Written by: Courtney Shook
Have you ever wondered just how much crime there is throughout Texas? What about how big of a role Houston crime plays in Texas overall crime rate? Between the years of 2010 and 2015, Texas counties have had some dramatic changes involving their violent and non-violent crime rates. Some might say that they would not be caught in Houston after dark because it is such a dangerous place, when in fact Alaska and Tennessee have a higher percentage of crime rates than Texas. Do you wish you could see for yourself?
Do you wish someone would lay out Texas crime rates for you? Do you wish the data would be fun and interactive? Well, you can stop looking because your wishes just came true. The following information is going to give you a breakdown of Texas counties crime rates and just how big of a role Houston’s counties play in the Texas total. First, lets look at the big picture of crime in Texas per county, per year.
Over a five year span, the total number of violent crime rates have fluctuated throughout different Texas counties. The image is a visualization that shows the top ten Texas counties and their average violent crime rates during the time frame. Following this visualization will be a similar, yet slightly less violent visual of, you guessed it, non-violent property crimes. Between the two different data visuals it is clear that Kenedy County had the highest violent crime rate. Even Dimmit County came pretty close to passing up Kennedy County on total violent crimes, but it just was not enough.
Loving County took the lead with the highest property crime rate over the five years. Cochran had some of the highest property crime numbers during the five years but did not manage to beat Loving County when the numbers were totaled. With that being said, those two counties stay pretty high up, if not at the tip top, of each list. The year 2015 had the highest total non-violent property crime rates compared to the years prior. In fact, 2015 alone played a big part in the counties averages.
To go more in depth, the next two visuals show the most often committed violent crime and property crimes. Based on the data, the most common violent offense in the state of Texas between the five years was rape. For this visual I combined two categories of data in to one to get the total instances. Rape data for “Forcible Rape” was collected under “Rape Legacy” until it was revised in the year 2013 to include more offenses as well as male victims within the Summary Reporting System. For this visualization I have combined the “Rape Legacy” category as well as the “Rape Revised” category. The county with the highest rape occurrence rate is one that is already familiar to this story. Of course it is none other than Kennedy County with an average of 355 occurrences over the years.
As far as property crimes go, larceny was one that many Texas counties just couldn’t shake. Loving County took the win on this occurrence rate with an outstanding average total 3,886 during the five year period. Loving County stayed pretty consistent with their larceny crime rate over the years to the point no other county’s numbers were even close to catching them. The second highest county is McMullen with a total of 2,806 larceny occurrences, but even that high number is nowhere near Loving County. The two different crime category winners play a pretty big role in Texas’ total average rates. The two winners of these categories are the same two winners that took the lead with their high crime numbers in the visuals above. Feel free to take a dive into the two different crime categories and see for yourself.
To break the crime data down a little bit further, there are nine total counties that make up the Houston-The Woodlands-Sugarland metropolitan area. This is the fifth largest metropolitan area in the United States and the second largest in Texas alone. As of 2015 these nine counties account for 739,661 people within the total Texas population.
With that being said, this next image will allow an insight of the nine counties mentioned above and their average violent crime rates per year. The highest total violent crime average over the five year span is 227 violent offenses that fall under Liberty County. Galveston County stayed low on the list of nine with an average number of 35.6 during the timeframe. To go along with the violent crime image is another that represents the property crime offenses within the same nine counties. The averages vary from the lowest being Galveston County with 296 offenses and Chambers County with a total of 1,625 offenses. Over the years the number of crime rates have increased and decreased with each passing year. 2015 marked the highest year with an average total of 311.4 from the highest area. That area is up to you to find based on the data in the visual.
These nine counties makeup the city of Houston and their numbers are the ones that represent Houston’s crime rating. Houston is a major city in Texas with a total population of 2,239,558 people and continues to grow rapidly. Along with a growing population comes an increase in crime rates and total offenses that can damage a booming city.
In conclusion, crime effects every state, every city, and every county. High crime rates exist everywhere and can damage or even tear apart a society. Crime is inevitable and plays a major role in a state’s image, all the way down to the small counties that exist within that state. Crime numbers are always changing and always will as long as the population continues to grow and cities expand. Hopefully these visuals give you a representation of the prevalence of crime throughout Texas counties and the amount of weight it carries on Texas as a whole.