Do you live in one of the most dangerous cities in Utah?
We all watch the news and see reports on Facebook of the latest crimes that happen in our hometowns. But it can be hard to tell at a big picture level how dangerous our town actually is.
No one wants to feel unsafe, and statistically speaking, odds are that where you live is most likely relatively safe. In order to help the good people of Utah — and anyone looking to move to Utah — know just how close they are to danger, we took data from the annual FBI report and did some serious analysis.
The data shows that these ten cities are currently the most dangerous in the Beehive State:
- Salt Lake City (Photos)
- South Salt Lake (Photos)
- Murray (Photos)
- West Valley
- Roosevelt (Photos)
- Ogden (Photos)
- West Jordan (Photos)
- Centerville (Photos)
- Vernal (Photos)
Why did Salt Lake City 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 Utah.
How we determined the most dangerous cities in Utah for 2018?
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 2016 data, specifically the 2016 Crime In The United States Report. We will update the results when data becomes available for 2017 in October 2018.
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 62 cities in Utah.
We then ranked each city from 1 to 62 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 — Salt Lake City. Read on for a detailed look at the 10 most dangerous cities in Utah.
Read on for a detailed look at the 10 most dangerous cities in Utah.
1. Salt Lake City
Population: 193,918Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 935
Property Crimes Per 100k: 8,535
That capital and most populous city in Utah, Salt Lake City is, unfortunately, the 1st 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 2014-16, and a 5% increase in property crime.
This left the folks of Salt Lake City a 1 in 106 chance of being the victim of violence and a 1 in 11.7 chance of being the victim of a property crime in 2016.
2. South Salt Lake
Population: 25,022Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 815
Property Crimes Per 100k: 7,845
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 122 chance of being the victim of a rape, murder, or assault in 2016, and a 1 in 12.7 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 2014-16.
Population: 49,758Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 554
Property Crimes Per 100k: 7,076
Located in Salt Lake County, Murray hasn’t experienced much of a change in its crime statistics recently.
Its relatively poor violent crime statistics went up between 2014-16, while property crime fell by a very small amount to 3,521 occurrences.
4. West Valley
Population: 137,558 Rank Last Year: N/A
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 598
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,670
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 2014-16.
Residents of West Valley had a fairly high 1 in 167 chance of being the victim of a violent crime in 2016.
Population: 7,179 Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 668
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,596
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 2014-16.
With that recent boom in violence especially, Roosevelt residents had a 1 in 149 chance of being the victim of a rape, murder, or assault in 2016.
Population: 85,930Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 523
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,431
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 190 chance of being the victim of violence and a 1 in 22.6 chance of being the victim of a property crime in 2016.
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.
Population: 8,699 Rank Last Year: 7 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 195
Property Crimes Per 100k: 6,977
Riverdale is the smallest city to make this list.
Violent crime rose between 2014-16, leaving residents a 1 in 511 chance of being the victim of violence in 2016 (a rate that would earn a top 10 spot in most states).
Riverdale’s already horrible property crime statistics also got worse in these years, going up between 2014-16.
8. West Jordan
Population: 113,595Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 272
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,207
The largest city in the state has the 9th highest rate of violent crime of any city in all of Utah.
Residents faced a 1 in 367 chance of being raped, assaulted, or murdered in 2016, a 5% higher rate than in 2015.
With violence so prevalent, West Jordan can at least take solace in a solid drop in property crime from 2014-16.
Population: 17,204 Rank Last Year: N/A
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 197
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,452
Centerville has the 15th highest rate of violent crime, giving it a 9th place danger ranking overall.
Folks in Centerville had a 1 in 506 chance of being the victim of a violent crime in 2016, a 5% increase from 2015.
Property crime went up during this interval, giving a Centerville resident a 1 in 29.0 chance of being the victim of theft or arson in 2016.
Population: 11,687Rank Last Year: 8 (Down 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 213
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,986
Located in northeastern Utah about 20 miles west of the Colorado border, Vernal has, like almost every city on this list, experienced a growth in its crime rate in recent years.
Violent crime went up by 38%, and property crime by 24% between 2014-16.
Still, the 1 in 467 chance of being the victim of a violent crime in Vernal in 2016.
Locking It All Up In Utah
The latest FBI crime data shows that Salt Lake City ranks as the most dangerous city in Utah for 2018.
However, there will be new data coming out later this year. At that point we can revisit Salt Lake City’s status — that is if they haven’t beaten us all up already.
If you’re curious enough, here are the safest cities in Utah:
- Lone Peak
For more Utah reading , check out:
- These Are The 10 Worst Places To Live In Utah
- These Are The 10 Most Dangerous Cities In Utah
- These Are The 10 Most Redneck Cities In Utah
Detailed List Of The Most Dangeroues Cities In Utah
|Salt Lake City||1||1||193,918|
|South Salt Lake||2||2||25,022|
|American Fork/Cedar Hills||38||34||39,028|
|North Salt Lake||41||27||20,572|