Texas is the second biggest state in the US, coming in second place to Alaska in terms of land mass at 268,596 square miles as well as population density, with over 30 million residents in 2023. Being beaten out by “The Golden State” of California, which boasts more than 39 million. If you live in Texas or are considering a move here, you’ll want to have a good understanding of crime rates in your local town or where you plan to live.
So, let’s find out which are the top 10 most dangerous cities in Texas and why…
The Great State Of Texas
Texas, also known as “The Lone Star State,” is home to Dr. Pepper, the invention of the margarita machine, and a town called Dish. It is renowned for its love of country music, the backbone of the oil and gas industry, famous for its cowboy heritage, along with its national sport, the rodeo!
Texas is a great state to be able to call home; however, like everywhere in the country, well, in actual fact, the world, there are some cities that are more dangerous to live in than others. The table further down shows you the top 20 most dangerous cities in Texas by crime per 1,000 people in 2022.
FBI crime statistics included!
I’ve decided to include the top 10 most dangerous Texan cities as per the FBI crime statistics reports. Starting at number 10 and finishing with the state’s most dangerous city in terms of violent crimes against people, including aggravated assault, rape, murder, robbery, and mass shootings.
As well as property crime which encompasses burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson. You’ll also see other types of crimes that these cities deal with on an annual basis.
The first in our 10 most dangerous cities in Texas is Mesquite. Located on the east side of Dallas, it is a vibrant city with a population of 147,691 in 2023.
Coming in 10th place on the most dangerous cities in Texas list, Mesquite comes in extremely low in the safe cities of America rating. It falls into the 6th percentile for safety, which means 94% of cities are safer than Mesquite; meanwhile, only 6% of US cities are more dangerous. The chances of becoming a victim of violent crime are 1 in 205, and your chances of becoming a victim of property crime is 1 in 31.
There are some safe areas to consider…
The rate of crime in Mesquite is roughly 37.21 per 1,000 residents each year. Though sometimes this number may rise or fall, depending on what type of year was had. There were 493 reports of assault, 165 robberies, 51 rapes, and 13 murders committed here in 2022. Whereas thefts hit 3,410, vehicle theft 813, and burglary had 550 reports and are the biggest type of property crimes as well as the most numerous types of crimes committed.
Mesquite residents consider the northeast part of the city to be the safest, including Casa Ridge Heights, Braewood, Falcons Lair, Creek Crossing Estates, Hills at Tealwood, and Pecan Creek. Meanwhile, El Rosa / Village East, Northridge Estates, Trueman Heights, and Pecan Bend neighborhoods are considered the most dangerous.
9 Wichita Falls
Coming in 9th place is Wichita Falls. This fairly small town, with a population just below 103,000, is located in north Texas near the Oklahoma border. It is very much a tourist town and therefore the crime rates here are much higher than what you would see in other similar-sized towns.
The table represents only violent and property crimes, yet Wichita Falls keeps getting hit year after year with high levels of theft, with 2,214 reports in 2022. This sees the crime rate of 37.4 per 1,000 people keeping it at number 9 on my chart.
Diversity in the crimes committed…
Most crimes are committed in Wichita Falls’s numerous parkland areas, where tourists flock to enjoy the beautiful scenery and sights. These crimes are a diverse mix of rape, armed robbery, murder, non-negligent manslaughter, aggravated assault, as well as assault with a deadly weapon.
Wichita Falls has a crime index of 6, meaning that 94% of US cities are safer, and only 6% are considered more dangerous. You have a 1 in 172 chance of becoming a victim of a violent crime here and a 1 in 32 chance of being part of a property crime. The safest neighborhoods are Lakeside City, Sheppard Airforce Base, Allendale, and Bacon. While the most dangerous areas are Loch Lamond Park, Scotland Park, Spudder Park, and Morningside Park.
Austin is the capital of the Lone Star State. With a population of 964,177, the crime rates are increasing each year as the city edges towards a residential population of one million.
Your chances of becoming a victim of a violent crime in Austin is 1 in 191, with 39,621 crimes committed in 2022. There were 3,386 counts of assault, 583 rapes, and 79 murders which is more than the US national average per rate of 1,000 persons. Theft comes in as the city’s biggest issue, with 25,170 reports and a 26.11 per 1,000 persons rate.
Austin sees around 130 crimes committed per 1 square mile, well above the states at national averages of 27 and 26.8 respectively.
The numbers don’t look good!
The residential areas in Austin’s central city limits have a population of around 9,550 and the worst levels of crime recorded in the city. For example, the crime rate in Georgian Acres in 2022 was 10,925 per 100,000, which is a mammoth 365% higher than the national average.
There are a lot of areas that are deemed dangerous in Austin; however, a lot of inner city hoods like Cherrywood East, Govalle, Mckinney, East Riverside, Bouldin South, and Galindo are best to be avoided. The safest areas in Austin include Zilker West, Mueller, Pleasant Hill, and Triangle State.
7 Corpus Christie
Corpus Christie ranks at number 7 on my chart, seeing violent crimes reaching 8.79 per 1,000 people and property crime at 32.65 per 1,000 people.
This gives Corpus Christi a total crime rating of 41.44. With a population of 317,773, the chances of becoming a victim in the most dangerous areas are as high as 1 in 11 in northern neighborhoods, which see around 2,986 crimes committed and reported each year. Meanwhile, in the southwest, it can be as low as 1 in 67, which reports around 22 incidents per annum.
Watch your valuables…
Crime statistics across Corpus Christie see theft being the biggest problem, with 7,599 incidences and a rate of 23.91 per 1,000 people. There were 2,060 assaults reported, and at a rate of 6.48 per 1,000 people, that’s almost 2.5 times the national rate of 2.84.
There’s a 1 in 31 chance of being a victim of property crime and a 1 in 144 for a violent crime. The inner city areas have been identified as the most dangerous, with Wiggins Par, Central City East, Central City North, Elgin, and Belaire Park. Whereas the safest areas are Arlington Heights, Brighton Park, Bay Area North West, and Padre Island.
Waco hits my list at number 6. With a population of 139,594, Waco residents are faced with a crime rate of 41.90 per 1,000. This sees Waco in only the 4th percentile on the safety index, with 96% of America’s cities rating higher and, therefore, safer. Criminals were running hot with activities; 1,034 violent crimes were reported at a 7.41 rate which in itself was pretty high.
Yet combine that with property crimes of more than 3,729 (that’s a rate of 34.49 per 1,000) in the same year, and you can see how it makes the jump to a combined high level of 5,849 incidences and an overall crime rate of 41.90 per 1,000 inhabitants.
Lock up tight…
Waco is a fairly low-populated college town situated between Dallas and Austin, yet sees very high rates of crime per capita each year. Your risk of becoming a victim of violence or property damage stands at 1 in 24. As always, theft seems to be the biggest problem faced, with 3,455 reported incidences and a rating of 24.75, that’s more than 10% higher than the national average of 13.94 per 1,000.
Yet, with 935 burglaries, 758 assaults, 425 car thefts, 147 robberies, 114 rapes, and 15 murders reported in 2022. Waco, for the small town it is, has seen its fair share of violent and property-based crimes and continues to see more and more each year.
The safest areas are reported as being Bellmead, Baylor University Campus, Lacy Lakeview, and Woodway. Meanwhile, the unsafest locations are Carver, Carver South, Brook Oaks, Sanger Heights, and Oakwood South.
Dallas is one of the largest cities in Texas, with more than 1.2 million residents, and hits my list at number 5. With a crime rate of 44.93 per 1,000 occupants, the risk you face of being a victim of a violent crime is 1 in 116. Yet the risk of being involved in property crime is as high as 1 in 28. In 2022, there were 213 murders, 569 rapes, 3,292 robberies, 5,495 assaults, and 9,124 burglaries reported.
That’s over 18,000 violent crime incidents in a year. As for property crimes, arson saw 197 cases; there were 11,886 vehicle thefts and 27,920 thefts in the same year. Dallas ranks in the 4th percentile on the safety index, indicating that most cities in America are safer.
The most dangerous places to live are in the southeast of the city limits with hoods like South Boulevard-Park Row, Cedar Crest, South Dallas, Convention Center District, and Urbandale-Parkdale, notorious for criminal activity. Meanwhile, Highland Park, Kessler, Cockrell Hill, Hollywood Santa Monica, and Maple Lawn South come in as the safest locations.
Located east of Houston, the city of Beaumont boasts a population of 112,556 yet has a crime rate of 45.07 per 1,000 residents. The violent crime statistics are 10.89 per 1,000 people. Compared to the national US average of 3.95 per 1,000, Beaumont is 2.7 times more dangerous than most US cities.
The chance of being involved in a serious crime is 1 in 22. When looked at with other communities across the United States, Beaumont has one of the highest crime rates in America in comparison to small towns and large cities.
Seeing a rate of 7.88 per 1,000 people for assaults, 8.38 for burglaries, 3.43 for auto thefts, and 22.39 for theft, Beaumont ranks in 4th place as one of the most dangerous cities to call home in Texas. Beaumont’s crime rate currently stands at 59 per square mile, more than doubling the national average of 26.8.
The areas to avoid are North End East, Helbig, C.A.B.L.E, Charlton Pollard, Rockwell and West Oakland, and Pear Orchid. The neighborhoods with the safest rankings are Meeker / Pine Island, Taylor Landing / Fannett, Cheek / Galloway, and Rogers Park.
Lubbock, Texas, has a population of 260,993 and a violent crime rate of 10.85 per 1,000 persons, making the city the third most dangerous to reside in Texas. There was a reported 2,831 violent crimes here in 2022. With 26 murders, 273 rapes, 378 robberies, and 2,154 assaults, landing a rating of 10.85 per 1,000.
Meanwhile, property crime reports see 3.55 times that with 10,055 cases comprising 1,086 car thefts, 2,161 burglaries, and 6,808 thefts and a rating of 38.53! These two categories combined see Lubbock with 12,886 total crimes for the year and a crime per 1,000 people rating of 49.37.
As you can see, this rating is super high, and that’s why this town, the 10th most populous in Texas, is sitting in 3rd position on my most dangerous cities in Texas list. So what areas do you want to avoid? Research tells us Southgate, Windmill, Slaton-Bean, Clapp Park, Maxey Park, and West End come up trumps for being the most dangerous. 19th Street / Boston Avenue, Melonie Park, North By Northwest, and Slide rate in the safest neighborhood here.
2 San Antonio
San Antonio stays put as the 2nd most dangerous city in Texas. Now, with a population count exceeding 1.45 million, statistically, it’s no wonder it is in second place with 154 crimes committed per square mile. That’s more than 5.7 times the national average at a mere 26.8 per square mile.
Situated in south-central Texas, San Antonio is home to the Alamo and had a total of 71,949 major crime reportings in 2022. 10,908 are made up of violent crimes, including 168 murders, 1,101 rapes, 1,721 robberies, and 7,918 assaults. Meanwhile, the other 61,041 incidents were in the property crime category, with 7,599 burglaries, 8,907 auto thefts, and a whopping 44,535 thefts. All three of these are 2 – 3 higher than the national averages for their categories and leave San Antonio with a crime rating of 49.56 per 1,000 people and a crime index rating of 3.
The worst neighborhoods in San Antonio are Cattleman Square, Lone Star, Roosevelt Park North, Arena District, and Westwood Village. If you want to live in one of the safest, look at properties outside of downtown, like Fort Sam Houston, Olmos Park, Pearsall Park, Alamo Heights, and Terrell Hills.
And here we have arrived at the most dangerous city within the Texan borders, and it nonother than the biggest city there, Houston. Home to 2,288,250 residents, Houston has a crime rate of 54.73 per 1,000 inhabitants, the first we’ve seen cross the 50’s threshold. The risk of becoming caught up in a crime of either property or violent nature is 1 in 18. It sits with a safety index rating of 2, meaning 98% of America’s cities are safer to live in than Houston.
In 2022, according to FBI data, there were 125,235 crimes committed within the city limits. 28,370 of these were of a violent nature, including 464 murders. That’s a rate of 0.20 which might not seem very high until you compare it to the national average of 0.04. In fact, Houston’s murder rate is five times higher per 1,000 people, which is a massive jump.
Rounding out the rest were 1,185 rapes, 7,740 robberies, and 18,981 assaults. Crimes of a violent nature are at the highest rate we’ve seen at 12.40 per 1,000 people; meanwhile, property crimes equate to 42.33 per 1,000. Also, the highest that has been recorded for a Texan town.
The stats don’t get any better…
There’s a 1 in 84 chance of falling victim to violence and a 1 in 24 chance for property crime. Looking at property crimes, burglaries accounted for 14,818, vehicle theft for 15,617, and a whopping 66,430 reports of theft.
The five safest areas are Dogwood Acres / Walden Woods, Kingwood East, Kingwood Northeast, Green Trails, and Windsor Park Lake. Meanwhile, the most dangerous neighborhoods of Houston are Sharpstown, Sunnyside, MacGregor, Greenspoint, and Far North.
Crimes Per 1000 People
|Rank||City||Population||Violent Crime||Property Crime||Total Crimes||Violent Crime per 1000||Property Crime per 1000||Total Crime per 1000||Crime Inde|
Keeping Your Family Safe When You Relocate
There is nothing more important than safety, so for the places to avoid when moving, check out our guides on the 10 Most Dangerous States In The US, the 10 Most Dangerous Neighborhoods In Chicago, the Most Dangerous Cities In Florida, the Most Dangerous Neighborhoods In Los Angeles, and the Most Dangerous Cities In Ohio.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, take a look at the Safest Places To Live In Florida, the Best Neighborhoods In Long Island, and the Safest Cities In California, as well as the Safest Neighborhoods In Philadelphia, the Safest Cities In Texas, and the Safest Neighborhoods In Atlanta in 2023.
Although these figures might seem surprising, perhaps even scary, Texas is a state full of the friendliest people, great culture, and even better food offerings!
The biggest cities are colorful and vibrant and offer safe havens amongst the notoriously dangerous areas. But don’t let this deter you if living in Texas is part of your American dream! As a rule, bigger cities statistically have bigger crime rates, just pay attention to the criminal hot spots and do your best to avoid them, especially during the darker hours.
Have fun living in or visiting the great state of Texas!