Idaho's Crime Rates vs the National Average


Most residents of the fair state of Idaho would agree that they feel safer here than they would in most big cities in the United States. Crime has been on the decline in Idaho for the last ten years as it has in the nation generally and while Idaho actually ranks number four in the nation's safest states (behind Vermont, Maine, and New Hampshire), it does have it's pockets of crime, both violent and property.

Property crimes are much more common than violent crimes (thank goodness). Property crimes include larceny, burglary and vehicle theft. As far as property crime alone goes, Idaho slips to number 5 nationally behind Vermont, New York (surprize!) New Jersey (another surprize) and Massachusetts. The most common form of property crime is larceny, which is basically just common theft- taking something that belongs to someone else with the intent of not giving it back, and accounts for over 70% of all property crimes nationally. As these crimes are only noted when an arrest has been made, the numbers are probably much higher. And if you figure in all of the items of personal property that the owner 'just can't find' but have actually been stole, it becomes evident that larceny is a major portion of crime in general.

Violent crime, on the other hand is much more feared and more focus is generally given to it on news reports and social media sites. Violent crimes include murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, aggravated assault, rape and robbery (which is different than larceny in that robbery also includes the threat of violence that causes fear in its victim). Statutory rape is not included in the list of violent crimes.

Not surprisingly, Vermont, which rates as the safest state in general, also comes in at our number one safest state, with Idaho, once again coming in with the 5th lowest violent crime rate in the nation. Kind of makes you want to live in Idaho, doesn't it?

Within Idaho itself, as in any other state, there are areas of the state that have fewer crimes committed and areas where there are more crimes committed. As population increases, so in general, do crime rates increase. While this is not always the case as is shown with the little town of Ponderay in northern Idaho. With a population of only 1,100 people, Ponderay had a property crime rate per capita of more than twice the rate of any other community in Idaho. These numbers come, however, mostly from shoplifting. Ponderay has become the shopping center of the region and people come from surrounding communities and Canada to shop at its big box stores and so the crime numbers become skewed as they are compared to the actual number of residents rather than the number of people who visit the community every day.

According to one source, which used the FBI crime datasets, which included both violent and nonviolent crimes per capita, here is the list of the ten most dangerous cities in Idaho with populations above 5000 people:

Garden City is nestled in the northwestern part of Boise and has a population of 11,500. There were 459 violent crimes per 100k people, and 3,450 property crimes per 100k people in 2015, with violent crimes increasing by an amazing 33% in the previous two years, which gives it the distinction of being the #1 most dangerous city in Idaho.

Number 2 is Blackfoot, located in the southeastern part of the state and has a population of 11,784. Blackfoot had 449 violent crimes per 100k capita, and its property crime numbers were 3,071 per 100k. However, Blackfoot's crimes are trending down quickly with violent crimes falling 22% between 2013 and 2015.

Pocatello comes in third with a population of 54,286. The 5th largest city in the state, Pocatello has seen an increase in violent crime of 50% between 2013-2015. Violent crimes were 362 per 100k people during this period and property crimes were 3,002 per 100k.

Coeur d'Alene, a city of 48,871 residents, is located in the northern panhandle of Idaho and is known for it's picturesque views and beautiful lake. However, Coeur d'Alene's residents have a 1 in 179 chance of being a victim of a violent crime and a 1 in 27 chance of being the victim of a property crime each year.

Nampa comes in at Idaho's 3rd largest city (with a population of 89,875), and it's 5th most dangerous. Violent crimes are a bit lower than property crimes at 350 per 100k vs. 2,928 property crimes per 100k.

Twin Falls come in 6th on our list. Crimes, in general, are falling in Twin Falls which is a positive trend for the city. The population of Twin falls is 47,048 and it is located in the south central area of Idaho. Violent crimes are rated at 320 per 100k residents and its property crimes have fallen 12% to 2,986 per 100k residents.

Lewiston's crime rates have risen slightly in the last few years but are still lower than 6 other major cities in Idaho. Lewiston's violent crimes per 100k are at 229 and it's property crimes per 100k are at 3,292.

Idaho Falls has a population of roughly 60,000 people. It is a growing area both in population and in crimes of all kinds. Violent crimes in Idaho Falls per 100k residents was 282 in 2015 and it's property crimes were 2,715 per 100k residents.

No. nine out of the state's top ten most dangerous cities is the capital city of Boise. While crime rates, in general, have remained stable, Boise residents can expect property crime rates to be about 2,275 per 100k residents and violent crime rates at 308 per 100k.

Chubbuck, Idaho, a suburb of Pocatello, comes in at number 10 of the state's most dangerous cities over 5000 residents. With a population of 14,289, violent crimes come in at 104 per 100k residents and property crimes come in at 3,898 per 100k residents.

Idaho residents, over all, will tell you that they feel comfortably safe living in this beautiful state and don't live in fear of their lives or property.

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