Do you live in one of the most dangerous cities in New Jersey?
We all watch the news and see reports on Facebook of the latest crimes that happen in our hometowns. But it can be hard to tell at a big picture level how dangerous our town actually is.
No one wants to feel unsafe, and statistically speaking, odds are that where you live is most likely relatively safe. In order to help the good people of New Jersey — and anyone looking to move to New Jersey — know just how close they are to danger, we took data from the annual FBI report and did some serious analysis.
The data shows that these ten cities are currently the most dangerous in the Garden State:
- Wildwood (Photos)
- Asbury Park (Photos)
- Millville (Photos)
- Bridgeton (Photos)
- Elizabeth (Photos)
- Vineland (Photos)
- Neptune Township
- Trenton (Photos)
- Woodbury (Photos)
Why did Wildwood take the top spot? For the answer to this question and a detailed explanation of the data and analysis we used in creating this ranking, read on. Or learn more about the safest places in New Jersey.
How we determined the most dangerous cities in New Jersey for 2018?
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 2016 data, specifically the 2016 Crime In The United States Report. We will update the results when data becomes available for 2017 in October 2018.
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 cities over 5,000 in population. That left us with 353 cities in New Jersey.
We then ranked each city from 1 to 353 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. Read on for a detailed look at the 10 most dangerous cities in New Jersey.
Read on for a detailed look at the 10 most dangerous cities in New Jersey.
Population: 5,115Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,309
Property Crimes Per 100k: 7,878
Wildwood earns the top spot on this list mostly by having a terrible rate of property crime, with residents facing a ridiculously high 1 in 12.7 chance of being the victim of a property crime in 2016.
That means that, statistically, almost every neighborhood in Wildwood has at least one resident who’s the victim of theft or arson each year.
Don’t let the 3rd place ranking for violence fool you either — for every 76 residents in Wildwood, there was 1 instance of violent crime in 2016, which is makes violence pretty darn common in Wildwood.
2. Asbury Park
Population: 15,757Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,415
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,588
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 2014-16.
That’s good, because without this improvement, Asbury Park’s property crime rate would be the worst in New Jersey.
Population: 28,177Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 791
Property Crimes Per 100k: 6,082
Located in southern New Jersey, Millville is the 9th 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 2014-16, which left residents with a 1 in 16.4 chance of being the victim of theft or arson in 2016.
Violent crime also went up during this period, so Millville’s trend means it might stay in the top for a few years.
Population: 24,982Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 900
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,810
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 2014-16.
There’s now a 1 in 21.2 chance of being the victim of a crime.
Population: 129,096Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 6)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 816
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,202
Elizabeth is the 4th most populous state in New Jersey, and is the economic and cultural hub of its part of New Jersey.
The population has been growing for the first time in 50 years, but the crime numbers remain relatively high.
Though property crime fell by 25% from 2014-16, violent crime also rose by 12%, leaving residents a 1 in 122 chance of being the victim of violence in 2016.
Population: 30,470 Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 6)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,122
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,766
Orange is the most populous city in Bergen County.
Orange experienced a massive rise in violent crime between 2014-16.
Property crime statistics, meanwhile, remained stagnant, with residents facing a 1 in 36.1 chance of being the victim of theft or arson each year — the 26th highest rate in the state.
Population: 60,823Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 488
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,965
Vineland is the 7th most dangerous city in New Jersey overall.
From 2015, the property crime rate dropped, which is good news for people who like knowing that their stuff is safe.
The bad news for people who like their safety, though, is that violent crime ranks 19th in New Jersey.
8. Neptune Township
Population: 27,505 Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 574
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,333
Located in central Jersey and named after the Roman god, Neptune Township experienced a drop in its property crime rate between 2014-16.
That’s a difference of residents having about a 1 in 15 shot of being the victim of theft or arson at the begining to a 1 in 30.0 shot in 2016.
Violent crime, meanwhile, remained at around the same level.
Population: 83,644Rank Last Year: 15 (Up 6)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,347
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,613
New Jersey’s capital, Trenton, almost escaped being included on this list, but being the 9th most violent city in the state kept it in the top ten most dangerous.
Residents of Trenton had a 1 in 74 chance of being the victim of a violent crime in 2016.
Property crime also went down to a 1 in 38.3 chance in 2014-16, meaning, if the trends continue, Trenton may avoid this list altogether come next year.
Population: 9,937Rank Last Year: 9 (Down 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 352
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,035
Located in south Jersey, Woodbury is the smallest city to make this list.
Violent crime rose between 2014-16, leaving residents a 1 in 283 chance of being the victim of violence in 2016 (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 2014-16.
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 2018.
However, there will be new data coming out later this year. At that point we can revisit Wildwood’s status — that is if they haven’t beaten us all up already.
If you’re curious enough, here are the safest cities in New Jersey:
- Washington Township, Bergen County
- River Vale Township
- Mendham Township
For more New Jersey reading , check out:
- These Are The 10 Worst Places To Live In New Jersey
- 15 Restaurants In New Jersey That Will Blow The Taste Buds Out Of Your Mouth
- These Are The 10 Most Dangerous Cities In New Jersey
Detailed List Of The Most Dangeroues Cities In New Jersey
|Mount Holly Township||12||17||9,483|
|Carney’S Point Township||28||66||7,809|
|Hamilton Township, Atlantic County||40||34||26,824|
|Edgewater Park Township||44||101||8,769|
|Cherry Hill Township||54||46||71,079|
|Ocean Township, Monmouth County||68||117||27,070|
|Maple Shade Township||75||60||18,927|
|Egg Harbor Township||79||89||43,971|
|Lawrence Township, Mercer County||81||63||33,023|
|Hamilton Township, Mercer County||83||75||88,665|
|Washington Township, Gloucester County||92||99||47,477|