Cities Where Crime Is Soaring in Every State

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Source: Roy Luck / Flickr

26. Montana
> Metro area: None
> 5-yr. change in crime rate: +37.7% (state)
> 2016 violent crimes per 100,000: 368 (state)
> 2016 murders: 36 (state)
> 2016 unemployment rate: 4.1% (state)

Montana has no major metropolitan areas with comparable data over the last five years. However, crime across the state as a whole has increased from a 2011 rate of 268 violent crimes per 100,000 people to a 2016 rate of 368 per 100,000. The increase in the crime rate of 37.7% is nearly the largest of any state in the country, and in sharp contrast to the relatively flat U.S. crime rate. In addition to violent crime, property crime also rose in Montana. The number of reported motor vehicle thefts, for example, increased from under 1,500 to over 2,700.

Source: City of La Vista Government / Facebook

27. Nebraska
> Metro area: None
> 5-yr. change in crime rate: +14.9% (state)
> 2016 violent crimes per 100,000: 291 (state)
> 2016 murders: 49 (state)
> 2016 unemployment rate: 3.2% (state)

Neither of the two major metropolitan areas in Nebraska for which sufficient data is available reported an increase in violent crime in the last five years. The violent crime rate in Lincoln declined by 0.6% since 2011, and in the Omaha-Council Bluffs metro area, the incidence of violent crime dropped 8.5% over the same period. These declines, however, were not enough to reduce violent crime across the state as a whole. Over the same period, Nebraska’s violent crime rate climbed by 14.9%.

Despite the increase, Nebraska is safer than the U.S. as a whole. There were 291 violent crimes in the state for every 100,000 people in 2016, well below the comparable U.S. rate of 386 per 100,000.

Source: Andrew Zarivny / Shutterstock.com

28. Nevada
> Metro area: Reno
> 5-yr. change in crime rate: +31.4% (metro area) +20.6% (state)
> 2016 violent crimes per 100,000: 515 (metro area) 678 (state)
> 2016 murders: 14 (metro area) 224 (state)
> 2016 unemployment rate: 5.0% (metro area) 5.7% (state)

The violent crime rate in Reno increased from 392 incidents per 100,000 residents in 2011 to 515 in 2016. For comparison, across Nevada the rate increased from 562 violent crimes per 100,000 residents to 678 over the same period. Still, the Nevada’s 20.6% increase in violent crime from 2011 was much smaller the Reno’s 31.4% increase over the same time.

The Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise area reported the highest violent crime rate of all metropolitan areas in the state in 2016, with 771 incidents per 100,000 people.

Source: Thinkstock

29. New Hampshire
> Metro area: Manchester-Nashua
> 5-yr. change in crime rate: +5.5% (metro area) +5.1% (state)
> 2016 violent crimes per 100,000: 269 (metro area) 198 (state)
> 2016 murders: 5 (metro area) 17 (state)
> 2016 unemployment rate: 2.7% (metro area) 2.8% (state)

The incidence of violent crime in the Manchester-Nashua metro area increased by 5.5% in the last five years, roughly in line with the 5.1% uptick across New Hampshire as a whole.

High crime rates are more common in areas with high poverty and lagging economies. In the Manchester-Nashua metro area, only 8.2% of the population lives below the poverty line and only 2.7% of the labor force are out of a job, each well below the corresponding U.S. poverty and unemployment rates of 14.0% and 4.9%. As might be expected, Manchester-Nashua is safer than the U.S. as a whole. There were only 269 incidents of violent crime for every 100,000 residents in 2016, compared to 386 per 100,000 nationwide.

Source: Thinkstock

30. New Jersey
> Metro area: None
> 5-yr. change in crime rate: -20.6% (state)
> 2016 violent crimes per 100,000: 245 (state)
> 2016 murders: 372 (state)
> 2016 unemployment rate: 5.0% (state)

New Jersey is one of a handful of states in which violent crime rates dropped in every major metro area in the last five years. Of the two metro areas in the state for which sufficient data is available — Ocean City and Trenton — the incidence of violent crime fell by 26.9% and 7.7%, respectively, from 2011 to 2016. The falling crime rates in the state’s major cities contributed to the largest statewide five-year decrease in violent crime. New Jersey’s violent crime rate fell 20.6% from 308 incidents per 100,000 in 2011 to 245 incidents per 100,000 in 2016.