"It’s so safe, people don’t lock their doors here at night.” If we had a dollar for every time somebody told us that when we were considering our movie to Boise, we could probably buy a hot rock steak at Barbacoa. 

Of course, that was over 13 years ago when Boise’s population was 205,671. Since then, more than 30,000 new Idahoans have chosen the state’s capital city as their home and some people are quick to point the finger at those who have relocated to Boise for a perceived rise in violent crime. However, when you look at the numbers, Idaho’s most populated city is hardly the most dangerous. 

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A website called “Neighboorhood Scout” compiles data from over 18,000 local law enforcement agencies in the United States and final, non-preliminary crime data available from the FBI to show people just how safe they are visiting cities all over the country. They present crime rates as a whole, as well as break them down into the number of violent and property crimes committed in each municipality. In many cases, they’re able to get the data for just how many of each type of crime is committed. For this report we looked ONLY violent crime numbers.

The FBI defines violent crime as one of four offenses: murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, rape, robbery and aggravated assault. The most recent edition of this report reflects numbers given to the FBI for crimes committed in 2021. Updated numbers are expected to be released later this fall. 

Just How Dangerous is Boise?

If you examine violent crime statistics alone, Boise ranks #14 for being the most dangerous city in the state. (We looked at 33 Idaho cities with a population of 5,000+.) The violent crime rate in Boise rose from 2.72 in 2020 to 2.9 in 2021. The city saw an increase in the number of rapes, but a decrease in the number of aggravated assaults. The number of murders (4) and robberies (55) were flat. 

photo of a fresh crime scene

Our violent crime rate is slightly higher than the state why average of 2.49. According to Neighborhood Scout, you have a 1 in 345 chance of becoming a victim of one of the four violent crimes listed above. 

Which Idaho Cities Are More Dangerous Than Boise?

Based on the number of violent crimes per 1,000 residents, these 10 cities are the most dangerous places for violent crime. 

By The Numbers: The Most Violent Cities in Idaho Based on FBI Statistics

24 of Idaho’s largest cities with a population of 5,000 or more submitted figures to the FBI for their Crime in the United States report in 2021 and this is how they ranked when you look at the number of violent crimes per 1,000 residents. Note: Caldwell, Mountain Home, Kuna, Hayden, Post Falls, Burley, Preston, Eagle and Star did NOT submit a breakdown of their violent crime rates.

KEEP READING: The Six Most Dangerous College Campuses in Idaho

Based on statistics from the U.S. Department of Education, these Idaho college campuses experienced the most violent crimes committed on campus from 2019-2021.

Idaho's 10 Worst Small Towns

This list does NOT reflect the opinion of our radio station. It was built by RoadSnacks. According to RoadSnacks, these are the worst small towns in Idaho in 2022. Their rankings were based on census data for population density, unemployment, housing costs, income, education and FBI crime data.

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