24/7 Wall Street, a financial news and trends site, has released a list of the nation’s top 10 most dangerous cities compiled from Federal Bureau of Investigation data. Flint, Mich., for the third year in a row, has topped the list.

Data shows that after declining nationally for five consecutive years, violent crimes rose by 1.2 percent in 2012. The increase was even greater in some of America’s largest cities. 

Violent crimes, as defined by the FBI, include murder, non-negligent manslaughter, rape, robbery and aggravated assault. The top ten cities with the highest instances of such crimes, according to the report, are:



10. Cleveland, Ohio

Violent crimes per 100,000 - 1,383.8

Population - 393,781
Murders in 2012 - 84

Poverty rate - 34.3 percent

 

9. Baltimore, Md.


Violent crimes per 100,000 - 1,405.7


Population - 625,474


Murders in 2012 - 219


Poverty rate - 25.1 percent



 

8. New Haven, Conn.


Violent crimes per 100,000 - 1,439.2

Population - 129,934

Murders in 2012 - 17

Poverty rate - 30.1 percent

 

7. Birmingham, Ala.

Violent crimes per 100,000 - 1,517.8

Population - 213,266

Murders in 2012 - 67

Poverty rate - 32 percent

 

6. Stockton, Calif.

Violent crimes per 100,000 - 1,548.0

Population - 299,105

Murders in 2012 - 71

Poverty rate - 25.8 percent

 

5. Memphis, Tenn.

Violent Crimes per 100,000 - 1,750.0

Population - 657,436

Murders in 2012 - 133

Poverty rate - 27.2 percent

 

4. St. Louis, Mo.

Violent crimes per 100,000 - 1,776.5

Population - 318,667

Murders in 2012 - 113

Poverty rate - 27.0 percent

 

3. Oakland, Calif.

Violent crimes per 100,000 - 1,993.1

Population 399,487

Murders in 2012 - 126

Poverty rate - 21 percent

 

2. Detroit, Mich.

Violent crimes per 100,000 - 2,122.6

Population - 707,096

Murders in 2012 - 386

Poverty rate - 40.9 percent

 

1. Flint, Mich.

Violent Crimes per 100,000 - 2,729.5

Population - 101,632

Murders in 2012 - 63

Poverty rate - 40.6 percent

To combat Flint's growing crime problem, Genesee County Sheriff Robert J. Pickell proposed a plan to create a violent crime mobile task force, according to the report. However, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder rejected the $3 million plan, saying the resources could be better used in the ongoing efforts to keep Flint safe.

The Detroit Free Press reports that the economies of most of these cities have been in decline for years, in some cases long before the Great Recession. John Roman, senior fellow at the Urban Institute, explained that, in addition to sluggish economies, the populations of most of these cities has declined in recent years, leaving behind impoverished urban centers. The loss of economic diversity, according to Roman, exacerbates crime in cities like Detroit, Flint, Cleveland, Ohio, and St. Louis, Mo.



All of the cities listed have poverty rates above the national average of 15.9 in 2011, according to the Detroit Free Press. In half of the cities, more than 30 percent of the population lives in poverty. In Detroit and Flint, the rate is more than 40 percent. “It is very clear that poverty in particular is associated with higher crime rates,” said Roman.

However, it is important to note that the relationship between poverty and crime is uncertain. The report does not show if high crime rates make a city poorer, or if poverty causes more crime.

Read the full report here.