If you’ve ever read Pierre’s Capital Journal Crime and Courts page, then you know what many South Dakotans already know: this Midwest state has some pretty dangerous places, too.
Do we think it’s because the flatlanders are bored? Jobs are scarce? Low wages? Yes, all three and then some. So, it would be in your best interest to take a look below at RoadSnacks’ list of the most dangerous places in South Dakota for 2020 before you make any life changing decisions.
How’d we determine the most dangerous places in The Mount Rushmore State? We consulted the numbers. In total, we analyzed 26 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 that South Dakota has some pretty interesting statistics when it comes to violent and property crime compared to the national average. South Dakota is winning the arson game, but losing in murder and aggravated assault. And, shockingly, the city with the most assaults and murders in the state has less than 3,000 residents.
While South Dakota was not in the top ten most dangerous states in America, it does have plenty of cities that should have made the most dangerous cities in the country’s list. Maybe these cities need more police presence? We’re not entirely sure. But one thing we do know is that you should check out South Dakota’s most dangerous places below: there may be some surprises.
It’s not lost on us that many of South Dakota’s cheapest places are also the state’s most dangerous–this is usually how it works. And this is definitely what is happening in South Dakota’s number one most dangerous city: rent is cheap, jobs are scarce, and crime is high.
So, where is the most dangerous place in South Dakota for 2020? That would be, Mitchell.
If you want to know where the rest of the most dangerous places in South Dakota are located, take a look at the list below; and if you don’t find what you’re looking for there, head to the bottom.
Learn more about the safest places in South Dakota.
For more South Dakota reading, check out:
- 10 Best Places To Live In South Dakota
- These Are The 10 Best Counties To Live In South Dakota
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live In South Dakota
Graphing The Most Dangerous And Safest Places In South Dakota
The 10 Most Dangerous Places To Live In South Dakota For 2020
Located in southeastern South Dakota, Mitchell ranks relatively poorly in both categories of crime.
On top of that, both types of crime have been steadily growing more frequent, with a 43% rise in violent crime and an 18% rise in property crime occurring between 2017-2018.
That left Mitchell’s residents with a 1 in 193 shot of being the victim of violence in 2018.
The 2nd most populated city in South Dakota, Rapid City is located just 30 minutes away from Mount Rushmore.
Rapid City’s crime problem has been slowly improving in recent years, with violent crime going down from 2017-2018, and property crime dropping.
Still, Rapid City residents face about a 1 in 34.3 chance of being the victim of theft or arson.
Chamberlain may not be the worst place to live in South Dakota, but it does earn the title of the 3rd most dangerous city in the state.
In 2018, residents of Chamberlain had a 1 in 125 chance of being raped, murdered or assaulted and a 1 in 39.1 chance of being the victim of theft or arson.
Chamberlain probably wouldn’t even be on this list if not for a very recent explosion in its crime rate — between 2017-2018, instances of violent crime increased to 19 and instances of property crime went from just 13 in 2011 to 61 in 2018.
The second smallest state capital in America (after Montpelier, VT), Pierre has the 5th worst rate of property crime in the state.
Though Pierre has the 5th most violent crime on this list.
A city on the Missouri River, Yankton has experienced an unfortunate boom in its crime rate recently.
Between 2017-2018, violent crime and property crime increased.
That left residents of Yankton with a 1 in 38.3 chance of being the victim of a property crime and a 1 in 193 chance of being the victim of violence in 2018.
The most populated city in South Dakota, the Sioux Falls metropolitan area contains almost 30% of the total population of the state.
The crime situation in Sioux Falls has gotten increasingly worse in recent years, with violent crime going up between 2017-2018.
That meant that in 2018, about 1 in 228 Sioux Falls residents were the victim of a violent crime.
Flandreau is certainly lively when it comes to nighttime activities. This tiny city ranks 40.9 in the state for property crimes.
Residents here in Flandreau have a 1 in 35.3 chance of being the victim of a crime in 2018, which was the last reporting year. That means if you live in Flandreau, someone you know was likely the victim of a theft, home break-in or arson.
Spearfish has seen a continuous drop in crime of late — just not at a quick enough rate to get it off this list.
And with residents still facing a 1 in 31.4 chance of being the victim of a property crime, there’s little cause for celebration. In fact, the latest FBI report shows that there were 25 violent crimes in a town of only 11,763 in 2018.
If you live in Aberdeen, you already know which parts of town to avoid. But did you know you have a 1 in 231 chance of being raped, attacked or outright killed every year? Those are the stats.
Plus, 1 in 47.7 people has their lives screwed up due to a property crime of some sort. Odds are if you’ve lived in Aberdeen for a long time, you’ve been robbed at least one time in your life.
If you pass through Aberdeen, lock your doors. And don’t talk to strangers.
Box Elder is the 7th most violent city, with residents facing a 1 in 226 chance of being the victim of violence in 2018.
Progress has been made in recent years, however, reflected by a 12% drop in violent crime, and an 11% drop in property crime between 2017-2018.
How Is Your Town In ?
How we determined the most dangerous cities in South 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 26 cities in South Dakota.
We then ranked each city from 1 to 26 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 South Dakota — Mitchell. 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 South Dakota.
Locking It All Up In South Dakota
The latest FBI crime data shows that Mitchell ranks as the most dangerous city in South Dakota for 2020.
We want to point out again that there’s still safes places in Mitchell 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 South Dakota:
- Sisseton (Pop. 2,395)
- Lead (Pop. 2,957)
- Brandon (Pop. 10,107)
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