Ahhh Texas…the popular vacation destination, beach-strewn state where everything is bigger and better, right? All of these are true, but Texas is also full of crime-ridden cities that any visitor or anyone looking to relocate there should be aware of. Because of its border with Mexico and criminals wanting to get in and out, there is often criminal activity very close to the line on either side. Here’s a list of the top 10 most dangerous cities in the state that you may want to avoid or at least investigate further before going there in person:
Houston is the most dangerous big city in Texas, according to Texas Monthly. The violent crime rates in this city have remained largely unchanged for the past few years, hovering around the mid-500s per 100,000 people. In 2017, Houston had the highest rate of homicide per 100,000 at 11.7, with a total of 269. This is the highest rate across the country. The total violent crime rate per 100,000 was 1095.2. Violent crimes include murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault.
Although well-known for its boardwalk and other attractions in this beautiful city, San Antonio was the second highest in rates for homicides with 8.4 per 100,000 and a total of 125.
With a population of only 10,371, Bellmead is considered one of the most violent cities in Texas because the rate of violent crime here per 100,000 people is 2,304.5. It is located in the middle of the Lone Star State and is only 6.2 square miles in area.
South Padre Island
Also, a popular Spring Break destination because it’s an island and far south enough that the northern state residents can enjoy the warmer temperatures, this city is on the list because the rate of violent crime per 100,000 people was 1,804.9. The population of the city is only 2,881.
Donna’s violent crime rate per 100,000 people was 1,418.2. The city has a population of 16, 641. This city is located in the extreme south part of Texas along the Rio Grande and Mexican border. It is only 80 miles inland from the Gulf.
In 2017, this city with 1,129 residents claimed 1,328.6 violent crimes per 100,000 people. Oyster Creek is located on the Gulf of Mexico in Southeastern Texas and is very small – only 2 square miles in size.
With a population of only 8,572, this city had 1,271.2 violent crimes per 100,000. Cuero is located 87 from San Antonio and is only 4.9 miles square. It is known as the “turkey capital of the world” to locals, and oddly enough was named by Budget Travel magazine in 2010 as one of the “Coolest Small Towns in America.”
This city has a population of 37,882 and claimed a total of 1,261.8 violent crimes per 100,000 people. Texarkana is in the extreme northeastern part of the state, just across the border from its twin city in Arkansas. It is about 180 miles northeast of Dallas.
Mathis has a population of 4,939, and the violent crime rate was 1,255.3 per 100,000. It is known for bordering Lake Corpus Christi and claims many snowbirds as residents in the wintertime. The city is only 2 square miles in area, and the locals know the lake provides prime catfish, as well as largemouth bass, sunfish and crappie. There are many RV and mobile home areas in Mathis surrounding the lake.
Elsa has a population of 6,798 and had a violent crime rate of 1,250.4 per 100,000 people. This city is located in the southernmost tip of Texas, just 9 miles north of Weslaco. It is only 1.5 square miles in area. This town was a ranch prior to 1800 and was settled by Anglo-Americans one hundred years later. In 1943, the brand is now known as Ro-Tel tomatoes and green chile got its start as a family canning plant in Elsa.
These rankings will change depending upon whom you ask and how they are analyzing data, but they are all based on FBI statistical analyses. Some utilize only homicide rates and others consider violent crimes as a whole. The moral of the story is to do your research about the city you’re planning to visit or move to before actually going there, and avoid the most dangerous spots as well as you can.