Special Report

25 Cities Where Crime Is Soaring

10. Houma-Thibodaux, LA
> 5-yr. change in violent crime rate: +54.6%
> Violent crimes in 2019: 375 per 100,000 people (total: 779)
> Violent crimes in 2014: 242 per 100,000 people (total: 510)
> Violent crime with largest pop.-adj. 5-yr. increase: Rape (+194.7%)

Houma-Thibodaux is the only metro area in Louisiana to report a double digit increase in the population-adjusted violent crime rate between 2014 and 2019. The 2014 violent crime rate in the metro area, of 242 incidents per 100,000 people, was well below the national rate of 366 per 100,000 that year. As of 2019, however, after surging by 54.6%, the local violent crime rate stands at 375 per 100,000, nearly in line with the national rate of 367 per 100,000.

Though the number of reported robberies in the metro area fell during that five-year period, aggravated assaults jumped by 85.5%, homicides spiked by 123.3%, and the number of reported rapes increased by nearly 200%.

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

9. Casper, WY
> 5-yr. change in violent crime rate: +55.0%
> Violent crimes in 2019: 286 per 100,000 people (total: 227)
> Violent crimes in 2014: 184 per 100,000 people (total: 151)
> Violent crime with largest pop.-adj. 5-yr. increase: Rape (+268.5%)

Driven by a 268.5% increase in reported rapes per 100,000 people and a near 100% surge in reported robberies, the Casper, Wyoming, metro area reported a near-nation leading 55% increase in violent crime in the last five years. There were 286 reported violent crimes for every 100,000 people in the metro area in 2019, compared to just 184 per 100,000 in 2014.

Increasing crime rates can push people away from areas and result in stagnant real estate values. The number of people living in Casper has fallen by 3% in the last five years, and the typical area home appreciated in value by only 9.1% over the same period. Meanwhile, the U.S. population grew by 2.9%, and the national median home value climbed by 32.7% over the last half decade.

Source: DenisTangneyJr / iStock via Getty Images

8. Florence, SC
> 5-yr. change in violent crime rate: +57.8%
> Violent crimes in 2019: 823 per 100,000 people (total: 1,688)
> Violent crimes in 2014: 522 per 100,000 people (total: 1,082)
> Violent crime with largest pop.-adj. 5-yr. increase: Murder (+213.2%)

Florence is the only South Carolina metro area, and one of only 11 U.S. metro areas to report a more than 50% increase in violent crime between 2014 and 2019. Not only does Florence have one of the fastest growing violent crime rates, it also has one of the highest. There were 823 violent crimes reported for every 100,000 people in the metro area in 2019, more than double the national violent crime rate of 367 incidents for every 100,000 people.

No type of violent crime increased more in Florence than homicide in the last five years. There were a total of 11 murders reported in the metro area in 2014. In 2019, there were 34. Some murders were attributed to drug trafficking and others to domestic disputes. Gang activity also appears to be driving the increase in violent crime.

Source: Daniel Schwen / Wikimedia Commons

7. Danville, IL
> 5-yr. change in violent crime rate: +58.1%
> Violent crimes in 2019: 936 per 100,000 people (total: 710)
> Violent crimes in 2014: 592 per 100,000 people (total: 473)
> Violent crime with largest pop.-adj. 5-yr. increase: Murder (+607.7%)

Danville, Illinois, reported a 58.1% increase in its population-adjusted violent crime rate between 2014 and 2019, the seventh largest among U.S. metro areas. The local violent crime rate now stands at 936 incidents per 100,000 people, well more than double the comparable national violent crime rate.

Danville also reported a larger increase in its population-adjusted homicide rate over the last five years than any other U.S. metro area. There were 9.2 murders committed for every 100,000 people in the metro area in 2019, up 608% from the local 2014 murder rate of 1.3 per 100,000.

Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

6. Racine, WI
> 5-yr. change in violent crime rate: +59.8%
> Violent crimes in 2019: 318 per 100,000 people (total: 625)
> Violent crimes in 2014: 199 per 100,000 people (total: 388)
> Violent crime with largest pop.-adj. 5-yr. increase: Aggravated assault (+199.0%)

Racine, Wisconsin’s violent crime rate of 318 incidents per 100,000 people is nearly 60% higher than it was five years earlier. The increase was driven by a surge in cases of aggravated assault. Despite the uptick in violence, Racine remains safer than the U.S. as a whole, where the violent crime rate stands at 367 incidents per 100,000 people.

Though violent crime is now more common in Racine than it was half a decade ago, property crime in the metro area has become less common. There were 1,426 incidents of property crime, like burglary and motor vehicle theft, for every 100,000 people in the city in 2019, down 37.4% from 2,279 per 100,000 in 2014.

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