These Are The 10 Most Dangerous Cities In Pennsylvania For 2018


We used data and science to identify the most dangerous cities in the Keystone State for 2018.

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This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out that we updated it for 2018.

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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:

  1. Duquesne (Photos)
  2. Darby (Photos)
  3. Sharon Hill (Photos)
  4. Ambridge (Photos)
  5. Steelton
  6. Pottstown
  7. Wilkinsburg (Photos)
  8. Lancaster (Photos)
  9. Wilson (Photos)
  10. 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.

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:

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.

Here’s a visualization of the criteria:
Most Dangerous Cities In Pennsylvania Graph

Click To Enlarge

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

1. Duquesne

Duquesne, Pennsylvania

Source: Wikipedia User |

Population: 5,528
Rank 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.

2. Darby

Darby, Pennsylvania

Source: Public domain

Population: 10,687
Rank 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

Sharon Hill, Pennsylvania

Population: 5,703
Rank 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.

4. Ambridge

Ambridge, Pennsylvania

Source: Public domain

Population: 6,822
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,377
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,518
More on Ambridge: Data | Photos | Rankings

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.

5. Steelton

Steelton, Pennsylvania

Population: 5,921
Rank 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.

6. Pottstown

Pottstown, Pennsylvania

Population: 22,719
Rank 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.

7. Wilkinsburg

Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania

Source: Public domain

Population: 15,692
Rank Last Year: N/A
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,064
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,390
More on Wilkinsburg: Data | Photos | Rankings
Wilkinsburg took the 7th spot on our.

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.

8. Lancaster

Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Population: 59,340
Rank 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.

9. Wilson

Wilson, Pennsylvania

Population: 7,758
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 683
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,815
More on Wilson: Data | Photos | Rankings

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.

10. Chester

Chester, Pennsylvania

Source: Public domain

Population: 34,109
Rank 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:

  1. Redstone Township
  2. West Vincent Township
  3. Millcreek Township, Lebanon County

For more Pennsylvania reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Most Dangeroues Cities In Pennsylvania

Rank City Population Violent Crimes Per Capita Property Crimes Per Capita
1 Duquesne 5,528 1,248 4,160
2 Darby 10,687 2,133 3,724
3 Sharon Hill 5,703 841 4,225
4 Ambridge 6,822 1,377 3,518
5 Steelton 5,921 1,317 3,479
6 Pottstown 22,719 677 4,093
7 Wilkinsburg 15,692 1,064 3,390
8 Lancaster 59,340 820 3,646
9 Wilson 7,758 683 3,815
10 Chester 34,109 1,571 3,075
11 Philadelphia 1,570,826 988 3,140
12 York 44,017 945 3,198
13 Pittsburgh 302,443 782 3,262
14 Selinsgrove 5,820 962 2,972
15 Washington, Washington County 13,421 685 3,256
16 Charleroi Regional 6,630 527 3,348
17 Clearfield 5,996 933 2,885
18 Bradford 8,459 957 2,825
19 Harrisburg 48,996 1,073 2,738
20 Corry 6,384 548 3,101
21 New Castle 22,211 558 3,043
22 New Brighton 8,991 322 4,371
23 Connellsville 7,492 333 3,990
24 Moosic 5,758 382 3,438
25 Sunbury 9,607 811 2,768
26 Beaver Falls 8,598 337 3,698
27 Johnstown 21,227 471 2,982
28 Spring Garden Township 12,977 331 3,706
29 Sharon 13,472 400 3,132
30 Chambersburg 20,770 418 3,033
31 Collingdale 8,794 1,012 2,490
32 Taylor 5,979 919 2,508
33 Coatesville 13,157 843 2,500
34 Dickson City 5,839 274 5,206
35 Reading 87,834 679 2,609
36 Coraopolis 5,573 735 2,530
37 Allentown 120,615 457 2,766
38 Crafton 6,316 300 3,704
39 Swatara Township 24,916 309 3,588
40 Du Bois 7,561 396 2,883
41 Lewistown 8,260 302 3,486
42 Yeadon 11,537 346 2,921
43 Williamsport 29,163 356 2,715
44 Uniontown 9,919 322 2,943
45 Rostraver Township 11,130 242 3,746
46 Caln Township 14,167 374 2,512
47 Allegheny Township, Blair County 6,652 435 2,375
48 Stowe Township 6,247 256 3,345
49 Center Township 11,750 280 2,944
50 Swissvale 8,829 339 2,491
51 East Lampeter Township 17,090 216 3,592
52 Monessen 7,438 860 1,989
53 Mount Carmel 5,698 508 2,141
54 Lawrence Township, Clearfield County 7,489 814 2,002
55 Penn Hills 41,841 399 2,213
56 Erie 99,019 356 2,300
57 Greensburg 14,419 325 2,462
58 West Manchester Township 18,880 211 3,315
59 Pottsville 13,703 335 2,298
60 Stroud Area Regional 34,242 245 2,859
61 Sayre 6,418 342 2,165
62 Warren 9,264 323 2,223
63 Hermitage 15,958 187 3,051
64 Waynesboro 10,902 266 2,439
65 North Versailles Township 12,322 332 2,110
66 Pocono Township 10,723 233 2,629
67 South Strabane Township 9,561 135 5,679
68 Bellevue 8,229 291 2,223
69 Quakertown 8,831 339 2,049
70 Shamokin 7,124 308 2,189
71 Tyrone 5,330 393 1,876
72 Norristown 34,425 429 1,795
73 Scranton 77,332 279 2,193
74 Lebanon 25,549 234 2,422
75 Berwick 10,170 245 2,359
76 Ellwood City 7,561 343 1,944
77 Oxford 5,449 367 1,816
78 Lansdowne 10,643 187 2,630
79 Hanover Township, Luzerne County 10,901 247 2,219
80 Altoona 45,158 345 1,818
81 Upper Darby Township 82,896 465 1,633
82 Springettsbury Township 26,931 133 3,575
83 Bangor 5,189 713 1,541
84 Plymouth Township, Montgomery County 17,887 150 2,996
85 West Chester 20,129 293 2,002
86 Downingtown 7,957 201 2,375
87 Franklin 6,255 271 2,062
88 Upper Chichester Township 17,054 293 1,976
89 Darby Township 9,329 407 1,586
90 Brentwood 9,486 231 2,192
91 Cheltenham Township 37,064 164 2,546
92 Tamaqua 6,777 147 2,774
93 Clifton Heights 6,691 403 1,539
94 Hanover 15,537 148 2,690
95 North Cornwall Township 7,811 243 2,048
96 Columbia 10,385 221 2,099
97 Dunmore 13,247 301 1,789
98 Kutztown 5,032 278 1,848
99 Lower Southampton Township 19,185 312 1,694
100 Falls Township, Bucks County 33,823 201 2,134

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9 thoughts on “These Are The 10 Most Dangerous Cities In Pennsylvania For 2018

  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.

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