10 Most Dangerous Cities In Washington


We used data and science to identify the most dangerous cities in the Evergreen State for 2019.

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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 Washington and is updated for 2019.

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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 10 most dangerous cities in Washington for 2019 and you can view them below. #YouCanThankUsLater

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 117 cities.

Let’s be real, we’re not talking about a Seattle hippie accidently eating real turkey instead of pho-turkey…tofu turkey…or whatever it’s called, kind of danger. 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, take a look below at our most dangerous cities in The Evergreen State for 2019.

Here are the 10 most dangerous cities in Washington for 2019:

  1. Fife (Photos)
  2. Spokane (Photos)
  3. Tacoma (Photos)
  4. Centralia (Photos)
  5. Seattle (Photos)
  6. Federal Way (Photos)
  7. Union Gap (Photos)
  8. Lakewood (Photos)
  9. Moses Lake (Photos)
  10. Lynnwood (Photos)

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 2019 is Fife.

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 10 most dangerous cities in Washington for 2019.

To make an educated choice, take a look at the list below. If you don’t see a winner, head to the bottom, there’s more.

Or 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.

For more Washington reading, check out:

Graphing The Most Dangerous And Safest Places In Washington

Most Dangerous Cities In Washington Graph

Click To Enlarge

The 10 Most Dangerous Places To Live In Washington For 2019

Fife, WA

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 10,264
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 3)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 964 (1st most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 7,209 (3rd most dangerous)
More on Fife:  Data | Photos

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 2017.

Though the property crime ranking isn’t as bad, it’s still on an upwards trend.

Spokane, WA

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 217,066
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 626 (6th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 7,231 (2nd most dangerous)
More on Spokane:  Data | Photos

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 13.8 chance of being a property crime victim here might not seem so bad, I’d say it’s still not a number to celebrate.

Review Of Spokane by HomeSnacks User

Property crime is terrible, violent crime is also on the rise, and the local DA office and judges who run the justice system play “catch & release” without ever punishing any criminals..

I’m honestly surprised that Spokane didn’t hit #1 and Fife did.

Tacoma, WA

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 213,504
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 813 (2nd most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,574 (9th most dangerous)
More on Tacoma:  Data | Photos

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 2017, and the ever-growing numbers of both categories of crime.

Review Of Tacoma by HomeSnacks User

Lots to do and tons of beautiful scenery. The city is generally pretty safe and people are very friendly.

There are lots of good restaurants that are fun to go and check out on weekends. Likewise, there are lots of small craft breweries. I don’t really have much bad to say other than the fact that downtown all the stoplight are right at the top of the hills for some reason. It makes it very easy to accidentally roll backwards.

Centralia, WA

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 17,048
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 8)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 469 (12th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 6,106 (5th most dangerous)
More on Centralia:  Data | Photos

Centralia takes 4th because of its 12th place finish for violence.

Located in central Washington, 30 miles north of Olympia, Centralia experienced rise in violent crime between 2015-17.

This left residents with a 1 in 213 chance of being the victim of violence and a 1 in 16.4 chance of being the victim of theft or arson in 2017.

Review Of Centralia by HomeSnacks User

The crime is surprisingly low. Yes theres drug activity but not enough to effect your day to day life. The school system is fairly decent, the teachers all care very much for the students and the schools are in the process of being remodeled the only issue I have seen is parents not being active enough in their childs education. The sports are what brings this town together, specifically the high schools football season, that is when the small town really becomes a community. Their is a local community college right in town as well. The housing market is fairly decent, homes that are for sale are fairly cheap but the rental market is very high for just the bare minimum apartments. There are a large selection of Low Income apartments and Affordable Housing apartments as well. There are many local resources for struggling families and the elderly such as WorkSource, Faith based Counseling and help held in and from the local churches, Community Action, and Housing Resource Center.

In my opinion the best places to visit when going to Centralia,WA is the Oly club on the downtown strip, the borst park off of Harrisons ave, and the yellow Big T BBQ off of Pearl St out towards the steam plant! The bad place however in my opinion are the downtown strip past 11 due to the homeless shelter then being closed, the shaefar parks woods area due to homeless people camping there as well, and the Hispanic trailer park off of long Road.

Seattle, WA

Source: Public domain

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 721,365
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 3)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 632 (4th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,258 (15th most dangerous)
More on Seattle:  Data | Photos

The most populated city in Washington, Seattle ranks as the 5th most dangerous city in our analysis.

While the rate of property crime dropped by 12% between 2015-17, violent crime went up by 8%.

This left Seattle residents with a 1 in 158 chance of being the victim of violence in 2017.

Review Of Seattle by HomeSnacks User

Seattle is definitely an expensive city and one that you need a good job to live in adequately. The school system was good according to my friends who were parents. The biggest problem is the lack of affordable housing. The city does have a vibrant liberal culture that makes it stand apart from the Trumpian hellscape to the East in flyover country.

My favorite place in Seattle is Club Sapphire. This is a s*x-positive club with membership dues for individuals and couples to “play” in a private setting. Sapphire’s membership dues kept out some of the scammers and other disreputable types that sometimes infiltrate the scene. This s*x club really does stand out compared to other major metropolitan s*x clubs such as NYC’s. Sapphire managed to imbibe the city’s liberal atmosphere and apply it to sexuality making it a distinctive Seattle experience that was far more memorable than the Space Needle.

Federal Way, WA

Source: Public domain

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 98,014
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 448 (14th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,447 (10th most dangerous)
More on Federal Way:  Data | Photos

Federal Way isn’t the worst in state in terms of either violent or property crime statistics, but bad rankings in each earn it the title of the 6th most dangerous city in the Evergreen State.

The good news is that instances of property crime dropped between 2015-17, but the bad news is that violent crime rose in the same time period.

That left Federal Way residents with a 1 in 222 chance of being the victim of a violent crime in 2017, making the city the 14th most violent place in Washington.

Union Gap, WA

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 6,104
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 4)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 360 (27th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 10,976 (1st most dangerous)
More on Union Gap:  Data | Photos

Union Gap makes it into the top 10 most dangerous in Washington. After a huge growth spurt in the 60’s and 70’s, people are actually leaving Union Gap in droves, which could be in part to its high criminal population.

As of the last FBI report, crime in Union Gap has been ticking upwards, and statistically, 1 in 9.1 residents here was recently the victim of a robbery or car theft.

Lakewood, WA

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 61,080
Rank Last Year: 16 (Up 8)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 695 (3rd most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,572 (26th most dangerous)
More on Lakewood:  Data | Photos

Lakewood ranks 3rd in violent crime, but 26th overall in property crime to place as the 8th most dangerous city in Washington.

To put that in perspective, you have a 1 in 21.9 chance of being a victim of a property crime in Lakewood. That makes property crimes much more common in Lakewood than the safest city, Sammamish.

Moses Lake, WA

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 22,985
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 569 (8th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,729 (21st most dangerous)
More on Moses Lake:  Data | Photos

Located in east-central Washington, Moses Lake is the largest city in Grant County.

Violent crime increased between 2015-17, 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 21.1.

Lynnwood, WA

Source: Public domain

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 38,469
Rank Last Year: 10 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 361 (24th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,958 (6th most dangerous)
More on Lynnwood:  Data | Photos

Located in Snohomish County., Lynnwood is the 10th most dangerous city in Washington.

With residents facing a 1 in 276 chance of being the victim of violence in 2017, Lynnwood it earns a spot on the most dangerous places in Washington.

How Is Your Town In ?

How we determined the most dangerous cities in Washington for 2019?

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 117 cities in Washington.

We then ranked each city from 1 to 117 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 — Fife.

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 Fife ranks as the most dangerous city in Washington for 2019.

We want to point out again that there’s still safes places in Fife 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:

  1. Snoqualmie (Pop. 13,648)
  2. Duvall (Pop. 7,875)
  3. Sammamish (Pop. 64,857)

For more Washington reading, check out:

Where Are The Most Dangerous Cities In Washington?

Rank City Population Violent Crimes Per Capita Property Crimes Per Capita
1 Fife 10,264 964 7,209
2 Spokane 217,066 626 7,231
3 Tacoma 213,504 813 5,574
4 Centralia 17,048 469 6,106
5 Seattle 721,365 632 5,258
6 Federal Way 98,014 448 5,447
7 Union Gap 6,104 360 10,976
8 Lakewood 61,080 695 4,572
9 Moses Lake 22,985 569 4,729
10 Lynnwood 38,469 361 5,958

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.

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