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 for 2019:
- Wildwood (Photos)
- Asbury Park (Photos)
- Atlantic City (Photos)
- Camden (Photos)
- Bridgeton (Photos)
- Millville (Photos)
- Elizabeth (Photos)
- Woodbury (Photos)
- Vineland (Photos)
After analyzing 357 cities in New Jersey, 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.
For more New Jersey reading, check out:
- 10 Best Places To Live In New Jersey
- These Are The 10 Best Counties To Live In New Jersey
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live In New Jersey
Graphing The Most Dangerous And Safest Places In New Jersey
How we determined the most dangerous cities in New Jersey for 2019?
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 2017 data, specifically the 2017 Crime In The United States Report. We will update the results when data becomes available in September 2019.
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 357 cities in New Jersey.
We then ranked each city from 1 to 357 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.
Wildwood has seen a rapid rise in its violent crime in recent years.
Between 2015-17, the rate of violent crime increased a staggering amount, leaving Wildwood residents a 1 in 78 chance of being the victim of rape, murder, or assault in 2017.
Property crime also went up during this interval, but that’s a lot less scary than the boom in violence.
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 2015-17.
That’s good, because without this improvement, Asbury Park’s property crime rate would be the worst in New Jersey.
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 2015-17, Atlantic City’s crime statistics are still pretty terrible.
In 2017, residents still faced a 1 in 90 chance of being the victim of violence, and a 1 in 1,732 chance of being the victim of a property crime for every year they spent in AC city limits.
A smaller city on this list, Camden has experienced some wild swings in crime in recent years.
While instances of violent crime fell to 1,462 between 2015-17, property crime now stands at 15th worst.
If they could get the same magic working for property crime as they have for violence, Camden may one day be the idyllic place its residents want it to be.
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 2015-17.
There’s now a 1 in 19.7 chance of being the victim of a crime.
Located in southern New Jersey, Millville is the 16th 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 2015-17, which left residents with a 1 in 18.0 chance of being the victim of theft or arson in 2017.
Violent crime also went up during this period, so Millville’s trend means it might stay in the top for a few years.
The 4th largest city in the state, Elizabeth has achieved substantial reductions in both categories of crime lately.
From 2015-17, violent crime fell to 1,034 occurrences and property crime to 4,595 occurrences, which still left residents with a 1 in 125 chance of being a victim of violence, and a 1 in 28.2 chance of being the victim of property crime in 2017.
Located in south Jersey, Woodbury is the smallest city to make this list.
Violent crime rose between 2015-17, leaving residents a 1 in 212 chance of being the victim of violence in 2017 (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 2015-17.
Today, Vineland is the 9th most dangerous city in the state.
Unlike other cities on the list, Vineland has seen a recent boom in crime, with violent crime going up from 2015-17, and property crime also going up.
Watch your wallet in Vineland, because there’s a 1 in 25.1 chance of being the victim of a property crime while you’re there.
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 796 (10th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,177 (21st most dangerous)
More on Orange:
Orange has more problems — namely crime. It’s the 10th most dangerous city in New Jersey.
Statistically, 1 in 125 people in Orange was the victim of a rape, attack or outright killed in 2017. That’s a really large number.
And that’s just residents who actually reported a crime. Chances are it was even higher than that.
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 2019.
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:
- Plumsted Township (Pop. 8,604)
- Mendham Township (Pop. 5,883)
- New Hanover Township (Pop. 8,264)
For more New Jersey reading, check out:
- 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In New Jersey
- These Are The 10 Best Places To Retire In New Jersey For 2018
- These Are The 10 Richest Cities In New Jersey
- 10 Safest Places In New Jersey
- 10 Worst Places To Live In New Jersey
Detailed List Of The Most Dangerous Cities In New Jersey
|13||Mount Holly Township||9,522|
|35||Carney’s Point Township||7,729|
|38||Hamilton Township, Atlantic County||26,482|
|45||Cherry Hill Township||71,747|
|47||Maple Shade Township||18,797|
|64||Hamilton Township, Mercer County||88,723|
|68||Ocean Township, Monmouth County||26,637|
|70||South Orange Village||16,407|
|81||Egg Harbor Township||43,515|
|88||Edgewater Park Township||8,726|