The truth about Jonesboro’s crime rate

Crime rate one of the worst in the nation, studies show, despite touted “drop”

JONESBORO, Ark. – Violent crime in Jonesboro is happening among the highest rates in the nation and yet, a press release which said the crime rate had dropped compared to ten years ago was apparently also correct.

A recent press release attracted endless attention in NEA by asserting that Jonesboro crime has dropped in the past ten years. When we looked deeper across several studies, the statistics showed a spike in crime in 2006/2007. The latest numbers show a one percent drop compared to ten years ago. It may sound good but it’s bad news because crime across America is falling at a faster rate, including in Memphis and Detroit.

“For Jonesboro, we found that the violent crime rate is one of the highest in the nation, across communities of all sizes (both large and small),” according to NeighborhoodScout.com.

NeighborhoodScout says Jonesboro ranks 5 (out of 100, with 100 being the best) for safety rank. Violent crime about average with Arkansas (which is above the national average). Property crime is far higher in Jonesboro than in the rest of Arkansas. The site says the most safe area in town is Pleasant Grove, then Valley View. The areas adjacent to or on ASU campus are the worst.

AreaVibes.com did its own analysis based on letter grades. Unfortunately, Jonesboro scored poorly in Crime (and other areas). However, we do have an affordable cost of living.

The statistics from AreaVibes show far higher crime per 100K people in Jonesboro than in Arkansas and certainly the national average. At the bottom of their article, they assert Jonesboro is safer than the previous website – standing at safer than 13 percent of cities, rather than five. However, they assert that crime is rising and not falling.

The overall crime rate in Jonesboro is 76% higher than the national average.
For every 100,000 people, there are 13.68 daily crimes that occur in Jonesboro.
Jonesboro is safer than 13% of the cities in the United States.
In Jonesboro you have a 1 in 21 chance of becoming a victim of any crime.
The number of total year over year crimes in Jonesboro has increased by 10% – AreaVibes.com

The stats seem to vary a little from source to source, so we continued checking around.

Next was City-Data.com and the numbers are bad from there as well. Jonesboro actually ranks behind Paragould and then Trumann for worst crime rates in NEA, based on their numbers. However, with the focus on Jonesboro, it may have yielded some clues as to the controversial press release about crime falling. In 2006, the average crime rate was 560.6 per 100,000. In 2016, the average crime rate was 398.5 per 100,000. The numbers for 2006 were dramatically high – the highest they have been on City-Data.com’s table going back to 2002. They were significantly lower both before and after.

Overall Crime Rate (City-Data.com)

2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
560.6 475.4 411.4 383.8 351.1 411.9 366.2 346.2 388.4 362.8

With Jonesboro crime being in an unusually high peak, we decided to take a look at the original release showing Jonesboro’s crime had fallen so that we could better understand the assertion.

The study, compiled by a security alarm company, showed between 2007 and 2016, crime in Jonesboro fell 1.35 percent.

In Memphis, it fell 2.33.

In Detroit, it fell 3.57.


While crime may have fallen over the past ten years in Jonesboro, it has certainly risen in the past five years. It also remains significantly above average compared to the rest of America.

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2 Comments

  1. Thank you it’s about time we get the truth/news from someone who does some actual research and not take some home security company’s bullshit crime numbers.

  2. Statistics and analysis aside, you can simply drive around Jonesboro and see how much crime has increased. Shootings and murders used to be rare…now it’s a weekly (sometimes daily) occurrence. There’s drive by shootings, robberies, women and children raped and shot on a regular basis. ASU has one of the highest crime rates but they’re not included in Jonesboro’s stats because it’s considered a separate entity. The Jonesboro Police are a phantom force, it used to be that there were a certain group of people who “controlled” the city that didn’t put up with this crap. They just don’t want the cash-cow ASU to go down hill. Once people realize that they’re sending their children to this school, basically placing their kids life in extreme danger, they’ll stop sending them.

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