South Bend is the fourth largest city in Indiana, but is considered the most dangerous. It has the highest burglary rate, contributing to an astonishingly high violent crime rate of 1,331 crimes per 100,000 people, roughly double the state average. Even a state as welcoming as Indiana has some crime-ridden cities you'll want to avoid. Cities like Evansville, South Bend and Michigan are among the worst places to live in Indiana.
Whether it's Gary or Marion, let's take a look at Indiana's most dangerous places. Indiana is a state that most people don't actually associate with crime. Most of the state is known for being slow, friendly, and quite charming in a delightfully Midwestern way. I mean, there's the Indy 500 that adds some speed, but for the most part, things don't change much in this state.
Starting this list is a small town in the heart of the state called Lafayette. With only 72,000 inhabitants, this suburban-urban city is still relatively quiet compared to other cities in the area. However, there are neighborhoods that definitely don't do well. With fewer than 60,000 citizens within the city limits, Anderson looks like a picturesque area in most photos.
However, there is an incomplete side of this city that deserves recognition. After all, property crimes are 94 percent above the national average here. About 25.9 percent of all residents are at or below the poverty level, and social safety nets have failed many Marion locals. That might have something to do with it.
Not to be confused with Shelbyville from The Simpsons, this city has only 20,000 people within its borders. Despite this, the city has managed to make a name for itself due to the number of violent crimes that have taken place on its borders. The aggravated assault rate in this city is over 400 percent of the state average, while violent crime in general is 196 percent above the national average. Property crimes aren't much better, although they're still not as extreme as violent crime rates.
Oddly enough, no murder was reported here, but the assault is through the roof. Shelbyville's unusually high assault rates are often attributed to the city's widespread addiction problem. Between fights in bars, drug businesses gone bad, domestic violence and other related topics, it's easy to understand why many people are wary of starting an argument within the city limits. Maybe it's something in the water? Gary, Indiana is already reputed to be a bad place to live.
This Chicago suburb gained much recognition for environmental problems related to contaminated water and pollution. Maybe it's something in the water that makes this a hotbed of violent crime. Theft and property crime rates here skyrocketed. It's currently twice the national average, making Gary one of the most violent cities for aggravated robbery.
Oh, and vehicle theft is currently almost three times the national average. Another strange “honor” Gary has? It is also among the top three cities when it comes to homicide rates. If you could drive down Elkhart's main street, you would never imagine that this city would be one of the most dangerous cities in Indiana. It looks great, doesn't it? Well, think again.
Violent crime is 211 percent above the national average and property crimes are also 61 percent above. Even with the renewed effort, you still have a 1 in 22 chance of being the victim of a crime here. Crime increased by 4 percent over the past year, so things don't seem too rosy. With a property rate that is twice as high as the national average and a crime rate that is 95 percent above the norm, Indiana's third largest city has a crime problem.
Theft is one of the biggest problems this city has, with a rate that far exceeds twice the national average. Evansville has the dubious honor of being criticized almost universally by everyone who lives there in Areavibes. Less than 20 percent of those surveyed said it was safe at night, quiet, well maintained, or you could even walk to the nearest supermarket. Most people would assume that the state capital would be the most dangerous city in Indiana, but they would be wrong.
However, they are not far away. Violent crime is 234 percent above the national average, and robbery is approximately four times higher than the state average. Property crimes are not far behind. South Bend might be a little smaller than Indianapolis, but that doesn't mean it's safer.
The total crime rate is 107 percent above the national average, and there is also a serious gang problem afoot. Like Gary, South Bend was once a booming manufacturing city. When the steel industry collapsed, most of the city's jobs disappeared and never returned. Since then, the area has been affected by urban deterioration, as well as by a chronic problem of unemployment.
This, in turn, caused crime rates to skyrocket. It's hard to know what made this the most dangerous city in Indiana. Is it the fact that 27.2 percent of people live in poverty here? Is it the fact that there are few social safety nets to help them? Or are it the terrible school systems that apparently condemn young people in the area to a bad life? Whatever it is, it seems that Michigan City has developed a culture of crime in its region. You could argue that the city of Michigan doesn't have such a bad rate of violent crime.
However, one thing is certain. Proportionally speaking, Michigan City has the highest rate of burglaries and property crimes in the state. To make matters even worse, crime is on the rise. Since then, employment opportunities have never fully returned to Gary.
While some efforts have been made to revitalize the city, most people agree that this city will probably never fully recover. Statistics related to Indiana show that this argument may have some validity, at least in the state of Hoosier. Cities such as Indianapolis and Evansville are hit hard by high unemployment, low wages and high crime. It houses educational and cultural institutions, such as Indiana State University and the Swope Museum of Art.
While there are several cities that would embarrass many others in the country, the richest city in Indiana is a small place called St. Unfortunately, it's not just misdemeanors in Evansville, but the city also had the third highest rate of rape cases in Indiana. Indiana may not be one of the ten most dangerous states in the country, the most dangerous places in the state do need some work. For example, Lafayette had the third highest burglary rate in Indiana and the thirteenth highest rate of rape cases.
Hagerstown, a small community of about 1,700 in Wayne County, has the lowest property crime rate in Indiana, with just over two incidents per 1,000 residents. And if you guessed that most of The Hoosier State's crime focuses on the state's largest cities, you guessed it, right?. Indiana is one of those flyover states where most people don't really think about, but they probably should. Compared to Indiana with its neighbors, the Hoosier state's property crime rate is lower than that of Ohio, but higher than that of Illinois, Kentucky and Michigan.
If you end up in one of the state's most dangerous cities, make sure you stay in the nicest neighborhoods. Not only is crime a complex issue, it's also hyperlocal, and property crime rates vary dramatically in Indiana. More importantly, don't get lost wandering around Indiana's most dangerous places; trust us, you might never make it. While in Indiana there is a 1 in 281 chance of being a victim of a violent crime, in Gary, those odds change to a probability of 1 in 185.