Why Is St Louis So Dangerous? (9 Reasons Why)

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Morgan Stephens

Morgan Stephens has been to 43 countries and counting, and he's never content to stay in one place for too long. Right now, he's living in South Korea, but he's always on the lookout for his next adventure.

St. Louis, Missouri, has an unfortunate reputation for being unsafe. In recent years, the city has only become more dangerous, leaving many residents concerned about their safety.

We decided to look into what exactly is the cause behind St. Louis’ rising danger. Our nine reasons may surprise you.

Why Is St Louis So Dangerous?

1. Poverty And Education

One of the major reasons why St. Louis is so dangerous is that it has a poverty problem.

Its high poverty rate has contributed to the lack of education opportunities for many residents in St. Louis, with about half of adults living in this city being considered low-literate — meaning they have lower than a 9th-grade reading level.

With less access to resources and opportunities for education, many residents in this city are unable to break out of their cycle of poverty.

With more people struggling financially, more crimes are committed against property and other people. This makes St. Louis an even more dangerous place to live in America.

2. Police Instability

One of the biggest reasons that St. Louis is considered so dangerous is the instability in its police department.

A major cause of this instability likely has to do with the mayor’s alleged call to defund the police. Allegedly, St. Louis’ police department had millions of dollars removed from its funding.

As a result, crime rates increased all across the city. This move was not well-received by the community, as many people see the price the city is now paying. Now, many view St. Louis as even more dangerous.

3. Drug Trade

The city of St. Louis has a severe drug problem, making it a dangerous place to live.

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According to the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, there were more than 1,800 drug-related crimes in the city in 2017, an increase of nearly 5% from the previous year. And those numbers have only increased in the years since.

The problem is especially prevalent in the city’s north side, where many of the city’s drug dealers operate and thrive.

4. Racial Disparity

According to the most recent data from the FBI, African Americans make up 45% of the city’s population, but they account for more than 2.5% of violent crimes.

The city’s problems get compounded by the fact that its police department is understaffed and struggling to keep up with the rising crime rate.

All of this makes St. Louis a dangerous place to live, and it’s only getting worse, and it will only worsen if something isn’t done to address the city’s drug problem.

5. Poor Infrastructure

Poor Infrastructure

Many of the city’s bridges and roads are in poor condition, which can make it difficult to get around and lead to accidents.

Is anything being done about this issue? The city is working to improve its infrastructure, but it will take time.

If things continue to go well, the city should see a significant improvement in its infrastructure in the next few years.

But if defunding and budget cuts continue, the city’s infrastructure will decline, making residing in St. Louis even more difficult.

6. Instances Of Sexual Violence

There are a number of instances of sexual violence in St. Louis that make this city an unsafe place to live. Sexual violence is just one of many reasons why St. Louis is not safe to live in.

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With increased crime rates, residents have become more cautious when they go out in public or walk alone at night.

In fact, women within the city now say that they feel it’s necessary to take precautions before going out into public or at night time, such as carrying pepper spray or another form of self-defense on their person at all times.

7. Record-Breaking Murders And Shootings

There’s a reason various outlets regularly rank St. Louis as the most unsafe place to live in the United States.

In 2020, St. Louis had the 7th-highest murder rate in the country, and the city also set a new record for the number of shootings in a single year.

These numbers are alarming, and they show that St. Louis is a dangerous place to live. If you’re considering moving to St. Louis, you should be aware of the risks.

8. Air Pollution

St. Louis has some of the worst air pollutions in the country. The city has high levels of lead and other air pollutants, which can cause respiratory problems, especially for children and the elderly.

The city is working to improve its air quality, but it will take time. In the meantime, residents should be aware of the dangers of air pollution and take steps to protect themselves.

For example, they can limit their time outdoors, wear masks when they go outside, and stay indoors on days when the air quality is poor.

You can also petition your local representatives to do something about the air pollution in your city. If enough people speak up, you can make a difference.

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There’s no guarantee that anything will get done, but you can take a stand and try. You never know; you could be the one who makes a real difference in your city for the better.

9. Gang Activity

St. Louis has a problem with gang activity. Several gangs operate in the city, and they often provoke violence. This can make it dangerous to live in certain parts of St. Louis.

If you’re considering moving to the city, carefully research the areas you’re considering. Remember, too, that police protection isn’t what it could be. If you choose to move to St. Louis, you need to prepare for that reality.

To learn more, you can also read our posts on why Anchorage is so dangerous, why Oakland is so dangerous, and why Baltimore is so dangerous.


St. Louis has the unfortunate distinction of being one of the most dangerous cities in the United States. It is vital for those who live there and visit to know what they are getting into and be extra cautious.

There are many ways that residents and visitors alike can stay safe in St. Louis, and it is essential to know what they are to be able to protect oneself.


  • Morgan Stephens

    Morgan Stephens has been to 43 countries and counting, and he's never content to stay in one place for too long. Right now, he's living in South Korea, but he's always on the lookout for his next adventure.

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