Special Report

Cities Where Crime Is Soaring in Every State

Source: Ron Reiring / Wikimedia Commons

31. New Mexico: Albuquerque
> 5-yr. Change in crime rate: +68.2% (metro area) +40.1% (state)
> 2017 violent crimes per 100,000 people: 1,085 (metro area) 784 (state)
> 2017 murders: 81 (metro area) 148 (state)
> 2017 unemployment: 5.7% (metro area) 6.2% (state)

Albuquerque’s violent crime rate spiked by 68.2% over the last five years. Of the metro areas considered, Albuquerque ranked as the 18th most dangerous in the country five years ago. Now Albuquerque ranks third most dangerous, with a violent crime rate of 1,085 incidents for every 100,000 residents.

Overall, New Mexico is one of the most dangerous states, with a violent crime rate of 784 incidents per 100,000, second only to Alaska. Other nonviolent crimes are also common in the state. For example, over half of the 17,917 reported burglaries in the state in 2017 occured in Albuquerque. In an effort to reduce crime in New Mexico’s largest city, lawmakers gave Bernalillo County District Attorney Raul Torrez, whose jurisdiction includes Albuquerque, an additional $4 million during the 2018 legislative session. New Mexico outranks every other state on our list of the states with the most break-ins.

Source: spyarm / Getty Images

32. New York: None
> 5-yr. Change in crime rate: -12.3% (state)
> 2017 violent crimes per 100,000 people: 357 (state)
> 2017 murders: 548 (state)
> 2017 unemployment: 4.7% (state)

Due to changes in reporting practices, no metro area in New York state has comparable crime data from 2012 to 2017. Over that period, the violent crime rate across the state as a whole fell by 12.3%. Five years ago, New York’s violent crime rate of 407 incidents per 100,000 people was higher than the national rate of 388 per 100,000 at the time. As of 2017, New York is safer than the nation as a whole, with 357 violent crimes per 100,000 people compared to 383 per 100,000 nationwide.

Even Buffalo’s violent crime rate of 376 reported incidents per 100,000 residents, the highest of any metro area in the state, falls below the U.S. violent crime rate. Of the 10 remaining metro areas in New York, Glens Falls is the safest, with a violent crime rate of just 144 incidents per 100,000 people.

Source: RickSause / Getty Images

33. North Carolina: None
> 5-yr. Change in crime rate: +2.9% (state)
> 2017 violent crimes per 100,000 people: 364 (state)
> 2017 murders: 591 (state)
> 2017 unemployment: 4.6% (state)

Due to changes in reporting practices, no metro area in North Carolina has comparable crime data from 2012 to 2017. Across the state as a whole, the violent crime rate inched up by 2.9% over that period. Meanwhile, the U.S. violent crime rate fell by 1.3%. Despite the increase, North Carolina’s violent crime rate of 364 incidents per 100,000 people is below the national rate of 383 per 100,000.

In Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, the only metro area in the state for which 2017 data is available, the violent crime rate is 416 incidents per 100,000 people. As is typically the case, aggravated assault is the most common type of violent crime in the metro area.

Source: ChrisBoswell / Getty Images

34. North Dakota: None
> 5-yr. Change in crime rate: +15.0% (state)
> 2017 violent crimes per 100,000 people: 281 (state)
> 2017 murders: 10 (state)
> 2017 unemployment: 2.6% (state)

Bismarck is the only metro area in North Dakota with crime data from 2012 comparable to that of 2017. Over that five year stretch, the violent crime rate in the state capital fell by 9.1%. The improvement was a departure from the broader trend, as North Dakota’s violent crime rate climbed by 15.0% over the same period.

Despite its crime rate declining, violence is more common in Bismarck than in Grand Forks and Fargo, the other two metro areas in the state. Crime is also more common in Bismarck than it is across the state as a whole. There were 322 violent crimes for every 100,000 Bismarck residents in 2017 compared to 281 per 100,000 across North Dakota.

Source: Smallbones / Wikimedia Commons

35. Ohio: Mansfield
> 5-yr. Change in crime rate: +37.2% (metro area) -0.7% (state)
> 2017 violent crimes per 100,000 people: 269 (metro area) 298 (state)
> 2017 murders: 7 (metro area) 710 (state)
> 2017 unemployment: 5.5% (metro area) 5% (state)

In most Ohio metro areas, violent crime rates either remained relatively flat or improved substantially over the last five years. Mansfield was a notable exception. The violent crime rate in the metro area climbed by 37.2% between 2012 and 2017. Despite the increase, Mansfield is safer than the state as a whole. There were 269 violent crimes for every 100,000 Mansfield residents in 2017 compared to 298 per 100,000 in Ohio. However, if crime rates continue to rise in Mansfield while they fall statewide, the metro area may not be safer than the state as a whole much longer.