Special Report

Cities Where Crime Is Soaring in Every State

Source: Douglas Rissing / Getty Images

26. Montana: Great Falls
> 5-yr. Change in crime rate: +46.0% (metro area) +38.5% (state)
> 2017 violent crimes per 100,000 people: 337 (metro area) 377 (state)
> 2017 murders: 5 (metro area) 41 (state)
> 2017 unemployment: 3.8% (metro area) 4% (state)

Violent crime is on the rise in Montana. The state’s violent crime rate spiked by nearly 39% in the last five years, fueled by climbing rates of violence Missoula, Billings, and Great Falls — the latter of which reported the largest increase. Driven largely by an increase in aggravated assaults, the violent crime rate surged by 46% in Great Falls between 2012 and 2017.

Despite the increase, both Great Falls and Montana remain safer than the U.S. as a whole. The violent crime rates of 337 per 100,000 in Great Falls and 377 per 100,000 across Montana compare favorably to the violent crime rate of 383 per 100,000 nationwide.

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27. Nebraska: None
> 5-yr. Change in crime rate: +17.9% (state)
> 2017 violent crimes per 100,000 people: 306 (state)
> 2017 murders: 43 (state)
> 2017 unemployment: 2.9% (state)

Omaha is the only metro area in Nebraska with comparable five year violent crime data. Between 2012 and 2017, the violent crime rate in Omaha fell by 5.6%, from 407 incidents per 100,000 residents to 385 per 100,000. The improvement was a departure from the broader statewide trend. Over the same period, the violent crime rate in Nebraska climbed by 17.9%.

If these trends continue, Omaha may soon become safer than the state as a whole. Currently, there are 385 violent crimes for every 100,000 people in Omaha, well above the violent crime rate across Nebraska of 306 per 100,000.

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28. Nevada: Carson City
> 5-yr. Change in crime rate: +53.2% (metro area) -8.5% (state)
> 2017 violent crimes per 100,000 people: 360 (metro area) 556 (state)
> 2017 murders: 1 (metro area) 274 (state)
> 2017 unemployment: 5.1% (metro area) 5% (state)

Carson City’s population has declined by 2.1% over the last five years. Over the same period, the number of violent crimes in the metro area spiked from 132 to 198. As a result, the violent crime rate jumped by 53.2% in Carson City, the largest increase of any metro area in the state.

Despite the surge in violence, Carson City remains the safest metro area in the state. There were 360 violent crimes for every 100,000 people in Carson City in 2017 compared to 515 per 100,000 in Reno and 608 per 100,000 in Las Vegas.

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29. New Hampshire: Manchester-Nashua
> 5-yr. Change in crime rate: +7.4% (metro area) +5.7% (state)
> 2017 violent crimes per 100,000 people: 266 (metro area) 199 (state)
> 2017 murders: 4 (metro area) 14 (state)
> 2017 unemployment: 2.6% (metro area) 2.7% (state)

Manchester-Nashua is the only metro area in New Hampshire. Driven by a climbing rates of rape and aggravated assault, the violent crime rate in the metro area climbed by 7.4% in the last five years. The increase also contributed to a 5.7% five-year uptick in violent crime across New Hampshire as a whole.

While violence is slightly more common in Manchester now than it was in 2012, property crimes are considerably less common. Between 2012 and 2017, the property crime rate in the metro area fell by 39.2%. The improvement was driven largely by declines in rates of larceny and burglary.

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30. New Jersey: None
> 5-yr. Change in crime rate: -21.2% (state)
> 2017 violent crimes per 100,000 people: 229 (state)
> 2017 murders: 324 (state)
> 2017 unemployment: 4.6% (state)

New Jersey is one of only a handful of states where no metro area with comparable data reported an increase in the incidence of violent crime from 2012 to 2017. The violent crime rate fell by 5% in Vineland, 16.6% in the capital of Trenton, and 21.2% across the state as a whole.

New Jersey is a far safer place than the U.S. as a whole. There were 229 violent crimes for every 100,000 residents in 2017, well below the national violent crime rate of 383 per 100,000. Vineland-Bridgeton is the most dangerous metro area in the state with a violent crime rate of 521 reported incidents per 100,000 people.

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