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 ten most dangerous cities in Pennsylvania for 2020 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 443 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 Pennsylvania 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 2020.
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.
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
The 10 Most Dangerous Places To Live In Pennsylvania For 2020
McKees Rocks takes 1st because of its 1st place finish for violence.
Located in central Pennsylvania, 30 miles north of Harrisburg, McKees Rocks experienced rise in violent crime between 2017-2018.
This left residents with a 1 in 59 chance of being the victim of violence and a 1 in 21.2 chance of being the victim of theft or arson in 2018.
An hour’s drive southeast of Pittsburgh, Uniontown is the least populated city on this list.
Residents of Uniontown faced a 1 in 21.4 chance of being the victim of a property crime in 2018.\n\Uniontown does not seem to be improving in the past several years.
Residents of Chester faced an unbelievable 1 in 71 chance of being the victim of violence in 2018. That contributed to an overall ranking of 3rd most dangerous 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 71 of Darby’s residents was a victim of a violent crime in 2018, 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 2017-2018.
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 4)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 859 (19th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,303 (10th most dangerous)
More on Pottstown:
Just 30 miles northwest of Philadelphia, Pottstown has the 10th worst property crime rate in the state.
Property crime rose between 2017-2018, leaving residents of Pottstown with a 1 in 30.3 chance of being the victim of theft or arson in 2018.
At least violent crime fell during this interval.
Yeadon ranks 23rd in violent crime, but 9th overall in property crime to place as the 6th most dangerous city in Pennsylvania.
To put that in perspective, you have a 1 in 30.0 chance of being a victim of a property crime in Yeadon. That makes property crimes much more common in Yeadon than the safest city, Luzerne Township.
Johnstown’s population has been dwindling since the 50’s, when it had about 3 times the population it has now.
Whether crime came when the people left or crime drove the people away is anyone’s guess, but at least Johnstown’s been handling its crime problem well.
Property crime stands at 25th overall while violent crime clocks in at 7th overall.
Both property crime and violent crime fell in Duquesne between 2017-2018, but both bounced back up in 2018 relative to the one year previous.
Residents still faced a 1 in 95 chance of being the victim of violence in 2018.
The 350th most populated city in Pennsylvania, Ambridge ranks as the 9th most dangerous.
Ambridge’s crime problem has been slowly improving in recent years, with violent crime going down from 2017-2018, and property crime dropping.
Still, Ambridge residents face about a 1 in 36.7 chance of being the victim of theft or arson.
It seems that the city of brotherly love is also a hub of crime (but not as much as many might expect).
Though residents of Philly had a 1 in 110 chance of being the victim of a violent crime in 2018, that’s not too bad relative to other cities of its size.
Property crime now stands as the 20th worst in Pennsylvania.
How Is Your Town In ?
How we determined the most dangerous cities in Pennsylvania for 2020?
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 2018 data, specifically the 2018 Crime In The United States Report. We will update the results when data becomes available in September 2020.
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 443 cities in Pennsylvania.
We then ranked each city from 1 to 443 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. Any ties went to the smaller city. You can download the data here.
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 2020.
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:
- East Marlborough Township (Pop. 7,416)
- Adams Township, Cambria County (Pop. 5,581)
- Luzerne Township (Pop. 5,940)
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