A vacant lot that was once home to a beauty supply store one year after the shooting of Michael Brown on Aug. 12, 2015 in Ferguson. Getty Images

Climate change, immigration, economy: all of these hot button issues have been topics during the presidential campaign, but perhaps no other issue stirs up more anger than talk of inner cities. During the third and final presidential debate last week, Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump continued to paint some communities as more dangerous than others.

“Our inner-cities are a disaster. You get shot walking to the store,” he said, a frequent talking point for the New York businessman.

So what are the most dangerous cities in the U.S.? The Mexico Citizens Council for Public Security published in January a ranking of 50 of the world’s most dangerous cities based on homicides per capita. Here's what it tells us about violence at home:

St. Louis

The most violent city in the United States isn’t Chicago but rather St. Louis, which came in at 15th in the world rankings with 59.23 homicides per 100,000 residents. Violence can be directly linked to 2014 riots after a grand jury returned no indictment in the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson.


Coming in second is Baltimore, a city that has long struggled with violence. In April, Baltimore police imposed a city-wide curfew that drew thousands of residents into the streets in protest.


Vandals and thieves (aka house strippers) have taken almost every brick from this abandoned house, June 6, 2016. Getty Images

When it comes to cities of more than 100,000 residents, Detroit accounts for the second highest violent crime rate, just behind St. Louis, according to the global report. Detroit saw 11,846 reported violent crimes last year, down from 13,616 in 2014.

New Orleans

Despite being rich in culture and music, New Orleans once held the dubious title of “Murder City.” In July alone, the city had 50 shooting incidents and more than 25 murders.

Central and South America had the most violent cities in the world, with Brazil topping the list with 21.