10 Most Dangerous Cities In Pennsylvania For 2020

We used data and science to identify the most dangerous cities in the Keystone State for 2020.

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This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. It is our fifth time ranking the most dangerous places to live in Pennsylvania and is updated for 2020.

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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 10 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.

Here are the 10 most dangerous cities in Pennsylvania for 2020:

  1. McKees Rocks (Photos)
  2. Uniontown (Photos)
  3. Chester (Photos)
  4. Darby (Photos)
  5. Pottstown
  6. Yeadon (Photos)
  7. Johnstown (Photos)
  8. Duquesne (Photos)
  9. Ambridge (Photos)
  10. Philadelphia (Photos)

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.

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:

Graphing The Most Dangerous And Safest Places In Pennsylvania

Most Dangerous Cities In Pennsylvania Graph

Click To Enlarge

The 10 Most Dangerous Places To Live In Pennsylvania For 2020

Mckees Rocks, PA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 5,929
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,686 (1st most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,722 (1st most dangerous)
More on McKees Rocks:  Data | Photos

McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania ranks as having the 1st highest violent crime rate.

While property crime fell by between 2015-17, violent crime rose.

That increase left McKees Rocks residents with a 1 in 59 chance of being the victim of a violent crime in 2017.

Uniontown, PA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 9,751
Rank Last Year: 56 (Up 54)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,394 (3rd most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,666 (2nd most dangerous)
More on Uniontown:  Data | Photos

An hour’s drive southeast of Pittsburgh, Uniontown is the least populated city on this list, as well as the least violent.

Residents of Uniontown faced a 1 in 21.4 chance of being the victim of a property crime in 2017.

Uniontown has been improving a lot lately too, with reductions in both violent and property crime between 2015-17.

Chester, PA

Source: Public domain

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 34,087
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,390 (5th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,376 (8th most dangerous)
More on Chester:  Data | Photos

Residents of Chester faced an unbelievable 1 in 71 chance of being the victim of violence in 2017. That contributed to an overall ranking of 3rd most dangerous in Pennsylvania.

Darby, PA

Source: Public domain

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 10,702
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,392 (4th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,233 (13th most dangerous)
More on Darby:  Data | Photos

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 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.

5. Pottstown

Pottstown, PA

Population: 22,792
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 3)
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 2015-17, leaving residents of Pottstown with a 1 in 30.3 chance of being the victim of theft or arson in 2017.

At least violent crime fell during this interval.

Yeadon, PA

Source: Public domain

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Population: 11,512
Rank Last Year: 18 (Up 12)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 747 (23rd most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,335 (9th most dangerous)
More on Yeadon:  Data | Photos

Yeadon is the smallest city to make this list.

Violent crime rose between 2015-17, leaving residents a 1 in 133 chance of being the victim of violence in 2017 (a rate that would earn a top 10 spot in most states).

Yeadon’s already horrible property crime statistics also got worse in these years, going up between 2015-17.

Johnstown, PA

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Population: 20,877
Rank Last Year: 22 (Up 16)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,149 (7th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,969 (25th most dangerous)
More on Johnstown:  Data | Photos

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.

Review Of Johnstown by HomeSnacks User

Johnstown is a great place to live, everyone is friendly.

We have great restaurants.

Duquesne, PA

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Population: 5,544
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 4)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,046 (10th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,940 (26th most dangerous)
More on Duquesne:  Data | Photos

Today, Duquesne is the 8th most dangerous city in the state.

Unlike other cities on the list, Duquesne has seen a recent boom in crime, with violent crime going up from 2015-17, and property crime also going up.

Watch your wallet in Duquesne, because there’s a 1 in 34.0 chance of being the victim of a property crime while you’re there.

Ambridge, PA

Source: Public domain

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 6,679
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 7)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,332 (6th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,724 (31st most dangerous)
More on Ambridge:  Data | Photos

Ambridge has seen a continuous drop in crime of late — just not at a quick enough rate to get it off this list.

And with residents still facing a 1 in 36.7 chance of being the victim of a property crime, there’s little cause for celebration. In fact, the latest FBI report shows that there were 89 violent crimes in a town of only 6,679 in 2017.

Philadelphia, PA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 1,586,916
Rank Last Year: 15 (Up 6)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 908 (17th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,096 (20th most dangerous)
More on Philadelphia:  Data | Photos

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 2017, that’s not too bad relative to other cities of its size.

Property crime now stands as the 20th worst in Pennsylvania.

Review Of Philadelphia by HomeSnacks User

Philadelphia is always a fun family-friendly spot. The atmosphere is welcoming and has a lot to offer. In terms of location, you have numerous places to visit, from the historical Liberty Bell to the countless museums. As a New Jersey resident, I am thankful to have Philadelphia close to me. I can visit on the weekends and indulge in the delicious Philadelphia Cheesteaks. The food options in Philadelphia are really endless – from China Town to Phillys Little Italy, you have it all in the heart of Pennsylvania. The city of brotherly love and the home of the 2017 Super Bowl Champions – The Philadelphia Eagles. A visit to Penns Landing is also a must with the beautiful view of the Delaware River.

Philadelphias Penns Landing also has live-music and delicious food vendors. There is almost a new festival every week celebrating the different cultures of America. There is also free museums, and a whole week of fun events close to the Fourth of July. There is no place better to celebrate Americas birthday, than in Philly.

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 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 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.

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:

  1. East Marlborough Township (Pop. 7,416)
  2. Adams Township, Cambria County (Pop. 5,581)
  3. Luzerne Township (Pop. 5,940)

For more Pennsylvania reading, check out:

Where Are The Most Dangerous Cities In Pennsylvania?

Rank City Population Violent Crimes Per Capita Property Crimes Per Capita
1 McKees Rocks 5,929 1,686 4,722
2 Uniontown 9,751 1,394 4,666
3 Chester 34,087 1,390 3,376
4 Darby 10,702 1,392 3,233
5 Pottstown 22,792 859 3,303
6 Yeadon 11,512 747 3,335
7 Johnstown 20,877 1,149 2,969
8 Duquesne 5,544 1,046 2,940
9 Ambridge 6,679 1,332 2,724
10 Philadelphia 1,586,916 908 3,096

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.

15 thoughts on “10 Most Dangerous Cities In Pennsylvania For 2020

  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.

  3. The reason why crime continues to increase worldwide is because most people are not born again Christians.Also there is a percentage of people worldwide who claim they are born again who are not being fully faithful to the Lord Gods word.The holy bible predicted SIN will intensify.Jesus Christ will come down on a cloud in great power and glory.He will resurrect the true Christians from there graves.These Christians will meet the Lord Jesus Christ in the sky.People who are not saved will be left behind.Some Christians are hypocrites.Some unsaved are hypocrites.

  4. Crime continues to increase every year in cities worldwide because of SIN!Most people throughout the world are not Christians.There are those claiming to be Christians worldwide.A percentage are not being faithful to the Lord God.What are we so afraid of?Are we ashamed of Jesus Christ?Are we afraid of changing?The Holy bible says it will get worst!

  5. Truth has never been lost, we left it. We never had a right to hate others through jealous, bigotry, racism or any other type of hatred. The only time we are justified is in proverbs 8 :13. Google it! Repent ! Do a self examination.

  6. Any list of dangerous places in Pennsylvania that doesn’t have Killadelphia at the top of the list is not to be taken seriously. Any site publishing a list that can’t be taken seriously is also not to be taken seriously.

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