25. Odessa, Texas
> Violent crime rate in 2019: 1,038 per 100,000 people (1,282 total)
> Total homicides reported in 2019: 13
> 2019 poverty rate: 10.7%
> 2019 annual unemployment rate: 2.5%
> 2019 population: 123,468
The violent crime rate in Odessa, Texas, is among the highest of any U.S. city. There were 1,282 cases of rape, robbery, aggravated assault, and murder reported in Odessa in 2019, or 1,038 for every 100,000 people — more than double the violent crime rate nationwide of 367 incidents for every 100,000 people.
While poverty tends to be more common in areas with higher crime rates, Odessa is an exception. Some 10.7% of Odessa residents live below the poverty line, a lower poverty rate than the 14.1% national rate.
24. Peoria, Illinois
> Violent crime rate in 2019: 1,044 per 100,000 people (1,158 total)
> Total homicides reported in 2019: 25
> 2019 poverty rate: 20.7%
> 2019 annual unemployment rate: 5.3%
> 2019 population: 110,955
There were 1,044 violent crimes reported per 100,000 Peoria residents in 2019, far more than the national rate of 367 violent crimes per 100,000 Americans and the 24th highest violent crime rate of any large city.
Murder is particularly common in Peoria. In 2019 there were 22.5 homicides reported for every 100,000 residents — more than four times the national murder rate of 5 per 100,000 people.
23. Beaumont, Texas
> Violent crime rate in 2019: 1,047 per 100,000 people (1,241 total)
> Total homicides reported in 2019: 19
> 2019 poverty rate: 19.9%
> 2019 annual unemployment rate: 5.2%
> 2019 population: 118,562
Of the four categories of violent crime — rape, robbery, aggravated assault, and homicide — aggravated assault is the most common. That pattern holds in Beaumont, Texas, where there were 802 aggravated assaults in 2019. Due primarily to instances of aggravated assault, the violent crime rate in the city stands at 1,047 incidents for every 100,000 people.
Though the relationship between economic conditions and crime is complicated, crime rates are often higher in areas with limited employment opportunities. In Beaumont, a relatively dangerous city, the annual unemployment rate stands at 5.2%, well above the comparable national jobless rate of 3.7%.
22. Chattanooga, Tennessee
> Violent crime rate in 2019: 1,070 per 100,000 people (1,946 total)
> Total homicides reported in 2019: 33
> 2019 poverty rate: 18.8%
> 2019 annual unemployment rate: 3.6%
> 2019 population: 181,848
As is the case nationwide, in Chattanooga, Tennessee, aggravated assault drives the overall violent crime rate more than any other offense. Of the 1,946 violent crimes committed in the city in 2019, 1,556 were aggravated assaults. Overall, there were 1,070 violent crimes reported in Chattanooga for every 100,000 people in 2019.
Crime tends to be more concentrated in areas with limited economic opportunity and widespread financial hardship — and this pattern holds in Chattanooga. Across the city, 18.8% of the population lives below the poverty line, well above the 14.1% national poverty rate.
21. Houston, Texas
> Violent crime rate in 2019: 1,072 per 100,000 people (25,257 total)
> Total homicides reported in 2019: 275
> 2019 poverty rate: 20.6%
> 2019 annual unemployment rate: 3.7%
> 2019 population: 2,355,606
There were 1,072 violent crimes reported in Houston, Texas for every 100,000 people in 2019. For context, there were 367 violent crimes for every 100,000 people nationwide in 2019. As is the case across the United States, aggravated assault is the most common violent crime in Houston. Of the 25,257 violent crimes committed in the city in 2019, 14,586 were aggravated assaults.
Other, nonviolent forms of crime, such as burglary, larceny, and motor vehicle theft are also more common in Houston than they are nationwide. There were 101,750 property crimes reported in Houston in 2019, or 4,319 for every 100,000 residents. Meanwhile, the national property crime rate stood at 2,110 per 100,000 the same year.
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