10 Most Dangerous Cities In Pennsylvania

We used data and science to identify the most dangerous cities in the Keystone State for 2019.

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This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. It is our fifth time ranking the most dangerous places to live in Pennsylvania and is updated for 2019.

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You would think that being the third oldest state in the country, you should’ve had plenty of time to work out your kinks. Well, that’s not the case in Pennsylvania. The Keystone State has its fair share of dangerous cities.

And lucky for you, we have the top 10 most dangerous cities in Pennsylvania for 2019 broken down below.

One might think that most of the problems are centralized around Pennsylvania’s two largest cities: Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. Surprisingly, Pennsylvania has done a fair job of keeping it’s crazy spread evenly across the state.

Some might wonder why we produced 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 crossing a street before the pedestrian sign comes on kind of danger. The type of danger we’re talking about gets people on WTAE at six.

To compile our list, we looked at violent crimes and property crimes in cities with a population of 5,000. That left us with 447 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 Washington cities. There are neighborhoods and shopping centers in these cities that are working hard to make life easier.

And it’s not entirely Pennsylvania’s fault. They have the 6th highest population per capita. As with most situations, there’s bound to be problems with that many people: especially that many Pennsylvanians in one area.

To see where these Pennsylvania cities with more issues than Michael Scott and Dwight Schrute are located, take a look below at our most dangerous cities in The Quaker State for 2019.

Here are the 10 most dangerous cities in Pennsylvania for 2019:

  1. McKees Rocks (Photos)
  2. Ambridge (Photos)
  3. Darby (Photos)
  4. Duquesne (Photos)
  5. Chester (Photos)
  6. Taylor (Photos)
  7. Lancaster (Photos)
  8. Bradford (Photos)
  9. Pottstown
  10. Steelton (Photos)

What are the circumstances that make these Pennsylvania cities this way? Maybe not enough jobs, low wages, drugs, gangs; and in PA’s case, the war between Steeler and Eagles fans?

We’re not entirely sure. But one thing we are sure about is that our number one most dangerous city in Pennsylvania is McKees Rocks.

These dangerous Pennsylvania cities 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.

Or learn more about the safest places in Pennsylvania.

If you’re looking for something more national, check out the most dangerous cities in America or the most dangerous states in America.

For more Pennsylvania reading, check out:

Graphing The Most Dangerous And Safest Places In Pennsylvania

Most Dangerous Cities In Pennsylvania Graph

Click To Enlarge

The 10 Most Dangerous Places To Live In Pennsylvania For 2019

Mckees Rocks, PA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 5,926
Rank Last Year:
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,333 (7th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,467 (1st most dangerous)
More on McKees Rocks:  Data | Photos

McKees Rocks experienced a rise in violent crime between 2015-17.

Still, the 1 in 75 chance McKees Rocks residents faced of being the victim of violence in 2017 is still lower than other places in the state.

Meanwhile, you have a 1 in 18.3 chance of being the victim of a property crime, making McKees Rocks the 1st worst city in Pennsylvania with regards to theft and arson.

Ambridge, PA

Source: Public domain

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 6,744
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,556 (5th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,314 (4th most dangerous)
More on Ambridge:  Data | Photos

Ambridge 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 Ambridge residents a 1 in 64 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.

Darby, PA

Source: Public domain

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 10,648
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,615 (2nd most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,765 (10th most dangerous)
More on Darby:  Data | Photos

Located just five miles southwest of downtown Philadelphia, Darby is the most violent city in Pennsylvania by a wide, wide margin.

A shockingly high 1 in 61 of Darby’s residents was a victim of a violent crime in 2017, a rate four times worse than Philly.

And violent crime has only been going up recently, with a spike in the violent crime rate between 2015-17.

Duquesne, PA

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Population: 5,507
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,561 (4th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,958 (8th most dangerous)
More on Duquesne:  Data | Photos

Duquesne, located in Allegheny County, is the 4th most dangerous and 4th most violent city in Pennsylvania.

Violent crime has remained high from 2015-17, during which time property crime fell by only small amounts.

Chester, PA

Source: Public domain

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 33,984
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 5)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,609 (3rd most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,298 (24th most dangerous)
More on Chester:  Data | Photos

Residents of Chester faced an unbelievable 1 in 62 chance of being the victim of violence in 2017. That contributed to an overall ranking of 5th most dangerous in Pennsylvania.

Taylor, PA

Source: Public domain

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Population: 5,929
Rank Last Year: 32 (Up 26)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 995 (13th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,423 (20th most dangerous)
More on Taylor:  Data | Photos

Taylor is Pennsylvania’s 386th biggest town and 6th most dangerous.

In recent years, the crime rate has changed dramatically in Taylor, for better and for worse.

On the one hand, instances of violent crime dropped between 2015-17, but on the other, a hike in property crime during this interval leaves Taylor as the town with the 20th highest rate of property crime in Pennsylvania.

Lancaster, PA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 59,199
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 895 (17th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,376 (22nd most dangerous)
More on Lancaster:  Data | Photos

Lancaster has more outdoor CCTV cameras per capita than other U.S. city, and, despite the controversy among residents, it’s kinda understandable.

Not only that, but it seems to be working (somewhat), as violent crime has been held steady in recent years and property crime has fallen.

Still, a 1 in 29.6 chance of being the victim of a property crime hardly seems like a cause for celebration.

Review Of Lancaster by HomeSnacks User

My experience isn’t too bad. There is plenty of things to do like go to the park, mall or just walk around the city. The crime has increased throughout the years, and also the population has become more crowded.

I love going to Longs Park and getting some ice cream and walking around. It’s a very peaceful place.

Bradford, PA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 8,307
Rank Last Year: 19 (Up 11)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 782 (22nd most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,430 (19th most dangerous)
More on Bradford:  Data | Photos

Folks who live in little Bradford have the 127 highest chance of being the victim of a rape or attack. The city, located in Pennsylvania, has seen a moderate population decline in recent years, perhaps due to the crime happening within its city limits.

In 2017, 1 out of 23.7 Bradford residents were the victim of a crime.

9. Pottstown

Pottstown, PA

Population: 22,706
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 726 (26th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,598 (15th most dangerous)
More on Pottstown:

Just 30 miles northwest of Philadelphia, Pottstown has the 15th worst property crime rate in the state.

Property crime rose between 2015-17, leaving residents of Pottstown with a 1 in 27.8 chance of being the victim of theft or arson in 2017.

At least violent crime fell during this interval.

Steelton, PA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 5,897
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 5)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,000 (12th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,154 (31st most dangerous)
More on Steelton:  Data | Photos

Steelton Pennsylvania is, statistically, a relatively dangerous hot spot. While violent crimes have edged down in recent years, property crimes have increased, and residents of Steelton have a 1 in 31.7 chance of being involved in a property crime.

How Is Your Town In ?

How we determined the most dangerous cities in Pennsylvania 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 447 cities in Pennsylvania.

We then ranked each city from 1 to 447 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 Pennsylvania — McKees Rocks.

Read on for a detailed look at the 10 most dangerous cities in Pennsylvania.

Locking It All Up In Pennsylvania

The latest FBI crime data shows that McKees Rocks ranks as the most dangerous city in Pennsylvania for 2019.

We want to point out again that there’s still safes places in McKees Rocks 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 Pennsylvania:

  1. O’Hara Township (Pop. 8,514)
  2. East Marlborough Township (Pop. 7,310)
  3. Luzerne Township (Pop. 5,868)

For more Pennsylvania reading, check out:

Where Are The Most Dangerous Cities In Pennsylvania?

Rank City Population Violent Crimes Per Capita Property Crimes Per Capita
1 McKees Rocks 5,926 1,333 5,467
2 Ambridge 6,744 1,556 4,314
3 Darby 10,648 1,615 3,765
4 Duquesne 5,507 1,561 3,958
5 Chester 33,984 1,609 3,298
6 Taylor 5,929 995 3,423
7 Lancaster 59,199 895 3,376
8 Bradford 8,307 782 3,430
9 Pottstown 22,706 726 3,598
10 Steelton 5,897 1,000 3,154

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.

15 thoughts on “10 Most Dangerous Cities In Pennsylvania

  1. I’m surprised Johnstown isn’t ranked higher! Violent crime such as shootings and stabbing a are still too frequent here! I work in a hospital and see the traumas all the time! Drugs have caused 80% of this problem!

  2. Just to clarify, a majority of people left Johnstown after the steel mills closed. The increase in crime has only been around for the last 5 years. In an effort to bring people back and try to generate revenue from it, the city added halfway housing, a methadone clinic, and has been known to advertise low income housing in rougher cities like Philadelphia and even out of state.
    Most of the drug related crime is funneling in from states like New York, New Jersey, Ohio. It’s a small town, most residents would rather move than try to save this dying town. It’s sad, this poor town is looking and feeling more and more like Detroit.
    I still hold out some hope for this place though.

  3. The reason why crime continues to increase worldwide is because most people are not born again Christians.Also there is a percentage of people worldwide who claim they are born again who are not being fully faithful to the Lord Gods word.The holy bible predicted SIN will intensify.Jesus Christ will come down on a cloud in great power and glory.He will resurrect the true Christians from there graves.These Christians will meet the Lord Jesus Christ in the sky.People who are not saved will be left behind.Some Christians are hypocrites.Some unsaved are hypocrites.

  4. Crime continues to increase every year in cities worldwide because of SIN!Most people throughout the world are not Christians.There are those claiming to be Christians worldwide.A percentage are not being faithful to the Lord God.What are we so afraid of?Are we ashamed of Jesus Christ?Are we afraid of changing?The Holy bible says it will get worst!

  5. Truth has never been lost, we left it. We never had a right to hate others through jealous, bigotry, racism or any other type of hatred. The only time we are justified is in proverbs 8 :13. Google it! Repent ! Do a self examination.

  6. Any list of dangerous places in Pennsylvania that doesn’t have Killadelphia at the top of the list is not to be taken seriously. Any site publishing a list that can’t be taken seriously is also not to be taken seriously.

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