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:
- Minneapolis (Photos)
- Bemidji (Photos)
- West St. Paul (Photos)
- Virginia (Photos)
- Brainerd (Photos)
- Duluth (Photos)
- Waite Park (Photos)
- St. Cloud (Photos)
- St. Paul (Photos)
- 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.
For more Minnesota reading, check out:
- 10 Best Places To Live In Minnesota
- These Are The 10 Best Counties To Live In Minnesota
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Minnesota
Graphing The Most Dangerous And Safest Places In Minnesota
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 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 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.
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 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 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 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.
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 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.
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 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:
- Orono (Pop. 19,923)
- Cold Spring/Richmond (Pop. 5,565)
- Big Lake (Pop. 10,730)
For more Minnesota reading, check out:
- 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Minnesota
- These Are The 10 Best Places To Retire In Minnesota For 2018
- These Are The 10 Richest Cities In Minnesota
- 10 Safest Places In Minnesota
- 10 Worst Places To Live In Minnesota
Detailed List Of The Most Dangerous Cities In Minnesota
|3||West St. Paul||19,778|
|18||South St. Paul||20,235|
|19||Spring Lake Park||6,482|
|35||White Bear Lake||26,065|
|44||Thief River Falls||8,824|
|47||Inver Grove Heights||35,254|
|48||St. Paul Park||5,398|
|52||North St. Paul||12,545|
|58||St. Louis Park||49,355|
|69||East Grand Forks||8,713|