So many people on social media like to talk about how dangerous Rochester, MN is. It's a big trend I've noticed recently so I needed to know the true facts. How dangerous is Rochester really? Is Rochester, MN a safe place to live? Is it as bad as everyone says it is or are people blowing things out of proportion?

Where the Information Comes From

In order to determine just how dangerous Rochester is, I'm using data from the FBI collected between the years 2004 and 2018. The graphs I'm using (that use the same FBI data) are from MacroTrends.net. For each of the graphs, the left side is the violent crime rate and the bottom is the year.

I limited my search to 'violent crime' in order to keep things simple. I also compared Rochester's violent crime rate to the two Minnesota cities that are larger and two Minnesota cities that are just smaller than Rochester plus a town in North Dakota that's a very similar size to Rochester.

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How Dangerous is Rochester, MN?

Based on this FBI data, Rochester's violent crime rate is much, much lower than the national average and is also lower than the average in Minnesota. Despite a small spike in 2016, from 2013 through 2018 the violent crime rate has remained low.

Rochester's Population: 117,037
Rochester's Violent Crime Rate Per 100,000 People: 193.96

Credit: MacroTrends.net CLICK TO ENLARGE
Credit: MacroTrends.net CLICK TO ENLARGE
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How Dangerous is Rochester Compared to Other Minnesota Towns?

Rochester's numbers don't really mean much if we don't have something to compare it to. So I wanted to compare it to the Minnesota towns that are closest in population size to Rochester, which also happen to be 4 of the 5 largest towns in the state (Rochester is the 3rd largest). We'll be looking at the numbers for Minneapolis and St. Paul (the two cities bigger than Rochester) and Bloomington and Duluth (the two cities that are just smaller than Rochester).

How Dangerous is Minneapolis, MN?

Minneapolis' Population: 428,261
Minneapolis' Violent Crime Rate Per 100,000 People: 792.74

minneapolis violent crime rate
Credit: MacroTrends.net CLICK TO ENLARGE
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How Dangerous is St. Paul, MN?

St. Paul's Population: 309,756
St. Paul's Violent Crime Rate Per 100,000 People: 626.62

St. Paul Violent Crime Rate
Credit: MacroTrends.net CLICK TO ENLARGE
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How Dangerous is Bloomington, MN?

Bloomington's Population: 86,279
Bloomington's Violent Crime Rate Per 100,000 People: 191.24

bloomington violent crime rate
Credit: MacroTrends.net CLICK TO ENLARGE
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How Dangerous is Duluth, MN?

Duluth's Population: 86,048
Duluth's Violent Crime Rate Per 100,000 People: 357.94

Duluth Violent Crime Rate
Credit: MacroTrends.net CLICK TO ENLARGE
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As the FBI data shows, Rochester's violent crime rate is much lower than the four most comparable towns in Minnesota other than Bloomington. Bloomington's violent crime rate is slightly lower. However, none of these Minnesota towns are terribly close in size to Rochester so I wanted to also compare to a similar-sized town in a different state in the midwest.

How Dangerous is Fargo, North Dakota?

I'd say that Fargo is a good comparison for Rochester because the population size is similar, plus Fargo is the hub for that area like Rochester is sort of the hub for southeast Minnesota. So how dangerous is Fargo compared to Rochester?

Fargo's Population: 124,906
Fargo's Violent Crime Rate Per 100,000 People: 417.91

Fargo Violent Crime Rate
Credit: MacroTrends.net CLICK TO ENLARGE
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As a reminder, Rochester's violent crime rate is 193.96 per 100,000 people. That's a huge difference.

So is Rochester, MN a dangerous place to live? I'd say no. I didn't really view Rochester as being a dangerous place, to begin with. But doing your own research is always important no matter what we're talking about so I was interested in doing this digging.

Keep scrolling for the SAFEST cities in Minnesota according to Safewise!

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