In a recent analysis here on the Movoto Real Estate Blog, we determined that of all of the states, New Hampshire was by far the safest. It had the lowest number of murders (just one for every 100,000 people), and some of the fewest violent and property crimes overall. Of course, like any other state, New Hampshire has some places that are safer than others and some that are downright dangerous (at least for New Hampshire). Today, we’re focusing on the latter. By studying the FBI’s latest Uniform Crime Report, we were able to calculate the crimes per capita in each place. According to that math, these were the 10 most dangerous places in New Hampshire: 1. City of Somersworth
2. City of Laconia
3. Town of Conway
4. City of Manchester
5. City of Claremont
6. City of Rochester
7. City of Keene
8. City of Lebanon
9. City of Concord
10. Town of Hooksett
As briefly mentioned above, rather than simply pick these 10 dangerous places according to research or rumor, we relied on careful analyses to create this list. You can read more our about our methodology in the next section, and then we’ll take a more detailed look at each of our top 10.

Our Methodology

Just like for our other Big Deal Lists, we began this one by paying a visit to the census. Here, we gathered a list of all of the places in New Hampshire with populations of 10,000 people or more. From there, we went straight to the top dogs: The FBI. We used the 2012 FBI Uniform Crime Report to look at the crime data for all of these places in the following criteria:
  • Murder
  • Rape
  • Robbery
  • Assault
  • Burglary
  • Theft
  • Vehicle theft
We divided these crimes into four categories:
  • Murders
  • Violent crimes
  • Property crimes
  • Total crimes
We omitted any places that didn’t happen to report their crime data that year. This left us with a total of 20 places to look at. From there, we calculated each place’s number of crimes per capita, or per person, in order to fairly compare cities of all sizes. We then ranked each place in each category from one to 20, with scores closer to one being more dangerous. We decided to weight murders, violent crimes, and property crimes to each comprise 30 percent of the overall score, while the total number of crimes made up just 10 percent, in order to accurately compare the differing severity in crimes. Finally, we averaged each place’s weighted scores into one overall Big Deal Score. The place with the lowest of these scores was our most dangerous place. To see more than just these 10 most dangerous places, you can skip to the end of the post for a complete ranking of the 20 places we looked at. Otherwise, let’s take a closer look at our top 10.
  • This ranking is not a critique of police practices or effectiveness. It is simply an analysis of where crimes occurred.

1. Somersworth

Most Dangerous Places in New Hampshire
Source: Wikimedia user John Phelan
As mentioned before, New Hampshire is not a particularly dangerous state, but of all of the places within its borders, you are the most likely to be the victim of a crime in this one. Here, your chances of being the victim of a crime were just 1 in 19, where in safer places it is well above 50, or in the case of Durham, it was just 1 in 107. The reason for this was Somersworth’s particularly high number of property crimes, and therefore, overall crimes. In 2012, it had the highest number of both, per capita. It also had the second highest number of violent crimes. The good news here is that none of these included murder (almost none of the places we studied in New Hampshire reported murders).

2. Laconia

Most Dangerous Places in New Hampshire
Source: Flickr user Jeremy Pawlowski
Much like Somersworth before it, Laconia had one of the highest numbers of property crimes, and therefore, total crimes—it ranked second in both categories. It also had the third highest number of violent crimes per capita. Most of these were assaults, but there were also a high number of rapes, followed by robberies. There were no murders. All told, residents in Laconia had a 1 in 21 chance of being the victim of a crime.

3. Conway

Most Dangerous Places in New Hampshire
Flickr user Bob Linsdell
In 2012, Conway had the the third highest number of crimes per person. These were made up of the third highest number of property crimes and the third highest number of violent crimes per person. Luckily, none of these violent crimes included murder, but there were 30 assaults, nine robberies, and six rapes. All in all, Conway residents had a 1 in 21 chance of being the victim of a crime.

4. Manchester

Most Dangerous Places in New Hampshire
Source: Flickr user Manchester City Library
If you’re thinking that in a large city such as Manchester, there is bound to be more crime than in say, Hanover, well it looks like you’re right. Not only were there more violent crimes per capita than anywhere else in the state, but one of those was actually a murder. This, plus the sixth highest number of property crimes per capita gave Manchester the third most total crimes per capita, and made it the third most dangerous overall.

5. Claremont

Most Dangerous Places in New Hampshire
Source: Flickr user Doug Kerr
Claremont may not have had quite the population of Manchester’s 110,000, but that certainly didn’t mean that this little city of just over 13,000 people wasn’t dangerous. In fact, it was largely due to its small population that it ranked so high. While Manchester had one murder for its roughly 110,000-person population, Claremont had one for its roughly 13,000, giving it the highest number of murders per person in the state. In fact, it had an overall high number of violent crimes that year, ranking fifth in this category. This, plus the fourth highest number of property crimes gave Claremont the fifth highest number of total crimes per capita in the state.

6. Rochester

Most Dangerous Places in New Hampshire
Source: Flickr user Doug Kerr
This Strafford County city ranked high in our analysis mostly for its high total number of crimes—the fourth highest in the state. This was because Rochester had the third most property crimes and the seventh most violent crimes per capita (none of which were murders). Now, most of these property crimes were thefts (as to be expected), but there were also 131 burglaries that year and 29 vehicle thefts. Overall, residents had a 1 in 26 chance of being the victim of a crime.

7. Keene

Most Dangerous Places in New Hampshire
Source: Flickr user Doug Kerr
From the annual Pumpkin Fest to the beautiful universities, this city is about as charming as it gets, but don’t let that fool you—it is still relatively dangerous. Case in point: in 2012, Keene had the fifth most property crimes per capita in the state. This, plus the sixth most violent crimes per capita, gave Keene the sixth highest number of total crimes per person for the year, and made it the sixth most dangerous overall.

8. Lebanon

Most Dangerous Places in New Hampshire
Source: Flickr user Doug Kerr
In Lebanon, your chances of being the victim of a crime weren’t quite as high as in Keene, or even worse, Somersworth, but still, a 1 in 28 chance is not really something to brag about. Why so high? This is mostly due to Lebanon’s overall high number of crimes in 2012—the seventh highest per capita. This high total was made up of the seventh most property crimes and, worse still, the fourth most violent crimes per capita. The good news is, none of those violent crimes included murder. The bad news is, there were 21 assaults, 10 rapes, and eight robberies that year. For the population of just over 13,000 people, that’s a lot.

9. Concord

Most Dangerous Places in New Hampshire
Source: Flickr user Ben McLeod
Per capita, Concord had just the eighth highest number of property crimes and the ninth highest number of violent crimes. None of these were murders. All of this added up to the eighth highest number of total crimes per capita, and a 1 in 31 chance of being the victim of a crime for residents.

10. Hooksett

Most Dangerous Places in New Hampshire
Source: Flickr user Kristin
This town came in among our top 10 for its high overall number of crimes. In 2012, it had a total of 453 crimes. With its population just shy of 13,500, this gave Hooksett the ninth highest number of crimes per person. These were made up of 431 property crimes (also the ninth most per person) and 22 violent crimes (the 14th most per person). None of these violent crimes were murders.

It’s All Relative

While New Hampshire is certainly safer than, well, any of the other states in the U.S., as this list shows, not all of its places are created equal. Of course, even these most dangerous of places are probably still safer than some of the safest in, say, South Carolina. Still, if you fancy a move from Somersworth to some place safer, we’ll gladly help you find your new home. We hear Exeter is just lovely this time of year. For Media Inquiries, Contact:
Randy Nelson
rnelson@movoto.com

Most Dangerous Places In New Hampshire