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 2020 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 114 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 2020.
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 2020 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 2020.
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.
For more Washington reading, check out:
- Best Places To Live In Washington
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Graphing The Most Dangerous And Safest Places In Washington
The 10 Most Dangerous Places To Live In Washington For 2020
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 137 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.
Spokane is the 2nd largest city in Washington, and also just so happens to be the 2nd 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 14.1 chance of being a property crime victim here might not seem so bad, I’d say it’s still not a number to celebrate.
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 115 chance of being the victim of a violent crime in 2018, and the ever-growing numbers of both categories of crime.
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 2017-2018.
Property crimes have also seen a slight decrease, but a 1 in 15.5 chance is still enough to make Shelton a dangerous place.
Seattle is one of the largest cities in the Washington.
Not unlike the capital, Seattle has experienced a rapid growth in its crime rate — a 20% increase in violent crime and 22% in property crime between 2017-2018.
Residents of Seattle had a fairly high 1 in 147 chance of being the victim of a violent crime in 2018.
Aberdeen places 6th in our list of the most dangerous cities in Washington.
Violent crime is an issue here as it ranks 7th in the state for that criteria, while ranking 14th for property crime.
High levels of unemployment and poverty probably contribute to above average rates of crime.
A smaller city on this list, Lakewood has experienced some wild swings in crime in recent years.
While instances of violent crime fell to 393 between 2017-2018, property crime now stands at 19th worst.
If they could get the same magic working for property crime as they have for violence, Lakewood may one day be the idyllic place its residents want it to be.
Toppenish ranks as the 8th most dangerous city in Washington.
That’s due to it ranking 19th in violent crimes and 8th in property crimes. Residents had about a 1 in 18.1 chance of being a victim of a property crime.
Rank Last Year: 64 (Up 55)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 363 (20th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,283 (9th most dangerous)
More on Airway Heights: Data
The smallest place to make this list, Airway Heights ranks as the 9th most dangerous city in Washington.
There’s a 1 in 18.9 chance being robbed in 2018. Yikes.
Centralia has seen a rapid rise in its violent crime in recent years.
Between 2017-2018, the rate of violent crime increased a staggering amount, leaving Centralia residents a 1 in 196 chance of being the victim of rape, murder, or assault in 2018.
Property crime also went up during this interval, but that’s a lot less scary than the boom in violence.
How we determined the most dangerous cities in Washington 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 Washington cities over 5,000 in population. That left us with 114 cities in Washington.
We then ranked each city from 1 to 114 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
The latest FBI crime data shows that Tukwila ranks as the most dangerous city in Washington for 2020.
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.
If you’re curious enough, here are the safest cities in Washington:
- Connell (Pop. 5,765)
- Brier (Pop. 6,975)
- Sammamish (Pop. 65,604)
For more Washington reading, check out:
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Where Are The Most Dangerous Cities In Washington?