Special Report

Cities Where Crime Is Plummeting

3. Bend-Redmond, OR
5-year decrease in violent crime rate:
Violent crime per 100,000 (2010): 304.9
Violent crime per 100,000 (2014): 168.3
Total murders (2014): 0

Crime in Bend, Oregon was already at just 75% of the national rate in 2010. By 2014, Bend became one of the 20 safest large metro areas with a violent crime rate less than half the national rate. There were seven murders in the area in 2010 and none in 2014. The aggravated assault count dropped from 390 to just 184. Similarly, the number of property crimes fell by roughly 800 incidents.

2. Ames, IA
5-year decrease in violent crime rate:
Violent crime per 100,000 (2010): 299.5
Violent crime per 100,000 (2014): 131.8
Total murders (2014): 0

Like several other cities with falling violent crime rates, Ames residents are well educated and benefit from a healthy job market. More than 96% of adults had at least a high school diploma in 2014, and 47.9% had at least a bachelor’s degree, both among the highest rates nationwide. Also, just 2.9% of the area’s workforce was unemployed that year, less than half the national rate of 6.2%. Residents were also relatively safe, with a violent crime rate of 131.8 incidents per 100,000 people, down 56% from 2010. While this is one of the lower violent crime rates among large U.S. cities, the incidence of rape was well above the national rate in 2014, at 40.7 per 100,000 residents.

1. Dubuque, IA
5-year decrease in violent crime rate:
Violent crime per 100,000 (2010): 422.8
Violent crime per 100,000 (2014): 177.5
Total murders (2014): 0

No metropolitan area reviewed had a greater drop in violent crime than Dubuque, Iowa. Less than 180 violent crimes were reported per 100,000 residents in 2014, down nearly 60% from 2010 when more than 420 crimes were reported per 100,000 people. Like only a handful of U.S. metro areas, there were no murders in Dubuque in 2014. Other crimes were similarly infrequent. Dubuque had a robbery rate of just 22.8 per 100,000 people, for example, less than one-quarter the national rate of 102.2 per 100,000 Americans in 2014. The job market was also exceptionally strong that year, with an unemployment rate of just 4.3%.

Click here to see the 10 cities where crime is soaring.

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