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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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 (Photos)
  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.

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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.

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1. Duquesne

Duquesne, Pennsylvania

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 5,528
Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,248
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,160
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: Wikipedia

Population: 10,687
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 2,133
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,724
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

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 5,703
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 3)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 841
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,225
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: Wikipedia

Population: 6,822
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,377
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,518
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


Population: 5,921
Rank Last Year: 22 (Up 17)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,317
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,479
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


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: Wikipedia

Population: 15,692
Rank Last Year: N/A
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,064
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,390
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

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 59,340
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 820
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,646
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

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 7,758
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 683
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,815
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: Wikipedia

Population: 34,109
Rank Last Year: 16 (Up 6)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,571
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,075
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

City Rank Previous Rank Population Violent Crimes Per Capita Property Crimes Per Capita
Duquesne 1 2 5,528 1,248 4,160
Darby 2 4 10,687 2,133 3,724
Sharon Hill 3 6 5,703 841 4,225
Ambridge 4 3 6,822 1,377 3,518
Steelton 5 22 5,921 1,317 3,479
Pottstown 6 5 22,719 677 4,093
Wilkinsburg 7 15,692 1,064 3,390
Lancaster 8 9 59,340 820 3,646
Wilson 9 7 7,758 683 3,815
Chester 10 16 34,109 1,571 3,075
Philadelphia 11 14 1,570,826 988 3,140
York 12 20 44,017 945 3,198
Pittsburgh 13 19 302,443 782 3,262
Selinsgrove 14 41 5,820 962 2,972
Washington, Washington County 15 12 13,421 685 3,256
Charleroi Regional 16 37 6,630 527 3,348
Clearfield 17 32 5,996 933 2,885
Bradford 18 24 8,459 957 2,825
Harrisburg 19 48,996 1,073 2,738
Corry 20 8 6,384 548 3,101
New Castle 21 36 22,211 558 3,043
New Brighton 22 39 8,991 322 4,371
Connellsville 23 13 7,492 333 3,990
Moosic 24 18 5,758 382 3,438
Sunbury 25 9,607 811 2,768
Beaver Falls 26 10 8,598 337 3,698
Johnstown 27 30 21,227 471 2,982
Spring Garden Township 28 52 12,977 331 3,706
Sharon 29 17 13,472 400 3,132
Chambersburg 30 33 20,770 418 3,033
Collingdale 31 21 8,794 1,012 2,490
Taylor 32 31 5,979 919 2,508
Coatesville 33 38 13,157 843 2,500
Dickson City 34 5,839 274 5,206
Reading 35 28 87,834 679 2,609
Coraopolis 36 63 5,573 735 2,530
Allentown 37 46 120,615 457 2,766
Crafton 38 29 6,316 300 3,704
Swatara Township 39 34 24,916 309 3,588
Du Bois 40 67 7,561 396 2,883
Lewistown 41 27 8,260 302 3,486
Yeadon 42 25 11,537 346 2,921
Williamsport 43 42 29,163 356 2,715
Uniontown 44 35 9,919 322 2,943
Rostraver Township 45 102 11,130 242 3,746
Caln Township 46 56 14,167 374 2,512
Allegheny Township, Blair County 47 44 6,652 435 2,375
Stowe Township 48 43 6,247 256 3,345
Center Township 49 61 11,750 280 2,944
Swissvale 50 40 8,829 339 2,491
East Lampeter Township 51 82 17,090 216 3,592
Monessen 52 11 7,438 860 1,989
Mount Carmel 53 26 5,698 508 2,141
Lawrence Township, Clearfield County 54 7,489 814 2,002
Penn Hills 55 62 41,841 399 2,213
Erie 56 48 99,019 356 2,300
Greensburg 57 89 14,419 325 2,462
West Manchester Township 58 81 18,880 211 3,315
Pottsville 59 94 13,703 335 2,298
Stroud Area Regional 60 45 34,242 245 2,859
Sayre 61 47 6,418 342 2,165
Warren 62 53 9,264 323 2,223
Hermitage 63 115 15,958 187 3,051
Waynesboro 64 107 10,902 266 2,439
North Versailles Township 65 83 12,322 332 2,110
Pocono Township 66 93 10,723 233 2,629
South Strabane Township 67 72 9,561 135 5,679
Bellevue 68 73 8,229 291 2,223
Quakertown 69 85 8,831 339 2,049
Shamokin 70 118 7,124 308 2,189
Tyrone 71 153 5,330 393 1,876
Norristown 72 60 34,425 429 1,795
Scranton 73 57 77,332 279 2,193
Lebanon 74 55 25,549 234 2,422
Berwick 75 91 10,170 245 2,359
Ellwood City 76 141 7,561 343 1,944
Oxford 77 113 5,449 367 1,816
Lansdowne 78 54 10,643 187 2,630
Hanover Township, Luzerne County 79 90 10,901 247 2,219
Altoona 80 97 45,158 345 1,818
Upper Darby Township 81 96 82,896 465 1,633
Springettsbury Township 82 104 26,931 133 3,575
Bangor 83 79 5,189 713 1,541
Plymouth Township, Montgomery County 84 65 17,887 150 2,996
West Chester 85 106 20,129 293 2,002
Downingtown 86 123 7,957 201 2,375
Franklin 87 99 6,255 271 2,062
Upper Chichester Township 88 71 17,054 293 1,976
Darby Township 89 59 9,329 407 1,586
Brentwood 90 129 9,486 231 2,192
Cheltenham Township 91 92 37,064 164 2,546
Tamaqua 92 76 6,777 147 2,774
Clifton Heights 93 95 6,691 403 1,539
Hanover 94 100 15,537 148 2,690
North Cornwall Township 95 248 7,811 243 2,048
Columbia 96 86 10,385 221 2,099
Dunmore 97 13,247 301 1,789
Kutztown 98 190 5,032 278 1,848
Lower Southampton Township 99 114 19,185 312 1,694
Falls Township, Bucks County 100 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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