Most Gang Infested Cities in America: Gang violence in the United States is at an all time high. Every time an incident occurs that sparks the debate about gun laws, statistics come out surrounding gang related death totals that consistently blow my mind. Moreover, gang rates have climbed to an all time high and there are currently an estimated 1.7 million gang members spread throughout the country.
So, what are the factors that cause gang violence outbreaks in certain places? Like many things, it comes down to the money, first and foremost. Thus, there needs to be a city nearby that provides a means of making this money. Next, big changes in the economy, or simply a bad economy over time in a heavily populated city can usher in gang activity, as groups may sense an opportunity to seize new turf.
Yet, these are still the obvious answers, whereas gang violence and its presence is a very complicated and institutionally based outcome of an outdated system. In many of these cities, the areas with the highest crime rates have been essentially segregated from the rest of the area through school districts, bus routes, and even hospital availability. Police officers then target these areas that have already been sectioned off, and police them with force unseen in the rest of the community, causing further divide and in some cases causing community members to want to join a gang as a means of rising up against oppression.
This is obviously not the case for all of the places on this list, as in most major cities this type of institutional failure would (hopefully, maybe) be reported to the point where change would have to occur as a result of social pressure. Yet, as people’s rights continue to be infringed upon and as weapons are as available for purchase as they’ve ever been, gang membership has continued to rise of late.
Finally, not all violence in a city is gang related, and to see how other cities stack up, take a look at our list ranking the 12 most dangerous cities in America. Now, let’s take a look across the country at the most gang infested cities in America.
5. New Orleans, Louisiana
This city has always had a problem with gangs, as its location has long made it a transit stop for criminal activity. However, since Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans’ gang activity has risen tenfold. This is in large part due to the lack of funding that the police department has gotten in recent years, as well as the ravaged economy that Katrina left the city in. There are large parts of New Orleans that police don’t even regularly patrol because it’s too dangerous even for them, making this city one of the most gang infested cities in America.