When you think about the most dangerous parts of the United States, what usually comes to mind? If you immediately imagine muggers in darkened New York alleyways, you might be surprised to know what the Big Apple is actually not one of the 20 most dangerous cities in the US. (Although, if you're dumb enough to climb into the lion exhibit at the Bronx Zoo like this woman did, you should probably just avoid New York altogether.)

There are all sorts of ways to measure crime in cities, but when cities are thought of as "dangerous," it's generally because of the amount of violent crime that the city is home to.

The metric commonly used to determine which U.S. cities are truly the most dangerous in the nation is the rate of violent crime per 100,000 people in the past year.

Using that breakdown, we've listed the 20 most dangerous cities in the United States.

Some will surprise you. Others...won't.

20. Minneapolis, Minnesota

via: Getty Images

1,101 violent crimes per 100,000 people Poverty rate: 21.3% Unemployment rate: 3.1%

19. New Orleans, Louisiana

via: Getty Images

1,121 violent crimes per 100,000 people Poverty rate: 26.2% Unemployment rate: 5.1%

18. Lansing, Michigan

via: Getty Images

1,136 violent crimes per 100,000 people Poverty rate: 29.5% Unemployment rate: 6.3%

17. Nashville Metropolitan Area, Tennessee

via: Getty Images

1,138 violent crimes per 100,000 people Poverty rate: 18.0% Unemployment rate: N/A

16. Anchorage, Alaska

via: Getty Images

1,203 violent crimes per 100,000 people Poverty rate: 8.1% Unemployment rate: 6.0%

15. San Bernardino, California

via: Getty Images

1,291 violent crimes per 100,000 people Poverty rate: 32.3% Unemployment rate: 6.3%

14. Oakland, California

via: Getty Images

1,299 violent crimes per 100,000 people Poverty rate: 20.0% Unemployment rate: 4.2%

13. Indianapolis, Indiana

via: Getty Images

1,334 violent crimes per 100,000 people Poverty rate: 20.9% Unemployment rate: 3.6%

12. Springfield, Missouri

via: Getty Images

1,369 violent crimes per 100,000 people Poverty rate: 18.9% Unemployment rate: 5.5%

11. Albuquerque, New Mexico

via: Getty Images

1,369 violent crimes per 100,000 people Poverty rate: 18.9% Unemployment rate: 5.5%

10. Stockton, California

via: Getty Images

1,415 violent crimes per 100,000 people Poverty rate: 23.7% Unemployment rate: 8.0%

9. Cleveland, Ohio

via: Getty Images

1,557 violent crimes per 100,000 people Poverty rate: 36.0% Unemployment rate: 7.4%

8. Rockford, Illinois

via: Getty Images

1,588 violent crimes per 100,000 people Poverty rate: 22.7% Unemployment rate: 7.5%

7. Milwaukee, Wisconsin

via: Getty Images

1,597 violent crimes per 100,000 people Poverty rate: 28.4% Unemployment rate: 4.6%

6. Little Rock, Arkansas

via: Getty Images

1,634 violent crimes per 100,000 people Poverty rate: 18.5% Unemployment rate: 3.3%

5. Kansas City, Missouri

via: Getty Images

1,724 violent crimes per 100,000 people Poverty rate: 18.3% Unemployment rate: 4.3%

4. Memphis, Tennessee

via: Getty Images

2,003 violent crimes per 100,000 people Poverty rate: 27.6% Unemployment rate: 4.8%

3. Baltimore, Maryland

via: Getty Images

2,027 violent crimes per 100,000 people Poverty rate: 23.1% Unemployment rate: 6.1%

2. Detroit, Michigan

via: Getty Images

2,057 violent crimes per 100,000 people Poverty rate: 39.4% Unemployment rate: 9.3%

1. St. Louis, Missouri

via: Getty Images

2,082 violent crimes per 100,000 people Poverty rate: 26.7% Unemployment rate: 4.4%