North Dakota is a state located along the Canadian border in the upper midwestern section of the United States.
While the state is the 19th largest, it is quite undeveloped and home to spectacular natural attractions.
The state capital is Bismarck, although Fargo is the state’s largest city – home to about 20% of the state’s population.
- The 10 Most Dangerous Cities in North Dakota
- 5 Safety Tips for Traveling to North Dakota
- 1. Before your North Dakota vacation, share your plans with a few friends or family members.
- 2. North Dakota is a wild, rugged state – respect nature and each animal’s natural habitat.
- 3. Be vigilant and alert to your immediate surroundings.
- 4. Before leaving for your North Dakota outdoor adventure, check the weather conditions at your destination.
- 5. Don’t flash cash or jewelry unnecessarily – it only attracts the wrong kind of attention.
- Frequently Asked Questions
The 10 Most Dangerous Cities in North Dakota
The state of North Dakota is home to 401 registered places/locations, most of which are incorporated areas.
Fargo (Cass County)
- Population – 126,748 (2021).
- Violent Crime Rate – 5.20 per 1,000 residents.
- Property Crime Rate – 44.61 per 1,000 residents.
Fargo is ranked as the most populous city in North Dakota.
The city is located on the North Floodplain’s Red River and was a main steamboat stopping place in the 1870s and 1880s.
Fargo’s violent crime rate is among the worst in the state – nearly twice the state average.
Property crime in this city exceeds twice the state and national average.
Fargo’s crime per square mile statistic was more than six times North Dakota’s average.
Wahpeton (Richland County)
- Population – 7,943 (2021).
- Violent Crime Rate – 4.15 per 1,000 residents.
- Property Crime Rate – 20.65 per 1,000 residents.
Wahpeton is a city in the southern corner of North Dakota.
Wahpeton is situated along the Red River of the North. Breckenridge, MN, is located on the opposite side of the Red River.
In terms of violent crime, Wahpeton surpasses the North Dakota level and the national level.
Property crime in Wahpeton is similar to the state average – which is higher than in the rest of the country.
City Center is among the least safe neighborhoods in Wahpeton.
Mandan (Morton County)
- Population – 24,447 (2021).
- Violent Crime Rate – 3.48 per 1,000 residents.
- Property Crime Rate – 36.73 per 1,000 residents.
Mandan is a mid-sized city located on the western banks of the Missouri River in south-central North Dakota.
The less safe sections of Mandan run along Route 94 in City Center.
Violent crime in Mandan is about 30% higher than in the rest of North Dakota.
However, property crime in Mandan is about 75% higher than the state average and nearly twice the national property crime level.
And crime per square mile in Mandan is more than four times North Dakota’s average.
Williston (Williams County)
- Population – 27,332 (2021).
- Violent Crime Rate – 3.40 per 1,000 residents.
- Property Crime Rate – 15.59 per 1,000 residents.
Williston is among the larger cities in North Dakota.
Williston is located near the Montana/North Dakota Border and about an hour south of the Canadian Border.
The Williston North and Sloulin Field International areas are among the least safe neighborhoods.
While property crime rates dip below state averages, the violent crime rate in Williston is about 30% higher than the state average.
In Williston, the crime per square mile is four times the average state crime per square mile.
Grand Forks (Grand Forks County)
- Population – 58,781 (2021).
- Violent Crime Rate – 2.93 per 1,000 residents.
- Property Crime Rate – 25.89 per 1,000 residents.
Grand Forks ranks as North Dakota’s third-largest city.
Grand Forks is located on the western banks of the Red River of the North, near East Grand Forks, Minnesota, located on the opposite side of the river.
City Center, Grand Forks East, and Bringewatt Park are the rougher sections of town.
The violent and property crime rates for Grand Forks both rise above the state average.
And this city’s crimes per square mile statistic is 84, which is more than four times the state median level.
Jamestown (Stutsman County)
- Population – 15,750 (2021).
- Violent Crime Rate – 2.92 per 1,000 residents.
- Property Crime Rate – 21.84 per 1,000 residents.
Jamestown is recognized to be the ninth-largest the Peace Garden State of North Dakota and is home to the University of Jamestown.
The city is located in the southeast quadrant of the state.
The violent crime rate in Jamestown is about 10% above the state average but below the national median.
Property crime rates for the residents of Jamestown can be expected to be about the same as the state average – about a 1 in 46 chance of becoming a property crime victim.
Bismarck (Burleigh County)
- Population – 74,138 (2021).
- Violent Crime Rate – 2.91 per 1,000 residents.
- Property Crime Rate – 35.31 per 1,000 residents.
Bismarck is North Dakota’s state capital and ranks as the second most populated city in North Dakota.
This large city is located in the south-central part of the state.
Some of the downtown Bismarck neighborhoods (Hillside and Cathedral Historic District) are a bit rough, so caution is advised when traveling alone or at night.
The Bismarck crime per square mile is abysmal, as it is five times the North Dakota average.
Property crime in Bismarck exceeds the state average by 60%+.
Devil’s Lake (Ramsey County)
- Population – 7,182 (2021).
- Violent Crime Rate – 2.78 per 1,000 residents.
- Property Crime Rate – 39.54 per 1,000 residents.
Devil’s Lake is a small city named for the nearby body of water and is home to Lake Region State College and the state’s School for the Deaf.
Property crime statistics in Devil’s Lake are nearly twice the state average, with residents having a 1 in 25 chance of becoming property crime victims.
Violent crime rates in Devil’s Lake fall in line with the state average, although crime per square mile in Devil’s Lake is more than twice the average in North Dakota.
Minot (Ward County)
- Population – 47,789 (2021).
- Violent Crime Rate – 2.68 per 1,000 residents.
- Property Crime Rate – 14.21 per 1,000 residents.
Minot is North Dakota’s fourth largest city.
Located in the central/north part of the state and nearby Air Force Base, Minot is also home to Minot State University.
The Minot East and Downtown/Upper Brooklyn neighborhoods in Minot are less safe.
While property crime rates fall below state averages, the crime per square mile in Minot is more than two times the average for all of North Dakota.
Violent crimes in Minot equal the state average; however, rape and robbery rates are twice the national average.
Valley City (Barnes County)
- Population – 6,559 (2021).
- Violent Crime Rate – 1.98 per 1,000 residents.
- Property Crime Rate – 20.89 per 1,000 residents.
Valley City is North Dakota’s twelfth largest city and located in the north and eastern portion of the state.
The city is best known for the varied and many bridges over the Sheyenne River.
Violent and property crime in Valley City is below the North Dakota state average, although theft and burglary exceed national averages.
The city center area of Valley City tends to be a more dangerous part of the city.
North Dakota Safety Overview
READ THE FULL REPORT: North Dakota Safety ReviewSafety Index:
- OVERALL RISK : LOW
- TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : MEDIUM
- PICKPOCKETS RISK : LOW
- NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : LOW
- MUGGING RISK : LOW
- TERRORISM RISK : LOW
- SCAMS RISK : LOW
- WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW
5 Safety Tips for Traveling to North Dakota
Make sure a few close friends have your North Dakota vacation itinerary so, in the event of an emergency, a friend or family member will know how to contact you.
2. North Dakota is a wild, rugged state – respect nature and each animal’s natural habitat.
Avoid large animals in the wild and wear bright colors when hiking off-trail.
3. Be vigilant and alert to your immediate surroundings.
Try to avoid walking in unfamiliar areas alone and at night.
Walk with purpose and confidence.
4. Before leaving for your North Dakota outdoor adventure, check the weather conditions at your destination.
Smartphones offer up-to-the-minute weather forecasts – often check for current and future projections.
5. Don’t flash cash or jewelry unnecessarily – it only attracts the wrong kind of attention.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best time to visit and travel to North Dakota?
The best time to visit and vacation in this magical state is from the middle of May to October.
This is the time when North Dakota’s weather is ideal, especially for outdoor adventures.
Spring is the season when the weather in North Dakota is most unpredictable when it is not unheard of to have an occasional snowfall.
What is North Dakota‘s number 1 tourist attraction?
Theodore Roosevelt National Park is typically ranked as the top attraction when visiting North Dakota.
This national park is named after the 26th president, who was an avid rancher, naturalist, and a great lover of the North Dakota landscape.
Does North Dakota have a zoo?
There are four zoos in North Dakota.
The capital, Bismarck, is home to one.
The other North Dakota zoos are located in Minot, Fargo, and Wahpeton.