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:
- Fargo (Photos)
- Bismarck (Photos)
- Devils Lake (Photos)
- Jamestown (Photos)
- Grand Forks (Photos)
- Williston (Photos)
- Mandan (Photos)
- Lisbon (Photos)
- Grafton (Photos)
- 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.
For more North Dakota reading, check out:
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Graphing The Most Dangerous And Safest Places In North Dakota
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.
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.
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 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’s motto might tout that the city is “a great place to live,” but its status as the 4th most dangerous city in North Dakota might stain that saying a bit.
Jamestown residents have a 1 in 38.6 chance of being the victim of a property crime every year.
Violent crime has also gone up nearly 30% between 2015-17, with a higher than 1 in 270 chance of being the victim of violence.
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.
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.
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 has seen recent crime trend upwards. Violent crime has increased in 2015-17, with most recent numbers showing an high 1 in 353 chance of being the victim of a violent crime.
Property crime is also high at 1 in 37.2 chance of being a victim.
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.
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:
- New Town (Pop. 2,642)
- Lincoln (Pop. 3,935)
- Stanley (Pop. 2,974)
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Detailed List Of The Most Dangerous Cities In North Dakota