Most Dangerous City in Every State

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Virginia: Petersburg
> 2017 violent crimes per 100,000 people: 794 (state: 208)
> Number of violent crimes in 2017: 252 (1.4% of state total)
> Poverty rate: 27.6% (state: 11.2%)
> Annual unemployment: 6.1% (state: 3.0%)

While the relationship between crime and economic conditions is complicated, some evidence suggests that there is a direct connection between unemployment and crime. Petersburg, Virginia’s most violent major city, has an annual unemployment rate of 6.1%, well above the national 2018 rate of 3.9%, and the highest jobless rate among Virginia’s 24 cities with a population of 20,000 or more.

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Washington: Tacoma
> 2017 violent crimes per 100,000 people: 814 (state: 304)
> Number of violent crimes in 2017: 1,737 (7.7% of state total)
> Poverty rate: 17.0% (state: 12.2%)
> Annual unemployment: 5.5% (state: 4.5%)

Tacoma is a city of about 213,000 people just south of Seattle. There were 814 violent crimes for every 100,000 people in Tacoma in 2017, more than double the violent crime rate of 304 per 100,000 across Washington as a whole. As is the case nationwide, aggravated assault is the most commonly reported violent crime in Tacoma. In Seattle, the most populous city in the state, the violent crime rate is also relatively high, at 633 incidents per 100,000 people.

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West Virginia: Wheeling
> 2017 violent crimes per 100,000 people: 1,221 (state: 351)
> Number of violent crimes in 2017: 332 (5.2% of state total)
> Poverty rate: 15.5% (state: 17.8%)
> Annual unemployment: 4.9% (state: 5.3%)

Wheeling is one of West Virginia’s northernmost cities, approximately 45 miles southwest of Pittsburgh. There were 332 reported incidents of violent crime in 2017, or 1,221 violent crimes per 100,000 people, more than three times the national rate and the highest among cities in the state with a population of 20,000 or more. While the city’s violent crime rate is high, its property crime rate of 2,147 incidents per 100,000 people is below the national property crime rate.

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Wisconsin: Milwaukee
> 2017 violent crimes per 100,000 people: 1,597 (state: 320)
> Number of violent crimes in 2017: 9,507 (51.3% of state total)
> Poverty rate: 27.4% (state: 12.3%)
> Annual unemployment: 4.0% (state: 3.0%)

With over 2,900 reported cases of robbery in 2018, Milwaukee nudged the state’s robbery rate alone to 490 incidents per 100,000 people, over five times the national robbery rate. The city’s high robbery rate contributes to its overall violent crime rate, which is the highest in the state and 20th highest among major cities nationwide. Milwaukee’s 1,597 incidents of violent crime per 100,000 people in 2017 was more than double that of any other city in Wisconsin.

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Wyoming: Rock Springs
> 2017 violent crimes per 100,000 people: 465 (state: 238)
> Number of violent crimes in 2017: 111 (8.1% of state total)
> Poverty rate: 11.8% (state: 11.1%)
> Annual unemployment: N/A (state: 4.1%)

Wyoming has the 10th lowest violent crime rate in the country, at 238 reported incidents per 100,000 people, compared with a national violent crime rate of 383 incidents per 100,000. The city with the highest violent crime rate in the state, Rock Springs, has a violent crime rate of 465 incidents per 100,000 people, not much higher than the national rate. In each of the remaining four cities in Wyoming tracked by the FBI, the violent crime rate is below the national rate.