- Des Moines
- Council Bluffs
- Sioux City
- Fort Madison
- Fort Dodge
The most dangerous city in Iowa is Ottumwa. Besides having the highest crime rates in the state, Ottumwa is also the county seat of Wapello County and sits along the Des Moines River. Out of a population of 25,529, Ottumwa's violent crime rate is 124% above the national average. Ottumwa has a disproportionate violent crime rate with murders, robberies, and assaults being common. Drug trafficking is a problem in the area and contributes to much of the local property crime.
Another one of the most dangerous cities in Iowa is Davenport. Located along the famous Mississippi River, Davenport is one of Iowa's largest cities. Davenport has a population of 101,724 and a total crime rate that is 81% higher than the national average. Property crime accounts for most incidents in Davenport, with the most common types of crime including burglary and personal or property theft. There were 10 murders and 98 robberies recorded in 2022. Much of Davenport suffers from poverty, and drug addiction is a health concern in the area.
Des Moines is the capital of Iowa and the most populous city in the state, with over 214,100 residents. The city's total crime rate is 62% higher than the national average, making it one of the worst cities in Iowa to live in if crime is a concern. Both violent and property crime are high in Des Moines, with assaults, thefts, vehicle thefts, and burglaries being a major problem. The city also had two murders and 165 robberies recorded in 2022. Des Moines struggles with poverty and drug addiction both in the city and the surrounding area.
Council Bluffs is a dangerous city in Pottawattamie County, just outside of Omaha, Nebraska. The city has a population of 62,800, with a total crime rate that is 61% above the national average. Property crime is the most prevalent, with violent crime being below the national average. The most common types of crimes include burglary, theft, and vehicle theft. There were zero murders and 28 cases of robbery reported in 2022.
Burlington is also one of the most dangerous cities in Iowa. It is located in Des Moines County and is home to Iowa's famous winding Snake Alley Street. The city's total population is 23,982, marking a decline from the 2000 census. The total crime rate in Burlington is 57% above the national average, with a violent crime rate that is also much higher than the US average. While violent crime is common in Burlington, most of the city's crime is related to theft and burglary.
Keokuk is another one of the worst cities in Iowa for crime. The city is located along the Mississippi River at the intersection of Iowa, Illinois, and Missouri. The city has a population of roughly 9,900 and a total crime rate that is 56% above the national average. Property crime is a major issue in Keokuk, with over 281 incidents being recorded in 2022. Violent crime does occur as well, with 87 incidents recorded in the same year.
Located along the Missouri River, Sioux City is the fourth largest city in Iowa. It has a population of 85,797. The city also has a total crime rate that is 54% higher than the national average, making it one of the most violent cities in Iowa. The most common types of crime in Sioux City are assaults, robberies, and thefts. Sioux City has a poor economy with a population that has been stagnant or in decline for decades.
Another one of the most dangerous cities in Iowa is Fort Madison. Located along the Mississippi River, Fort Madison serves as the county seat of Lee County. The city has a population of 10,270, with a total crime rate that is 46% above the national average. Fort Madison has a high violent crime rate in relation to its population, with 71 incidents, including two murders recorded in 2022. Other types of crime, such as burglary, theft, and vehicle theft, were common as well.
Waterloo is the eighth largest city in Iowa and serves as the county seat of Black Hawk County. The city has a population of 67,314 and a total crime rate that is 33% above the national average. Violent crime is prevalent in Waterloo with over 350 incidents including five murders in 2022. The high crime rate makes Waterloo one of the worst cities in Iowa to live in. Property crime is also a major problem, with over 1,100 incidents of theft recorded in the same year.
Fort Dodge is also one of the most dangerous cities in Iowa. It is a major manufacturing center in the state and serves as the seat of Webster County. The city's population is 24,871, and it has a total crime rate that is 28% above the national average. Property crime is quite common in Dodge City, with personal theft and burglaries being common. Other crimes, such as robbery and assault, occur fairly often. There were zero murders recorded in Fort Dodge in 2022.