This City Has Been Named the Most Dangerous City to Live in Texas

Texas is a vast and diverse state offering numerous attractions and opportunities. However, not all its cities provide an equal level of safety and livability. Disparities in crime, violence, and poverty rates exist among cities. This blog post delves into the most precarious city in Texas based on recent data and reports.

Assessing City Danger

Various metrics gauge a city’s safety. One common measure is the violent crime rate, indicating incidents like murder, rape, robbery, and assault per 100,000 residents. Another metric is the property crime rate, covering offenses such as burglary, theft, and arson. Both types of crime significantly impact residents’ quality of life and their sense of security.

Yet, crime rates alone don’t fully encapsulate a city’s danger. Poverty, unemployment, education, health, and social cohesion also play vital roles. To comprehensively evaluate a city’s safety, multiple indicators and information sources must be considered.

The Most Dangerous City in Texas

According to recent FBI data, Bellmead stands out as the most dangerous city in Texas. This small McLennan County city, with a population of about 10,000, forms part of the Waco metropolitan area, known for its history and culture. However, Bellmead’s reputation sharply contrasts with its neighbors.

Bellmead exhibits the highest violent crime rate in Texas, recording 1,294 violent crimes per 100,000 residents—over six times the national average. Similarly, it has the highest property crime rate in the state, with 6,196 property crimes per 100,000 residents—more than four times the national average. In 2018, residents faced a 1 in 4 chance of falling victim to theft or arson.

Bellmead not only tops the list in Texas but also ranks among the 30 most dangerous cities in the United States, surpassing cities notorious for their crime issues, such as Detroit, Baltimore, and St. Louis. Locally, the severity of the situation has led some residents to nickname it “Hellmead.”

Understanding Bellmead’s High Crime Rate

Determining the precise reasons behind Bellmead’s elevated crime rate is complex. However, factors contributing to the problem include:

  • Poverty: With a 28.7% poverty rate—more than double the national average—Bellmead faces heightened desperation and frustration, potentially fueling criminal behavior.
  • Unemployment: An 8.1% unemployment rate, exceeding the national average, can diminish residents’ income and opportunities, increasing stress and boredom, factors that may encourage criminal activities.
  • Education: With only 66.9% of residents holding a high school diploma or higher, and merely 5.9% having a bachelor’s degree or higher, Bellmead experiences a lack of educational attainment that can hinder residents from pursuing better opportunities and lifestyles, potentially increasing the likelihood of criminal involvement.
  • Gangs: Bellmead grapples with a serious gang problem, involving groups like the Aryan Brotherhood, Crips, Bloods, and Latin Kings. Gangs engage in various illegal activities, including drug trafficking, weapons trafficking, robbery, extortion, and murder, creating an environment of violence and fear.

Addressing Safety in Bellmead

Dealing with Bellmead’s high crime rate demands a comprehensive and collaborative approach:

  • Law Enforcement: Increased police presence and resources are crucial for patrolling streets, responding to emergencies, investigating crimes, and apprehending offenders.
  • Community Engagement: Active community involvement in crime prevention fosters trust between the police and residents, encourages reporting of crimes, provides support for victims, and instills a sense of responsibility among residents to care for their neighborhoods.
  • Social Services: Implementing more social services and programs addressing root causes like poverty, unemployment, and education can provide residents with essential needs and opportunities, potentially reducing crime motivation.
  • Youth Intervention: Targeting at-risk youth through mentoring, tutoring, counseling, and positive role models can offer alternatives such as sports and arts, steering them away from criminal involvement.


Bellmead stands out as the most dangerous city in Texas, grappling with high rates of violent and property crime. Multiple factors, including poverty, unemployment, education, and gang activity, contribute to this issue. Improvement requires a multifaceted approach, encompassing law enforcement, community engagement, social services, and youth intervention. With concerted efforts, Bellmead has the potential to transform into a safer and more prosperous community for its residents.

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