Do you live in one of the most dangerous cities in North Carolina?
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 North Carolina — and anyone looking to move to North Carolina — 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 Tar Heel State:
- Williamston (Photos)
- Goldsboro (Photos)
- Oxford (Photos)
- Wadesboro (Photos)
- Laurinburg (Photos)
- Washington (Photos)
- Smithfield (Photos)
- Reidsville (Photos)
Why did Lumberton 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 North Carolina.
How we determined the most dangerous cities in North Carolina for 2017?
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 second release of 2015 data, specifically the 2015 Crime In The United States Report. We will update the results when data becomes available for 2016 in September 2017.
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 88 cities in North Carolina.
We then ranked each city from 1 to 88 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 North Carolina — Lumberton. Read on for a detailed look at the 10 most dangerous cities in North Carolina.
Population: 21,746 Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,664
Property Crimes Per 100k: 13,938
Lumberton is, statistically one of the most violent place to live in North Carolina — clocking in at 1st place. In 2015, there were 362 violent crimes there, meaning residents have a 1 in 60 chance of being raped, attacked or outright killed.
To put this into perspective, since the average person has 300 Facebook friends, if every single one of them lived in Lumberton, ~5 of them would have faced death last year.
Population: 5,275Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,004
Property Crimes Per 100k: 8,094
A city in Martin County, Williamston has seen crime become a problem over the last decade.
Perhaps that has something to do with the high rate of violent crime, with residents facing a 1 in 99 chance of being the victim of violence in 2015.
On the bright side, instances of property crime fell during this time period.
Population: 36,034Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,290
Property Crimes Per 100k: 6,227
Crime in Goldsboro has been heading in the right direction over the past few years, as both property and violent crimes have been on the decrease since 2011. Perhaps the former home of Andy Griffith could use more help of Matlock-type lawyers to help solve some of Goldsboro’s recent crimes.
Goldsboro residents have a 1 in 16.1 chance of being the victim of a property crime, good for 7th worst in the state. Additionally, they have a 1 in 77 chance of being the victim of a violent crime, 2nd worst in North Carolina.
Population: 8,771Violent Crimes Per 100k: 900
Property Crimes Per 100k: 6,510
Oxford is the most populous city in Granville County.
Oxford experienced a massive rise in violent crime between 2013-15.
Property crime statistics, meanwhile, remained stagnant, with residents facing a 1 in 15.4 chance of being the victim of theft or arson each year — the 6th highest rate in the state.
Population: 5,574Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,237
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,310
Wadesboro, a smaller town with almost 5,574 residents, is, according to the FBI, a very dangerous place.
There were more than 69 violent crimes here in 2015, meaning that 1 in 80 residents was the victim of a serious attack. Crime seems to be ticking up here as well, as violent crimes have gone up 10% since 2014.
Population: 15,507Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,167
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,513
Laurinburg, located in Scotland County, is the 6th most dangerous and 4th most violent city in North Carolina.
Violent crime has remained high from 2013-15, during which time property crime fell by only small amounts.
Population: 9,800Violent Crimes Per 100k: 836
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,959
Located in Beaufort County, Washington hasn’t experienced much of a change in its crime statistics recently.
Its relatively poor violent crime statistics went up between 2013-15, while property crime fell by a very small amount to 584 occurances.
Population: 11,924Violent Crimes Per 100k: 788
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,912
Smithfield has more violent crime than most cities in the Tar Heel State.
While property crime dropped by 10% between 2013-15, violent crime rose by 11%, producing very little net gain for the city’s overall crime rate.
In 2015, Smithfield residents had a 1 in 16.9 chance of being the victim of a violent crime.
Population: 9,209 Violent Crimes Per 100k: 575
Property Crimes Per 100k: 8,545
Rockingham, a smaller town with almost 9,209 residents, is, according to the FBI, a very dangerous place.
There were more than 53 violent crimes here in 2015, meaning that 1 in 173 residents was the victim of a serious attack. Crime seems to be ticking up here as well, as violent crimes have gone up 10% since 2014.
Population: 13,983Violent Crimes Per 100k: 622
Property Crimes Per 100k: 6,093
This smallish city, Reidsville ranks as one of the most dangerous places in North Carolina.
Violent crime has been held steady in recent years and property crime has fallen.
Still, a 1 in 16.4 chance of being the victim of a property crime hardly seems like a cause for celebration.
Locking It All Up In North Carolina
The latest FBI crime data shows that Lumberton ranks as the most dangerous city in North Carolina for 2017.
However, there will be new data coming out later this year. At that point we can revisit Lumberton’s status — that is if they haven’t beaten us all up already.
If you’re curious enough, here are the safest cities in North Carolina:
- Holly Springs
For more North Carolina reading , check out:
- These Are The 10 Cities In North Carolina With The Worst Drivers
- 50 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About North Carolina
- 28 Things People Ask You When You’re From North Carolina
Detailed List Of The Most Dangeroues Cities In North Carolina