10 Most Dangerous Cities in Indiana

Updated On October 10, 2023

Indiana, whose name is derived from Land of the Indians, is a Midwest state that, along with seven other states, make up the Great Lakes Region of the United States.

Its capital, Indianapolis, is also its largest city and home to the NBA’s Pacers and the NFL’s Colts.

The state’s four largest metro areas include Indianapolis, Evansville, Fort Wayne, and South Bend.

Violent crime rates in Indiana happen on average at 3.14 events per 1,000 residents.

The state crime rate per 1,000 residents is below the national average at 16.58/1,000 residents.

The 10 Most Dangerous Cities in Indiana

More than 700 cities and towns are in Hoosier State’s 92 counties.

The following represents some of the more dangerous locations in Indiana.

South Bend, Indiana
South Bend, Indiana

South Bend (St. Joseph County)

Population – 103,353 (2021).

Violent Crime Rate – 14.46 per 1,000 residents.

Property Crime Rate – 32.79 per 1,000 residents.

South Bend is recognized to be the fourth largest city in Hoosier State and is located just south of the state’s northern border with Michigan.

The city was first established in 1865 by fur traders but is now home to some of the more dangerous areas in Indiana.

Violent crime in South Bend is nearly five times the state average.

Property crime in this northern city is more than twice the Indiana average.

East Chicago, Indiana
East Chicago, Indiana

East Chicago (Lake County)

Population – 26,099 (2021).

Violent Crime Rate – 10.88 per 1,000 residents.

Property Crime Rate – 23.10 per 1,000 residents.

East Chicago is the sight of the state’s shipping canal and Indiana Harbor along Lake Michigan, although once much of it was swampland and ineffective farming areas.

Residents in East Chicago experience violent crime rates about 3.5 times the state average.

Property crime in the city happens at a rate three times the state average.

Evansville, Indiana,
Evansville, Indiana,

Evansville (Vanderburgh County)

Population – 116,486 (2021).

Violent Crime Rate – 7.44 per 1,000 residents.

Property Crime Rate – 36.71 per 1,000 residents.

Evansville is Indiana’s third-largest city, located along the southern tier/border of Indiana.

Evansville is the economic hub for the tri-state region of Illinois-Indiana-Kentucky.

Evansville residents face a risk five times the state average in terms of crimes per square mile.

Property and violent crime statistics for Evansville both exceed the national average by two.

Indianapolis, Indiana
Indianapolis, Indiana

Indianapolis (Marion County)

Population – 882,039 (2021).

Violent Crime Rate – 7.32 per 1,000 residents.

Property Crime Rate – 35.20 per 1,000 residents.

Indianapolis is the state’s largest city and has some of the highest rates of crime in the state.

As you move towards the inner parts of the city, the neighborhoods become more dangerous.

Violence happens at a rate more than twice the Indiana average.

Property crime for residents of Indianapolis happens at a rate of more than 35 events per 1,000 people.

The state capital is nearly five times as dangerous as the state average in terms of crime per mile.

Shelbyville, Indiana
Shelbyville, Indiana

Shelbyville (Shelby County)

Population – 20,048 (2021).

Violent Crime Rate – 6.43 per 1,000 residents.

Property Crime Rate – 18.66 per 1,000 residents.

Shelbyville is a small city in central Indiana and named for the state’s fifth governor.

It is considered a part of the greater metro Indianapolis area.

Property crime rates in Shelbyville hover slightly above the state average.

Violent crimes, in terms of assault, robbery, and rape, are more than twice the Indiana average and more than 50% above the national violent crime median.

Kokomo, Indiana,
Kokomo, Indiana,

Kokomo (Howard County)

Population – 59,691 (2021).

Violent Crime Rate – 6.10 per 1,000 residents.

Property Crime Rate – 14.71 per 1,000 residents.

Kokomo is a mid-sized city located in the north-central part of Indiana.

The city is well-known for many firsts, like the first horseless carriage run, the first canned tomato juice, the development of the Kingston-based carburetor, and more.

Violent crime statistics exceed national and state averages, whereas property crime is a bit below the state median.

In terms of crime per square mile, Kokomo residents are three times the state average and twice the national average.

Lafayette, Indiana
Lafayette, Indiana

Lafayette (Tippecanoe County)

Population – 70,835 (2021).

Violent Crime Rate – 5.17 per 1,000 residents.

Property Crime Rate – 27.74 per 1,000 residents.

Lafayette is a middle-sized city situation in the eastern-central part of the Hoosier State.

It is about an hour north/west of Indianapolis and two hours from Chicago.

The city sits on the Wabash River – across from Purdue University.

Property crime in Lafayette is about 60% higher than the state average, while violent crime rates are near twice the Indiana average.

Lafayette’s crime per square mile is higher than Indiana’s and the nation’s as well.

Gary, Indiana
Gary, Indiana

Gary (Lake County)

Population – 68,325 (2021).

Violent Crime Rate – 4.54 per 1,000 residents.

Property Crime Rate – 29.96 per 1,000 residents.

Gary is the hometown of Michael Jackson and the entire Jackson family.

It is a city in the northwestern corner of the state.

Gary has been historically known for its large steel and industrial works due to its location on Lake Michigan and about 20 miles to the south of Chicago.

Both violent and property crime statistics exceed state and national levels.

Many of the downtown neighborhoods in Gary are dangerous, so caution should be used at all times, especially at night or when traveling alone.

Anderson, Indiana
Anderson, Indiana

Anderson (Madison County)

Population – 54,817 (2021).

Violent Crime Rate – 4.03 per 1,000 residents.

Property Crime Rate – 24.79 per 1,000 residents.

Anderson is a city in central Indianapolis and the seat of its county.

The downtown area, which houses the Paramount Theatre, can also have some of the less safe areas of Anderson.

Although Anderson’s current violent and property crime statistics are only slightly above state averages, there is still a 1 in 40 chance of becoming a property crime victim.

Clarksville, Indiana
Clarksville, Indiana

Clarksville (Clark County)

Population – 22,071 (2021).

Violent Crime Rate – 2.45 per 1,000 residents.

Property Crime Rate – 46.12 per 1,000 residents.

Clarksville is a smaller city along the Ohio River and one of the oldest towns in the American Northwest Territory.

Clarksville sits across the river from Louisville and is often a part of that metro area’s statistics.

Property crime in Clarksville is the largest problem because the rate in Clarksville is 2.5 times the state average.

Residents have a 1 in 22 chance of becoming property crime victims in Clarksville.

Safety Tips for Traveling to Indiana 

1. It is important to stay alert in large cities like Indianapolis,

This is especially true in those parts of any run-down urban area.

The easiest way to avoid these dangers is to avoid the neighborhoods unless absolutely necessary.

2. Before you leave, learn about your destination.

The digital age provides many websites that provide up-to-date information about your destination.

Be sure to check the weather along the route and at your final destination.

3. Don’t look like a tourist.

The best way to avoid being scammed or mugged is to avoid looking like a tourist or an easy target.

In other words, avoid flashing cash or other valuables and walk with purpose to look like you know where you are going.

4. Drive Defensively.

This advice is prudent at any time, but especially true when traveling in unfamiliar locations.

City drivers tend to be impatient, so follow all posted signs – including speed limits.

5. Consider purchasing travel insurance before you begin your Indiana trip.

Insurance reimburses the insurance holder should the vacation be impacted by a cancellation, delay, or disastrous event.

The real lesson about travel insurance’s value happens when you travel and need it – but have decided against it before the trip begins.

Indiana Safety Overview

READ THE FULL REPORT: Indiana Safety Review

Safety Index:

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the top two attractions in Indiana?

The Indianapolis Zoo:

The Indianapolis Zoo opened in the mid-1960s and is a family-friendly, engaging attraction home to more than 300 species/subspecies.

Come visit the more than 3,500 animals who call the Indianapolis zoo home.

The Indianapolis Speedway:

Head to the speedway to watch a highly anticipated race or take a test drive to experience it for yourself.

You can get behind a real NTT IndyCar Series car that can go as fast as 180 MPH.

What is the best time of the year to visit Indiana?

The best time to visit Indiana is in the autumn season, which runs from the middle of August through October.

Indiana’s summer is also popular but can be subject to some unpredictable and frequent downpours, which can hamper planned outdoor activities.

What is the highest point in the state?

Hoosier Hill, at 1,257 feet above sea level, is located in Wayne County, mostly among farms.

3 Comments on 10 Most Dangerous Cities in Indiana

  1. K
    Kannon Russell says:

    It’s important to be aware of safety concerns, and lists like these serve as a reminder that challenges exist. These cities need the support and efforts of the community to address safety issues.

  2. E
    Ellie Thornton says:

    While these cities face safety challenges, Indiana has many vibrant and safe communities. These list encourage dialogue about improving conditions and making all areas safer.

  3. C
    Cyrus Bowman says:

    Addressing safety concerns is a collective effort, and it’s encouraging to see local initiatives and organizations working to enhance the well-being of residents in these cities.

Leave a Comment

Facebook Pinterest Comment Comment