Special Report

The American City With the Most Property Crime in Every State

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Texas: Harlingen
> 2019 property crimes per 100,000 people: 4,814 (state: 2,357)
> Number of property crimes in 2019: 3,152 (0.5% of state total)
> Burglaries in 2019: 443 (0.4% of state total)
> Vehicle thefts in 2019: 96 (0.1% of state total)
> Poverty rate: 29.1% (state: 14.7%)

Harlingen, a city of about 65,500 residents near the southern tip of Texas, is the only city or town in the state that is home to at least 20,000 people with a property crime rate more than double the state average. There were 4,814 property crimes reported for every 100,000 people in 2019, compared to the statewide property crime rate of 2,357 per 100,000.

As is often the case in areas with high property crime rates, Harlingen also has a high poverty rate. Across the city, 29.1% of the population live below the poverty line, compared to 14.7% of the state population and 13.4% of all Americans.

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Utah: South Salt Lake
> 2019 property crimes per 100,000 people: 7,285 (state: 1,220)
> Number of property crimes in 2019: 1,865 (2.7% of state total)
> Burglaries in 2019: 255 (2.9% of state total)
> Vehicle thefts in 2019: 350 (5.2% of state total)
> Poverty rate: 18.7% (state: 9.8%)

South Salt Lake City, Utah, a city of about 26,000 adjacent to the state capital, has far and away the highest property crime rate in the state. There were 7,285 known incidents of property crime for every 100,000 people in the state in 2019, nearly six times greater than the comparable statewide rate of 1,220 per 100,000.

Motor vehicle theft, a specific category of property crime, is especially common in South Salt Lake. Though the city is home to just 0.8% of Utah’s population, 5.2% of the vehicles stolen in the state in 2019 were stolen in South Salt Lake.

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Vermont: Burlington
> 2019 property crimes per 100,000 people: 2,584 (state: 2,841)
> Number of property crimes in 2019: 1,110 (12.5% of state total)
> Burglaries in 2019: 109 (8.5% of state total)
> Vehicle thefts in 2019: 25 (8.4% of state total)
> Poverty rate: 26.4% (state: 10.9%)

Vermont is a relatively small and rural state. As a result, there are only two municipalities in the state that are home to at least 20,000 people and where the FBI tracks crime statistics — Burlington and Essex. Of the two, Burlington has the higher property crime rate, at 2,584 incidents per 100,000, compared to 1,288 per 100,000 in Essex.

With so much of Vermont’s population living outside cities, most property crime does not occur in cities. In fact, even though Burlington has the highest property crime rate of any moderately sized city in the state, it still has a lower property crime rate than the state as a whole, where there were 2,841 reported property crimes for every 100,000 people in 2019.

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Virginia: Portsmouth
> 2019 property crimes per 100,000 people: 5,861 (state: 2,376)
> Number of property crimes in 2019: 5,509 (3.9% of state total)
> Burglaries in 2019: 846 (6.1% of state total)
> Vehicle thefts in 2019: 474 (4.6% of state total)
> Poverty rate: 16.8% (state: 10.6%)

Portsmouth is a city of about 94,000 in southern Virginia, located across the Elizabeth River from Norfolk. There were 5,861 property crimes reported for every 100,000 people in the city in 2019, more than double Virginia’s property crime rate of 2,376 per 100,000.

The city’s high property crime rate is due in large part to the number of burglaries that were reported in 2019. Though Portsmouth is home to only 1.1% of Virginia’s total population, 6.1% of the 13,900 burglaries reported in the state were committed in the city.

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Washington: Tukwila
> 2019 property crimes per 100,000 people: 16,390 (state: 2,146)
> Number of property crimes in 2019: 3,350 (1.6% of state total)
> Burglaries in 2019: 189 (0.5% of state total)
> Vehicle thefts in 2019: 480 (2.0% of state total)
> Poverty rate: 17.2% (state: 10.8%)

Tukwila has by far the highest property crime rate in Washington state — and also the highest of any city or town home to at least 20,000 people in the entire country. There were 16,390 known property crimes committed for every 100,000 people in the city in 2019, more than seven times the comparable state property crime rate of 2,146 per 100,000.

Violent crime is not necessarily more common in areas with high property crime rates. In Tukwila, however, the violent crime rate stands at 773 incidents per 100,000 people, a rate that is more than double Washington’s violent crime rate of 294 per 100,000.

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