This Massachusetts Town Has Been Named the Most Violent Town in the State


Massachusetts has become known for its rich history, culture, and education, but it also has its fair share of crime and violence. According to FBI data, the state’s violent crime rate in 2020 was 338 per 100,000 inhabitants, lower than the national average of 367.

However, several towns and localities in the state have far higher rates of violent crime, including murder, rape, robbery, and serious assault. According to the most recent statistics, which town in Massachusetts is the most violent?

Fall River: The Most Violent Town in Massachusetts

Fall River is Massachusetts’ tenth-largest city, with about 90,000 people. It is also the most dangerous municipality in the state, with a startling 772 violent crime incidents per 100,000 residents in 2020. That indicates that one out of every 130 Fall River residents was a victim of a violent crime that year. The city also experienced two homicides, which is very low compared to other cities but still causes worry.

Fall River has a long history of industrialization and immigration, mostly from Portugal and other European nations. It was formerly the largest textile manufacturing city in the United States, generating 80% of the country’s print fabric in the 1870s.

However, the city’s economy suffered in the twentieth century, as many mills closed or relocated. In addition, the city suffered extensive urban renewal efforts in the 1960s, which resulted in the demolition of numerous historic buildings and sites. Today, Fall River faces issues such as poverty, unemployment, drug misuse, and gang violence, all of which contribute to the city’s high crime rate.

The Runner-up: Holyoke

Holyoke, another historic mill town, has struggled to adjust to shifting economic and social conditions. It is the second most dangerous municipality in Massachusetts, with a violent crime rate of 739 per 100,000 residents in 2020. In addition, the city has the most homicides of any town or city in the state, at eight. Holyoke has a population of around 40,000, therefore one out of every 54 persons was a victim of a violent crime that year.

Holyoke was historically a major producer of paper, silk, and alpaca wool, due to its location on the Connecticut River’s Hadley Falls. It was also the first planned industrial city in the United States, including a grid structure and a canal system to power the mills.

However, the city’s fortunes dipped in the latter part of the twentieth century, as numerous industries left or downsized. The city also experienced societal issues such as racial strife, urban decline, and environmental pollution.

Holyoke is now working to rebuild its economy and culture with programs such as the Massachusetts Green High-Performance Computing Center, the Holyoke Innovation District, and the Puerto Rican Cultural Center.


In summary, Massachusetts, while known for its history and education, has variable crime rates among its municipalities. Fall River is the most violent municipality in the state, and its troubles stem from its economic past, which includes industrial collapse, unemployment, and social concerns. Holyoke follows closely, facing comparable challenges and actively pursuing regeneration with new projects that will transform its future.

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