Special Report

The Most Dangerous City in Every State

Source: Thinkstock

26. Helena, Montana
> City violent crime rate: 654 per 100,000
> State violent crime rate: 368 per 100,000 (25th lowest)
> City poverty rate: 16.5%
> City unemployment rate: 3.1%

Reported rape represents a relatively small share of violent crime nationwide. But in some areas its prevalence is a significant addition to the relatively high violent crime rate. In Helena, Montana, the 2016 rate for reported rapes was 167 incidents per 100,000 residents, the ninth highest in the country. On average, the U.S. cities with at least 52 reported rapes in 2017 had populations three times that of Helena.

Source: Raymond Bucko, SJ / Wikimedia Commons

27. Omaha, Nebraska
> City violent crime rate: 567 per 100,000
> State violent crime rate: 291 per 100,000 (17th lowest)
> City poverty rate: 16.3%
> City unemployment rate: 3.2%

In 2016 law enforcement in Omaha, Nebraska, tallied 2,531 incidents of violent crime, the most for any city in the state. Even adjusting for Omaha’s relatively large population, the city’s violent crime rate of 567 incidents per 100,000 residents is the state’s steepest. In comparison, the nation’s 2016 violent crime rate was 386 incidents per 100,000 individuals. Omaha is the only city in Nebraska that’s more dangerous than the U.S. as a whole.

Source: Famartin / Wikimedia Commons

28. North Las Vegas, Nevada
> City violent crime rate: 954 per 100,000
> State violent crime rate: 678 per 100,000 (3rd highest)
> City poverty rate: 15.8%
> City unemployment rate: 5.8%

North Las Vegas is a city covering about 100 square miles at the northern tip of the Las Vegas Valley. The city logged for 2016 a total of 2,276 violent crimes, representing a rate of 954 incidents for every 100,000 residents; that’s higher than in any other city in Nevada. Like in most of the country, aggravated assault in North Las Vegas accounted for the biggest share of violent crime, with robbery being the next largest.

Source: Thinkstock

29. Manchester, New Hampshire
> City violent crime rate: 672 per 100,000
> State violent crime rate: 198 per 100,000 (3rd lowest)
> City poverty rate: 14.6%
> City unemployment rate: 2.8%

Of the 13 cities in New Hampshire whose crime is tracked by the FBI Manchester is the most dangerous. Manchester’s 2016 violent crime rate was 672 incidents for every 100,000 residents, nearly double the rate for nearby Rochester, the Granite State’s second most dangerous city.

Violent crime is about three times as common in Manchester than it is across the state as a whole. Of the 2,637 violent crimes in New Hampshire that occurred in 2016, about 28% occurred in Manchester.

Source: Thinkstock

30. Trenton, New Jersey
> City violent crime rate: 1,347 per 100,000
> State violent crime rate: 245 per 100,000 (12th lowest)
> City poverty rate: 27.6%
> City unemployment rate: 6.9%

A relatively safe state, New Jersey had a 2016 violent crime rate of 245 incidents per 100,000 residents. That’s considerably lower than the comparable U.S. rate of 386 incidents per 100,000 individuals. Not all cities in the state, however, are free of violence, especially Trenton, the capital. For 2016 Trenton police recorded 1,127 violent crimes, which represents a rate of 1,347 cases per 100,000 residents — the highest of any city in the state.

Violent areas often lack economic opportunity, and a high poverty rate can signal a long term lack of such opportunity. In Trenton, 27.6% of the population lives below the poverty line, which stands in sharp contrast to New Jersey’s 10.9% rate.

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