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 for 2019:
- McKees Rocks (Photos)
- Ambridge (Photos)
- Darby (Photos)
- Duquesne (Photos)
- Chester (Photos)
- Taylor (Photos)
- Lancaster (Photos)
- Bradford (Photos)
- Steelton (Photos)
After analyzing 447 cities in Pennsylvania, why did McKees Rocks 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 Best Places To Live In Pennsylvania
- These Are The 10 Best Counties To Live In Pennsylvania
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Pennsylvania
Graphing The Most Dangerous And Safest Places In Pennsylvania
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.
It’s probably no surprise for most Pennsylvaniaer’s to see McKees Rocks taking first place for most dangerous city in the state.
McKees Rocks experienced a rise in violent crime between 2015-17, tempered by a drop in property crime, meaning that, overall, crime has stayed at about the same level over the years.
In 2017, folks in McKees Rocks had a 1 in 75 chance of being murdered, raped, or assaulted, and a 1 in 18.3 chance of being robbed or the victim of arson.
Ambridge, with a population of around 6,744 has experienced decent amount of crime in recent years.
Currently, residents have a 1 in 23.2 chance of being the victim of theft or arson in 2017 and a 1 in 64 chance of being the victim of violent crime. That’s good for a 2nd overall ranking on our list of dangerous places in Pennsylvania.
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 might be one of the smallest city to make this list, but it proves that small towns can be every bit as dangerous as big cities.
Duquesne has seen their property crime statistics drop by over 10% from 2015-17.
Still, for every year you’re within Duquesne city limits, you face a greater than 1 in 25.3 chance of being robbed.
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.
Coming in as the 6th most dangerous city in Pennsylvania is Taylor.
While violent crime has been steadily dropping in recent years, with a 10% total drop in violent crime from 2015-17, property crime went up by nearly the same rate during this interval.
That left residents of Taylor a 1 in 1229.2 chance of being the victim of a property crime in 2017, and a 1 in 100 chance of being the victim of violence.
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.
Bradford has the smallest population of any city in Pennsylvania, but still places 8th in our ranking.
Living in such a small place evidently breeds a high rate of violence in the state, with residents of Bradford facing a 1 in 127 chance of being the victim of a violent crime in 2017.
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.
Both property crime and violent crime fell in Steelton between 2015-17, but both bounced back up in 2017 relative to the one year previous.
Residents still faced a 1 in 99 chance of being the victim of violence in 2017.
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:
- O’Hara Township (Pop. 8,514)
- East Marlborough Township (Pop. 7,310)
- Luzerne Township (Pop. 5,868)
For more Pennsylvania reading, check out:
- 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Pennsylvania
- These Are The 10 Best Places To Retire In Pennsylvania For 2018
- These Are The 10 Richest Cities In Pennsylvania
- 10 Safest Places In Pennsylvania
- 10 Worst Places To Live In Pennsylvania
Detailed List Of The Most Dangerous Cities In Pennsylvania
|21||Lawrence Township, Clearfield County||7,694|
|32||Washington, Washington County||13,435|
|36||Allegheny Township, Blair County||6,602|
|52||Stroud Area Regional||34,259|
|71||Lower Southampton Township||19,120|
|73||West Manchester Township||18,865|
|77||Spring Garden Township||13,044|
|81||Hanover Township, Luzerne County||10,822|
|88||East Norriton Township||14,154|
|91||Plymouth Township, Montgomery County||17,835|
|96||Lancaster Township, Lancaster County||17,229|
|97||Upper Darby Township||82,601|
|100||North Lebanon Township||11,975|