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 for 2019:
- Biddeford (Photos)
- Augusta (Photos)
- Waterville (Photos)
- Skowhegan (Photos)
- Portland (Photos)
- Bangor (Photos)
- Houlton (Photos)
- Presque Isle (Photos)
- Auburn (Photos)
After analyzing 55 cities in Maine, why did Biddeford 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.
For more Maine reading, check out:
- 10 Best Places To Live In Maine
- These Are The 10 Best Counties To Live In Maine
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Maine
Graphing The Most Dangerous And Safest Places In Maine
How we determined the most dangerous cities in Maine for 2019?
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 2017 data, specifically the 2017 Crime In The United States Report. We will update the results when data becomes available in September 2019.
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 — Biddeford.
Read on for a detailed look at the 10 most dangerous cities in Maine.
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 2017’s stats showing a 1 in 77 chance of it.
That’s mostly due to a crazy 51% upswing in violent crime between 2015-17. One could argue that, due to the violence, Biddeford really belongs at the top of this list.
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 one of the MOST dangerous? That’s unheard of.
But Augusta, the third smallest capital in America, is the most dangerous place in Maine, and the 5th most violent city.
Augusta residents faced a 1 in 334 chance of being the victim of violence in 2017 and a 1 in 33.0 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.
Just 25 miles north of Augusta, Waterville ranks 12th and 1st 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 3rd most dangerous city in Maine.
The good news is that violent crime was reduced by about 10% from 2015-17, but the bad news is that property crime rose by 21% in that period.
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 2015-17.
That left Skowhegan residents with a 1 in 28.8 chance of being the victim of theft or arson in 2017.
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 2015-17, 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.
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 2nd worst spot for property crime in the state, with residents facing 1 in 26.3 chance of being the victim of theft or arson in 2017.
Violent crime remained stagnant from 2015-17, while property crime rose by 10%.
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 228 (8th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,690 (10th most dangerous)
More on Sanford: | Photos
Located in the southern part of Maine, Sanford is the 7th most violent city in the state.
And violence has steadily been rising, up a total of 25% from 2015-17, leaving residents a 1 in 436 chance of being the victim of violence in 2017.
Property crime, meanwhile, has remained stagnant at about 564 instances each year.
Houlton ranks as the 8th most dangerous city in Maine according to the FBI data.
The city ranks as having the 17th highest property crime rank and 1st highest violent crime rank in the Pine Tree State.
Presque Isle is the smallest city to make this list, but don’t let that fool you — the city is also one of the most violent in the state.
Presque Isle residents had a 1 in 265 chance of being the victim of a violent crime in 2017.
The only reason Presque Isle is so low on this list is because it has the lowest frequency of property crime (about 1 per 192 residents in 2017) of any city on this list.
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 2015-17.
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.
Locking It All Up In Maine
The latest FBI crime data shows that Biddeford ranks as the most dangerous city in Maine for 2019.
We want to point out again that there’s still safes places in Biddeford 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 Maine:
- South Berwick (Pop. 7,469)
- Cape Elizabeth (Pop. 9,383)
- Cumberland (Pop. 7,956)
For more Maine reading, check out:
- 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Maine
- These Are The 10 Best Places To Retire In Maine For 2018
- These Are The 10 Richest Cities In Maine
- 10 Safest Places In Maine
- 10 Worst Places To Live In Maine
Detailed List Of The Most Dangerous Cities In Maine
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