Top Ten Most Dangerous Neighborhoods in Chicago

Top Ten Most Dangerous Neighborhoods in Chicago

Crime areas in Chicago, Illinois

In calculating crime rates, the rate of violent crimes is the major index used to measure how safe a city is. Violent crime consists of forcible rape, murder, robbery, and non -negligent manslaughter. Property crime includes theft, burglary, and forgery.

Is Chicago dangerous?


Unfortunately, Chicago has a reputation for being dangerous and having numerous crime-ridden areas according to national statistics. Despite this, Chicago is certainly not among the top three most dangerous cities in America. Just like other cities, Chicago has its good parts and bad parts. Before visiting any neighborhood in Chicago, you must do proper research to avoid becoming a victim of any crime.

The ten most dangerous neighborhoods in Chicago, Illinois 

No city is devoid of crime however, some areas have a higher occurrence of crime than others. The crime rate in Chicago is calculated per 100,000 people. 

Here is a list of the top ten most dangerous areas in Chicago according to government statistics:

1. West Garfield park 

Population: 17,277

Violent crimes per 100,000 people – 3,596

This neighborhood is outside of south Chicago. There is a 1 in 20 chance of being a victim of a violent crime if you live in this city for one year. Most of the people in west Garfield live below the poverty line and the rate of violent crime is higher than many other areas in Chicago. This neighborhood has 257% more crime than Chicago and 409% higher than the average crime rate in the country. Some of the safest areas around west Garfield park are Indian head park, Schaumburg, mount greenwood, Arlington heights, and Homestown.

2. Washington park 


Population: 11,871

Violent crimes per 100,000 people – 3,290

Washington Park was ranked in the 3rd worst neighborhood in Chicago last year, this year; it's in the 6th position. Washington Park is located on the south side of Chicago. The neighborhood spams the before 372b acre park to Cottage Grove avenue to the Dan Ryan Expressway and 63rd street. The DuSable Museum of African American history is located there. The neighborhood has seen its fair share of racial turbulence.

3. East Garfield park

Population: 20,100

Violent crimes per 100,000 people – 3,078

The crime rate in East Garfield Park is 295% higher than the average crime rate in the country and you have a 1 in 10 chance of becoming a victim of a violent crime. However, the crime rate has decreased by 3% since last year. East Garfield is also 4% safer than many other cities in Illinois. Despite this, it is not a place you can call safe. Tourists who wish to visit Chicago have to be extra cautious if they wish to pass through this neighborhood. Being street smart is a must for anyone who passes through East Garfield Park especially for the first time.

4. Englewood

Population: 25,858

Violent crimes per 100,000 people – 3,026

Englewood has been ranked as the fourth-worst neighborhood in Chicago. The average income per year is $20,000 and according to government statistics, a family of our needs a minimum of $25,000 to survive and remain above the poverty line. This neighborhood is located at the south end of Chicago. It is 264% higher than the national crime rate. There's is also a 1 in 11 chance of encountering a violent crime. It is safe to walk alone in the daytime but walking alone at right is extremely dangerous.

5. North Lawndale

Population: 35,417

Violent crimes per 100,000 people – 3,003

North Lawndale is having a crime rate that is 311% higher than the average crime rate in America with violent crimes being 689% higher than the national average. North Lawndale, simply known as Lawndale is located in cook county and it is not safe at all especially for pedestrians walking at night.

6. Grand crossing 


Population: 32,217

Violent crimes per people – 2,858

Grand Crossing is also located in south Chicago in Cook County. For people who are wondering if Grand Crossing is safe, the answer is not exactly. There are police in the area, but recent surveys have shown that the response is low. It is all right to walk alone in the day, but you have to take extra care at night. There is a high crime rate in the neighborhood but if you avoid walking about int the night and always observe your surroundings, you'll be fine.

7. West Englewood

Population: 30662

Violent crimes per 100,000 people – 2,773

West Englewood was ranked as the worst neighborhood in Chicago last year. Just three months ago, a teenage boy was shot and killed on a Sunday in the south side of West Englewood. In a poll conducted in 2019, 85% of people said that west Englewood was an awful place to live while 81% said that it was very dangerous to walk alone at night. If you plan to visit west Englewood or move to this area, you may need to rethink your decision. There is a 1 in 15 chance of being a victim of property crime and a 1 in 37 chance of being a victim of violent crime. West Englewood is also famous for its many abandoned buildings. These buildings are hot spots and you must stay away from this area especially at night.

8. Riverdale

Population: 7,361

Violent crimes per people – 2,614

Riverdale has the lowest population of people in Chicago, but it has an extremely high crime rate. All the residents live below the poverty line as the average income earner receives $14,000 per annum. Riverdale and West Englewood are always at the top of the rankings for the worst neighborhood in Chicago. Riverdale also has one of the highest crime rates in the United States. There are safe neighborhoods in Riverdale but overall, this small suburb is not safe. Whatever you do, it is best to avoid the streets at night.

9. South shore

Population: 47,197

Violent crimes per 100,000 people – 2,454

The crime rate in South Shore is 194% higher than the national average. South shore is 13% safer than other cities in Illinois. South Shore is safer than other neighborhoods listed above as a poll conducted in 2019 stated that 47% of people reported that crime was widespread in the area and 60% said that they were terrified to walk alone at night. Based on this, South Shore is fairly safe with a quick response police system. Nevertheless, it is always advisable to be observant of your surroundings, especially at night.

10. Chatham

Population: 30,760

Violent crimes per 100,000 people – 2,098

The crime rate in Chatham is 83% lower than the nationwide average. The neighborhood is 94% safer than other neighborhoods in Illinois. However, the crime rate has decreased by 14% consecutively in the past few years. A poll taken in the area last year reported that 67% of people said that there was a minimal crime in the area and that the city was safe. However, 50% of the people said that it was perfectly safe to walk alone at night while the remaining 50% said that it was extremely dangerous to walk alone at night.

Other places to avoid in Chicago, Illinois


Apart from the areas listed above which are the worst neighborhoods in Chicago according to statistics, there are other areas you should avoid as much as possible. These are:

  • Burnside
  • South Deering
  • Pullman
  • South Chicago
  • Fuller park
  • Auburn Gresham
  • Gage park
  • Chicago lawn

While these areas are not among the list, they are certainly on the radar for being some of the most dangerous areas in Chicago, Illinois.

The Safest Places In Chicago Illinois


Now that you have seen the worst parts of Chicago, you may be filled with dread especially if you are planning to move to or visit the city. That shouldn’t be a cause for panic as you have nothing to worry about as long as you avoid the areas mentioned above or take safety precautions when you are in any of the neighborhoods. Here are some of the safest places in Chicago:

  • The loop
  • Gold Coast
  • Lincoln park
  • Streeterville
  • Wicker park
  • West loop

These areas are not just safe; they are also excellent for families as well. If you are looking for family-friendly areas in Chicago, you can make your pick from any of these neighborhoods.

How to stay safe In Chicago 


The crime rate in Chicago is significantly high and if you choose to visit the city you have to take extra care at all times. Some specific parts of Chicago are very dangerous just like the ones mentioned above however, if you take precautions, you have nothing to worry about.

As much as you can, avoid the south side of the city. This area is known for gang activity and contains most of the worst neighborhoods in Chicago. If you are new to Chicago, make sure you avoid walking around alone especially at night. Stay close to well-lit paths and avoid dark areas. As long as you practice common sense, you will be safe.


Chicago is just like every other city in the country. It is a great place to live and is full of opportunities. The fact that there are several bad areas shouldn't deter you from visiting or moving if you had plans to do so.  All you have to do is be wise, avoid the dangerous areas and you will love Chicago.