Special Report

The Most Dangerous City in Every State

Pueblo riverwalk, Colorado
Source: Wikimedia Commons

6. Pueblo, Colorado
> City violent crime rate: 615.7 per 100,000
> State violent crime rate: 321.0 per 100,000 (23rd lowest)
> City poverty rate: 20.1%
> City unemployment rate: 3.5%

Pueblo, with 616 violent crimes for every 100,000 residents, is by far the most dangerous metro area in Colorado. The next most dangerous metro area in the state is Denver, with a reported 362 violent crimes for every 100,000 people.

Crime in the Pueblo metro area is driven in large part by gang-related activity. In 2015, the number of 911 calls reporting drive-by shootings and shots fired in general increased substantially over the previous year. Pueblo police are also struggling with manpower and budget issues. Officers felt unsafe, with insufficient manpower and outdated equipment, in the face of rising gang violence.

Norwich, Connecticut
Source: Wikimedia Commons

7. Norwich-New London, Connecticut
> City violent crime rate: 323.7 per 100,000
> State violent crime rate: 218.5 per 100,000 (6th lowest)
> City poverty rate: 11.4%
> City unemployment rate: 4.8%

Despite its designation as the most dangerous metro area in Connecticut, Norwich-New London is relatively safe compared to the nation as a whole. There were 324 violent crimes in the area in 2015 per 100,000 people compared to a national violent crime rate of 373 incidents per 100,000 people.

While the city of New London had no reported murders in 2014, the streak was broken in early 2015 when a man was gunned down in a basement apartment. That murder was one of six murders reported throughout the broader metro area in 2015, contributing to the highest violent crime rate of the three metro areas with available data in the state.

Source: Thinkstock

8. Dover, Delaware
> City violent crime rate: 471.0 per 100,000
> State violent crime rate: 499.0 per 100,000 (8th highest)
> City poverty rate: 14.6%
> City unemployment rate: 4.8%

Because Dover is the only major metropolitan area in Delaware, it is the most dangerous city by default. Unlike the vast majority of metro areas on this list, Dover is actually slightly safer than the state as a whole. While there were 471 violent crimes per 100,000 people in Dover in 2015, the statewide violent crime rate was 499 per 100,000 the same year. Only 11 of the 63 homicides in the state in 2015 were reported in the Dover metro area.

Tallahassee, Florida
Source: Thinkstock

9. Tallahassee, Florida
> City violent crime rate: 767.1 per 100,000
> State violent crime rate: 461.9 per 100,000 (11th highest)
> City poverty rate: 22.4%
> City unemployment rate: 4.4%

Tallahassee, Florida’s state capital, also appears to be the state’s crime capital. There were 767 violent crimes in Tallahassee for every 100,000 residents in 2015, far more than in any of the state’s 21 other metro areas monitored by the FBI.

Tallahassee is the county seat of Leon County, which had the highest overall crime rate in Florida for the second year in a row in 2015. In response to the relative prevalence of violence, the Tallahassee Police Department adopted a preventative approach, expanding a visible police presence in high crime areas.

Albany, Georgia
Source: Wikimedia Commons

10. Albany, Georgia
> City violent crime rate: 667.9 per 100,000
> State violent crime rate: 378.3 per 100,000 (24th highest)
> City poverty rate: 24.6%
> City unemployment rate: 6.0%

Crime is more likely to be a problem in parts of the country with limited economic opportunities. The area’s unemployment rate is the highest in the state, and one of the highest among all U.S. metro areas. The poor employment opportunities like contribute to a larger share of residents living with inadequate income. About one in four metro area residents live in poverty, well above the 17% statewide poverty rate. Serious financial hardship may be fueling crime in the area. Driven primarily by incidents of aggravated assault, Albany has the highest violent crime rate in Georgia.

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