40. New Orleans-Metairie, LA
> Violent crime rate: 624 per 100,000 people (7,960 total crimes)
> 1-yr. change in violent crime rate: +13.2%
> Homicide rate: 21.7 per 100,000 people (277 total homicides)
> Poverty rate: 16.4%
The violent crime rate in the New Orleans metro area of 624 incidents for every 100,000 people is among the highest in the nation. The local violent crime rate climbed by 13.2% last year, more than double the national increase. The homicide rate is especially high in the area. There were 277 murders in New Orleans in 2020, or 21.7 for every 100,000 people, fourth highest among U.S. metro areas and more than triple the national homicide rate.
While violence is on the rise in New Orleans, property crimes are becoming less common. Cases of burglary have fallen by 11.8% in the metro area in 2020, and larceny theft cases declined by 16.1%.
39. Jackson, TN
> Violent crime rate: 625 per 100,000 people (1,115 total crimes)
> 1-yr. change in violent crime rate: +1.8%
> Homicide rate: 9.5 per 100,000 people (17 total homicides)
> Poverty rate: 16.0%
Jackson is the second most dangerous metro area in Tennessee and one of the most dangerous nationwide. A total of 1,115 violent crimes were reported in the metro area in 2020, or 625 for every 100,000 people. Though cases of rаpe, robbery, and homicide declined in 2020, aggravated assault cases increased, resulting in a 1.8% year-over-year overall uptick in the local violent crime rate.
In the early months of 2021, gang violence has been on the rise in Jackson, as have drug-related crimes. In an attempt to reverse the trend, the Jackson Police Department is reinstating its Blue Impact Program, which among other tactics, uses community policing — a strategy based on public-facing events designed to develop trust between police and community members.
38. Billings, MT
> Violent crime rate: 627 per 100,000 people (1,152 total crimes)
> 1-yr. change in violent crime rate: N/A
> Homicide rate: 8.2 per 100,000 people (15 total homicides)
> Poverty rate: 11.7%
There were 1,152 violent crimes reported in the Billings, Montana, metro area in 2020, or 627 for every 100,000 people. Like much of the country, the area is suffering from a surge in violence. According to the Billings Police Department, domestic violence calls increased by 25% in 2020 and assaults on police officers and assaults with a weapon each increased by 50%.
In response to the rising violence, Billings residents passed a ballot initiative in November 2021 that will allocate $7.1 million to address the rising rates of violence. That money is in addition to the extra $5 million allocated to public safety in 2020.
37. Springfield, MO
> Violent crime rate: 632 per 100,000 people (2,993 total crimes)
> 1-yr. change in violent crime rate: -0.2%
> Homicide rate: 5.5 per 100,000 people (26 total homicides)
> Poverty rate: 15.4%
Springfield is the only metro area in Missouri to rank among the 50 most dangerous cities in the United States. There were 2,993 violent crimes reported in Springfield in 2020, or 632 for every 100,000 people. Though the metro area’s overall violent crime rate declined slightly in 2020, the reported number of homicides soared by over 50% — from 17 in 2019 to 26 in 2020.
Crime in the United States is often disproportionately concentrated in poor communities, and in Springfield, 15.4% of the population live below the poverty line, compared to 12.3% of the U.S. population.
36. Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX
> Violent crime rate: 632 per 100,000 people (45,368 total crimes)
> 1-yr. change in violent crime rate: N/A
> Homicide rate: 9.2 per 100,000 people (662 total homicides)
> Poverty rate: 12.9%
There were 45,368 violent crimes committed in Houston — one of the largest metro areas in the country — last year. Even after adjusting for its large population, the local violent crime rate is higher than in most of the rest of the country, at 632 incidents per 100,000 people. The metro area’s robbery rate of 168 incidents for every 100,000 people is particularly high, ranking in the top 10 metros for robberies.
Violence in Houston has continued to increase in 2021. Homicides in the city are up 29% so far this year compared to the same period last year. Firearms are a common factor in many violent crimes across the metro area.
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