Springfield, Illinois, Named America’s 3rd Most Dangerous City

Back in the late nineties I travelled between Chicago and Springfield, Illinois, on official business. Even though I’d attended college only 86 miles away in Champaign, I had never visited the state capital before. While I was very impressed by that area of Springfield where the various government buildings are located, I remember driving past some shady areas of town too. So I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised when I read the following tonight by John Giuffo of Forbes.com about the second most populated city in the state outside the Chicago metropolitan area:

Here are America’s five most dangerous cities, according to government statistics…

#3 Springfield, IL
Population: 206,601

The capital city of Illinois, Springfield ranks third on our list because it had 855 violent crimes per 100,000 residents in 2010. The city also confounds analysts who try to interpret its relatively high crime rate. The unemployment rate was lower than the national average at 7% as of July, so the economy wouldn’t seem to play a major role in crime. And although meth usage saw a small spike in the mid-2000s, a law passed a few years ago making the necessary pharmaceutical ingredients harder to buy seems to have cut down on abuse. There are also poorer neighborhoods – literally on the other side of the railroad tracks – that tend to have higher rates of poverty and the higher rates of crime that accompany that, which contributes to the city’s overall higher rate of crime. Another factor could be Springfield’s relatively young population – 66% of the city is under the age of 44 – and relatively younger populations are historically correlated with higher rates of crime.

(Editor’s note: Italics added for emphasis)

My state’s capital. Not good. Not good at all.

I actually feel sorry for them in that they now have this dubious distinction.

Beating out Springfield? Memphis was number two, and Detroit took the top spot for 2010.


Giuffo, John. “America’s Most Dangerous Cities, 2011.” Forbes. 4 Oct. 2011. (http://realestate.yahoo.com/promo/americas-most-dangerous-cities-2011.html). 4 Oct. 2011.

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Tuesday, October 4th, 2011 Crime, Government, Public Safety

7 Comments to Springfield, Illinois, Named America’s 3rd Most Dangerous City

  1. I know I sometimes refer to us as “C” City (for Crime)….but to be the 3rd most dangerous city is ridiculous.

  2. Marge Krell on October 5th, 2011
  3. Where did this info come from? Why does FBI stats not report the same info? What “government” site reported this? More info, please.

  4. gloria on October 6th, 2011
  5. They’re basing it on population.. anyone who has spent a decent amount of time knows that Springfield is not that dangerous.. you probably run a higher risk of a car accident considering the drivers are crazy. But in theory, if we were the size of chicago it would be worse than chicago’s crime now.

  6. Kace on November 16th, 2011
  7. That is just insane, absolutely insane! I have an uncle that lives in Springfield, IL, and he’s never told me about this stuff. Maybe the public just doesn’t see it?

  8. Dangerous Cities on April 4th, 2012
  9. I’ve lived in Springfield IL for almost ten years now, the only danger I have ever felt was when tornado sirens went off and tore up our Wal-mart. Any city you live in has dangerous area’s, but people need to realize….some of the population are desperate. We do have a lot of neighborhoods I would never walk in,but in general the people are good people. I was more afraid of walking home from school in my home town in New Mexico.

  10. DoubleDofSpringfield on April 14th, 2012
  11. Lmao this has to be one of the most ridiculous articles I’ve ever read. I’ve lived here for 30 years and and have seeing the ups and downs and it’s not even close to the one of the most dangerous city. If so America’s doing pretty good and the rest of the country is like a giant Disneyland then.

  12. Erric on April 15th, 2014
  13. Thanks for the comment Erric. Maybe the presence of all those “dangerous” politicians who’ve effectively run the state of Illinois into the ground had something to do with that ranking?

  14. Editor on April 16th, 2014

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