Do you live in one of the most dangerous cities in Washington?
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 Washington — and anyone looking to move to Washington — 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 Evergreen State:
- Tukwila (Photos)
- Fife (Photos)
- Tacoma (Photos)
- Spokane (Photos)
- Seattle (Photos)
- Moses Lake (Photos)
- Shelton (Photos)
- Aberdeen (Photos)
- Clarkston (Photos)
- Port Orchard (Photos)
Why did Tukwila 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 Washington.
How we determined the most dangerous cities in Washington for 2017?
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 second release of 2015 data, specifically the 2015 Crime In The United States Report. We will update the results when data becomes available for 2016 in September 2017.
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 120 cities in Washington.
We then ranked each city from 1 to 120 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 Washington — Tukwila. Read on for a detailed look at the 10 most dangerous cities in Washington.
Population: 20,116Violent Crimes Per 100k: 750
Property Crimes Per 100k: 16,583
Coming in first place in both violent and overall crime, the suburban city of Tukwila is far and away the most dangerous place in Washington.
Just south of Seattle, Tukwila residents face a 1 in 133 chance of being the victim of a violent crime and staggeringly high 1 in 6.0 chance of being the victim of a property crime.
While violent crime is on a downward trend in the Hazelnut City, property crime has been steadily rising every year.
Population: 9,642Violent Crimes Per 100k: 964
Property Crimes Per 100k: 7,913
An eastern suburb of Tacoma, Fife rivals the bigger city with its violent crime statistics.
Residents face a 1 in 103 chance of being the victim of a violent crime, a number which increased between 2011 and 2015.
Though the property crime ranking isn’t as bad, it’s still on an upwards trend.
Population: 206,884Violent Crimes Per 100k: 818
Property Crimes Per 100k: 6,315
Tacoma’s danger level ranks as the 3rd most dangerous city in the state.
About 30 miles southwest of Seattle and 30 miles northeast of Olympia, this coastal city was strangely named one of the most walkable cities in 2006.
However, residents of the City of Destiny, as it’s nicknamed, might disagree, what with the 1 in 122 chance of being the victim of a violent crime in 2015, and the ever-growing numbers of both categories of crime.
Population: 212,698Violent Crimes Per 100k: 522
Property Crimes Per 100k: 7,508
Spokane is the 2nd largest city in Washington, and also just so happens to be the 4th most dangerous city in the state.
Both violent and property crimes have been increasing at a troubling speed over the past few years.
While the 1 in 13.3 chance of being a property crime victim here might not seem so bad, I’d say it’s still not a number to celebrate.
Population: 683,700Violent Crimes Per 100k: 598
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,522
There’s probably some surprise here, especially for residents of Seattle, but like every big city there’s nice parts and not so nice parts. The biggest city in Washington saw 4,093 violent crimes within its city limits in 2015.
On the bright side, crimes are actually declining at a steady clip over the last few years here. So, at least there’s progress.
6. Moses Lake
Population: 22,026Violent Crimes Per 100k: 499
Property Crimes Per 100k: 7,068
Located in east-central Washington, Moses Lake is the largest city in Grant County.
Violent crime increased between 2013-15, but the numbers are still much lower than most places on this list.
Property crimes statistics are about the same as Shelton, with a slightly lower chance of 1 in 14.1.
Population: 9,758Violent Crimes Per 100k: 461
Property Crimes Per 100k: 7,101
The westernmost city on Puget Sound and the seat of Mason County, Shelton’s property crime rankings definitely outweigh the violence.
In fact, Shelton is a stand out for being the first city on this list to be on a downwards trend for violent crimes, with the numbers dropping by from 2013-15.
Property crimes have also seen a slight decrease, but a 1 in 14.1 chance is still enough to make Shelton a dangerous place.
Population: 16,100Violent Crimes Per 100k: 596
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,428
A city in Grays Harbor County, Aberdeen has seen crime become a problem over the last decade.
Perhaps that has something to do with the high rate of violent crime, with residents facing a 1 in 167 chance of being the victim of violence in 2015.
On the bright side, instances of property crime fell during this time period.
Population: 7,387Violent Crimes Per 100k: 392
Property Crimes Per 100k: 7,702
While Clarkston is a known speed trap with rigorous enforcement of speeding laws, it is also a relative hot bed for the occurrence of crime.
As the FBI aggregates crime data based on reporting from local municipalities, it wouldn’t surprise us if Clarkston ranks highly simply because the police department does an excellent job of reporting crimes that occur within its city limits.
Clarkston has the 21st most violent crimes in Washington.
10. Port Orchard
Population: 13,535Violent Crimes Per 100k: 502
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,770
Only 13 miles west of Seattle, Port Orchard earns its 10th place spot with a combination of poor scores.
With a 1 in 17.3 chance of falling victim to property crime, and a 1 in 199 chance for violent crime, Port Orchard is certainly one of the least safe places in the state.
Unfortunately, like the other cities on the list, Port Orchard’s crime has been increasing, however at a much less rapid pace than the others.
Locking It All Up In Washington
The latest FBI crime data shows that Tukwila ranks as the most dangerous city in Washington for 2017.
However, there will be new data coming out later this year. At that point we can revisit Tukwila’s status — that is if they haven’t beaten us all up already.
If you’re curious enough, here are the safest cities in Washington:
For more Washington reading , check out:
- 10 Small Towns In Washington Where You’d Never Want To Live
- These Are The 10 Best Places To Retire In Washington
- These Are The 10 Most Affordable Places In Washington
Detailed List Of The Most Dangeroues Cities In Washington