These Are The 10 Most Dangerous Cities In North Dakota For 2019


We used data and science to identify the most dangerous cities in the Peace Garden 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 North Dakota?

We all watch the news and see the Facebook feeds come across of the latest crimes that are happening in our home towns. While a major crime just blocks away from your house can make you feel really uneasy, in the big picture, most likely, where you live is relatively safe.

North Dakota is the fastest growing state in the U.S., but the population influx in some of these cities has been accompanied by a rapid growth in crime. North Dakota still has less crime than most states, but a handful of its cities, including the capital, are more dangerous than others.

Instead of relying on speculation, we dug into the FBI crime data in order to identify the most dangerous places in North Dakota.

The result is the following list of top ten most dangerous North Dakota cities for 2019:

  1. Fargo (Photos)
  2. Bismarck (Photos)
  3. Devils Lake (Photos)
  4. Jamestown (Photos)
  5. Grand Forks (Photos)
  6. Williston (Photos)
  7. Mandan (Photos)
  8. Lisbon (Photos)
  9. Grafton (Photos)
  10. Watford City (Photos)

After analyzing 21 cities in North Dakota, why did Fargo 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 Dakota.

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 North Dakota reading, check out:

Graphing The Most Dangerous And Safest Places In North Dakota

Most Dangerous Cities In North Dakota Graph

Click To Enlarge

How we determined the most dangerous cities in North Dakota 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 2,000 in population. That left us with 21 cities in North Dakota.

We then ranked each city from 1 to 21 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 Dakota — Fargo.

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

Fargo, ND

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 123,430
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 402 (1st most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,135 (4th most dangerous)
More on Fargo:  Data | Photos

The biggest city in North Dakota, Fargo is probably best known from the Coen brother’s movie about a crime gone wrong.

Fargo has plenty of real crime too, though, and its only gotten worse in recent years — violent crime now sits at 1st worst in North Dakota while property crime is 4th worst.

Bismarck, ND

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 74,397
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 344 (4th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,277 (2nd most dangerous)
More on Bismarck:  Data | Photos

North Dakota’s capital and second biggest city, Bismarck is located on the east bank of the Missouri River in the south central part of the state.

Though violent crime went up between 2015-17, the property crime rate was reduced, making it one of the only cities on this list to drop crime in at least one category.

Devils Lake, ND

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 7,344
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 5)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 313 (7th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,779 (1st most dangerous)
More on Devils Lake:  Data | Photos

Devils Lake is ranked as the 1st worst for property crime in North Dakota — Devils Lake residents faced about 1 in 20.9 chance of being the victim of theft or arson in 2017.

The good news is that Devils Lake is the only place on this list to experience a reduction in both types of crime between 2015-17.

Jamestown, ND

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 15,439
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 369 (2nd most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,590 (7th most dangerous)
More on Jamestown:  Data | Photos

Jamestown North Dakota has seen crime within its city limits head downwards over the last few years, but it’s still a relatively dangerous place.

Chances are if you live in Jamestown, someone you know was the victim of a break-in or theft in recent years, as nearly 1 in 33.8 residents had a run in with a criminal last year.

Grand Forks, ND

Source: Public domain

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 58,090
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 315 (6th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,960 (5th most dangerous)
More on Grand Forks:  Data | Photos

Located on the border of Minnesota, Grand Forks is the 3rd largest city in North Dakota, and the 5th most dangerous.

Though violent crime in Grand Forks rose between 2015-17, property crime dropped, making it one of only two cities on this list to see a net reduction in crime during that time period.

Williston, ND

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 28,748
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 4)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 347 (3rd most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,334 (9th most dangerous)
More on Williston:  Data | Photos

Located in the northwestern part of North Dakota, Williston has also seen a huge increase in its population recently.

And this came with a massive growth in the crime rate — a 58% bump in violent crime and an enormous 147% increase in property crime from 2015-17.

That surge in property crime left residents of Williston a 1 in 42.8 chance of being the victim of theft or arson in 2017, the 9th worst rate in the state for the year.

Mandan, ND

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 22,369
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 183 (11th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,218 (3rd most dangerous)
More on Mandan:  Data | Photos

Just across the Missouri River from Bismarck, Mandan is close behind the capital in its crime rate.

Unlike Bismarck, crime has only gotten worse in recent years in Mandan, with violent crime going up between 2015-17.

Mandan residents had a 1 in 31.1 chance of being the victim of a property crime in 2017.

Lisbon, ND

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 2,121
Rank Last Year: 17 (Up 10)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 282 (8th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,687 (6th most dangerous)
More on Lisbon:  Data | Photos

Lisbon is the least populated city on this list, as well as the least violent.

Residents of Lisbon faced a 1 in 37.2 chance of being the victim of a property crime in 2017.

Lisbon has been improving a lot lately too, with reductions in both violent and property crime between 2015-17.

Grafton, ND

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 4,240
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 3)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 188 (10th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,334 (8th most dangerous)
More on Grafton:  Data | Photos

Located in northeastern North Dakota, Grafton’s population has been slowly dwindling, going in the opposite direction of most cities in the state.

While the rate of property crime has been stagnant in recent years, violent crime went up between 2015-17.

This left Grafton residents with a 1 in 42.8 chance of being the victim of violence in 2017.

Watford City, ND

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 8,015
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 336 (5th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,572 (15th most dangerous)
More on Watford City:  Data | Photos

North Dakota’s oil boom over the past decade has cause Watford City’s population to soar, increasing by 60% since just 2010.

Crime, unfortunately, went up by even more, and in a shorter space of time.

That left Watford City residents with a 1 in 296 chance of being the victim of violence and a 1 in 63.6 chance of being the victim of theft or arson in 2017.

Locking It All Up In North Dakota

The latest FBI crime data shows that Fargo ranks as the most dangerous city in North Dakota for 2019.

We want to point out again that there’s still safes places in Fargo 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 North Dakota:

  1. New Town (Pop. 2,642)
  2. Lincoln (Pop. 3,935)
  3. Stanley (Pop. 2,974)

For more North Dakota reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Most Dangerous Cities In North Dakota

Rank City Population Violent Crimes Per Capita Property Crimes Per Capita
1 Fargo 123,430 402 3,135
2 Bismarck 74,397 344 3,277
3 Devils Lake 7,344 313 4,779
4 Jamestown 15,439 369 2,590
5 Grand Forks 58,090 315 2,960
6 Williston 28,748 347 2,334
7 Mandan 22,369 183 3,218
8 Lisbon 2,121 282 2,687
9 Grafton 4,240 188 2,334
10 Watford City 8,015 336 1,572
11 Minot 50,118 267 2,234
12 Valley City 6,558 167 2,302
13 Wahpeton 7,841 165 2,257
14 Dickinson 23,967 162 1,944
15 West Fargo 36,624 144 1,348
16 Rugby 2,806 71 1,888
17 Carrington 2,039 49 980
18 Beulah 3,420 116 409
19 New Town 2,642 37 681
20 Lincoln 3,935 25 228
21 Stanley 2,974 33 67

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