Special Report

The Most Dangerous City in Every State

Source: Thinkstock

41. Rapid City, South Dakota
> City violent crime rate: 719 per 100,000
> State violent crime rate: 418 per 100,000 (19th highest)
> City poverty rate: 16.4%
> City unemployment rate: 3.4%

Rapid City has the highest violent crime rate in the South Dakota, at 719 incidents for every 100,000 residents. However, the city had just two reported homicides and nonnegligent manslaughters in 2016. Even adjusting for the population, the city’s homicide rate is less than half the national figure. Homicide might be one of the most heavily covered aspect of violent crime, but it only accounts for a very small portion all violent crimes. Including rape, aggravated assault, and robbery, Rapid City’s violent crime rate comes to 719 incidents per 100,000, which is roughly double the national rate.

Source: Thinkstock

42. Memphis, Tennessee
> City violent crime rate: 1,820 per 100,000
> State violent crime rate: 633 per 100,000 (4th highest)
> City poverty rate: 27.6%
> City unemployment rate: 4.8%

Memphis is one of the most violent cities not just in Tennessee, but also in the country. The city’s violent crime rate of 1,820 incidents per 100,000 in 2016 was easily the worst in the state — and the ninth worst in the nation. Among cities with populations greater than 500,000, only Detroit has a higher violent crime rate. Memphis also has the ninth highest property crime rate, at 6,635 incidents per 100,000 residents.

Source: Rex_Wholster / Thinkstock

43. Beaumont, Texas
> City violent crime rate: 1,113 per 100,000
> State violent crime rate: 434 per 100,000 (17th highest)
> City poverty rate: 20.8%
> City unemployment rate: 6.4%

In 2016 Beaumont, Texas, had 14 murders, more than double the total count for some other Lone Star cities more than twice its size. The city is located near the Gulf Coast as well as Texas’ border with Louisiana, which had the fifth-highest rate of violent crime among all states in 2016. Texas itself had the 17th highest violent crime rate that year.

Source: Thinkstock

44. Salt Lake City, Utah
> City violent crime rate: 936 per 100,000
> State violent crime rate: 243 per 100,000 (10th lowest)
> City poverty rate: 19.1%
> City unemployment rate: 3.1%

Utah is one of the least violent states in the country, with just 243 reported incidents per 100,000 residents, compared to the national rate of 386 incidents per 100,000 people. However, the state’s most populous city, Salt Lake City, has a violent crime rate close to four times the state rate. The city’s rate of rape, at 136 reported incidents per 100,000 people, is the 23rd worst in the country.

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

45. Essex, Vermont
> City violent crime rate: 38 per 100,000
> State violent crime rate: 158 per 100,000 (2nd lowest)
> City poverty rate: N/A
> City unemployment rate: N/A

Essex is the only place with a population of 20,000 or more in the state of Vermont with available crime data. While Essex has the highest violent crime rate in Vermont, it is by no means a violent place. In fact, the city had just eight reported violent crimes in 2016, for a rate of 38 incidents per 100,000 people.

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