Special Report

25 Cities Where Crime Is Soaring

Source: Spondylolithesis / Getty Images

15. Napa, CA
> 5-yr. change in violent crime rate: +44.5%
> Violent crimes in 2019: 543 per 100,000 people (total: 753)
> Violent crimes in 2014: 376 per 100,000 people (total: 534)
> Violent crime with largest pop.-adj. 5-yr. increase: Rape (+104.7%)

As recently as 2014, Napa, California, was about as dangerous as the U.S. as a whole. That year, there were 376 violent crimes reported for every 100,000 people, nearly in line with the national rate of 366 per 100,000. As of 2019, Napa has become far more dangerous than the U.S. as a whole. The metro area violent crime rate climbed 44.5% to 543 incidents per 100,000 in 2019, even as the national rate remained effectively unchanged.

Though there were fewer homicides in Napa in 2019 than in 2014, the number of reported rapes, robberies, and aggravated assaults in the metro area increased substantially.

Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

14. Brownsville-Harlingen, TX
> 5-yr. change in violent crime rate: +44.8%
> Violent crimes in 2019: 375 per 100,000 people (total: 1,588)
> Violent crimes in 2014: 259 per 100,000 people (total: 1,095)
> Violent crime with largest pop.-adj. 5-yr. increase: Aggravated assault (+63.0%)

In 2014, the violent crime rate in Brownsville-Harlingen, Texas, of 259 incidents per 100,000 people was well below the national violent crime rate that year of 366 per 100,000. As of 2019, Brownsville’s violent crime rate stood at 375 incidents per 100,000 people, in line with the comparable national rate, which is little changed from where it stood five years ago.

As is the case nationwide, aggravated assault is by far the most commonly committed violent crime in Brownsville. It also drove the overall increase in violence in the metro area, surging 63% from 162 incidents per 100,000 people in 2014 to 263 per 100,000 in 2019.

Source: aguilar3137 / Getty Images

13. Chico, CA
> 5-yr. change in violent crime rate: +46.6%
> Violent crimes in 2019: 444 per 100,000 people (total: 1,024)
> Violent crimes in 2014: 303 per 100,000 people (total: 678)
> Violent crime with largest pop.-adj. 5-yr. increase: Rape (+130.1%)

Just five years ago, violent crime was less common in Chico, California, than it was nationwide. Now, it is considerably more common. The violent crime rate in the northern California metro area climbed from 303 incidents per 100,000 people in 2014 to 444 per 100,000 in 2019, a 46.6% surge.

While violent crime is now more common in Chico than it was half a decade ago, property crime in the metro area has become less common. There were 2,306 incidents of property crime, like burglary and motor vehicle theft, for every 100,000 people in the city in 2019, a 22.1% decline from 2,962 per 100,000 in 2014.

Source: benedek / Getty Images

12. State College, PA
> 5-yr. change in violent crime rate: +49.8%
> Violent crimes in 2019: 122 per 100,000 people (total: 200)
> Violent crimes in 2014: 82 per 100,000 people (total: 127)
> Violent crime with largest pop.-adj. 5-yr. increase: Rape (+141.0%)

State College, Pennsylvania, reported a near 50% increase in violent crime from 2014 to 2019. Despite the increase, the metro area remains among the safest in the country. The current violent crime rate in the area of 122 incidents per 100,000 people annually is just a third of the national violent crime rate of 367 per 100,000.

While violent crime is now more common in State College than it was half a decade ago, property crime in the metro area has become less common. There were 896 incidents of property crime, like burglary and motor vehicle theft, for every 100,000 people in the city in 2019, down 24.3% from 1,184 per 100,000 in 2014.

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

11. Asheville, NC
> 5-yr. change in violent crime rate: +53.7%
> Violent crimes in 2019: 316 per 100,000 people (total: 1,466)
> Violent crimes in 2014: 206 per 100,000 people (total: 908)
> Violent crime with largest pop.-adj. 5-yr. increase: Aggravated assault (+84.3%)

Asheville, North Carolina, is one of only 11 metro areas to report a 50% or greater increase in violent crime in the last five years. There were 316 violent crimes reported for every 100,000 people in the metro area in 2019, up 53.7% from 206 per 100,000 in 2014. Despite the increase, violent crime is still less common in the metro area than it is nationwide, where the violent crime rate stands at 367 per 100,000.

As is the case nationwide, aggravated assault is by far the most commonly committed violent crime in Asheville. It also drove the overall increase in violence in the metro area, surging 84.3% from 125 incidents per 100,000 people in 2014 to 230 per 100,000 in 2019.

Sponsored: Tips for Investing

A financial advisor can help you understand the advantages and disadvantages of investment properties. Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors who serve your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.

Investing in real estate can diversify your portfolio. But expanding your horizons may add additional costs. If you’re an investor looking to minimize expenses, consider checking out online brokerages. They often offer low investment fees, helping you maximize your profit.