According to Propertyclub, Iowa offers an attractive living option for individuals seeking a more affordable lifestyle and plenty of space. Renowned for its vast farmland, charming fairs, and relaxed atmosphere, the state exudes a laid-back vibe. Nonetheless, if safety is a top priority, it is best to steer clear of the ten most dangerous cities in Iowa. Continue reading to uncover these areas with higher crime rates.
10 Most Dangerous Cities in Iowa
This Article Includes
- Des Moines
- Council Bluffs
- Sioux City
- Fort Madison
- Fort Dodge
Ottumwa, a city in Iowa, is known for its high crime rates, making it the most dangerous city in the state. Situated along the Des Moines River and serving as the county seat of Wapello County, Ottumwa has a population of 25,529. Shockingly, the city’s violent crime rate surpasses the national average by 124%. Incidents of murder, robbery, and assault are prevalent, making Ottumwa’s violent crime rate disproportionately high. Additionally, the area struggles with drug trafficking, which significantly contributes to local property crime.
Davenport, situated along the renowned Mississippi River, stands as one of Iowa’s largest cities, making it one of the most dangerous cities in the state. With a population of 101,724, Davenport experiences a total crime rate that surpasses the national average by 81%. Property crime constitutes the majority of incidents in this city, with burglary and personal or property theft being the most prevalent. In the year 2022 alone, there were 10 recorded murders and 98 robberies. Poverty is a prevailing issue in many areas of Davenport, thus contributing to the prevalence of drug addiction in the community.
3. Des Moines
Des Moines, the capital of Iowa and home to more than 214,100 residents, has a total crime rate that is 62% higher than the national average. This makes it one of the least desirable cities to live in Iowa if crime is a concern. Des Moines faces significant challenges with both violent and property crime, including assaults, thefts, vehicle thefts, and burglaries. In 2022 alone, the city recorded two murders and 165 robberies. Additionally, Des Moines grapples with issues of poverty and drug addiction, affecting not only the city itself but also the surrounding area.
4. Council Bluffs
Council Bluffs, located in Pottawattamie County, is a city just outside Omaha, Nebraska. With a population of 62,800, it unfortunately has a total crime rate that is 61% higher than the national average. Property crime is the most common, while violent crime remains below the national average. The city experiences a significant number of burglaries, thefts, and vehicle thefts. In 2022, there were no reported murders, but there were 28 cases of robbery.
Burlington, located in Des Moines County, is renowned for its winding Snake Alley Street and also has the unfortunate distinction of being one of the most dangerous cities in Iowa. With a population of 23,982, the city has witnessed a decline since the 2000 census. The overall crime rate in Burlington exceeds the national average by 57%, and its violent crime rate surpasses the US average as well. Although the city does experience instances of violent crime, the majority of criminal incidents in Burlington are related to theft and burglary.
Keokuk, situated at the intersection of Iowa, Illinois, and Missouri along the Mississippi River, is notorious for its high crime rates. With a population of approximately 9,900, the city’s total crime rate surpasses the national average by 56%. Property crime poses a significant challenge in Keokuk, with a staggering 281 incidents documented in 2022. Additionally, the city experiences instances of violent crime, with 87 incidents reported in the same year.
7. Sioux City
Sioux City, the fourth largest city in Iowa, is situated along the Missouri River. With a population of 85,797 residents, it unfortunately has a total crime rate that surpasses the national average by 54%, earning it the reputation of being one of the most violent cities in Iowa. Among the crimes committed in Sioux City, assaults, robberies, and thefts are the most prevalent. Moreover, the city’s economy has been struggling, with a stagnant or declining population for several decades.
8. Fort Madison
Fort Madison, located along the Mississippi River, is considered one of the most dangerous cities in Iowa. Serving as the county seat of Lee County, this city with a population of 10,270 has a total crime rate that surpasses the national average by 46%. In terms of violent crime, Fort Madison experiences a high rate relative to its population, with 71 incidents, including two murders, reported in 2022. Additionally, crimes such as burglary, theft, and vehicle theft are prevalent in the area.
Waterloo, a city in Iowa, holds the distinction of being the eighth largest city in the state. Serving as the county seat of Black Hawk County, it is home to a population of 67,314 residents. Unfortunately, Waterloo also faces a significant challenge in terms of its crime rate, which stands at 33% higher than the national average. Violent crime, in particular, has been a cause for concern, with over 350 incidents reported in 2022, including five tragic cases of homicide. As a result, Waterloo is considered one of the least desirable cities to reside in within the state of Iowa. Additionally, property crime has also plagued the community, with a staggering 1,100 incidents of theft being recorded in the same year.
10. Fort Dodge
Fort Dodge, Iowa, stands out as one of the riskiest cities in the state. As a prominent hub for manufacturing and the county seat of Webster County, it is home to a population of 24,871. Unfortunately, the city’s total crime rate surpasses the national average by 28%. Property crime, including personal theft and burglaries, remains a prevalent issue in Fort Dodge. Moreover, instances of robbery and assault occur with some frequency. However, it is worth noting that there were no recorded murders in Fort Dodge in 2022.