31. New Mexico
> Metro area: Farmington
> 5-yr. change in crime rate: +51.6% (metro area) +23.8% (state)
> 2016 violent crimes per 100,000: 947 (metro area) 703 (state)
> 2016 murders: 2 (metro area) 139 (state)
> 2016 unemployment rate: 8.9% (metro area) 6.7% (state)
The violent crime rate in Farmington has increased by 51.6% over the last five years — more than twice as much as the increase of 23.8% across New Mexico over that time. There were increases in all categories of violent crime except for murder, which decreased slightly. The Albuquerque metropolitan area also reported an uptick in violence over this same period — which at 36.1%, was greater than that of the state but still a considerably smaller increase than in Farmington. In addition to recording the largest increase in violent crime in New Mexico, Farmington also has the highest per capita violent crime rate of all metro areas in the state.
32. New York
> Metro area: Binghamton
> 5-yr. change in crime rate: +33.5% (metro area) -5.5% (state)
> 2016 violent crimes per 100,000: 289 (metro area) 376 (state)
> 2016 murders: 6 (metro area) 630 (state)
> 2016 unemployment rate: 5.3% (metro area) 4.8% (state)
Violent crime in the Binghamton metro area has increased by 33.5% over the last five years, even as it decreased by 5.5% across New York as a whole over the same period. In a number of metropolitan areas in New York, including Syracuse, Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls, and Kingston, violent crime decreased over the same period. Meanwhile, Binghamton reported an increased rate in all categories of violent crime — murder, rape, aggravated assault, and robbery.
33. North Carolina
> Metro area: Asheville
> 5-yr. change in crime rate: +10.3% (metro area) +6.4% (state)
> 2016 violent crimes per 100,000: 240 (metro area) 372 (state)
> 2016 murders: 23 (metro area) 678 (state)
> 2016 unemployment rate: 4.1% (metro area) 5.1% (state)
The incidence of violent crime in the Asheville metro area climbed 10.3% in the last five years, far outpacing the 6.4% uptick across North Carolina as a whole. Despite the increase, Asheville remains a relatively safe part of the state. There were 240 violent crimes in the metro area for every 100,000 residents in 2016, far fewer than the 372 incidents per 100,000 people across the state.
Meanwhile, the North Carolina metro areas reporting the largest decreases in violent crime remain relatively dangerous. The Rocky Mount metro area, for example, reported a 10.2% drop in the incidence of violent crime in the last five years. Still, there were 448 violent crimes in the metro area for every 100,000 people in 2016, well above the state and nationwide rates.
34. North Dakota
> Metro area: None
> 5-yr. change in crime rate: +1.7% (state)
> 2016 violent crimes per 100,000: 251 (state)
> 2016 murders: 15 (state)
> 2016 unemployment rate: 3.2% (state)
Due to insufficient data, the five-year change in the violent crime rate in Bismarck, North Dakota — the one metro area in the state for which the FBI tracks crime statistics — is incalculable. As of 2016, there were a reported 294 incidents of violent crime for every 100,000 metro area residents — a lower crime rate than in the majority of U.S. metro areas.
While the violent crime rate remained effectively unchanged nationwide over the last five years, it rose just slightly — by 1.7% — in North Dakota. Still, the state’s 2016 violent crime rate of 251 incidents per 100,000 residents is well below the nationwide rate of 386 incidents per 100,000 people.
> Metro area: Mansfield
> 5-yr. change in crime rate: +31.9% (metro area) -2.3% (state)
> 2016 violent crimes per 100,000: 240 (metro area) 300 (state)
> 2016 murders: 6 (metro area) 654 (state)
> 2016 unemployment rate: 5.5% (metro area) 4.9% (state)
Of the four Ohio metro areas for which sufficient data is available, none reported a greater spike in violence in the last five years than Mansfield. The violent crime rate rose from 182 incidents per 100,000 people in 2011 to 240 per 100,000 in 2016 — a 31.9% spike. The increase was a break from the statewide trend of decreasing violent crime. Over the same period, Ohio’s violent crime rate fell from 307 incidents per 100,000 people to 300 per 100,000, a 2.3% improvement.
As is often the case, a climbing violent crime rate in a given metro area does not necessarily mean the area is especially dangerous. Despite the five-year increase, Mansfield’s violent crime rate of 240 incidents per 100,000 is the lowest of the nine metro areas in Ohio.