It appears that there are some things more dangerous in New Jersey than a drunk Snookie and a slow driver on the Garden State Parkway. New Jersey has its fair share of dangerous cities, too.
Lucky for you, we have the top ten most dangerous cities in New Jersey for 2020 broken down below. Why did we produce this list? Well, one goal is to definitely help people navigate these dangerous cities when trying to make an informed decision on what city they should call home. Let’s be real, we’re not talking about accidentally eating a moldy Jersey bagel kind of danger. The type of danger we’re talking about gets people on News 12.
To compile our list, we looked at violent crimes and property crimes in cities with a population of 5,000. That left us with 354, said, Jersey cities. Folks, the cities that made our list have robberies happening in broad daylight, car jackings, and daily shootings. There are neighborhoods in these cities that you shouldn’t drive thru, ever, and there are areas that you definitely shouldn’t be in after dark. We’re not saying that there aren’t little pockets of goodness in these Jersey cities like Newark and Jersey City. There are neighborhoods and shopping centers in these cities that are not ALL bad. We do, however, recommend that you spend some time studying them before you make a move.
It’s not entirely New Jersey’s fault. They have the highest population per capita. As with most situations, there’s bound to be problems with that many people: especially that many New Jerseyites in one area. To see where these New Jersey cities with more issues than the people on the Sopranos are located, take a look below.
What are the circumstances that make these New Jersey cities this way? Maybe not enough jobs, low wages, drugs, gangs; and in New Jersey’s case, angry citizens after a Boston “any team’ win?
We’re not entirely sure. But one thing we are sure about is that our number one most dangerous city in New Jersey is Wildwood.
The New Jersey cities on our most dangerous list could definitely use a hug. So, if you’re into the whole hugging thing, or you’re just curious to see if your city made the list, take a look at our list below. And if you don’t see your city there, head to the bottom.
Learn more about the safest places in New Jersey.
For more New Jersey reading, check out:
- Best Places To Live In New Jersey
- Best Counties To Live In New Jersey
- Cheapest Places To Live In New Jersey
The 10 Most Dangerous Places To Live In New Jersey For 2020
Wildwood experienced a drop in its property crime rate between 2017-2018.
That’s a difference of residents having about a 1 in 15 shot of being the victim of theft or arson at the beginning to a 1 in 16.0 shot in 2018.
Violent crime, meanwhile, remained at around the same level.
Located on the Jersey Shore in east-central New Jersey, Asbury Park ranks as the 2nd most dangerous.
The 1.6 sq. mile city has not seen any improvements in its violent crime in recent years, but property crime did drop by an impressive amount between 2017-2018.
That’s good, because without this improvement, Asbury Park’s property crime rate would be the worst in New Jersey.
Camden ranks as the 3rd most dangerous city in New Jersey.
The sheer volume of people passing through Camden probably contributes to the high occurrence of violent crime within the city. There were 1,198 violent crimes in 2018.
Located in south Jersey, Woodbury is the smallest city to make this list.
Violent crime rose between 2017-2018, leaving residents a 1 in 183 chance of being the victim of violence in 2018 (a rate that would earn a top 10 spot in most states).
Woodbury’s already horrible property crime statistics also got worse in these years, going up between 2017-2018.
A city of Cumberland County, Bridgeton’s motto is “Come Celebrate.”
With regards to crime, Bridgeton has little to celebrate of late, with violent and property crime rates each going up by roughly 11% between 2017-2018.
There’s now a 1 in 26.4 chance of being the victim of a crime.
Located in southern New Jersey, Millville is the 18th most violent of the most dangerous cities, but it’s 3rd in terms of property crime.
That is partially due to a hike in property crime from 2017-2018, which left residents with a 1 in 22.9 chance of being the victim of theft or arson in 2018.
Violent crime also went up during this period, so Millville’s trend means it might stay in the top for a few years.
New Jersey’s capital, Trenton, almost escaped being included on this list, but being the 7th most violent city in the state kept it in the top ten most dangerous.
Residents of Trenton had a 1 in 86 chance of being the victim of a violent crime in 2018.
Property crime also went down to a 1 in 33.9 chance in 2017-2018, meaning, if the trends continue, Trenton may avoid this list altogether come next year.
A resort city known for its casinos, boardwalks, and beaches as well as inspiring the board of Monopoly, Atlantic City is also the home to quite a bit of crime.
Despite the fact that violent crime and property crime dropped between 2017-2018, Atlantic City’s crime statistics are still pretty terrible.
In 2018, residents still faced a 1 in 138 chance of being the victim of violence, and a 1 in 1,181 chance of being the victim of a property crime for every year they spent in AC city limits.
The 4th most populated city in the state and home of the University of New Jersey, Elizabeth’s recent rise in crime lands it on this list.
Between 2017-2018, violent crime rose and property crime increased, which “earned” Elizabeth the title of 9th most dangerous city in New Jersey.
Vineland comes in 10th on our list for the most dangerous places in New Jersey.
Residents of Vineland have a 1 in 26.5 chance of being the victim of a crime. For reference, the most dangerous place in the country has about a 1 in 5 chance of being the victim of a crime.
Vineland ranks as the 10th highest city for property crime per capita which contributes to its high chance of crime.
Graphing The Most Dangerous And Safest Places In New Jersey
How we determined the most dangerous cities in New Jersey for 2020?
Every year the FBI release two crime datasets, a preliminary dataset limited to the biggest cities in the country, followed by a more detailed release at the end of the year.
For our analysis, we focused on the JUST released 2018 data, specifically the 2018 Crime In The United States Report. We will update the results when data becomes available in September 2020.
So what criteria did we use? Have a look:
- Violent Crimes Per Capita
- Property Crimes Per Capita
In order to make the analysis as apples to apples as possible, we only considered New Jersey cities over 5,000 in population. That left us with 354 cities in New Jersey.
We then ranked each city from 1 to 354 for the two criteria with a #1 ranking being the most dangerous for the particular criteria.
Next, we averaged the two rankings into one “Dangerous Index”.
Finally, we ranked every city on the “Dangerous Index” with the lowest index being the most dangerous in New Jersey — Wildwood. Any ties went to the smaller city. You can download the data here.
Read on for a detailed look at the 10 most dangerous cities in New Jersey.
Locking It All Up In New Jersey
The latest FBI crime data shows that Wildwood ranks as the most dangerous city in New Jersey for 2020.
We want to point out again that there’s still safes places in Wildwood and that this isn’t a comment on the people that live there. So please don’t beat us up.
If you’re curious enough, here are the safest cities in New Jersey:
- Chesterfield Township (Pop. 7,567)
- Matawan (Pop. 8,864)
- New Hanover Township (Pop. 7,504)
For more New Jersey reading, check out:
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Where Are The Most Dangerous Cities In New Jersey?