The Murder Capitals Of Virginia For 2021

These are the places in Virginia where people were killed most often, according to the latest FBI numbers.

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This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. It is our seventh time ranking the most places with the most murders per capita in Virginia and is updated for 2021.

Do you live in one of the murder capitals of Virginia?

We all watch the news with horror when we hear about a homicide that happens not that far away from us. While a murder just blocks or even a couple of towns away from your house would make anyone uneasy, in the long run, most likely, where you live is relatively safe.

So we wanted to get the facts straight and dug into the FBI crime data in order to identify the places with the most murders and the highest murder rates per capita in Virginia.

The result is the Murder Capitals of the Old Dominion for 2021:

  1. Richmond (Photos)
  2. Petersburg (Photos)
  3. Norfolk (Photos)
  4. Portsmouth (Photos)
  5. Newport News (Photos)
  6. Danville (Photos)
  7. Hopewell (Photos)
  8. South Boston (Photos)
  9. Franklin (Photos)
  10. Virginia Beach (Photos)

The city with highest murder rate in Virginia? That would be Petersburg with 60.8 murders per 100,000 people.

While the city with highest number of murders period? Richmond with 55.

Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and how your town ranked. There were 'only' 27 cities in Virginia where a city reported a murder to the FBI, meaning 35 places had no murder.

For more reading on the Old Dominion check out:

The 10 Murder Capitals Of Virginia For 2021

Richmond, VA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 230,721
Rank Last Year: 3
Murders: 55 (Most)
Murders Per 100k: 23.8 (4th Most)
More on Richmond:  Data | Photos

Petersburg, VA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 31,273
Rank Last Year: 7
Murders: 19 (5th Most)
Murders Per 100k: 60.8 (Most)
More on Petersburg:  Data | Photos

Norfolk, VA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 242,813
Rank Last Year: 9
Murders: 36 (2nd Most)
Murders Per 100k: 14.8 (11th Most)
More on Norfolk:  Data | Photos

Portsmouth, VA

Source: Public domain

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 93,991
Rank Last Year: 1
Murders: 16 (6th Most)
Murders Per 100k: 17.0 (9th Most)
More on Portsmouth:  Data | Photos

Newport News, VA

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Population: 177,319
Rank Last Year: 11
Murders: 24 (4th Most)
Murders Per 100k: 13.5 (12th Most)
More on Newport News:  Data | Photos

Danville, VA

Source: Public domain

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 40,191
Rank Last Year: 2
Murders: 8 (9th Most)
Murders Per 100k: 19.9 (7th Most)
More on Danville:  Data | Photos

Hopewell, VA

Source: Public domain

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 22,461
Rank Last Year: 17
Murders: 5 (12th Most)
Murders Per 100k: 22.3 (5th Most)
More on Hopewell:  Data | Photos

South Boston, VA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 7,601
Rank Last Year: 10
Murders: 2 (16th Most)
Murders Per 100k: 26.3 (2nd Most)
More on South Boston:  Data | Photos

Franklin, VA

Source: Public domain

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 7,899
Rank Last Year: 13
Murders: 2 (16th Most)
Murders Per 100k: 25.3 (3rd Most)
More on Franklin:  Data | Photos

Virginia Beach, VA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 449,038
Rank Last Year: 43
Murders: 30 (3rd Most)
Murders Per 100k: 6.7 (18th Most)
More on Virginia Beach:  Data | Photos

How we calculated the murder capitals of Virginia

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 year of reporting. Specifically, we analyzed the FBI's Uniform Crime Report which summarizes the number of murders that may happen in each city per year.

We only looked every single city in Virginia for which FBI data was available for the most recent FBI Crime In The United States. That left us with 27 cities to rank.

Finally, we averaged the two scores into an index:

  • The raw number of murders in each city
  • The murders per person

We felt as if a small place with 2,500 people and two murders makes it a lot more dangerous than a city of 25,000 people with three murders. Any ties went to the larger city. You can download the data here.

We must note that this report is not an analysis of the effectiveness of local police departments. It simply states where murders occurred most frequently on an absolute and rate basis.

There You Have It - The Places With The Most Murders In Virginia For 2021

If you're looking at the places in Virginia with the most murders, and where residents have the highest chances of being killed themselves, this is an accurate list. 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.

For more virginia reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Places With The Most Murder In Virginia For 2021

Rank City Murders Murders/100K
1 Richmond, VA 55 23.84
2 Petersburg, VA 19 60.76
3 Norfolk, VA 36 14.83
4 Portsmouth, VA 16 17.02
5 Newport News, VA 24 13.53
6 Danville, VA 8 19.9
7 Hopewell, VA 5 22.26
8 South Boston, VA 2 26.31
9 Franklin, VA 2 25.32
10 Virginia Beach, VA 30 6.68
11 Roanoke, VA 13 13.03
12 Hampton, VA 15 11.26
13 Martinsville, VA 2 15.72
14 Suffolk, VA 6 6.56
15 Emporia, VA 1 20.0
16 Dumfries, VA 1 18.99
17 Waynesboro, VA 2 8.81
18 Herndon, VA 2 8.1
19 Chesapeake, VA 7 2.87
20 Smithfield, VA 1 11.79
21 Manassas, VA 2 4.78
22 Lynchburg, VA 2 2.42
23 Alexandria, VA 2 1.23
24 Colonial Heights, VA 1 5.62
25 Radford, VA 1 5.41
26 Salem, VA 1 3.91
27 Winchester, VA 1 3.55

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.

5 thoughts on “The Murder Capitals Of Virginia For 2021

  1. richmond always has about double or more the murders of norfolk. they had way more than 36. this is very inaccurate. please fact check and redo

  2. I agree. Richmond is clearly not reported. Idk if it is purposefully or not but I have zero confidence in this report as one of the major cities is not reported. And I live in the Richmond Metro Area.

  3. Richmond had over 60 in 2018. And 2019 is not over and over 53. Think the writer is clearly dumbfounded. This is not FBI data rebecca not at all. According to chris and blind rebecca richmond had zero murders in a entire year. Guess someone is trying to sell houses in richmond’s blackwell neighborhood or east end oak grove afton ave Fairfield highland park etc. Well than again if its on the internet it must be true.

  4. This is clearly the dumbest thing ever seen. Every city they have up is safer than Richmond that didn’t even make the list. Come on. Stop the lies

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