Violent crime rates were a major talking point for President Trump during the 2016 election and continue to be a focus of the new administration. In a speech before a gathering of major city police chiefs, the president noted that violent crimes were rising in many cities, further stating that it is "a national tragedy and it requires national action."
It's true that the violent crime rate in the U.S. increased in 2015. According to the most recent FBI Uniform Crime Report, the 2015 violent crime rate was 372.6 per 100,000 inhabitants -- a 3.1 percent increase over the 2014 rate. However, looking at two years' worth of data overlooks the larger trends. In the last 20 years, the rate of violent crime has fallen steadily from 636.6 per 100,000 in 1996 and is near an all-time low.
Nevertheless, some places have seen particularly large upticks in violent crime recently. According to the Brennan Center for Justice, violent crime rates in 2016 were projected to have increased by 17.7 percent and 13.4 percent in Chicago and Charlotte, respectively. With that in mind, FindTheHome, a real estate intelligence site by Graphiq, ranked the most dangerous place in every state. The data experts looked at the 2015 FBI Uniform Crime Report (the most recent year available) and identified the city in each state with the highest violent crime rate per 100,000 people in 2015. The violent crime rate is the total number of crimes reported to law enforcement agencies within a city per 100,000 people. Violent crime is defined as offenses that involve force or threat of force.
To prevent the list from skewing toward very small towns with few incidents, only cities with a population greater than 50,000 were considered. Hawaii was excluded because only one city was reported, and Vermont is left out because all cities were under the population cap. States are ranked in alphabetical order. Population estimates were also sourced from the FBI report.
In many cases, the city in each state with the highest violent crime rate is also the most populous. The largest city to make the list is Philadelphia (population 1,567,810) while the smallest is Charleston, West Virginia (population 50,176).
Note: The data published here is meant solely to illustrate the relative rates of crime, and not to make assertions about the effectiveness of law enforcement. There are many factors that affect the rate and nature of crime -- such as the degree of urbanization, composition of age groups, economic climate and modes of transportation within an area -- which are not considered here. For more information on how to interpret FBI crime data, click here.