ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — The website 24/7 Wall Street has ranked Rockford in 11th place in its list of America’s Most Dangerous Cities citing an violent crime rate higher than that of neighboring Chicago.

The report also says Rockford’s unemployment rate (6.8%) is far above the state and national average of 3.9%. 

Rockford ranked behind Stockton, California (10), Milwaukee, Wisconsin (9); Little Rock, Arkansas (8), Cleveland, Ohio (7), Kansas City, Missouri (6), St. Louis, Missouri (5), Baltimore, Maryland (4), Birmingham, Alabama (3), Memphis, Tennnessee (2), and Detroit, Michigan (1) as the most violent cities in the United States.

The website says its metrics are based on reviewing the FBI’s 2018 Uniform Crime Report of cities with at least 100,000 people.

The total number and the rates of murder, non-negligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault, which are included in the violent crime rate, as well as burglaries, larceny, and motor vehicle theft, which are classified as property crime, also came from the FBI’s report.

Of the three cities in Illinois to rank on this list, Rockford is the most dangerous. While the city of Chicago regularly makes national news for its staggering rates of gun violence, the Windy City’s violent crime rate of 1,006 incidents per 100,000 people is considerably lower than the violent crime rate of 1,386 per 100,000 people in Rockford. As is often the case, Rockford’s violent crime rate is driven largely by cases of aggravated assaults. About three out of every four violent crimes reported in the city are aggravated assaults.

Cities with high crime rates often have struggling economies, and in Rockford, joblessness is a major problem. The city’s annual unemployment rate of 6.8% is well above the unemployment rate nationwide of 3.9%.

Nationally, overall crime statistics suggest 2018 saw the lowest violent crime rate in the United States in more than three decades.

“If you are under the age of 40, you’ve never been safer than you are today,” said John Roman, a senior fellow with NORC at the University of Chicago.


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