10 Most Dangerous Cities In North Dakota For 2020


We used data and science to identify the most dangerous cities in the Peace Garden State for 2020.

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This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. It is our fifth time ranking the most dangerous places to live in North Dakota and is updated for 2020.

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In North Dakota it’s a given that you have to watch out for unruly mountain lions in Williston and temperatures that could freeze an egg on a sidewalk in Parshall, but did you know that you also have to watch out for the state’s most dangerous places?

That’s right. There really are dangerous places in North Dakota. Some might say it’s because North Dakota’s frigid temperatures make people angry, some might say the state needs to offer better jobs with competitive salaries, and some might say that it’s just people being people; any way you look at it, the numbers don’t lie, And lucky for you, RoadSnacks is here to tell you the top ten most dangerous places in the Peace Garden State for 2020.

How’d we determine the most dangerous places in North Dakota? We consulted the numbers. In total, we analyzed 21 cities. We looked at the FBI’s latest crime report for violent crime and property crime statistics for every place with over 2,000 residents.

We discovered a couple of things. One, the residents of North Dakota should not be too shocked by this considering they are one of the top 25 most dangerous state in the country. Two, the state’s violent crime and property crime numbers have left the national average in the dust…in a bad way. And three, you should probably take a look at our list before you make in life changing decisions.

Have we peaked your interest? Want to know more about our methodology and where the most dangerous places in North Dakota are located? Keep reading.

Here are the 10 most dangerous cities in North Dakota for 2020:

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

North Dakota is the fastest growin 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.

So, what’s the most dangerous place in North Dakota? That would be, Williston.

Take a look at the list below to see the rest of North Dakota’s most dangerous places.

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

The 10 Most Dangerous Places To Live In North Dakota For 2020

Williston, ND

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 27,390
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 5)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 518 (1st most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,833 (4th 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 2017-2018.

That surge in property crime left residents of Williston a 1 in 35.3 chance of being the victim of theft or arson in 2018, the 4th worst rate in the state for the year.

Fargo, ND

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 124,906
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 417 (3rd most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,147 (2nd 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 3rd worst in North Dakota while property crime is 2nd worst.

Mandan, ND

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 22,743
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 4)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 360 (4th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,033 (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 2017-2018.

Mandan residents had a 1 in 33.0 chance of being the victim of a property crime in 2018.

Bismarck, ND

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 74,644
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 298 (5th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,724 (5th 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 2017-2018, the property crime rate was reduced, making it one of the only cities on this list to drop crime in at least one category.

Review Of Bismarck by HomeSnacks User

Currently live in Bismarck. I could only live here or Fargo/West Fargo in this state. I love ND though, and it truly is the best state in the country

Devils Lake, ND

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 7,314
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 232 (11th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,855 (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 25.9 chance of being the victim of theft or arson in 2018.

The good news is that Devils Lake is the only place on this list to experience a reduction in both types of crime between 2017-2018.

Grand Forks, ND

Source: Public domain

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 57,662
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 256 (8th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,445 (7th 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 6th most dangerous.

Though violent crime in Grand Forks rose between 2017-2018, property crime dropped, making it one of only two cities on this list to see a net reduction in crime during that time period.

Watford City, ND

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 7,931
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 3)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 453 (2nd most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,538 (14th 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 220 chance of being the victim of violence and a 1 in 65.0 chance of being the victim of theft or arson in 2018.

Jamestown, ND

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 15,378
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 4)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 260 (7th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,217 (10th most dangerous)
More on Jamestown:  Data | Photos

Jamestown is the 8th most violent city in the state.

Both categories of crime have been going up between 2017-2018.

Folks in Jamestown have about 1 violent crime per 384 residents.

Review Of Jamestown by HomeSnacks User

Its a small town mostly white middle to upper class then theirs the criminal layer town trys to keep a perfect image so any criminal offense is cracked down on hard little to no organized crime and those that are they are just avoiding warrants in other states their is a large amount of mostly m**h addicts m**h and marijuana being easy to obtain heroine and other deadlier drugs are almost impossible to obtain with c*****e and acid being somewhere in the middle their has been efforts with the cartel to try and place a larger foothold in the town but most memebers either get caught or leave within a few months with them gradually putting more effort in each operation overdoses are common but almost never reported in the newspapers with an attempt to keep the town looking like a paradise

Safe and peaceful place for most of the people as long as they avoid the m**h addicts and other unsavory things the time I spent there was traumatizing

Minot, ND

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 48,829
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 274 (6th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,070 (12th most dangerous)
More on Minot:  Data | Photos

Minot ranks as the 9th most dangerous city in North Dakota. It ranks 6th for violent crime and 12th for property crime (both per capita).

Overall, you had about a 1 in 42.6 chance of being the victim of crime in 2018.

Valley City, ND

Source: Public domain

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 6,423
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 3)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 249 (9th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,273 (9th most dangerous)
More on Valley City:  Data | Photos

Valley City has seen a rapid rise in its violent crime in recent years.

Between 2017-2018, the rate of violent crime increased a staggering amount, leaving Valley City residents a 1 in 401 chance of being the victim of rape, murder, or assault in 2018.

Property crime also went up during this interval, but that’s a lot less scary than the boom in violence.

How Is Your Town In ?

How we determined the most dangerous cities in North Dakota for 2020?

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 2018 data, specifically the 2018 Crime In The United States Report. We will update the results when data becomes available in September 2020.

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 — Williston.

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

Locking It All Up In North Dakota

The latest FBI crime data shows that Williston ranks as the most dangerous city in North Dakota for 2020.

We want to point out again that there’s still safes places in Williston 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. Stanley (Pop. 2,883)
  2. Beulah (Pop. 3,288)
  3. Hazen (Pop. 2,366)

For more North Dakota reading, check out:

Where Are The Most Dangerous Cities In North Dakota?

Rank City Population Violent Crimes Per Capita Property Crimes Per Capita
1 Williston 27,390 518 2,833
2 Fargo 124,906 417 3,147
3 Mandan 22,743 360 3,033
4 Bismarck 74,644 298 2,724
5 Devils Lake 7,314 232 3,855
6 Grand Forks 57,662 256 2,445
7 Watford City 7,931 453 1,538
8 Jamestown 15,378 260 2,217
9 Minot 48,829 274 2,070
10 Valley City 6,423 249 2,273

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.

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