These Are The 10 Most Dangerous Cities In Minnesota For 2019


We used data and science to identify the most dangerous cities in the North Star State for 2019.

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This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out that we updated it for 2019.

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Do you live in one of the most dangerous cities in Minnesota?

We all watch the news and see reports on Facebook of the latest crimes that happen in our hometowns. But it can be hard to tell at a big picture level how dangerous our town actually is.

No one wants to feel unsafe, and statistically speaking, odds are that where you live is most likely relatively safe. In order to help the good people of Minnesota — and anyone looking to move to Minnesota — know just how close they are to danger, we took data from the annual FBI report and did some serious analysis.

The data shows that these ten cities are currently the most dangerous in the North Star State for 2019:

  1. Minneapolis (Photos)
  2. Bemidji (Photos)
  3. West St. Paul (Photos)
  4. Virginia (Photos)
  5. Brainerd (Photos)
  6. Duluth (Photos)
  7. Waite Park (Photos)
  8. St. Cloud (Photos)
  9. St. Paul (Photos)
  10. Brooklyn Center (Photos)

After analyzing 125 cities in Minnesota, why did Minneapolis take the top spot?

For the answer to this question and a detailed explanation of the data and analysis we used in creating this ranking, read on.

Or learn more about the safest places in Minnesota.

If you’re looking for something more national, check out the most dangerous cities in America or the most dangerous states in America.

For more Minnesota reading, check out:

Graphing The Most Dangerous And Safest Places In Minnesota

Most Dangerous Cities In Minnesota Graph

Click To Enlarge

How we determined the most dangerous cities in Minnesota for 2019?

Every year the FBI release two crime datasets, a preliminary dataset limited to the biggest cities in the country, followed by a more detailed release at the end of the year.

For our analysis, we focused on the JUST released 2017 data, specifically the 2017 Crime In The United States Report. We will update the results when data becomes available in September 2019.

So what criteria did we use? Have a look:

  • Violent Crimes Per Capita
  • Property Crimes Per Capita

In order to make the analysis as apples to apples as possible, we only considered cities over 5,000 in population. That left us with 125 cities in Minnesota.

We then ranked each city from 1 to 125 for the two criteria with a #1 ranking being the most dangerous for the particular criteria.

Next, we averaged the two rankings into one “Dangerous Index”.

Finally, we ranked every city on the “Dangerous Index” with the lowest index being the most dangerous in Minnesota — Minneapolis.

Read on for a detailed look at the 10 most dangerous cities in Minnesota.

Minneapolis, MN

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 418,971
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 3)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,101 (1st most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,641 (6th most dangerous)
More on Minneapolis:  Data | Photos

Minneapolis makes an appearance on our list at number 1.

Like all big cities, crime is more prevalent in certain parts of the city versus others. In particular, violent crime is an issue as Minneapolis ranks as having the 1st highest rate of violent crime per capita in Minnesota.

At this point it’s worth putting “dangerous” in perspective. Even in the most dangerous city for violent crime in the state, you still only have a 1 in 90 chance of being a victim of a violent crime in any given year. And if you use common sense and good judgment, your chance of being a victim goes down even further.

Bemidji, MN

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 15,054
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 371 (8th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 8,423 (1st most dangerous)
More on Bemidji:  Data | Photos

Bemidji is no stranger to our lists as it ranks as the second poorest city in Minnesota and appears in the middle of the list of the worst places to live. And it would make sense that crime contributes to its placement on both of those lists.

In this particular case for the city of over 15,054, the combination of high property crime (1st highest in the state on a rate basis) and violent crime (8th highest) led to the 2nd spot of most dangerous city in Minnesota.

West St. Paul, MN

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 19,778
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 3)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 449 (5th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,909 (4th most dangerous)
More on West St. Paul:  Data | Photos

A stone’s throw south of St. Paul, West St. Paul ranks as the 3rd most dangerous city in Minnesota.

Being only 5 sq miles big, over 19,778 people jam pack West St. Paul which must contribute to its high level of property crime (4th highest overall). Violent crime is a bit less of an issue placing 5th overall.

Virginia, MN

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 8,493
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 529 (3rd most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,168 (11th most dangerous)
More on Virginia:  Data | Photos

Virginia takes the 4th spot in our analysis of the most dangerous cities in Minnesota.

Much like the Queen of the North (That’s a Game of Thrones reference for those uninitiated), the “Queen City of the North” is betaken by crime and theft. It’s as if the rough and tumble nature of the iron mines surrounding the city leaks into everyday life.

The city ranks 3rd for violent crime and 11th for property crime.

Brainerd, MN

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 13,307
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 526 (4th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,163 (12th most dangerous)
More on Brainerd:  Data | Photos

Brainerd ranks as the 5th most dangerous city in Minnesota with the 4th highest violent crime rate in the state. That could be in part to it being somewhat of tourist location — tourists bring a lot of additional people to the area that would impact the number of crimes without impacting the population.

However, the city ranks as the poorest in Minnesota according to one of earlier analyzes, so that must also contribute to a higher than average crime rate.

Duluth, MN

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 86,306
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 323 (12th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,424 (7th most dangerous)
More on Duluth:  Data | Photos

Duluth ranks as the 6th most dangerous city in Minnesota thanks to 12th place finish in violent crime and a 7th place finish in property crime.

The fact that the city has a port elevates its crime rate as people will frequent the city a lot without actually living there, but not to the point where it impacts most people.

Waite Park, MN

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 7,455
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 281 (18th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 7,900 (2nd most dangerous)
More on Waite Park:  Data | Photos

The 7th most dangerous city in Minnesota goes to Waite Park.

And much like a walk in a major city park, you need to watch for muggers and property theft as it ranks as having the highest rate of property theft in the North Star State. You had a 1 in 12.7 chance of being a victim of a property crime in 2017 in Waite Park.

It’s not totally clear why the property crime rate is so high. People live spread out, unemployment is relatively high — but not super high –, and poverty isn’t as bad as in some other parts of the state.

St. Cloud, MN

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 67,911
Rank Last Year: 8 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 376 (7th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,106 (13th most dangerous)
More on St. Cloud:  Data | Photos

St. Cloud might not be the castle in the cloud that you’re expecting — it ranks as the 8th most dangerous city in Minnesota.

For example, they might need to build a bigger moat to help keep the 7th highest overall violent crime rate down.

On the plus side, property crime ranks 13th in the state, meaning it’s not even in the top 10% of cities in Minnesota.

Put differently, property crime hasn’t broken through the clouds to the same extent violent crime has in the city.

St. Paul, MN

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 306,696
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 650 (2nd most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,565 (18th most dangerous)
More on St. Paul:  Data | Photos

Another victim of simply being a major city, St. Paul finds itself on our list of the most dangerous places in Minnesota.

Like Minneapolis, the rate of violent crime is the issue as it ranks as the 2nd highest overall in the state. However, to add proof to our theory that crime in big cities is an isolated problem that doesn’t impact overall quality of life, you won’t find St. Paul on our list of the worst places to live in Minnesota.

Brooklyn Center, MN

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 30,989
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 403 (6th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,472 (20th most dangerous)
More on Brooklyn Center:  Data | Photos

Brooklyn Center ranked highly for both violent crimes or property crimes per capita, finishing 6th and 20th respectively. Those numbers place it in the top 20% of cities in Minnesota.

So while crime isn’t all that bad in Brooklyn Center, it still could be a bit better.

Locking It All Up In Minnesota

The latest FBI crime data shows that Minneapolis ranks as the most dangerous city in Minnesota for 2019.

We want to point out again that there’s still safes places in Minneapolis and that this isn’t a comment on the people that live there. So please don’t beat us up.

If you’re curious enough, here are the safest cities in Minnesota:

  1. Orono (Pop. 19,923)
  2. Cold Spring/Richmond (Pop. 5,565)
  3. Big Lake (Pop. 10,730)

For more Minnesota reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Most Dangerous Cities In Minnesota

Rank City Population Violent Crimes Per Capita Property Crimes Per Capita
1 Minneapolis 418,971 1,101 4,641
2 Bemidji 15,054 371 8,423
3 West St. Paul 19,778 449 4,909
4 Virginia 8,493 529 4,168
5 Brainerd 13,307 526 4,163
6 Duluth 86,306 323 4,424
7 Waite Park 7,455 281 7,900
8 St. Cloud 67,911 376 4,106
9 St. Paul 306,696 650 3,565
10 Brooklyn Center 30,989 403 3,472
11 Roseville 36,196 245 5,381
12 Fridley 27,516 301 3,746
13 Maplewood 40,689 226 4,696
14 Alexandria 13,756 298 2,907
15 Brooklyn Park 80,347 349 2,697
16 Mankato 42,047 254 3,094
17 Red Wing 16,539 266 2,902
18 South St. Paul 20,235 370 2,564
19 Spring Lake Park 6,482 200 3,856
20 Oakdale 28,181 212 3,232
21 Cloquet 12,108 173 4,212
22 Anoka 17,439 235 2,895
23 Willmar 19,553 347 2,506
24 Richfield 36,087 257 2,554
25 Columbia Heights 19,759 258 2,550
26 Faribault 23,713 290 2,281
27 Robbinsdale 14,545 254 2,530
28 Fergus Falls 13,468 155 3,957
29 Austin 24,692 210 2,587
30 Forest Lake 19,804 151 3,716
31 Crookston 7,789 282 2,105
32 Bloomington 85,704 163 3,022
33 Detroit Lakes 9,242 151 3,494
34 Burnsville 61,442 164 2,853
35 White Bear Lake 26,065 168 2,697
36 Hermantown 9,455 116 4,357
37 Coon Rapids 62,495 161 2,833
38 Litchfield 6,634 286 2,004
39 St. Anthony 9,159 185 2,281
40 Winona 27,071 181 2,282
41 North Branch 10,349 193 2,164
42 Moorhead 42,999 209 2,067
43 Crystal 23,173 215 2,006
44 Thief River Falls 8,824 124 2,844
45 Montevideo 5,181 212 1,988
46 Marshall 13,660 234 1,896
47 Inver Grove Heights 35,254 209 1,920
48 St. Paul Park 5,398 148 2,408
49 Hastings 22,671 158 2,178
50 New Brighton 22,772 122 2,604
51 Rochester 115,228 194 1,859
52 North St. Paul 12,545 151 2,208
53 Baxter 8,298 84 3,470
54 Blaine 63,857 87 3,039
55 Hutchinson 13,846 158 2,022
56 Rogers 13,021 107 2,641
57 Apple Valley 52,439 123 2,223
58 St. Louis Park 49,355 99 2,676
59 Fairmont 10,027 109 2,553
60 Prior Lake 26,374 113 2,456
61 Mounds View 13,146 83 2,974
62 Cambridge 8,770 57 4,241
63 Shakopee 41,176 167 1,838
64 Mendota Heights 11,314 132 2,050
65 New Hope 20,967 138 1,936
66 International Falls 6,009 199 1,364
67 Hopkins 18,189 181 1,390
68 Lakes Area 9,544 178 1,435
69 East Grand Forks 8,713 149 1,813
70 Worthington 13,195 159 1,561
71 Albert Lea 17,608 85 2,362
72 New Ulm 13,316 172 1,306
73 Waseca 9,018 121 1,896
74 Stillwater 19,394 108 2,036
75 Owatonna 25,810 123 1,793
76 Grand Rapids 11,270 168 1,215
77 Isanti 5,641 124 1,577
78 Golden Valley 21,545 83 2,097
79 St. Francis 7,507 119 1,571
80 Sartell 17,353 115 1,642
81 Glencoe 5,478 146 1,332
82 Wayzata 6,517 122 1,549
83 Sauk Rapids 13,769 79 2,077
84 Buffalo 16,206 80 2,060
85 Eagan 66,805 86 1,901
86 St. Peter 11,779 127 1,264
87 Hibbing 16,051 174 697
88 Elk River 24,593 97 1,744
89 Woodbury 69,978 84 1,847
90 Falcon Heights 5,619 106 1,459
91 Northfield 20,512 136 960
92 North Mankato 13,664 117 1,185
93 Kasson 6,308 110 1,252
94 Little Falls 8,665 92 1,431
95 Cottage Grove 36,253 41 2,066
96 Centennial Lakes 10,956 91 1,369
97 Edina 51,923 44 2,043
98 Maple Grove 70,966 70 1,750
99 Jordan 6,261 111 1,102
100 Savage 31,491 82 1,451

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