Renowned for its plentiful farmland, vibrant fairs, and laid-back lifestyle, Iowa offers a unique living experience. However, for those prioritizing safety, it’s advisable to avoid certain cities in the state.
Explore the list below to discover the ten most perilous cities in Iowa.
10 Most Dangerous Cities in Iowa
- Des Moines
- Council Bluffs
- Sioux City
- Fort Madison
- Fort Dodge
Nestled along the Des Moines River, Ottumwa claims the title of the most hazardous city in Iowa. The city grapples with concerning rates of murders, robberies, and assaults, alongside prevalent drug trafficking contributing significantly to local property crime.
With a population of 101,724, Davenport’s total crime rate surpasses the national average by 81%. The prevalence of property crime, including burglary and theft, is noteworthy. In 2022, the city recorded 10 murders and 98 robberies. Widespread poverty and the challenge of drug addiction further complicate the situation in various areas of Davenport.
3. Des Moines
Des Moines grapples with elevated rates of both violent and property crime, with assaults, thefts, vehicle thefts, and burglaries posing significant challenges. In 2022 alone, the city documented two murders and 165 robberies.
4. Council Bluffs
Situated just outside Omaha, Nebraska, Council Bluffs in Pottawattamie County has garnered a reputation as a perilous city, boasting a population of 62,800. Although violent crime is below the national average, burglary, theft, and vehicle theft stand out as the most commonly reported offenses.
Nestled in Des Moines County, Burlington, renowned for its iconic winding Snake Alley Street, is also counted among Iowa’s most hazardous cities. While violent crime is notable in Burlington, the majority of reported incidents are linked to theft and burglary.
With a population of approximately 9,900, the city faces a total crime rate exceeding the national average by 56%. Property crime, with over 281 reported cases in 2022, remains a significant concern in Keokuk. Additionally, the city recorded 87 instances of violent crime in the same year.
7. Sioux City
As the fourth-largest city in Iowa, Sioux City, nestled along the Missouri River with a population of 85,797, grapples with a total crime rate 54% higher than the national average, earning its status as one of the state’s more violent cities.
8. Fort Madison
Fort Madison reports a disproportionately high rate of violent crime, with 71 incidents recorded in 2022, including two murders. Additionally, burglaries, thefts, and vehicle thefts are prevalent in the city.
Violent crime poses a significant challenge, with over 350 incidents, including five murders, reported in 2022 alone. Property crime is also a major concern, with more than 1,100 cases of theft recorded in the same year.
10. Fort Dodge
The city’s total crime rate exceeds the national average by 28%. Frequent occurrences of property crime, including personal theft and burglaries, contribute to Fort Dodge’s challenging reputation. Additionally, crimes such as robbery and assault are common, although no recorded murders were reported in Fort Dodge in 2022.