Do you live in one of the most dangerous cities in Pennsylvania?
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 Pennsylvania — and anyone looking to move to Pennsylvania — 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 Keystone State:
- Duquesne (Photos)
- Darby (Photos)
- Sharon Hill (Photos)
- Ambridge (Photos)
- Wilkinsburg (Photos)
- Lancaster (Photos)
- Wilson (Photos)
- Chester (Photos)
Why did Duquesne 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 Pennsylvania.
For more Pennsylvania reading, check out:
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Pennsylvania
- 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Pennsylvania
- 10 Most Ghetto Cities In Pennsylvania
How we determined the most dangerous cities in Pennsylvania 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 405 cities in Pennsylvania.
We then ranked each city from 1 to 405 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 — Duquesne. Read on for a detailed look at the 10 most dangerous cities in Pennsylvania.
Read on for a detailed look at the 10 most dangerous cities in Pennsylvania.
Population: 5,528Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,248
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,160
More on Duquesne: Data | Photos | Rankings
Duquesne is no stranger to our lists as it ranks as the second poorest city in Pennsylvania and appears in the middle of the list of the worst places to live. And it would make sense that crime contributes to its placement on both of those lists.
In this particular case for the city of over 5,528, the combination of high property crime (6th highest in the state on a rate basis) and violent crime (5th highest) led to the top overall spot of most dangerous city in Pennsylvania.
Population: 10,687Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 2,133
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,724
More on Darby: Data | Photos | Rankings
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 46 of Darby’s residents was a victim of a violent crime in 2016, 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 2014-16.
3. Sharon Hill
Population: 5,703Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 3)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 841
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,225
More on Sharon Hill: Data | Photos | Rankings
Sharon Hill, a city in Delaware County, has seen its crime increase overall for the last few years. According to the FBI, violent crimes have nearly doubled here, and residents have a 1 in 118 chance of being robbed.
Additionally, there were 48 attacks in a city of only 5,703 residents.
Ambridge, located in Beaver County, is the 4th most dangerous and 3rd most violent city in Pennsylvania.
Violent crime has remained high from 2014-16, during which time property crime fell by only small amounts.
Population: 5,921Rank Last Year: 22 (Up 17)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,317
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,479
More on Steelton: Data | Rankings
A smaller city on this list, Steelton has experienced some wild swings in crime in recent years.
While instances of violent crime fell to 78 between 2014-16, property crime now stands at 25th worst.
If they could get the same magic working for property crime as they have for violence, Steelton may one day be the idyllic place its residents want it to be.
Population: 22,719Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 1)
Population: 22,719 Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 677
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,093
Just 30 miles northwest of Philadelphia, Pottstown has the 7th worst property crime rate in the state.
Property crime rose between 2014-16, leaving residents of Pottstown with a 1 in 24.4 chance of being the victim of theft or arson in 2016.
At least violent crime fell during this interval.
While violent crime isn’t so much of an issue (it ranks 7th out of 405), property crime seems to be pretty prevalent as it ranks 27th overall in that category.
Wilkinsburg has a relatively high population density, which might contribute to the above average property crime rate.
Population: 59,340Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 820
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,646
More on Lancaster: Data | Photos | Rankings
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 27.4 chance of being the victim of a property crime hardly seems like a cause for celebration.
A city of Northampton County, Wilson’s ranked as the 9th most dangerous city in Pennsylvania.
With regards to crime, Wilson 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 22.2 chance of being the victim of a crime.
Population: 34,109Rank Last Year: 16 (Up 6)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,571
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,075
More on Chester: Data | Photos | Rankings
Residents of Chester faced an unbelievable 1 in 63 chance of being the victim of violence in 2016. That contributed to an overall ranking of 10th most dangerous in Pennsylvania.
Locking It All Up In Pennsylvania
The latest FBI crime data shows that Duquesne ranks as the most dangerous city in Pennsylvania for 2018.
However, there will be new data coming out later this year. At that point we can revisit Duquesne’s status — that is if they haven’t beaten us all up already.
If you’re curious enough, here are the safest cities in Pennsylvania:
- Redstone Township
- West Vincent Township
- Millcreek Township, Lebanon County
For more Pennsylvania reading, check out:
Detailed List Of The Most Dangeroues Cities In Pennsylvania
|15||Washington, Washington County||13,421|
|28||Spring Garden Township||12,977|
|47||Allegheny Township, Blair County||6,652|
|51||East Lampeter Township||17,090|
|54||Lawrence Township, Clearfield County||7,489|
|58||West Manchester Township||18,880|
|60||Stroud Area Regional||34,242|
|65||North Versailles Township||12,322|
|67||South Strabane Township||9,561|
|79||Hanover Township, Luzerne County||10,901|
|81||Upper Darby Township||82,896|
|84||Plymouth Township, Montgomery County||17,887|
|88||Upper Chichester Township||17,054|
|95||North Cornwall Township||7,811|
|99||Lower Southampton Township||19,185|
|100||Falls Township, Bucks County||33,823|