If you’re in search of a more affordable place to live with ample space, Iowa may be the answer. Known for its relaxed way of life, abundance of farmland, and vibrant fairs, the state has a lot to offer. However, if safety is your top priority, it’s essential to steer clear of the most dangerous cities in Iowa. In this article, we’ll look at the ten cities in the state with the highest crime rates so that you can make informed decisions regarding your safety.
10 Most Dangerous Cities in Iowa
Ottumwa, a city in Iowa, is considered the most dangerous city in the state due to its high crime rates. As the county seat of Wapello County and situated along the Des Moines River, Ottumwa’s violent crime rate is 124% higher than the national average, with a population of 25,529. The city suffers from disproportionate violent crimes, including murders, robberies, and assaults. Furthermore, drug trafficking is prevalent in the area, leading to significant property crime in the locality.
Davenport, one of the largest cities in Iowa, is also considered one of the most dangerous. Situated along the famous Mississippi River, this city has a population of 101,724 and a staggering total crime rate 81% higher than the national average. Property crime is the most common type in Davenport, with burglary and personal or property theft being the most reported incidents. Shockingly, the city recorded 10 murders and 98 robberies in 2022. Poverty is a significant issue in many parts of Davenport, and drug addiction has become a serious health concern.
With a population of over 214,100, Des Moines is the most populous city in Iowa and serves as the state’s capital. Unfortunately, the city’s crime rate is 62% higher than the national average, making it one of the worst places to live in Iowa if you’re concerned about safety. Des Moines has an increased incidence of violent and property crimes, including thefts, vehicle thefts, burglaries, and assaults. Shockingly, there were two murders and 165 robberies recorded in the city in 2022. Additionally, Des Moines is grappling with poverty and drug addiction in the town and its surrounding areas.
Council Bluffs, a city located in Pottawattamie County, just outside of Omaha, Nebraska, has a reputation for being a dangerous place. With a population of 62,800, the city’s overall crime rate is 61% higher than the national average. Property crimes, such as burglary, theft, and vehicle theft, are the most common crimes reported in the area. However, it’s worth noting that violent crime rates are below the national average. In 2022, there were no reported murders but 28 robbery cases.
In Des Moines County, Iowa, Burlington is known for its famous winding Snake Alley Street. However, despite its charm, it is also considered one of the most dangerous cities in the state. The city’s population has decreased from the 2000 census and currently stands at 23,982. With a crime rate 57% higher than the national average, Burlington has a significantly higher violent crime rate than the rest of the US. Although violent crime is common, theft and burglary remain the city’s most prevalent types of corruption.
Located at the intersection of Iowa, Illinois, and Missouri, Keokuk is known for its high crime rate, making it one of the worst cities in Iowa. With a population of around 9,900, the city’s crime rate is 56% higher than the national average. Property crime is a significant concern in Keokuk, with over 281 incidents reported in 2022, and violent crime is not uncommon, with 87 incidents recorded in the same year.
Sioux City, situated on the banks of the Missouri River, is the fourth largest city in Iowa, with a population of 85,797. Unfortunately, it has a total crime rate of 54% higher than the national average, making it one of the most dangerous cities in Iowa. Assaults, robberies, and thefts are the most commonly reported crimes in Sioux City. Adding to the city’s woes is its weak economy, with a population that has been stagnant or in decline for decades.
Fort Madison, situated along the Mississippi River and serving as the county seat of Lee County, is one of the most dangerous cities in Iowa. Despite having a population of only 10,270, its total crime rate is 46% higher than the national average. The city has a high rate of violent crimes, with 71 incidents, including two murders, recorded in 2022. Other types of crime, such as burglary, theft, and vehicle theft, are also prevalent in Fort Madison.
With a population of 67,314, Waterloo is the eighth largest city in Iowa and serves as the county seat of Black Hawk County. Sadly, the town has a crime rate of 33% above the national average, making it one of the worst cities to live in Iowa. Violent crime is rampant in Waterloo, with over 350 incidents in 2022, including five murders. Property crime is also a significant concern, with over 1,100 incidents of theft recorded in the same year. These alarming statistics highlight the need for increased vigilance and security measures to keep residents safe.
Fort Dodge, a city in Iowa, is known for being one of the most challenging places in the state; despite being a significant manufacturing hub and the county seat of Webster County, the city’s population of 24,871 experiences a total crime rate of 28% higher than the national average. Property crimes, such as personal theft and burglaries, are rampant in Fort Dodge. Additionally, other offences like robbery and assault occur frequently in the area. However, it’s worth noting that there were no reported homicides in the city in 2022.
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