Texas has a certain reputation going for it. Besides the whole cultural stranglehold the Lone Star State has on the entire region, it’s widely viewed as a land of rebels and pride. They still lead the country in death penalty executions down there. And, not too long ago, if found guilty, you could face execution for cattle rustling.
You’d think with the whole, ‘Don’t Mess With Texas’ thing, and the fact that people can carry concealed weapons here, crime would be a lot less likely. But it is not. Just like in all other states, there’s a high number of crimes being committed in certain areas of the state.
Just where are the danger hot spots in Texas? After analyzing more than 200 of the most populous cities in Texas, the data has determined that the 10 most dangerous places to live in Texas are:
Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers, or scroll to the bottom for a complete chart to check how your city ranked. Hint: It looks like the further south you get (near Brownsville), the higher the chances are that you’ll be the victim of a major crime.
How we determined the most dangerous cities in Texas
While there are surveys and public polls on what cities in a state are the most dangerous, we didn’t want to rely on speculation and opinion. Instead, we looked at the hard numbers from the FBI’s last three years of reporting. Specifically, we analyzed the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report which summarizes the number of property crimes and violent crimes in each city per year.
Violent crimes are defined as rapes, murders, robberies and aggravated assaults.
We only looked at cities that have populations of more than 10,000 people as of 2013, which is the last year the report was available. This left us with a total of 211 cities in Texas to rank.
Additionally, we made 2013 factor more heavily than 2012, since more recent crimes are a bigger determining factor in how dangerous a place is.
Read on below to see which cities are the most dangerous, or scroll to the bottom of the post to see a list of how all cities in Texas ranked.
We must note that this report is not an analysis of the effectiveness of local police departments. It simply states where crimes occurred most frequently.
Violent crime ranking: 4
Property crime ranking: 2
Weslaco is, by far, the most dangerous city in the state of Texas. Just a short drive from Brownsville (and the Mexican border), Weslaco residents have a 1 in 95 chance of being the victim of a violent crime – meaning raped, murdered or attacked.
Violent crimes in Weslaco have more than doubled since 2011, and property crimes have gone up significantly here as well.
Violent crime ranking: 7
Property crime ranking: 6
No surprises here that Texarkana ranked so high on the list, because just a week ago, we ran a study on the most dangerous cities in Arkansas, and Texarkana, Arkansas was really high on that list.
Residents in Texarkana have a 1 in 16 chance of being the victim of a property crime, meaning a car theft, home break in or fraud. However, crime in Texarkana has been steadily declining over the last few years, which is a good thing,
Violent crime ranking: 9
Property crime ranking: 4
Located just a stone’s throw from Weslaco on Interstate 2 lies Alamo. Crime has steadily remained a real concern here since 2011. Currently, 1 out of 115 residents has the chance of being the victim of a violent crime here.
Additionally, Alamo is the fourth-highest city in terms of thefts in the state of Texas.
Violent crime ranking: 10
Property crime ranking: 5
Continuing the trend of this area of the state of Texas being a hotbed of danger, Donna, located along Interstate 2, is one of the places to avoid. Residents in Donna have a 1 in 15 chance of being the victim of a car theft or home invasion robbery.
The average American has 338 contacts on Facebook. To put that into perspective, more than 20 people you’re friends with would have been robbed last year if all of them lived in Donna, Texas.
Violent crime ranking: 2
Property crime ranking: 16
Beaumont is, essentially the second-most dangerous place in the state of Texas for violent crimes. Only tiny Raymondville, population 11,654, inland from South Padre Island, is statistically, more dangerous than Beaumont.
Residents in Beaumont have a staggering 1 in 90 chance of being assaulted, raped or killed every year. Yikes. And it seems to be climbing quickly in Beaumont over the last few years as well.
Violent crime ranking: 13
Property crime ranking: 7
Alice, Texas, just a short drive north of Raymondville in eastern Texas, is a very dangerous place for property crimes in Texas. In 2013, 1 in 16 residents here was the unfortunate victim of a property crime.
Perhaps it’s a coincidence that over the last 15 years, the population of Alice has peaked.
Violent crime ranking: 6
Property crime ranking: 21
The rivalry between Dallas and Houston is turned up a notch here, as Houston is the seventh-most dangerous place in the state of Texas. Dallas, on the other hand, is 28th, while Fort Worth ranks 36th.
The population of Houston might make these statistics stand out like a sore thumb, but in 2013, more than 21,000 people were either killed, attacked or raped in Houston. Wow.
8. Balch Springs
Violent crime ranking: 15
Property crime ranking: 12
Little Balch Springs, a suburb of Dallas, is almost statistically, as dangerous as Houston, at least in terms of crimes per resident. People in Balch Springs need to watch their backs: 1 out of 18 of them was robbed two years ago.
Violent crime ranking: 24
Property crime ranking: 3
Tiny Humble, the smallest city by far in our top 20, is where muggers go to thrive. There were the third-most robberies per capita in the entire state in 2013 here.
Humble borders the George Bush International Airport to the east. Is it a coincidence that so many robberies take place so close to a major airport?
Violent crime ranking: 18
Property crime ranking: 13
After a year that saw violent crimes spike in 2012 (1 out of 113 residents were the victim of a violent attack that year), things have settled a bit in Palestine. Still, when almost 1 in 15 people in town are the victim of some type of robbery, it can be a little scary to leave the house at night.
There You Have It
Every single city at the top of our list is east and south of Dallas. Feel free to draw your own conclusions from the data. Again, these statistics are an indication of where crimes occur, not a statement about the effectiveness of the law enforcement in the areas they serve.
The Safest Cities in Texas
- Murphy (population 19,347)
- Colleyville (population 24,239)
- Flower Mound (68,835)
- Highland Village (15,754)
- Memorial Villages (population 11.660)
Detailed Statistics For Dangerous Cities In Texas