United States Cities Ranked by the Frequency of Registered Sex Offenders

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Aliza Vigderman
Gabe TurnerChief Editor
Last Updated Jan 25, 2024
By Aliza Vigderman & Gabe Turner on Jan 25, 2024

The idea that a sex offender could be living in your neighborhood is bone-chilling, especially for parents. But with nearly a million registered sex offenders in the United States1, that’s a harsh reality we must face. If we do the math, that’s almost 300 sex offenders for every 100,000 people.

Using data from City-Data,2 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, we want to tell you a little bit more about registered sex offenders and their surrounding laws.

Sex Offender Risk Levels

Not everyone in the sex offender registries are equal. In some states, they are classified into three different levels depending on how likely they are to repeat an offense, which is determined either at their sentencing or when they are released from custody.

  • Level One: Low risk of a repeat offense.
  • Level Two: Moderate risk of a repeat offense.
  • Level Three: High risk of repeat offense or a threat to public safety. Generally, Level Three offenders have previous convictions, predatory characteristics that involve seeking victims unknown to the offender, and a tendency toward violence.

As you probably know, sex offenders must notify the community when they move into a neighborhood. They must register with their local law enforcement and provide information like their place of residence, employment, or school. However, what they are required by law to include in the registration varies. Level Three offenders must provide their entire address, for example, while Level One and Level Two offenders must 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 — One sex offender for every 107 residents
  2. Orlando, Florida — One sex offender for every 143 residents
  3. Sioux Falls, South Dakota — One sex offender for every 153 residents
  4. Helena, Montana — One sex offender for every 160 residents
  5. Las Vegas, Nevada — One sex offender for every 163 residents
  6. Richmond, Virginia — One sex offender for every 163 residents
  7. Bismarck, North Dakota — One sex offender for every 168 residents
  8. Louisville, Kentucky — One sex offender for every 173 residents
  9. Hartford, Connecticut — One sex offender for every 182 residents
  10. Cheyenne, Wyoming — One 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

There are plenty of resources about sexual offense, whether you’re a victim, someone on the sex offenders list who wants to reform, or a parent who wants to protect their children. Here are some resources to help you out:

  • Sex Offender Resource:3 This website provides information about housing and employment for registered sex offenders who want to reform themselves.
  • OffenderWatch:4 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:5 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.


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, we recommend getting a home security system or security camera of your own along with keeping track of the sex offenders in your area.

  1. Missingkids.org. (2020). Homepage.

  2. City Data. (2020). Registered sex offenders in the US.

  3. Sexoffenderresource.com. (2020). Homepage.

  4. Offenderwatch.com. (2020). Homepage.

  5. Rainn. (2020). National Resources for Sexual Assault Survivors and their Loved Ones.