These Are The 10 Most Dangerous Cities In Maine For 2018


We used data and science to identify the most dangerous cities in the Pine Tree State for 2018.

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Do you live in one of the most dangerous cities in Maine?

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 Maine — and anyone looking to move to Maine — 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 Pine Tree State:

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

Why did Augusta 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 Maine.

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

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How we determined the most dangerous cities in Maine 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 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. Read on for a detailed look at the 10 most dangerous cities in Maine.

Here’s a visualization of the criteria:
Most Dangerous Cities In Maine Graph

Click To Enlarge

Read on for a detailed look at the 10 most dangerous cities in Maine.

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1. Augusta

Augusta, Maine

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 18,347
Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 414
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,684
It’s a semi-rare thing to see state’s capital on the list of most dangerous cities in that state — to see it as the MOST dangerous? That’s unheard of.

But Augusta, the third smallest capital in America, is the most dangerous place in Maine, and the 2nd most violent city.

Augusta residents faced a 1 in 241 chance of being the victim of violence in 2016 and a 1 in 27.1 chance of being the victim of a property crime — both statistics that have barely changed in recent years.

It’s also important to remember that dangerous is relative and Maine, as a whole, is super safe. Augusta wouldn’t even show up on most states top ten lists.

2. Skowhegan


Population: 8,454
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 283
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,376
Skowhegan’s motto is “A Place to Watch,” but with their property crime as it is, they should maybe amend that to “A Place to Watch Your Wallet.”

While violent crime has remained stagnant in recent years, property crime went up by 19% between 2014-16.

That left Skowhegan residents with a 1 in 22.8 chance of being the victim of theft or arson in 2016.

3. Biddeford

Biddeford, Maine

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 21,285
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 408
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,424
Located in the southern part of the state, Biddeford is the most violent place in Maine by a wide margin.

Compared to Augusta, Biddeford residents face a 55% higher chance of being the victim of violence, with 2016’s stats showing a 1 in 87 chance of it.

That’s mostly due to a crazy 51% upswing in violent crime between 2014-16. One could argue that, due to the violence, Biddeford really belongs at the top of this list.

4. Bangor

Bangor, Maine

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 32,264
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 3)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 232
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,153
Bangor has the third highest population of any city in the state, and is the commercial center of eastern and northern Maine.

It’s also the 3rd worst spot for property crime in the state, with residents facing 1 in 24.1 chance of being the victim of theft or arson in 2016.

Violent crime remained stagnant from 2014-16, while property crime rose by 10%.

5. Waterville

Waterville, Maine

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 16,370
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 232
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,050
Just 25 miles north of Augusta, Waterville ranks 9th and 4th for violent and property crime.

And while the city is about half a violent as Biddeford, its below average score still earns it the title of 5th most dangerous city in Maine.

The good news is that violent crime was reduced by about 10% from 2014-16, but the bad news is that property crime rose by 21% in that period.

6. Sanford


Population: 20,914
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 277
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,404
Located in the southern part of Maine, Sanford is the 6th most violent city in the state.

And violence has steadily been rising, up a total of 25% from 2014-16, leaving residents a 1 in 360 chance of being the victim of violence in 2016.

Property crime, meanwhile, has remained stagnant at about 712 instances each year.

7. Presque Isle

Presque Isle, Maine

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 9,075
Rank Last Year: 14 (Up 7)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 363
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,655
Tiny Presque Isle, statistically, is the 4th most violent city per capita in the entire state of Maine.

While crimes here skyrocketed in 2015, apparently, local jurisdictions have made progress, as crimes went down in 2016. However, for a town of just over 9,075 people, 33 violent crimes is eye opening. Statistically, 1 in 275 residents was the victim of a rape, attack or was killed last year.

8. Portland

Portland, Maine

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 67,041
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 292
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,677
The most populated city in Maine and the commercial and cultural center of the southern half of the state, Portland also has a bit of a crime problem.

While violent crime went down by 7% between 2014-16, property crime remained consistent, affecting about 4% of the population each year.

Still, Portland’s property crime statistics are 56% better than Augusta’s, and its violent crime stats make it more than twice as safe as Biddeford.

9. Auburn

Auburn, Maine

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 22,836
Rank Last Year: 18 (Up 9)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 188
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,196
Auburn and Lewiston are twin cities, which may explain why they occupy proximate rankings on this list.

Located 35 miles north of Portland, Auburn has experienced an enormous 34% reduction of violent crime between 2014-16.

During the same time period, however, the 1 in 21 chance residents faced of being the victim of a property crime did not change much at all.

10. Houlton


Population: 5,835
Rank Last Year: 15 (Up 5)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 428
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,227
Houlton has the 19th worst property crime rate in the state.

Property crime rose between 2014-16, leaving residents of Houlton with a 1 in 44.9 chance of being the victim of theft or arson in 2016.

At least violent crime fell during this interval.

Locking It All Up In Maine

The latest FBI crime data shows that Augusta ranks as the most dangerous city in Maine for 2018.

However, there will be new data coming out later this year. At that point we can revisit Augusta’s status — that is if they haven’t beaten us all up already.

If you’re curious enough, here are the safest cities in Maine:

  1. Cape Elizabeth
  2. Cumberland
  3. Kennebunk

For more Maine reading , check out:

Detailed List Of The Most Dangeroues Cities In Maine

City Rank Previous Rank Population Violent Crimes Per Capita Property Crimes Per Capita
Augusta 1 2 18,347 414 3,684
Skowhegan 2 3 8,454 283 4,376
Biddeford 3 1 21,285 408 3,424
Bangor 4 7 32,264 232 4,153
Waterville 5 4 16,370 232 4,050
Sanford 6 5 20,914 277 3,404
Presque Isle 7 14 9,075 363 2,655
Portland 8 6 67,041 292 2,677
Auburn 9 18 22,836 188 3,196
Houlton 10 15 5,835 428 2,227
Rumford 11 10 5,646 123 4,215
Old Orchard Beach 12 13 8,807 193 2,543
Westbrook 13 11 18,078 221 2,478
South Portland 14 21 25,674 171 2,321
Saco 15 19 19,197 182 1,797
Lewiston 16 17 36,126 177 1,987
Ellsworth 17 9 7,881 76 3,070
Bath 18 34 8,269 84 2,527
Fairfield 19 8 6,505 107 2,136
Belfast 20 16 6,685 149 1,780
Paris 21 40 5,085 117 1,789
Brunswick 22 24 20,544 121 1,693
Kittery 23 29 9,686 154 1,435
Gardiner 24 20 5,558 53 2,338
Caribou 25 39 7,747 103 1,626
Windham 26 45 17,983 94 1,484
Lincoln 27 23 5,020 59 2,091
Scarborough 28 33 19,851 60 1,994
Old Town 29 25 7,583 79 1,687
Freeport 30 22 8,407 35 2,260
Farmington 31 37 7,401 81 1,337
Winthrop 32 31 5,888 152 951
Falmouth 33 51 12,154 90 1,184
Bridgton 34 12 5,405 37 1,998
Sabattus 35 32 5,038 158 674
Rockland 36 38 7,227 13 2,200
Brewer 37 36 9,185 10 2,231
York 38 47 12,927 61 1,191
Gorham 39 50 17,346 69 1,170
Buxton 40 30 8,171 110 893
South Berwick 41 35 7,454 120 670
Hampden 42 52 7,414 67 903
Lisbon 43 26 8,823 56 1,099
Orono 44 42 10,772 37 1,160
Winslow 45 43 7,506 26 1,225
Wells 46 46 10,174 19 1,228
Bar Harbor 47 28 5,339 37 1,105
Yarmouth 48 54 8,584 58 792
Berwick 49 44 7,567 39 977
Eliot 50 48 6,362 47 770
Oakland 51 27 6,119 16 1,127
Topsham 52 49 8,748 11 1,154
Kennebunk 53 53 11,289 35 788
Cumberland 54 56 7,821 12 306
Cape Elizabeth 55 55 9,364 0 576

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