United States Cities Ranked by the Frequency of Registered Sex Offenders

Aliza VigdermanGabe TurnerChief Editor
Last Updated on Nov 19, 2020

No one wants to think about having sex offenders in their city, but with a total of 917,771 registered sex offenders in the United States and its territories, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, it’s a harsh reality that must be faced. If you do the math, that’s 279 registered sex offenders for every 100,000 people!

Using data from City-Data, this article looks at the United States cities with the highest frequencies of sex offenders per 10,000 residents. Out of all the states, Oregon has the largest percentage of sex offenders with 688 for every 100,000 people. Maryland, on the other hand, has the lowest percentage, with only 125 for every 100,000 people. But before we get into the numbers, I want to tell you a little bit more about registered sex offenders and their surrounding laws.

Sex Offender Risk Levels

Not all sexual offenders are created equal. They are actually separated into three different levels in terms of how likely they are to repeat an offense. The level is determined either at their sentencing or when they are released from custody. The levels are as follows:

  • Level 1: low risk of repeat offense
  • Level 2: moderate risk of repeat offense
  • Level 3: High risk of repeat offense or a threat to public safety. Generally, Level 3 offenders have previous convictions, predatory characteristics that involve seeking victims unknown to the offender, and a tendency toward violence.

All registered sex offenders must notify the community that they’re moving into the neighborhood, although only Level 3 offenders must provide their entire address; Level 1 and 2 offenders merely supply their zip code.

United States Cities Ranked By the Frequency of Registered Sex Offenders

US Cities Ranked by Sex Offenders
US Cities Ranked by Sex Offenders

This infographic analyzes 125 major U.S. cities to provide a ratio of sex offenders to non-offenders, showing where the highest concentrations of sex offenders are. The top ten cities found to have the highest ratios are as follows:

  1. Wilmington, Delaware — 1 sex offender for every 107 residents
  2. Orlando, Florida — 1 sex offender for every 143 residents
  3. Sioux Falls, South Dakota — 1 sex offender for every 153 residents
  4. Helena, Montana — 1 sex offender for every 160 residents
  5. Las Vegas, Nevada — 1 sex offender for every 163 residents
  6. Richmond, Virginia — 1 sex offender for every 163 residents
  7. Bismarck, North Dakota — 1 sex offender for every 168 residents
  8. Louisville, Kentucky — 1 sex offender for every 173 residents
  9. Hartford, Connecticut — 1 sex offender for every 182 residents
  10. Cheyenne, Wyoming — 1 sex offender for every 186 residents

Those are the top ten, but if you want to see how your city ranks, click on the above infographic to expand.

Sex Offender Resources

Maybe you’re a sex offender, or maybe you need help feeling safe around one. Regardless, here are some resources to help you out:

  • Sex Offender Resource: This website provides information about housing and employment for registered sex offenders who want to reform themselves.
  • OffenderWatch: Combining over 3,000 local, state, and federal databases, this database makes sure a community is aware when a sex offender moves into their neighborhood, even if the crime was committed in another state.
  • National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline: Operated by RAINN, this hotline helps people affected by sexual violence find their nearest service provider for sexual assault so that they can get the help they need in person.
  • National Sexual Violence Resource Center: This organization seeks to educate people on sexual violence by sharing resources and promoting helpful research.
  • Childhelp: Focusing on the sexual abuse of children, Childhelp provides programs in prevention, intervention, and treatment, helping over 10 million children since their launch.


Aside from staying informed about the number of sex offenders in your city, there are a few other ways to keep yourself safe. If you have kids, I recommend getting a home security system of your own. As usual, if you have any questions or comments, feel free to write to me below and I’ll get back to you soon.