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8 Most Dangerous Cities in Minnesota (2024 Update)


Note: This article’s statistics come from third-party sources and do not represent the opinions of this website.

We must preface this article by saying that Minnesota remains one of the safest states in the country. Yes, things have changed with the pandemic and current events. However, it’s vital to keep in mind the difference between relative and absolute figures. We can discuss how the homicide rate has increased by over 50%, but it’s important to put it into context.

Unfortunately, the media uses relative figures because it makes for more sensational headlines. We suggest you drill down to the facts. The FBI does an excellent job of reminding us not to look solely at the numbers. Much more comes into play, such as the demographics, economic outlook, local relationship with law enforcement, climate, urbanization, and cultural factors.

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The 8 Most Dangerous Cities in Minnesota: A Quick Look

Safety is something we all want. It’s hardwired in our DNA to seek shelter from potential threats. It’s one reason we may respond negatively first to unusual things in our environment. We naturally err on the side of caution.

We based our round-up on the stats while considering the other factors influencing crime. Remember that we are capturing a moment in time with our article. Our research has shown that the stats are as volatile and variable as the weather. That’s why we looked at recent trends to make our assessment more meaningful and relevant.

1. Minneapolis, MN

I-35W and Minneapolis skyline 5
I-35W and Minneapolis skyline 5 (Image Credit: AlexiusHoratius, Wikimedia Commons CC SA 3.0 Unported)
Population: 435,885
Murder rate: 46
Average Household Income: $65,889
Poverty rate: 17.4%
Violent crimes in 2019: 3,990

Perhaps one of the most startling aftermaths of the political and pandemic chaos is the rise in crime rates in Minneapolis across the board. This city has been a shining star in many areas, from art to environmental causes to scientific innovation. The violence and its effects have been far-reaching, shaking the state’s citizenry to its core.

The numbers paint a dismal story of 46 homicides, 459 rapes, and 2,196 assaults. Property crime stats aren’t much better, with 19,469 known offenses. Theft and burglaries topped the list in a state that is 26th in the country for the latter. The saddest part of the story is that figures for all crime types have increased, creating an uncertain future for this Midwestern city.

(MN State Demographic Center, FBI, United States Census Bureau, Statista)

2. St. Paul, MN

St Paul, Minnesota
Image Credit: 12019, Pixabay
Population: 315,925
Murder rate: 28
Average Household Income: $63,174
Poverty rate: 15.9%
Violent crimes in 2019: 1,752

St. Paul is the capital of Minnesota, which places an extra burden on the city to set the pace. This town’s history, economy, and recreation are linked with water. Green space is also a hallmark of St. Paul and many municipalities in the state. You don’t have to walk long before encountering a park or trail. It’s no wonder the state is in the top 10 of the greenest in the country.

(US News)

The narrative in St. Paul is equally sobering. Homicide rates and other violent crimes have increased to historic levels. However, it’s essential to balance these stats with the population increase and look at per-capita figures for a more realistic view. Nevertheless, the violent and non-violent crime statistics are grievous, at 1,752 and 11,208 for 2019, respectively.

(MN State Demographic Center, FBI, United States Census Bureau)

3. Duluth, MN

Duluth, Minnesota
Image Credit: JamesDeMers, Pixabay
Population: 87,306
Murder rate: 2
Average Household Income: $55,819
Poverty rate: 16.8%
Violent crimes in 2019: 292

Duluth is an oasis in the Upper Midwest. It offers so much to residents and visitors alike. It is a tourist destination on so many fronts, from winter recreation to tall ships to birdwatching. You’d be hard-pressed not to find something to do in this northern city. Lake Superior defines this town and provides many opportunities to enjoy this area.

Duluth may strike you as an anomaly. After all, you’re talking about a city with an average high temperature of 49°F and an annual snowfall of 85 inches. You’d think that the cold weather would be a crime deterrent. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been. It ranks even with the national average, with both violent and property crime on the rise.

(US Climate Data)

(MN State Demographic Center, FBI, United States Census Bureau)

4. Bloomington, MN

Interstate 494 Bloomington Minnesota (21150578211)
Interstate 494 Bloomington Minnesota (21150578211) (Image Credit: Greg Gjerdingen, Wikimedia Commons CC 2.0 Generic)
Population: 90,271
Murder rate: 3
Average Household Income: $74,675
Poverty rate: 9.3%
Violent crimes in 2019: 203

Bloomington is an interesting mix of nature, high-end retail, and cosmopolitan living. You’ll find resource-rich wildlife parks alongside boutique shops and iconic restaurants. Its location 10 miles south of the Twin Cities makes it an ideal commuter community within a reasonable distance. Green space is a priority in this community.

You’ll find a wide range of crime in a city of this size. Violent crime covers the gamut, from aggravated assault to rape. Property crime is also high, with over 3,000 offenses, including 165 auto thefts in 2019. The total of non-violent crimes is 3,079 incidences. Larceny and theft top the ranks, with a high number of arson crimes, too.

(MN State Demographic Center, FBI, United States Census Bureau)

5. Brooklyn Park, MN

Brooklyn Park Library 2018
Brooklyn Park Library 2018 (Image Credit: McGhiever, Wikimedia Commons CC SA 4.0 International)
Population: 82,444
Murder rate: 2
Average Household Income: $81,757
Poverty rate: 7.2%
Violent crimes in 2019: 299

Brooklyn Park has a lot going for it. Its average household income and poverty rate are better than the state’s average. The city has an environmentally friendly stance with an emphasis on green space. It has over 2,000 acres devoted to the cause in 60 parks. It’s even a member of the self-serve kayak program, Mississippi River Paddle Share. The town is located 11 miles northwest of the Twin Cities.

Unfortunately, property crimes are a significant problem. Brooklyn Park exceeds the state average for both robberies and thefts. There were also 301 stolen vehicles in 2019. That’s an astonishing figure, given the population. All these known offenses have risen in recent years. There has also been a slight uptick in violent crime, which current events have fueled.

(MN State Demographic Center, FBI, United States Census Bureau, City of Brooklyn Park)

6. St. Cloud, MN

Downtown St Cloud
Downtown St Cloud (Image Credit: McGhiever, Wikimedia Commons CC SA 4.0 International)
Population: 7,470
Murder rate: 0
Average Household Income: $74,675
Poverty rate: 9.3%
Violent crimes in 2019: 298

College towns often experience a lot of crime because of their transient populations. That is certainly evident with St. Cloud. Bad blood has existed between residents and college students, following violence after the university’s sports victories. This troubled history has created a gulf between the two populations, which is evident to newcomers.

St. Cloud is also home to the Minnesota Correctional Facility, a four-level, close-security facility. While crime is declining, St. Cloud has a proportionally high amount of property crime, particularly thefts and larceny. Nevertheless, the city has prioritized green space, devoting much of its land to green spaces.

(MN State Demographic Center, FBI, United States Census Bureau)

7. Mankato, MN

2009-0805-Mankato-NFrontStDist (Image Credit: Bobak Ha’Eri, Wikimedia Commons CC 3.0 Unported)
Population: 44,389
Murder rate: 0
Average Household Income: $51,015
Poverty rate: 25.0%
Violent crimes in 2019: 110

Mankato is another college town and is home to Minnesota State University. It is one of the primary employers in the area, along with the Mayo Clinic Health System. The city is located 82 miles south of the Twin Cities. Three waterways, including the Minnesota River, run through the area. They act as a mitigating force to the climate.

Assaults and rapes make up most of the violent crime in Mankato. A notable spike of the former occurred in 2018 and persists to this day. Thefts, larceny, burglaries, and other property crimes are also high. Sadly, the figures have remained steady, with no signs of abating soon.

(MN State Demographic Center, FBI, United States Census Bureau)

8. Rochester, MN

Rochester, Minnesota Public Library
Rochester, Minnesota Public Library (Image Credit: Michael Hicks, Wikimedia Commons CC 2.0 Generic)
Population: 118,267
Murder rate: 1
Average Household Income: $74,527
Poverty rate: 7.4%
Violent crimes in 2019: 254

Rochester’s claim to fame is the prestigious Mayo Clinic. It is the primary economic driver and source of visitor traffic. Agriculture is prominent outside the main thoroughfares, with Kerry Flavours and Ingredients in the area. The Zumbro River is located near the city limits. It provides a welcome source of recreation with dozens of parks and trails.

Rochester is Minnesota’s third-largest city. Unfortunately, it has followed the same path as the two leading ones. Property crime is a significant problem in the town. Assaults and rapes have also increased in recent years. The latter has surpassed the state average. Poverty is a sobering issue, where rates have climbed to 40.5%

(MN State Demographic Center, FBI, United States Census Bureau)

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Why Has Crime Worsened in Minnesota Over the Past Few Years?

Several factors affected the culture and atmosphere in Minnesota and other states that have directly impacted crime. It’s no wonder that Americans’ perceptions of safety have decreased. We’re a bit scared and with good reason. The thought of homicides eclipsing records in Minneapolis and St. Paul is frightening enough.

The pandemic impacted people who are social by nature. It was a wake-up call for all of us to appreciate being with our tribe. Escalating crime and deteriorating law enforcement-community relationships have been a gut punch that hit us broadly. Suffice it to say that there is a long road ahead of all of us.

(Gallup, Anixo)

gun and bullets
Image Credit: stevepb, Pixabay

How to Stay Safe in Minnesota

Awareness is your best defense no matter where your travels take you. While Minnesotans have embraced trust, real life has taught them a different lesson. Trust and safety are the pillars of a community. Other external factors have clouded the waters.

We suggest you consider installing a camera to monitor traffic on your property. That’s especially important if you have property in your backyard, such as your boat, that you may not check frequently. If you have a slip or storage shed, find out if you can monitor your belongings with a smartphone. Devices such as Alexa can control your lights to make it seem as if you’re at home.

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Conclusion: Most Dangerous Cities in Minnesota

Crime is the antithesis of this state that has prided itself on its signature Minnesota nice. Minnesotans have strived to view others equally and not make assumptions. Unfortunately, the crime stats tell a different story and fly in the face of this perception. Even sadder is that the brightest and best cities have stumbled with these transgressions. One can only hope Minnesota can right the ship.


Featured Image Credit: 12019, Pixabay


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