It turns out that Utah has more to worry about than Polygamy and alcohol stores operating without a state license, the state has its fair share of super dangerous places too.
And because RoadSnacks thinks it’s important to provide important information to the public, we created a list of the most dangerous places in Utah for 2020. We suggest you take a look at them before you make any life changing decisions. How’d we do it? We consulted the numbers. In total, we analyzed 63 cities. We looked at the FBI’s latest crime report for violent crime and property crime statistics for every place with over 5,000 residents. We discovered that Utah’s overall violent and property crime numbers, while above the national average, the numbers in the state’s most dangerous places could be better.
If you asked most Utahns, they would say that their little corner of this western state is the best, but that’s not the case for the people who live in Utah’s most dangerous places. The residents in these places are not only witnessing high crime, they are dealing with unemployment, low wages, and lack of rehabilitation programs. This is shocking because Utah is the sixth wealthiest state in the country. Do we think that the state needs to reevaluate their income and sales tax so that they can take care of their problems? We’re not entirely sure, but one thing we know is that the trickle down effect must be stopping after Utah’s best cities are compensated.
Want to know the places in Utah where jobs are scarce, wages low, and crime is high? Keep reading.
Let’s be real, we’re not talking about snowboarding in Park City without a helmet kind of danger. The type of danger we’re talking about gets people on Salt Lake City’s KUTV at six. That’s because the cities that made our list have robberies happening in broad daylight, car jackings, and daily shootings. There are neighborhoods in these cities that you shouldn’t drive thru, ever.
So, what’s the most dangerous place in Utah? That would be, South Salt Lake.
The Utah cities on our most dangerous list could definitely use some TLC. If you’re looking to be that diamond in the rough, or you’re just curious to see if your city made the list, take a look at our list below. And if you don’t see your city there, head to the bottom.
Learn more about the safest places in Utah.
For more Utah reading, check out:
- 10 Best Places To Live In Utah
- These Are The 10 Best Counties To Live In Utah
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Utah
Graphing The Most Dangerous And Safest Places In Utah
The 10 Most Dangerous Places To Live In Utah For 2020
Just south of Salt Lake City, South Salt Lake beats the capital’s crime rankings by just a sliver because it has a marginally higher rate of violent crime.
Residents of South Salt Lake had a 1 in 103 chance of being the victim of a rape, murder, or assault in 2018, and a 1 in 14.0 chance of being the victim of theft or arson.
And the crime rate has only been getting worse, with the city experiencing an 18% rise in violent crime and a 6% rise in property crime between 2017-2018.
That capital and most populous city in Utah, Salt Lake City is, unfortunately, the 2nd most crime ridden city in the state.
And, just like in South Salt Lake, crime has steadily been rising in the capital, with a 22% spike in violent crime from 2017-2018, and a 5% increase in property crime.
This left the folks of Salt Lake City a 1 in 136 chance of being the victim of violence and a 1 in 16.2 chance of being the victim of a property crime in 2018.
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 689 (3rd most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,584 (7th most dangerous)
More on West Valley:
A suburb of Salt Lake City (the seeming hub of Utah’s crime), West Valley is the second largest city in the state.
Not unlike the capital, West Valley has experienced a rapid growth in its crime rate — a 20% increase in violent crime and 22% in property crime between 2017-2018.
Residents of West Valley had a fairly high 1 in 145 chance of being the victim of a violent crime in 2018.
Murray makes it into the top 10 most dangerous in Utah. After a huge growth spurt in the 60’s and 70’s, people are actually leaving Murray in droves, which could be in part to its high criminal population.
As of the last FBI report, crime in Murray has been ticking upwards, and statistically, 1 in 16.4 residents here was recently the victim of a robbery or car theft.
Just 40 miles north of Salt Lake City, Ogden was named the 6th best place to raise a family by Forbes in 2010.
That’s awfully surprising considering Ogden’s abysmal crime rate, with residents facing a 1 in 210 chance of being the victim of violence and a 1 in 27.2 chance of being the victim of a property crime in 2018.
Still, that’s 67% less violent crime than South Salt Lake, and 50% less property crime than Salt Lake City, so that’s some good news for Ogden’s families.
The least populated city on this list, Moab has become a popular tourist destination for mountain bikers and off-roaders, but the city’s crime rate is what’s truly extreme.
Between 2017-2018, violent crime went up to 33 occurrences, leaving Moab’s residents a 1 in 159 chance of being the victim of a violent crime in 2018.
Property crime remained stagnant during these years, with residents of Moab having about a 1 in 30.1 chance of being the victim of theft or arson each year.
The largest city in Carbon County, Price has experienced a 13% increase in its violent crime rate and a 19% rise in property crime rate between 2017-2018.
Folks in Price had about a 1 in 16.9 chance of being robbed or burnt in 2018, which is just the heavy price you pay for living in Price.
Just 30 miles southeast of downtown Salt Lake City, Park City is a lovely, artsy city that’s one of three sites where the Sundance Film Festival takes place.
But that charm hasn’t protected Park City from a truly dramatic surge in violent crime; from 2017-2018, instances of violent crime tripled.
On the bright side, property crime fell by 25% during these years. But most would prefer if the assaults and rapes were the statistics that were going down.
Riverdale is the 50th largest and 9th most dangerous city in Utah.
Residents have a 1 in 16.6 chance of being the victim of a property crime each year, and chances of a violent crime now stand at 1 in 382, making Riverdale quite a dangerous place to be.
The furthest city from the capital so far (140 miles southeast of Salt Lake City), Roosevelt has experienced a rapid 50% increase in its population since 2000.
But with this swell of people came a rapid rise in crime, with instances of violent crime more than tripling, and instances of property crime going up by 33% from 2017-2018.
With that recent boom in violence especially, Roosevelt residents had a 1 in 316 chance of being the victim of a rape, murder, or assault in 2018.
How Is Your Town In ?
How we determined the most dangerous cities in Utah 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 5,000 in population. That left us with 63 cities in Utah.
We then ranked each city from 1 to 63 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 Utah — South Salt Lake. 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 Utah.
Locking It All Up In Utah
The latest FBI crime data shows that South Salt Lake ranks as the most dangerous city in Utah for 2020.
We want to point out again that there’s still safes places in South Salt Lake 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 Utah:
- Salem (Pop. 8,496)
- Mapleton (Pop. 10,041)
- Lone Peak (Pop. 29,969)
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