The 10 Most Dangerous Cities In Washington For 2021


We used data and science to identify the most dangerous cities in the Evergreen State for 2021.

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This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. It is our seventh time ranking the most dangerous places to live in Washington and is updated for 2021.

Apparently there are more dangerous things in Washington than taking an elevator to the top of the Space Needle and/or getting caught on the Puget Sound during a storm: there are dangerous cities.

Yes, we have broken down the top ten most dangerous cities in Washington for 2021 and you can view them below.

Why did we produce this list? Well, we’re trying to help one navigate these dangerous cities when trying to make an informed decision on what city they should call home. To compile our list, we looked at violent crimes and property crimes in cities with a population of 5,000. That left us with 110 cities. The type of danger we’re talking about gets people on KOMO 4 at six. 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 Washington cities. There are neighborhoods and shopping centers in these cities that are working hard to make life easier. And it’s not entirely Washington’s fault that they have questionable cities. They are the 13th largest state in terms of population. As with most situations, there’s bound to be problems with that many people.

To see where these Washington cities with more issues than The Olympian are located, take a look below at our most dangerous cities in The Evergreen State for 2021.

The 10 Most Dangerous Places To Live In Washington For 2021

Tukwila, WA

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 20,439
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 773 (Second most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 16,390 (Most dangerous)
More on Tukwila:  | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

For the second year running, Tukwila sees itself our list of Washington’s most dangerous places to live. It’s not hard to see why, either; Tukwila had an overall crime rate nearly seven times higher than the national average — yikes.

Residents of Tukwila had a 1 in 6 chance of being the victim of a property crime in 2019. That includes a whopping 480 car thefts and 189 burglaries.

Violent crime isn’t much better in Tukwila, the city with the fourth highest rate of rape cases in Washington. So while you can enjoy a day out at Crystal Springs Park, you’d be well-advised to bring a buddy and get home before dark.

With such high crime numbers, it’s no wonder that Tukwila also topped our list of Seattle’s worst suburbs.

Fife, WA

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 10,324
Rank Last Year:
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 755 (Fourth most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 6,431 (Fourth most dangerous)
More on Fife:  | Cost Of Living

Up now is the city of Fife, a Tacoma suburb with a hefty crime problem. You’ll have to guard your winnings closely after a big night at the local casino because Fife had the fourth highest property crime rate in Washington.

On top of all the burglaries and larcenies going down in Fife, there’s also a lot of violent crime. The city of 10,324 experienced 1 murders in 2019, reflecting the seventh highest murder rate statewide.

In other words, if you’re looking to move to one of Tacoma’s best suburbs, steer clear of Fife.

Tacoma, WA

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 218,650
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 845 (Most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,220 (Eighth most dangerous)
More on Tacoma:  | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Tacoma was rated as one of the country’s “most walkable cities” in 2006, but we think the local population might disagree, given all the crime that goes down here. In fact, you’d have to be downright defiant to go walking by yourself at Point Defiance Park.

That’s because Tacoma had the highest violent crime rate in Washington, with residents facing 1 in 118 shot of being the victim of an attack in 2019. Violent crime is nearly three times as high in Tacoma as the rest of the country.

So keep your guard up in the City of Destiny, or you might be destined for a violent encounter.

Toppenish, WA

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 8,886
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 4)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 607 (Sixth most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 6,088 (Fifth most dangerous)
More on Toppenish:  | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Located within the Yakama Indian Reservation, Toppenish comes in as Washington’s fourth most dangerous place to call home.

Toppenish’s low population inflates the impact of each crime, so much so that having just 1 murder in 2019 was enough to give the city the fourth highest murder rate in the state.

The burglary rate in Toppenish was also the second highest in Washington. Other types of property crime are also prevalent, but if you see buildings with spray paint on them, it’s probably not graffiti — Toppenish is the City of Murals, after all.

Spokane, WA

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 220,432
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 3)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 689 (Fifth most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,919 (Sixth most dangerous)
More on Spokane:  | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Washington’s 2nd most populous city, Spokane, is also its fifth most dangerous. To be fair, Spokane is a big city with plenty of safe neighborhoods, it’s just that some areas still have a lot of work to do.

Residents of Spokane had a 1 in 16 chance of having their belongings stolen or damaged in 2019, so it’s a good idea to check you still have all your valuables after a day out at Riverfront Park.

There were also 1,520 violent crimes reported for the year, so do keep your guard up in Spokane. On the bright side, Spokane fell a few positions on this list from last year, so hopefully, things continue to improve.

Shelton, WA

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 10,432
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 508 (Ninth most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,588 (Seventh most dangerous)
More on Shelton:  | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

The westernmost city on Puget Sound, an healthy mix of property crime and violent crime contribute to Shelton’s position on this list.

We already ranked Shelton among the worst places to live in Washington for things like high unemployment and poverty rates, but crime was the real deciding factor.

Shelton had the highest rate of rape cases in Washington in 2019 and experienced 583 count property crimes — quite high for a city of just 10,432.

If you’re trying to get away from the mean streets of Shelton, at least you can go camping at nearby Jarrell Cove State Park. Bears are probably easier to deal with than Shelton’s criminals anyway.

Seattle, WA

Source: Public domain

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 763,706
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 585 (Seventh most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,495 (13th most dangerous)
More on Seattle:  | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

From the top of Seattle’s Space Needle, the city might look quite peaceful, but there’s a whole lot of crime going down in Washington’s biggest city.

Seattle’s not the sort of place you want to leave your home’s doors unlocked, considering it had the fourth highest burglary rate in Washington. Same goes for your car, what with the 3,645 car thefts recorded in 2019.

On top of that, violent crime ranked as the seventh highest statewide, with one rape, four robberies, and seven aggravated assaults a day, on average. Oh, and two murders a month, for good measure.

Lakewood, WA

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 60,916
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 756 (Third most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,769 (25th most dangerous)
More on Lakewood:  | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Located on the southwestern edge of Tacoma, Lakewood comes in as Washington’s eighth most dangerous city.

There were 304 car thefts in Lakewood over the year, one of the higher rates on this list. We just hope nobody tries to pull a grand theft auto at America’s Car Museum.

Violent crime is the bigger problem in Lakewood, though. Residents had a 1 in 132 chance of being the victim of an assault, murder, rape, or robbery in 2019.

Aberdeen, WA

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 16,627
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 3)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 427 (15th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,089 (19th most dangerous)
More on Aberdeen:  | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

The economic hub of Grays Harbor County, Aberdeen’s motto is “Come as You Are.” I’d bet the city wishes people would stop coming as criminals, though.

Seriously, though, the city that raised Kurt Cobain has a lot to work on. Like having the third highest rate of rape cases in Washington. And the tenth highest burglary rate.

So while we don’t know if Aberdeen smells like teen spirit, it certainly reeks of criminal spirit.

Port Angeles, WA

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 20,207
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 3)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 579 (Eighth most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,558 (27th most dangerous)
More on Port Angeles:  | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Located on the Olympic Peninsula, Port Angeles is a great city for outdoorsmen and women who want to live close to Olympia National Park.

As long as they’re all right with higher than average crime numbers. Like the second highest rate of rape cases in Washington and a violent crime rate that ranks as the eighth highest statewide.

At least property crime isn’t super prevalent here…relative to the other cities on this list, at least.

Graphing The Most Dangerous And Safest Places In Washington

Most Dangerous Cities In Washington Graph

Click To Enlarge

How we determined the most dangerous cities in Washington for 2021?

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 2019 data, specifically the 2019 Crime In The United States Report. We will update the results when data becomes available in September 2021.

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 Washington cities over 5,000 in population. That left us with 110 cities in Washington.

We then ranked each city from 1 to 110 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. 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 Washington.

Locking It All Up In Washington

So what is the most dangerous city in Washington? After analyzing 110 cities in Washington, Tukwila takes the top spot as the most dangerous city in Washington based on the most recently reported FBI data — 2019.

The latest FBI crime data shows that Tukwila ranks as the most dangerous city in Washington for 2021.

We want to point out again that there’s still safes places in Tukwila and that this isn’t a comment on the people that live there. So please don’t beat us up.

What are the circumstances that make these Washington cities this way? Maybe not enough jobs, low wages, drugs, gangs, and in Washington’s case, their mediocre NFL team?

We’re not entirely sure. But one thing we are sure about is that the number one most dangerous city in Washington for 2021 is Tukwila.

So, if you don’t really leave your house, a dangerous city should mean nothing to you. Maybe you should consider holing up in one of our top ten most dangerous cities in Washington for 2021.

To make the best choice, take a look at the list below. If you don’t see a what you’re looking for there, head to the bottom.

Learn more about the safest places in Washington.

If you’re looking for something more national, check out the most dangerous cities in America or the most dangerous states in America.

Here are the safest cities in Washington:

  1. East Wenatchee (Pop. 14,293)
  2. Lake Forest Park (Pop. 13,690)
  3. Mercer Island (Pop. 26,408)
  4. Maple Valley (Pop. 27,705)
  5. Snoqualmie (Pop. 14,183)
  6. Camas (Pop. 24,388)
  7. Bainbridge Island (Pop. 25,080)
  8. Brier (Pop. 7,070)
  9. Duvall (Pop. 8,244)
  10. Sammamish (Pop. 66,820)

For more Washington reading, check out:

The Most Dangerous Cities In Washington

Rank City Population Violent Crimes Per Capita Property Crimes Per Capita
1 Tukwila 20,439 773 16,390
2 Fife 10,324 755 6,431
3 Tacoma 218,650 845 5,220
4 Toppenish 8,886 607 6,088
5 Spokane 220,432 689 5,919
6 Shelton 10,432 508 5,588
7 Seattle 763,706 585 4,495
8 Lakewood 60,916 756 3,769
9 Aberdeen 16,627 427 4,089
10 Port Angeles 20,207 579 3,558
11 Puyallup 42,509 312 5,144
12 Sumner 10,270 331 4,391
13 SeaTac 29,533 440 3,717
14 Federal Way 98,025 336 4,247
15 Olympia 53,286 476 3,479
16 Kent 131,003 370 3,969
17 Port Orchard 14,684 449 3,350
18 Spokane Valley 100,983 307 4,421
19 Union Gap 6,162 243 9,412
20 Vancouver 185,034 480 3,241
21 Chehalis 7,682 286 4,907
22 Lynnwood 38,847 290 4,775
23 Centralia 17,603 340 3,806
24 Yelm 9,741 328 4,024
25 Renton 103,452 314 4,042
26 Burlington 9,219 206 6,475
27 Bremerton 41,675 403 3,258
28 Airway Heights 9,545 282 4,274
29 Burien 52,388 343 3,329
30 Walla Walla 33,047 344 3,183
31 Yakima 94,168 446 2,891
32 Everett 112,302 303 3,553
33 Ephrata 8,253 205 4,774
34 Sequim 7,599 210 4,158
35 Milton 8,381 381 2,505
36 Arlington 20,043 234 3,507
37 Kennewick 84,072 300 2,958
38 Kelso 12,354 267 3,173
39 Monroe 19,630 295 2,847
40 Des Moines 32,708 262 3,078
41 Bellingham 91,906 273 2,925
42 Tumwater 24,167 302 2,681
43 Longview 38,282 263 2,878
44 Ellensburg 21,324 211 3,057
45 Port Townsend 9,780 419 1,758
46 Gig Harbor 10,931 128 4,089
47 Woodland 6,469 170 3,168
48 Lacey 51,816 202 2,771
49 Sunnyside 16,839 142 3,206
50 Mount Vernon 36,274 151 3,142

How Is Your Town In ?

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.