Forbes magazine has crunched the numbers from the FBI Uniform Crime Report to determine which U.S. cities are the most dangerous for women. The methodology “takes into account the per capita rate of “violent crimes including murder and non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault in addition to reported incidences of rape in each [U.S.] metro area.”

The ranking has two flaws that Forbes acknowledges: the FBI statistics only count cases of forcible rape, meaning that date rape and statutory rape are excluded, and the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network estimates that only 54% of sexual assaults are even reported, so this data is just the tip of the iceberg.

1. Saginaw, Michigan

2. Anchorage, Alaska

3. Fairbanks, Alaska

4. Springfield, Illinois

5. Redding, California

6. Flint, Michigan

7. Pine Bluff, Arkansas

8. Lawton, Oklahoma

9. Battle Creek, Michigan

10. Memphis, Tennessee

There are a few surprises here, one of which is the absence of many big city metro areas on the list. Although Detroit has already had a whopping 274 rapes this calendar year, women living in Michigan’s smaller cities are more likely to be crime victims. Forbes also explains that 1 in 3 Native American women will be assualted at some point in their lives, a rate 3.5 times higher than any group’s. This rate correlates with the high crime rate in Alaska, a state whose population is 15% Native American/Alaskan Native.

Whether your city is on this list or not, show me a woman who isn’t concerned about her physical safety — in any city — and I’ll show you a woman with her head in the sand. The sad reality is that violent crime and sexual assault against women happens everywhere, and every city still has a lot of work to do in preventing it.

What do you think of this list? Do any cities that are or are not on the list surprise you?

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  • S.

    This article is a little misleading

    It names ‘America’s Most Dangerous Cities for Women’ but then it goes on to say the numbers are only like that because Native American women (the most often assaulted group of women) are heavily populated in these cities?

    Well then, these aren’t really most dangerous cities for women other than the Native American ones?

    They should have split these stats by race imo

    • Jenn

      The native american population is sited a possible factor in Alaska. Not all of the listings.

  • Dreaming

    I live in the suburbs, but the city closest to me is not on that list.

    It doesn’t matter where one goes. As a woman, our safety is automatically at risk.

    • QON


      judging by FBI statistics some women are more at risk than others.

    • Dreaming

      I am cognizant of that, nonetheless, my original statement still stands.

  • QON

    The reason these areas populated by native ameticans are dangerous to live is because they are isolated and have serious drug and alcohol problems, especially meth. I was watching a Discovery Chanel program on Meth use and in one reservation in Montana I believe some Mexican drug dealers moved in town after having gotten involved romantically with some of the women and within months nearly the whole town was addicted. Is that not a recipe for disaster? There is a high correlation between drug/alcohol abuse and sexual violence. But we arent allowed to warn women of this because we will be accused of victim blaming. Personally Id rather someone tell me about the risks then me becoming a victim. You can tell people all day not to steal my car but Im still going to lock my door.

    • murphmobile

      Fairbanks and Anchorage aren’t isolated though. They also don’t have very high native populations compared to the rest of the state (there are more latinos in Anchorage than natives).

  • Ladybug94

    Wow, shocked to see Lawton, Ok. on this list. Especially since Fort Sill is nearby.

    • Dreaming

      Fort Sill is an Army post, so that would explain why they would be on this list.