The 10 Most Dangerous Cities In Maine For 2022


We used data and science to identify the most dangerous cities in the Pine Tree State for 2022.

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If you've ever been on Maine Ave. in Rumford or Q St. in South Portland, you know that Maine can be pretty dangerous.

Yes, Maine has some super friendly people and some pretty great scenery, but there are many places in Vacationland that are losing the war on crime; and lucky for you, RoadSnacks is here to tell you just where the most dangerous places in Maine are located for 2022. How'd we do it? We consulted the numbers. In total, we analyzed 55 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 Maine is much lower than the national average in terms of violent and property crime. And, shockingly, the city with the most assaults and murders in the state has less than 6,000 residents.

What's even crazier is that Maine had a total of 121 violent crimes and 1,507 property crimes and managed to stay out of the top twenty most dangerous states in the country for 2022. Not to mention, not one of The Pine Tree State's cities made the list of most dangerous cities in the country for 2022. But, folks, Maine's most dangerous places are not so lucky. These places need better employment opportunities, higher wages, and strong rehabilitation programs to combat their growing crime rates.

So, want to know the places in Maine that could use a hug? Keep reading.

The Most Dangerous Cities In Maine For 2022

  1. Augusta
  2. Houlton
  3. Waterville
  4. Biddeford
  5. Auburn
  6. Bangor
  7. Skowhegan
  8. Lewiston
  9. Presque Isle
  10. Sanford

It's not lost on us that many of Maine's cheapest places are also the state's most dangerous--this is usually how it works. And this is definitely what is happening in Maine's number one most dangerous city: rent is cheap, jobs are scarce, and crime is high.

So, where is the most dangerous place in Maine for 2022? That would be, Augusta.

If you want to know where the rest of the most dangerous places in Maine 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 Maine.

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 Maine reading, check out:

The 10 Most Dangerous Places To Live In Maine For 2022

Augusta is one of the least populous state capitals in the United States, with a population of 18,653. It is home to the University of Maine at Augusta, the Blaine House, Fort Western, and the Viles Arboretum. Since the early 2000s, the downtown district has undergone revitalization to bring back business.

Behind the rich history, culture, and art scene, there is a darker side. Augusta residents experience higher levels of robbery, assault, violent crime, burglary, and car thefts at a rate that is significantly higher than Maine's average. These crimes, however, occur less frequently than the national average. The number of larceny and property crimes in Augusta surpass the US average. As dangerous as this capital city is, it isn't surprising that the city's population has been slowly shrinking since 2009.

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 18,653
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 3)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 402 (Most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,307 (Second most dangerous)
More on Augusta:  | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Augusta, ME

At the intersection of Highways 1 and 95, is the town of Houlton, Maine. The city, which lies on the US/Canada border has low unemployment and affordable housing.

While the crime rate in Houghton is below the national crime rate, it is noticeably higher than Maine's average crime rate. Though residents are fairly safe from being burglarized or murdered, they are at an increased risk of being a victim of larceny and aggravated assault with those numbers being 145 and 21 respectively.

With the high risk of having their personal property stolen as well as being assaulted, it is no wonder Houlton has been gradually losing residents since 2011, with the exception of 2016.

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 5,713
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 385 (Second most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,905 (Third most dangerous)
More on Houlton:  | Crime Report

Houlton, ME

Once again, the city of Waterville is one of the most dangerous cities in Maine, though its population has been gradually increasing since 2011. A significant amount of its residents make less than $10,000 per year, but a larger percentage holds a doctorate degree than the average US city.

Waterville has one of the highest property crime rates in the state of Maine with 2,497/100k people. Waterville's car theft, larceny, burglary, aggravated assault, violent crime and robbery rates all surpass the state's average.

Also, another interesting fact about Waterford is that there are women than men with a 53/46% split. This imbalance is greater than the state and national averages. If you're looking for a girl, but don't mind putting yourself in harm's way, Waterville may be the place for you.

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 16,654
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 5)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 192 (Ninth most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,497 (Sixth most dangerous)
More on Waterville:  | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Waterville, ME

The coastal community of Biddeford is home to the University of New England and it hosts the annual La Kermesse Franco-Americaine Festival. It was settled by Europeans in 1616, making it one of the oldest European settlements in the United States. It now boasts a population of 21,530 and is the county's commercial center.

An increase in population tends to increase the crime rate. This correlation is no exception in Biddeford where its crimes propel it slightly above the national crime rate, and significantly higher than Maine's average crime rate.

Though its violent crime rate is below the national average, its 50 violent crimes is above the average rate for Maine. Similar to Houghton, the majority of Biddeford's property crimes come in the form of larceny.

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 21,530
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 232 (Fifth most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,955 (11th most dangerous)
More on Biddeford:  | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Biddeford, ME

Auburn used to be big in the shoe business. About a hundred years ago, a single factory in town manufactured three-quarters of the all the white canvas shoes sold in the world.

These days, this town in southern Maine has a reputation based on something besides making footwear that's hard to keep clean. In fact, the last century has seen a major shift in the community's claim to fame. These days, Auburn has to contend with its ranking as the number 5 most dangerous spot in Maine. In an area with just 23,455 people, the city suffers 46 violent crimes in a year.

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 23,455
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 8)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 196 (Seventh most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,208 (Ninth most dangerous)
More on Auburn:  | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Auburn, ME

Bangor has a lot going for it. You have a casino. You have museums. You have a 30-foot statue of Paul Bunyan. What more could you need?

A lock on your door, that's for sure.

In many states, Bangor would count as a small town, given that it only has 32,179 residents. However, in Maine, that makes it the number 3.0 biggest city in the state. As such, the 63 car thefts and 13 robberies in a year become a massive crime wave.

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 32,179
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 5)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 158 (15th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,750 (Most dangerous)
More on Bangor:  | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Bangor, ME

Source: Public domain

The city of Skowhegan is just over an hour drive west of Bangor Maine. This smaller community is a haven for budding and experienced artists who attend internationally-renowned Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Residents are also treated to the annual Skowhegan State Fair, the oldest state fair in the United States.

Skowhegan, however, has a problem with crime, with an above average number of crimes committed per 100,000 people. Of its crimes, property crime is the most prevalent with 226 cases in last reporting year.

If you're thinking of getting a place for your art studio, be sure you keep your artwork stored safely inside.

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 8,202
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 170 (13th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,755 (Fourth most dangerous)
More on Skowhegan:  | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Skowhegan, ME

Lewiston, located between Maine's capital of Augusta, and Portland, is the second largest city in Maine and is considered as the economic and commercial center of Maine. This has made the city one of the most ethnic, cultural, and religiously diverse communities in the state. Lewiston is also home to the largest French-speaking community in the United States. Besides its diverse population, the city prides itself on its great schools, access to medical care, and low violent and property crime rates.

Sounds like the perfect place to live, right?

Lewiston missed the infamous top-ten dangerous cities list in previous years, but has now bumped up to 8. This is likely due in part to its averages of murder, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, car theft, and property crime are significantly higher than the averages of Maine for those categories.

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 36,186
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 268 (Third most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,765 (14th most dangerous)
More on Lewiston:  | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Lewiston, ME

Source: Public domain

This city in northern Maine features all the things a family will love: jobs, arts, culture, a rich food scene, colleges. This small city offers the perfect balance of amenities you'd find in a big city including three colleges, The Aroostook Centre Mall, and the Northern Maine Regional Airport, and the quaint, intimacy of a small town complete with a fairground. While Presque Isle, the largest city in the county has a low unemployment rate and low rent, it has a poverty rate that is quite a bit above average.

Presque Isle has a violent crime rate that is higher than the Maine average, but less than the national average. Residents of Presque Isle have a higher risk of being a victim of car theft, larceny, burglary, and property crime thanks to higher averages of those crimes relative to the US and Maine averages.

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 8,937
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 179 (11th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,349 (Eighth most dangerous)
More on Presque Isle:  | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Presque Isle, ME

10. Sanford

Promising excellent schools, open recreational spaces, and excellent job opportunities, Sanford 's crime rate has put a damper on its potential as a great place to live. While Sanford, Maine is one of the state's newest cities, it isn't off to a good start as it is again ranked as one of the most dangerous cities in Maine in its brief existence.

With 600 crimes, Sanford has the dubious distinction of ranking among the top in the state for burglary, property crime, and total crime. The most common crime in Sanford is property crime which has occurred 565 times.

Population: 21,272
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 4)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 164 (14th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,656 (Fifth most dangerous)
More on Sanford:

Sanford, ME

Methodology: How we determined the most dangerous cities in Maine for 2022?

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 2020 data, specifically the 2020 Crime In The United States Report. We will update the results when data becomes available in September 2022.

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 Maine cities over 5,000 in population. That left us with 55 cities in Maine.

We then ranked each city from 1 to 55 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 Maine -- Augusta. Any ties went to the smaller city. You can download the data here.

Most Dangerous Places To Live In Maine FAQs

Is Maine a dangerous state?

No, Maine is not a dangerous state as it ranks as the #2 safest state in the United States based on our analysis of the latest FBI Crime Data. The violent crime rate in maine ranks 50th highest in the United States -- 72.0% better than US average violent crime rate. The property crime rate in the Pine Tree State ranks 47th highest in the United States -- 40.96% better than US average property crime rate. The latest reporting year from the FBI was 2020.

Is Portland, ME a dangerous city?

No, Portland is not a dangerous city. Portland ranks as the #555 safest out of 1416 major cities over 30,000 people in the United States based on our analysis of the latest FBI Crime Data. Keep in mind that are always safe and dangerous parts of any city, so even though Portland might be considered safe you still need to be aware of where you are.

Compared to other big cities, the violent crime rate in Portland ranks 864th highest in America -- 47.48% better than US average violent crime rate. The property crime rate in the ranks 809th highest in the United States -- 19.15% better than US average property crime rate. Note the latest reporting year from the FBI was 2020 and that no city in America is 'dangerous'. Despite the uptick in murders, it's nothing like you'd see in Tijuana or Caracas where the murder rate is 2x any American city.

Graphing The Most Dangerous And Safest Places In Maine

Most Dangerous Cities In Maine Graph

Click To Enlarge

Summary: Locking It All Up In Maine

So what is the most dangerous city in Maine? After analyzing 55 cities in Maine, Augusta takes the top spot as the most dangerous city in Maine based on the most recently reported FBI data -- 2020.

The latest FBI crime data shows that Augusta ranks as the most dangerous city in Maine for 2022.

We want to point out again that there's still safes places in Augusta and that this isn't a comment on the people that live there. So please don't beat us up.

It's not lost on us that many of Maine's cheapest places are also the state's most dangerous--this is usually how it works. And this is definitely what is happening in Maine's number one most dangerous city: rent is cheap, jobs are scarce, and crime is high.

So, where is the most dangerous place in Maine for 2022? That would be, Augusta.

If you want to know where the rest of the most dangerous places in Maine 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 Maine.

If you're looking for something more national, check out the most dangerous cities in America or the most dangerous states in America.

Here are the safest cities in Maine:

  1. Belfast (Pop. 6,681)
  2. Gardiner (Pop. 5,639)
  3. Oakland (Pop. 6,317)
  4. Falmouth (Pop. 12,444)
  5. Cumberland (Pop. 8,327)
  6. Eliot (Pop. 6,990)
  7. Cape Elizabeth (Pop. 9,340)
  8. Hampden (Pop. 7,428)
  9. Gorham (Pop. 18,167)
  10. Kennebunk (Pop. 11,719)

For more Maine reading, check out:

Crime By City In Maine

Rank City Population Violent Crimes Per Capita Property Crimes Per Capita
1 Augusta 18,653 402 3,307
2 Houlton 5,713 385 2,905
3 Waterville 16,654 192 2,497
4 Biddeford 21,530 232 1,955
5 Auburn 23,455 196 2,208
6 Bangor 32,179 158 3,750
7 Skowhegan 8,202 170 2,755
8 Lewiston 36,186 268 1,765
9 Presque Isle 8,937 179 2,349
10 Sanford 21,272 164 2,656
11 Portland 66,229 194 1,725
12 Rumford 5,735 174 1,795
13 Fairfield 6,531 229 1,286
14 Old Orchard Beach 9,061 242 1,037
15 Ellsworth 8,231 97 2,162
16 South Portland 25,593 125 1,570
17 Brewer 8,988 66 2,358
18 Saco 20,133 119 1,495
19 Rockland 7,151 97 1,678
20 Caribou 7,532 79 1,938
21 Winslow 7,599 131 1,184
22 Farmington 7,764 115 1,275
23 Westbrook 19,256 155 950
24 Buxton 8,360 179 741
25 Bridgton 5,459 91 1,044
26 Scarborough 21,237 65 1,285
27 Winthrop 5,983 83 986
28 Paris 5,149 116 776
29 Brunswick 20,566 77 909
30 Lisbon 9,004 55 1,055
31 Bath 8,322 48 1,129
32 Kittery 9,855 60 872
33 Wells 10,803 64 777
34 Sabattus 5,054 98 494
35 Freeport 8,637 46 868
36 Topsham 8,891 44 798
37 Old Town 7,388 27 1,015
38 Windham 18,720 58 651
39 York 13,377 52 710
40 Yarmouth 8,617 58 626
41 Bar Harbor 7,716 64 518
42 Orono 10,851 27 801
43 Waldoboro 5,070 39 710
44 South Berwick 7,605 52 565
45 Berwick 7,944 25 767
46 Belfast 6,681 0 793
47 Gardiner 5,639 35 602
48 Oakland 6,317 15 664
49 Falmouth 12,444 16 618
50 Cumberland 8,327 36 252

How Is Your Town In ?

This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. It is our ninth time ranking the most dangerous places to live in Maine and is updated for 2022.

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.