Special Report

Cities Where Crime Is Soaring in Every State

Source: kenlund / Flickr

6. Colorado: Pueblo
> 5-yr. Change in crime rate: +42.2% (metro area) +19.2% (state)
> 2017 violent crimes per 100,000 people: 726 (metro area) 368 (state)
> 2017 murders: 11 (metro area) 221 (state)
> 2017 unemployment: 4.3% (metro area) 2.8% (state)

Violent crime spiked by 42.2% in Pueblo, Colorado, between 2012 and 2017. There were 511 violent crimes for every 100,000 Pueblo residents in 2012, compared to the state’s violent crime rate of 309 per 100,000. As of 2017, Pueblo had a violent crime rate of 726 incidents per 100,000 people, compared to 368 per 100,000 across Colorado as a whole.

Violence tends to be more common in poorer areas — and a disproportionately large share of Pueblo residents are facing serious financial hardship. Pueblo’s poverty rate of 18.1% is the highest of any metro area considered in the state. Pueblo is one of 50 cities nationwide to rank among the most dangerous cities in every state.

Source: enfi / Getty Images

7. Connecticut: None
> 5-yr. Change in crime rate: -19.4% (state)
> 2017 violent crimes per 100,000 people: 228 (state)
> 2017 murders: 102 (state)
> 2017 unemployment: 4.7% (state)

Connecticut is far safer now than it was five years ago. There were just 228 violent crimes for every 100,000 people in the state in 2017, a 19.4% decrease from 283 violent crimes per 100,000 in 2012. Even in the state’s metro areas — most of which are more dangerous than the state as a whole — crime is down. The violent crime fell over the last five years by 13.5% in Hartford, 17.8% in Bridgeport, 25.7% in New Haven, and a staggering 44.7% in Norwich. Crime is often concentrated in poorer areas, and the share of people living in poverty either declined or remained flat in each of the four Connecticut metro areas reviewed over roughly the same period.

Even New Haven, Connecticut’s most dangerous metro area, has a lower violent crime rate than the U.S. as a whole. There were 307 violent crimes for every 100,000 people in New Haven in 2017 compared to 383 per 100,000 nationwide.

Source: ymn / Getty Images

8. Delaware: None
> 5-yr. Change in crime rate: -17.2% (state)
> 2017 violent crimes per 100,000 people: 453 (state)
> 2017 murders: 54 (state)
> 2017 unemployment: 4.6% (state)

Dover is the only metro area in Delaware, and over the last five years, the violent crime rate in Dover fell by 20.9%. Though the incidence rate of rapes and murders climbed in Dover, those were more than offset by declining robbery and aggravated assault rates. The decline in violent crime in Dover helped reduce the violent crime rate across the state, as Delaware’s violent crime rate improved by 17.2% over the same period.

Despite the decrease, Dover remains more dangerous that the U.S. as a whole. There were 428 violent crimes for every 100,000 metro area residents in 2017, well above the 383 per 100,000 U.S. violent crime rate.

Source: Ebyabe / Wikimedia Commons

9. Florida: The Villages
> 5-yr. Change in crime rate: +35.7% (metro area) -16.2% (state)
> 2017 violent crimes per 100,000 people: 234 (metro area) 408 (state)
> 2017 murders: 6 (metro area) 1,057 (state)
> 2017 unemployment: 6.0% (metro area) 4.2% (state)

The Villages is one 50 cities to rank among the fastest growing cities in each state. It also has the fastest growing violent crime rate in Florida. In the last five years, The Villages’ population climbed by 31.3%. Over the same period, the metro area’s violent crime rate shot up by 35.7%. The increase was driven by a surge in aggravated assaults. Still, The Villages is relatively safe. The were 234 violent crimes for every 100,000 metro area residents in 2017, below the state rate of 408 per 100,000 and U.S. rate of 383 per 100,000.

Of the 22 metro areas in Florida with comparable data, The Villages was one of only four to report an increase in violent crime. Across Florida, the incidence of violent crime fell by 16.2% between 2012 and 2017.

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

10. Georgia: Gainesville
> 5-yr. Change in crime rate: +26.7% (metro area) -5.7% (state)
> 2017 violent crimes per 100,000 people: 221 (metro area) 357 (state)
> 2017 murders: 5 (metro area) 703 (state)
> 2017 unemployment: 3.9% (metro area) 4.7% (state)

Of the 12 metro areas in Georgia with comparable data, Gainesville reported the largest increase in violent crime over the last five years. Driven by surges in the rates of rape and aggravated assault, the violent crime rate in Gainesville climbed by 26.7% between 2012 and 2017. The increase was a departure from the statewide trend. Over the same period, Georgia’s violent crime rate fell by 5.7%.

Despite the increase, Gainesville remains a relatively safe city. The 221 violent crimes per 100,000 metro area residents remains well below the 357 per 100,000 state violent crime rate and the 383 per 100,000 national rate.