Special Report

Cities Where Crime Is Soaring in Every State

Source: Eleaf / Wikimedia Commons

6. Colorado
> Metro area: Grand Junction
> 5-yr. change in crime rate: +15.7% (metro area) +7.0% (state)
> 2016 violent crimes per 100,000: 349 (metro area) 343 (state)
> 2016 murders: 9 (metro area) 204 (state)
> 2016 unemployment rate: 5.4% (metro area) 3.3% (state)

The increase in violent crime in Grand Junction, Colorado from 2011 to 2016 is more than double the comparable statewide increase. However, despite the different rates of change, the actual violent crime rates in 2016 were not that different. There were 349 violent crimes in the Grand Junction metro area per 100,000 residents compared to 343 per 100,000 across Colorado. Grand Junction’s violent crime rate is also lower than that of both the Colorado Springs and Denver-Aurora-Lakewood metro areas. However, this could change if the Grand Junction’s upward trajectory continues.

Source: Thinkstock

7. Connecticut
> Metro area: None
> 5-yr. change in crime rate: -16.8% (state)
> 2016 violent crimes per 100,000: 227 (state)
> 2016 murders: 78 (state)
> 2016 unemployment rate: 5.1% (state)

In most states, at least one metro area reported an increase in violent crime in the last five years. In Connecticut, however, none did. In both of the state’s metro areas for which sufficient crime data is available — Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk and Norwich-New London — the violent crime rate declined by 21.7% and 26.5%, respectively. Statewide, the crime rate fell by 16.8% from 273 incidents per 100,000 residents to 227 over that time. New Jersey is the only state in the country to report a steeper decline than Connecticut in violent crime between 2011 and 2016.

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8. Delaware
> Metro area: None
> 5-yr. change in crime rate: -9.1% (state)
> 2016 violent crimes per 100,000: 509 (state)
> 2016 murders: 56 (state)
> 2016 unemployment rate: 4.4% (state)

Delaware is one of a few states where crime rates in major metro areas are lower than they were a half decade ago. In Dover, the only metro area in the state for which the FBI tracks crime statistics, the violent crime rate is down 23.9% from 2011, a year when there were 622 violent crimes for every 100,000 residents. The falling violent crime rate in Dover contributed to a 9.1% decline in the violent crime rate statewide.

Despite the improvement, both Dover and Delaware remain more dangerous than the United States as a whole. There were 509 violent crimes in Delaware for every 100,000 residents and 474 in Dover in 2016, each well above the U.S. violent crime rate of 386 per 100,000.

Source: Thinkstock

9. Florida
> Metro area: Cape Coral-Fort Myers
> 5-yr. change in crime rate: +0.7% (metro area) -16.5% (state)
> 2016 violent crimes per 100,000: 355 (metro area) 430 (state)
> 2016 murders: 41 (metro area) 1,111 (state)
> 2016 unemployment rate: 4.6% (metro area) 4.9% (state)

Of the 16 metro areas in Florida for which sufficient data is available, the Cape Coral-Fort Myers metro area was the only one to report a five year increase in violent crime. Climbing from 353 incidents per 100,000 people to 355 incidents, the uptick in violent crime was negligible. Across Florida as a whole, the violent crime rate decreased by 16.5% from 2011 to 2016. Despite the decrease, Florida is slightly more dangerous than the U.S. as a whole. There were 430 violent crimes for every 100,000 state residents in 2016 compared to just 386 nationwide.

Source: Schnitzel_bank / Flickr

10. Georgia
> Metro area: Dalton
> 5-yr. change in crime rate: +208.1% (metro area) +6.5% (state)
> 2016 violent crimes per 100,000: 689 (metro area) 398 (state)
> 2016 murders: 0 (metro area) 681 (state)
> 2016 unemployment rate: 6.2% (metro area) 5.4% (state)

The incidence of violent crime increased in Dalton, Georgia from 224 reported cases per 100,000 people — which at the time was below the state figure — to 689 incidents per 100,000 in 2016, which is well above the state figure of 398 incidents per 100,000. The over 200% spike represents not only the largest increase in violent crime in the state over that period, but also the largest of any metropolitan area in the United States. While Dalton’s sudden jump in crime is somewhat inexplicable, its high violent crime rate maybe be partly the result of poor social and economic conditions, including low educational attainment, higher poverty, and above average unemployment.