Most Dangerous City in Every State

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South Dakota: Rapid City
> 2017 violent crimes per 100,000 people: 640 (state: 434)
> Number of violent crimes in 2017: 480 (12.7% of state total)
> Poverty rate: 16.3% (state: 13.9%)
> Annual unemployment: 3.1% (state: 3.0%)

Rapid City is the most dangerous city in South Dakota. There were 640 violent crimes for every 100,000 residents in 2017, compared with the state violent crime rate of 434 per 100,000 and the national violent crime rate of 383 per 100,000. Though it is not the largest city in the state by population, Rapid City had more murders than any other South Dakota city in 2017. Of the 25 homicides reported in South Dakota in 2017, six were committed in Rapid City.

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Tennessee: Memphis
> 2017 violent crimes per 100,000 people: 2,003 (state: 652)
> Number of violent crimes in 2017: 13,077 (29.9% of state total)
> Poverty rate: 26.9% (state: 16.7%)
> Annual unemployment: 4.6% (state: 3.5%)

Tennessee is one of the most dangerous states in the country. There were 652 violent crimes for every 100,000 residents in 2017, compared with the national violent crime rate of 383 per 100,000. Tennessee’s violent crime rate is driven up largely by violence in Memphis, the most dangerous city in the state. Nearly 30% of the nearly 43,755 violent crimes in the state in 2017 were committed in Memphis. Memphis’s violent crime rate of 2,003 incidents per 100,000 people is nearly double the violent crime rate of 1,138 per 100,000 in Nashville, the state’s second most dangerous city.

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Texas: Texarkana
> 2017 violent crimes per 100,000 people: 1,262 (state: 439)
> Number of violent crimes in 2017: 478 (0.4% of state total)
> Poverty rate: 24.9% (state: 16.0%)
> Annual unemployment: 4.9% (state: 3.9%)

Along with Houston and Beaumont, Texarkana is one of only three Texas cities with a violent crime rate of over 1,000 incidents per 100,000 people. Texarkana’s violent crime rate of 1,262 per 100,000 is the highest in the state — nearly triple the 439 per 100,000 state violent crime rate. Crime rates are often higher in poor areas. In Texarkana, about one in every four residents live below the poverty line, well above the 16.0% state poverty rate.

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Utah: South Salt Lake
> 2017 violent crimes per 100,000 people: 947 (state: 239)
> Number of violent crimes in 2017: 235 (3.2% of state total)
> Poverty rate: 22.5% (state: 11.0%)
> Annual unemployment: N/A (state: 3.1%)

Utah’s violent crime rate is relatively low, but the violent crime rate in South Salt Lake was nearly two and a half times the national violent crime rate. The city’s high rate of sexual assault is particularly troubling. In 2017, there were 44 reported rapes in the city. Per capita, the city had the sixth highest rate of rape of any U.S. city with a population of at least 20,000.

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Vermont: Burlington
> 2017 violent crimes per 100,000 people: 313 (state: 166)
> Number of violent crimes in 2017: 132 (12.8% of state total)
> Poverty rate: 24.4% (state: 11.4%)
> Annual unemployment: 2.3% (state: 2.7%)

With a violent crime rate of just 166 incidents per 100,000 people, Vermont is one of the safest states in the country. Even in Burlington, the most dangerous city in the state, violence is less common than it is nationwide. There were just 313 violent crimes reported in Burlington for every 100,000 people in 2017, well below the national rate of 383 per 100,000.

Violence tends to be less common in areas with high levels of economic opportunity. In Burlington, just 2.3% of the labor force was unemployed in 2018 compared with a national unemployment rate of 3.9%.