These Are The 5 Most Dangerous Neighborhoods in Illinois

Illinois, the Prairie State, is known for its bustling cities, fertile farmland, and rich history. But along with its charm comes a reality that can’t be ignored: Illinois has its share of crime problems. While Chicago often takes center stage in discussions of crime, violence can also be a concern in specific neighborhoods throughout the state.

This blog post takes a different approach than just listing dangerous cities. We’ll delve deeper, focusing on the five most dangerous neighborhoods in Illinois. Understanding the specific areas where crime is concentrated allows for a more nuanced view of safety concerns in the state.

It’s important to remember that even within dangerous neighborhoods, there are good people and strong communities. This post is not meant to demonize any area, but rather to provide information and raise awareness.

Top 5 Most Dangerous Neighborhoods in Illinois

1. Englewood (Chicago): A Community in Struggle

Englewood on Chicago’s South Side consistently ranks among the most dangerous neighborhoods in Illinois. Poverty, gang violence, and a lack of economic opportunities have plagued the area for decades. According to [sources on crime rates in Chicago neighborhoods], Englewood has a violent crime rate significantly higher than the national average.

However, there’s a strong spirit of resilience in Englewood. Community organizations work tirelessly to provide educational opportunities, job training, and mentorship programs for youth. Residents are working to reclaim their streets and build a brighter future for their neighborhood.

2. Garfield Park (Chicago): A Tale of Two Sides

Garfield Park in Chicago presents a complex picture. While some areas within the neighborhood experience high crime rates, others offer a quieter, more residential atmosphere. This is why relying solely on city rankings can be misleading.

The boundaries of Garfield Park are vast, and understanding the specific blocks where crime is concentrated is crucial. Again, consulting resources on neighborhood-specific crime rates in Chicago is vital for anyone considering living in or around Garfield Park.

3. East St. Louis: A City Grappling with Poverty and Crime

Across the Mississippi River from St. Louis, Missouri, lies East St. Louis, Illinois. This city has grappled with economic decline and high crime rates for years. Similar to Englewood, East St. Louis struggles with poverty, gang activity, and a lack of resources.

Despite the challenges, there are signs of hope. The East St. Louis Center for Higher Learning is working to improve educational opportunities for residents, and there are efforts to revitalize the city’s downtown area.

4. Harvey: A Chicago Suburb Facing Challenges

Harvey, a south suburb of Chicago, may surprise some on this list. However, the city has experienced a rise in violent crime in recent years. While not as extensive as Chicago’s South Side problems, Harvey’s issues highlight the fact that crime can be a concern in suburban areas as well.

Understanding crime statistics for Harvey’s different neighborhoods is essential. Residents should also be aware of their surroundings and take precautions, such as avoiding poorly lit areas at night.

5. Peoria Blighted Areas (Peoria): Pockets of Violence

Peoria, Illinois, is known for its beautiful riverfront and historic architecture. However, certain areas within the city suffer from poverty and gang violence. These blighted areas contribute to Peoria’s overall crime rates.

Similar to Harvey, it’s important to differentiate between Peoria as a whole and the specific neighborhoods where crime is concentrated. Resources that provide crime data on a neighborhood level can be helpful for anyone considering living in Peoria.

General Safety Tips in Illinois

While this post has focused on specific neighborhoods, here are some general safety tips to remember throughout Illinois:

  • Be aware of your surroundings: This seems simple, but it’s crucial. Pay attention to the people and places around you, especially at night.
  • Trust your gut: If a situation feels unsafe, it probably is. Leave the area and report it to the police if necessary.
  • Plan your route: If you’re unfamiliar with an area, plan your route ahead of time and stick to well-lit, populated streets.
  • Let someone know where you’re going and when you expect to be back: This is especially important if you’re going to be out at night or in an unfamiliar area.
  • Walk with a buddy: There’s safety in numbers. If you can, avoid walking alone, especially at night.
  • Invest in a personal safety device: Consider carrying a pepper spray or a personal alarm.
  • Be aware of your online presence: Don’t advertise your location or plans on social media, especially if you’re home alone.
  • Keep your valuables secure: Don’t leave your purse, phone, or wallet unattended in public places.
  • Park in well-lit areas: If you’re going out at night, park in a well-lit area with security cameras if possible.
  • Lock your car doors and windows: This seems obvious, but it’s a simple way to deter theft.
  • Report suspicious activity to the police: If you see something suspicious, don’t hesitate to report it to the police.

Community Involvement and Building a Safer Illinois

Crime is a complex issue with no easy solutions. While this post has focused on personal safety tips, it’s important to remember that community involvement is crucial in creating a safer Illinois.

Supporting local organizations that work on crime prevention, advocating for better educational opportunities and job training programs, and getting involved in neighborhood watch programs are all ways to make a difference.

Building stronger communities fosters a sense of ownership and responsibility, making it harder for crime to flourish.

Finding Safe Places to Live in Illinois

Despite the challenges, there are many safe and vibrant neighborhoods throughout Illinois. Here are some tips for finding a safe place to live:

  • Research crime statistics: Many websites and local news outlets provide crime data on a neighborhood level. Utilize these resources to understand the specific safety concerns of different areas.
  • Talk to residents: Talk to people who already live in the area you’re considering. They can provide valuable insights into the neighborhood’s overall feel and safety.
  • Visit the neighborhood during the day and at night: This will give you a sense of the atmosphere and activity level at different times.
  • Trust your gut: If something feels off about a neighborhood, it probably is. There will be other options that provide a better sense of security.

Remember, safety is a shared responsibility. By following these tips and getting involved in your community, you can help make Illinois a safer place for everyone.

Additional Resources

  • (Chicago Crime Data by Neighborhood) – This website provides comprehensive crime data for different neighborhoods in Chicago.
  • Illinois State Police Illinois State Police website: The Illinois State Police website has resources on crime prevention and safety throughout the state.
  • NeighborhoodScout [NeighborhoodScout website]: This website allows you to search for neighborhoods based on various criteria, including crime rates.


This blog post is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional security advice. It’s always best to consult with local law enforcement or security professionals for specific guidance on staying safe in your community.

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MBS Staff
Articles: 7042

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