Oakland County stands as one of Michigan’s most populous and prosperous counties, boasting a population exceeding 1.2 million and a median household income of $76,000.
Nevertheless, the county’s safety and prosperity are not uniformly distributed. Certain neighborhoods experience elevated levels of crime and poverty, jeopardizing the well-being and overall quality of life for residents.
This article aims to pinpoint the five most hazardous neighborhoods in Oakland County, drawing on the latest crime statistics and maps from various sources.
The 5 Most Dangerous Neighborhoods in Oakland County
|Violent Crime Rate
|Property Crime Rate
|Royal Oak Township
The five most hazardous neighborhoods are listed below, based on the CrimeGrade.org crime map that displays the number of crimes committed in Oakland County per 1,000 residents:
Pontiac serves as the county seat and the most populous city in Oakland County, boasting a resident population exceeding 59,000. However, it also grapples with the distinction of being the most crime-prone area, featuring a violent crime rate of 17.6 and a property crime rate of 50.7 per 1,000 residents.
The city has a historical backdrop marked by economic downturn, racial tensions, and urban decay, factors that significantly contribute to its elevated crime rates. Since 2009, Pontiac has been subject to state financial oversight, struggling to provide sufficient public services and maintain essential infrastructure.
Southfield, located as a suburb of Detroit, boasts a population exceeding 72,000. The city exhibits a violent crime rate of 8.9 and a property crime rate of 38.9 per 1,000 residents.
While it houses numerous businesses and office buildings, Southfield also accommodates a significant population of low-income and minority residents, grappling with various social and economic challenges.
The city has grappled with the repercussions of the automotive industry’s decline, the foreclosure crisis, and the opioid epidemic. These factors have heightened the need for increased public safety measures and social services in the community.
Royal Oak Township
Royal Oak Township, a small enclave with approximately 2,400 residents, is enclosed by the cities of Royal Oak and Ferndale. It exhibits a violent crime rate of 14.6 and a property crime rate of 31.3 per 1,000 residents.
Being among the most economically challenged communities in Oakland County, Royal Oak Township has a median household income of $24,000 and a poverty rate of 40%. The township has grappled with fiscal and governance issues, leading to state oversight since 2014.
Oak Park, located near Detroit, has a population exceeding 29,000. It registers a violent crime rate of 6.8 and a property crime rate of 32.6 per 1,000 residents.
Distinguished by its diversity and high population density, Oak Park is home to sizable Jewish and African American communities. While the city has faced challenges such as urban blight and disinvestment, recent years have witnessed revitalization initiatives taking place.
Madison Heights, located as a suburb of Detroit, has a population exceeding 29,000. It experiences a violent crime rate of 5.8 and a property crime rate of 33.4 per 1,000 residents. As a working-class city, Madison Heights features a blend of industrial and residential areas.
The city has grappled with environmental and health concerns, including groundwater contamination from a hazardous waste site and an outbreak of hepatitis A affecting its residents.
Oakland County is a region marked by diversity and prosperity; however, certain neighborhoods, including Pontiac, Southfield, Royal Oak Township, Oak Park, and Madison Heights, grapple with elevated crime rates.
These levels are influenced by factors like socioeconomic status, demographic composition, the physical environment, and social capital.
The repercussions of high crime levels extend to the residents and the county at large, impacting physical and mental health, economic development, and social cohesion.
To address and prevent these elevated crime levels, it is crucial to implement diverse strategies. These may include crime prevention through environmental design, community policing, social programs, and restorative justice.