This City Has Been Named the Murder Capital of North Dakota

North Dakota is generally regarded as a secure state, boasting low crime rates and peaceful communities. Nonetheless, one city stands out due to its elevated levels of violence and homicide: Fargo.

Fargo’s Homicide Rate

As per the 2020 FBI crime data, Fargo recorded 6 murders in 2020, resulting in a murder rate of 4.7 per 100,000 people. This surpasses the national average of 2.8 per 100,000 people and stands as the highest among all cities in North Dakota. The second-highest murder rate in the state was 6.2 per 100,000 people in Minot, which had 3 murders in 2020.

Fargo’s murder rate has witnessed a significant increase in recent years, rising from 1.6 per 100,000 people in 2016 to 4.7 per 100,000 people in 2020. This trend has bestowed upon Fargo the unsettling designation of the “murder capital” of North Dakota.

Causes and Consequences of Fargo’s Violence

Several factors contribute to Fargo’s high murder rate, including drug trafficking, domestic violence, mental health issues, and gang activity. Notable murder cases in Fargo involve these elements, such as the tragic killing of Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind in 2017 and the shooting of Chad Entzel in 2020.

The violence in Fargo adversely affects the quality of life, safety, reputation, and economy of the city. Fargo’s mayor, Tim Mahoney, has acknowledged the issue and pledged to address it by increasing police funding, fostering community engagement, and implementing prevention and intervention programs.

Fargo’s Comparison with Other Cities

Although Fargo boasts the highest murder rate in North Dakota, it does not hold the title of the most dangerous city in the country. Numerous U.S. cities, including St. Louis, Baltimore, Detroit, and New Orleans, exhibit much higher murder rates than Fargo. Furthermore, Fargo’s murder rate is lower than some neighboring cities in Minnesota, such as Minneapolis and St. Paul.

However, Fargo’s murder rate still exceeds the average of its peer cities, defined by similar population size and geographic location. According to a 2019 report by the Fargo Police Department, Fargo’s peer cities had an average murder rate of 2.9 per 100,000 people, while Fargo’s rate stood at 3.9 per 100,000 people in 2019. This suggests that Fargo has room for improvement in curbing its violence and homicide.


Fargo possesses numerous positive attributes, including a robust economy, diverse culture, and a friendly atmosphere. Nevertheless, it grapples with a serious challenge – a high murder rate that jeopardizes its stability and prosperity. To restore peace and security, Fargo must implement effective measures to combat violence and homicide.

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