community is still home to many hardworking and resilient individuals.

Residents of North Lawndale are faced with an alarmingly high crime rate, 198% higher than the average crime rate in Chicago. With 10,606 crimes per 100,000 people, the chances of becoming a victim of some crime are at least 1 in 9. Furthermore, violent crime incidents in 2020 were recorded at 3,003 per 100,000 people, which means that residents have a 1 in 34 chance of falling prey to a violent crime.

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5. East Garfield Park

Reputed as one of the most dangerous neighbourhoods in Chicago, the crime rate in this area is high, with a violent crime rate of 1,135 per 100,000 residents. The neighbourhood is known for its drug and gang-related activities, contributing to the high crime rate. Residents of East Garfield Park face a constant threat of violence and crime, which makes it a challenging neighbourhood to live in.

Garfield Park, situated in West Chicago, has a long-standing reputation for having high rates of both violent and property crimes. As per the records of 2022, there were more than 2,800 instances of violent crimes and over 7,500 instances of property crimes. The East Garfield area, in particular, has a significant problem with gun violence and gang activity. In 2021 alone, there were over 77 shootings reported in this area.

East Garfield Park has an overall crime rate of 10,195 crimes per 100,000 people. This indicates that residents are roughly 1 in 10 likely to be victims of any crime. Specifically, in 2020, there were 7,117 property crimes per 100,000 people, leading to a 1 in 14 chance of becoming a victim of property crime. Furthermore, violent crimes in the same year were 3,078 per 100,000 people, resulting in a 1 in 33 chance of being a victim of violent crime.

6. West Englewood

Located in Southwest Chicago, West Englewood is home to 32,317 individuals. Unfortunately, this neighbourhood has an overall crime rate of 9,551 crimes per 100,000 people, which is twice the average for Chicago.

West Englewood has a high violent crime rate, with 2,773 violent crimes per 100,000 people. This means that the chances of becoming a victim are 1 in 37. Property crimes are reported at a rate of 6,778 per 100,000 people, making the chances of becoming a victim of a property crime 1 in 15. Burglary, assault, and robbery are common in this area, so avoiding travelling alone at night is recommended.

7. Austin

If you’re looking for a safe place to live in Chicago, Austin might not be your best option. Austin is situated on the West side of Chicago and is known to have a high crime rate. According to recent statistics, Austin ranked 9th in Chicago for violent crime and 20th for property crime. Additionally, it was ranked 5th in the city for quality-of-life crimes such as loitering, vagrancy, and unruly conduct. So, if safety is your top priority, it might be wise to consider other neighbourhoods in Chicago.

8. Grand Crossing

Situated on the South Side of Chicago, Grand Crossing is home to 31,471 residents. Unfortunately, the neighbourhood has experienced a high crime rate in 2020, with 8,724 incidents per 100,000 people. Shockingly, this makes the crime rate in Grand Crossing 317% higher than the national average.

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According to the latest statistics, the rate of violent crimes in 2020 was 2,858 incidents per 100,000 people in the Grand Crossing neighbourhood. Unfortunately, gun violence remains a severe issue, and locals frequently report hearing gunshots during the night. Property crime in this area is also high, with 5,866 incidents per 100,000 people, resulting in a 1 in 18 chance of becoming a victim for residents.

9. Riverdale 

Located on the far South end of Chicago, Riverdale is widely regarded as one of the most dangerous neighbourhoods in the city. The area’s high violent crime rate in proportion to its population is a significant cause of concern. In 2021, there were approximately 7,682 crimes per 100,000 people in Riverdale, making the chances of becoming a victim astronomically high. Shockingly, each resident has a 1 in 39 case of falling prey to violent crime. Property crime is equally rampant, with 4,743 incidents per 100,000 people, making the chances of being a victim of property crime 1 in 22.

10. South Shore

South Shore, situated on the Southside of Chicago, boasts of its beautiful beaches that run along the Great Lakes. Home to a population of 54,000, the area’s crime rate is 7,573 crimes per 100,000 people, indicating a 1 in 13 chance of being a victim of any crime. Violent crimes are also prevalent in South Shore, with a rate of 2,454 per 100,000 people and occurrences of robbery and assault. The rates of murder and gun violence in the area are higher than the national average.

In South Shore, the property crime rate is quite high at 5,120 incidents per 100,000 people. This means the likelihood of falling victim to property crime is 1 in 20. It is a concerning statistic highlighting the need for increased security measures and vigilance.


Chicago is a sprawling city with diverse neighbourhoods, many of which have significantly contributed to the city’s culture and identity. However, several communities have consistently ranked among the most dangerous in Chicago and the country. Therefore, if you’re in the market for buying or renting a property, it’s crucial to conduct thorough research on the area to ensure you don’t end up in one of these unsafe neighbourhoods. Talking to current residents can also provide valuable insights into how safe they feel living there.

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