The 10 Most Dangerous Cities In North Dakota For 2021


We used data and science to identify the most dangerous cities in the Peace Garden State for 2021.

Join RoadSnacks
This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. It is our seventh time ranking the most dangerous places to live in North Dakota and is updated for 2021.

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 2021.

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

The Most Dangerous Cities In North Dakota For 2021

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

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, Fargo.

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:

The 10 Most Dangerous Places To Live In North Dakota For 2021

Fargo, ND

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 127,423
Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 450 (Third most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,121 (Second most dangerous)
More on Fargo:  Real Estate | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Best-known from the Coen brothers' movie about a crime gone wrong, Fargo has plenty of real crime going on, considering it's the most dangerous city in North Dakota for 2021.

Fargo averaged one car theft each day over 2019 and maintained the highest burglary rate in North Dakota. We just hope nobody combines those crimes and pulls an airplane heist of the Fargo Air Museum.

Overall, residents had a 1 in 32 chance of being the victim of a property crime and a 1 in 222 chance of being the victim of a violent crime. That includes the third highest rate of rape cases and the fourth highest murder rate in North Dakota -- oh jeez.

Mandan, ND

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 23,012
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 369 (Fourth most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,868 (Third most dangerous)
More on Mandan:  Real Estate | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Located across the Missouri River from Bismarck, Mandan ranks as North Dakota's second most dangerous place to call home.

Mandan is home to Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park, but we think honest Abe would be rolling over in his grave if he saw how much crime was going down here. Mandan had the third highest murder rate and the highest rate of rape cases in North Dakota.

Additionally, Mandan reported 660 property crimes in 2019 -- definitely not something to be proud of.

Williston, ND

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 28,966
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 459 (Second most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,744 (Sixth most dangerous)
More on Williston:  Real Estate | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Williston experienced a slight drop in its crime rates to change this many spots on this list from last year, but things are still far from perfect. Located in the northwestern part of the state, Williston is the second fastest growing city in North Dakota, and it seems local authorities are struggling to keep up.

Like the first couple cities on this list, Williston's biggest issue is violent crime -- residents had a 1 in 217 shot of being violently attacked over 2019. Once again, that includes rape and murder rates that both place in the top five statewide.

You should also watch your valuables when you're out at Fort Union Trading Post because property crime rates in Williston rank as the sixth highest in North Dakota.

Devils Lake, ND

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 7,294
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 274 (Eighth most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,715 (Most dangerous)
More on Devils Lake:  Real Estate | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Located in northeastern North Dakota, Devils Lake experienced a solid rise in violent crime over the last year.

Unfortunately, a lot of that is down to Devils Lake having the second highest rate of rape cases in North Dakota.

Devils Lake also has the highest overall crime rate in North Dakota, beating out the national average by a good margin. That's because Devils Lake had the highest property crime rate statewide, with residents facing a 1 in 26 chance of having their stuff stolen or damaged over 2019.

So while the eponymous Devils Lake offers a lot of outdoor fun, you should make sure to keep a close eye on your valuables while you're out there.

Bismarck, ND

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 74,705
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 305 (Fifth most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,782 (Fifth most dangerous)
More on Bismarck:  Real Estate | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

The capital and second biggest city in North Dakota, Bismarck has a lot to work on in the crime department.

While there are lions and tigers and bears at the Dakota Zoo, the really scary stuff is going down on Bismarck's streets.

Crime has stayed steady in Bismarck over the past year, but that's hardly good news when you have the fifth highest violent crime rate and the fifth highest property crime rate in the state.

Overall, Bismarck ranked in North Dakota's top ten for burglary, rape, and murder rates.

Grand Forks, ND

Source: Public domain

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 57,459
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 288 (Sixth most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,474 (Seventh most dangerous)
More on Grand Forks:  Real Estate | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Grand Forks is the state's 3rd biggest city and home to the University of North Dakota. It's also the sixth most dangerous place to live in North Dakota.

Grand Forks is not the sort of place where you can leave your doors unlocked or your packages out on the porch for long, considering it had the fourth highest burglary rate in North Dakota.

Violent crime is also on the rise in Grand Forks. Residents had a 1 in 346 chance of finding themselves on the receiving end of a violent attack in 2019.

Valley City, ND

Source: Public domain

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 6,351
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 283 (Seventh most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,172 (Eighth most dangerous)
More on Valley City:  Real Estate | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Located about an hour west of Fargo, Valley City is the smallest spot on this list, proving that tiny cities can be every bit as dangerous as big ones. Valley City saw a rise in violent crime over the year, leading to it having the seventh highest violent crime rate in North Dakota.

At the same time, property crime stayed level, which is nothing to brag about when you have the eighth highest property crime rate statewide. Here's hoping nobody breaks in to steal artifacts from the Barnes County Historical Society Museum.

Watford City, ND

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 8,488
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 494 (Most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,508 (14th most dangerous)
More on Watford City:  Real Estate | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

The state's oil boom over the past decade has caused Watford City's population to soar by over 300% since 2010, making it the the fastest growing city in North Dakota. Obviously, the influx of people has made things less safe.

While you can't see anything nefarious from the vista at River Bend Overlook, trust us when we tell you there's a whole lot of crime going down in Watford City.

Violent crime fell last year, but it's still the most violent place in North Dakota. Residents had a 1 in 202 shot of being assaulted, raped, robbed, or murdered over 2019.

Wahpeton, ND

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 7,752
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 3)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 193 (12th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,786 (Fourth most dangerous)
More on Wahpeton:  Real Estate | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Wahpeton may have the world's largest catfish, but it also has the ninth largest crime problem in North Dakota for 2021.

Located an hour south of Fargo, Wahpeton had the highest murder rate statewide. Other than that, though, Wahpeton is the least violent place on this list.

On the other hand, Wahpeton residents had a 1 in 35 chance of being the victim of a property crime over 2019. That includes the fifth highest burglary rate in North Dakota, so invest in a good security system if you're living in Wahpeton.

Jamestown, ND

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 15,198
Rank Last Year: 8 (Down 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 243 (Tenth most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,072 (Ninth most dangerous)
More on Jamestown:  Real Estate | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Jamestown is situated smack dab in the middle of Bismarck and Fargo on I-94. While not as dangerous as either of the big cities, Jamestown does have some issues with crime.

Like having the seventh highest rate of rape cases in North Dakota and ranking in the top ten for both property and violent crime.

So while you can enjoy the wholesome family-fun at Frontier Village, remember that the real Jamestown is a lot less safe than the historical recreation.

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 2021?

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 2019 data, specifically the 2019 Crime In The United States Report. We will update the results when data becomes available in September 2021.

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 North Dakota 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. Any ties went to the smaller city. You can download the data here.

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 Fargo ranks as the most dangerous city in North Dakota for 2021.

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.

Here are the safest cities in North Dakota:

  1. Dickinson (Pop. 23,428)
  2. Grafton (Pop. 4,144)
  3. West Fargo (Pop. 38,171)
  4. Lisbon (Pop. 2,036)
  5. Beulah (Pop. 3,200)
  6. Rugby (Pop. 2,661)
  7. Lincoln (Pop. 3,986)
  8. New Town (Pop. 2,621)
  9. Hazen (Pop. 2,321)
  10. Stanley (Pop. 2,813)

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 Fargo 127,423 450 3,121
2 Mandan 23,012 369 2,868
3 Williston 28,966 459 2,744
4 Devils Lake 7,294 274 3,715
5 Bismarck 74,705 305 2,782
6 Grand Forks 57,459 288 2,474
7 Valley City 6,351 283 2,172
8 Watford City 8,488 494 1,508
9 Wahpeton 7,752 193 2,786
10 Jamestown 15,198 243 2,072

How Is Your Town In ?

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *