10 Most Dangerous Cities In Washington For 2020

We used data and science to identify the most dangerous cities in the Evergreen 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 Washington and is updated for 2020.

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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 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.

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

  1. Tukwila (Photos)
  2. Spokane (Photos)
  3. Tacoma (Photos)
  4. Shelton (Photos)
  5. Seattle (Photos)
  6. Aberdeen (Photos)
  7. Lakewood (Photos)
  8. Toppenish (Photos)
  9. Airway Heights
  10. Centralia (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 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.

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 2020

Tukwila, WA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 20,288
Rank Last Year:
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 729 (3rd most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 16,763 (1st most dangerous)
More on Tukwila:  Data | Photos

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, WA

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Population: 218,222
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 798 (2nd most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 7,074 (4th 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 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.

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


Population: 215,687
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 866 (1st most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,267 (10th 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 115 chance of being the victim of a violent crime in 2018, and the ever-growing numbers of both categories of crime.

Review Of Tacoma by HomeSnacks User

I have lived in Tacoma for over 25 years now. I moved from Michigan, where I was born and raised. I have never in my life seen or dealt with Rasicm until I moved here. Everything in this State is geared towards the Middle Class and Rich White People!! I only say that because of how high the cost of living has become in this State! Its ridiculous that in Seattle people are being put out of their homes if they don’t make a certain amount of Money!! Forced to live on the Streets…and It will not get any better in the near future..not in the TrumpNation!! G*d help us ALL!! !!

Shelton, WA

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Population: 10,188
Rank Last Year: 23 (Up 19)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 510 (8th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 6,448 (5th most dangerous)
More on Shelton:  Data | Photos

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.

Review Of Shelton by HomeSnacks User

Like many lower income small cities around the US. Families doing their best to get on. Crime is present for sure. Not much imagination on the part of local officials who could be taking advantage of the spectacular setting of the town. The water and the Olympic Mountains!

Homeless are almost non-existant even at the bus station. Way better experience that Seattle or Olympia and nowhere near as rough as Burien or Tacoma!

Seattle, WA

Source: Public domain

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 742,759
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 680 (4th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,149 (13th most dangerous)
More on Seattle:  Data | Photos

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.

Review Of Seattle by HomeSnacks User

I agree with the person above me. However, I also slightly disagree. Seattle smells like s**t and is full of hobos and junkies now.

Some of my favorite places are the farmers market, the Irish pub, the EMP, the waterfront, the parks, and the Seattle Zoo.

Aberdeen, WA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 16,404
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 7)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 518 (7th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,084 (14th most dangerous)
More on Aberdeen:  Data | Photos

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.

Review Of Aberdeen by HomeSnacks User

I agree with your ranking of Aberdeen, I’ve lived in Aberdeen for about 66 years. Since high school in the 60s we’ve lost about 5,000 people and the economy is worse. Many homeless people are piling up their junk in front of businesses, the new mayor has raised taxes and now wants to accommodate these often dangerous people. It will only bring more bums into our area. The alleys are full of litter and drunks.

The cost of services are going up and up, and there is nothing to do for entertainment. I’ve waited all my life for it to get better here but this place is 1 step forward and 3 steps back.

Lakewood, WA

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Population: 60,694
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 647 (5th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,642 (19th most dangerous)
More on Lakewood:  Data | Photos

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, WA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 8,898
Rank Last Year: 31 (Up 23)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 370 (19th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,518 (8th most dangerous)
More on Toppenish:  Data | Photos

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.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 9,085
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, WA

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 17,299
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 6)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 508 (9th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,589 (21st most dangerous)
More on Centralia:  Data | Photos

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.

Review Of Centralia by HomeSnacks User

The crime is surprisingly low. Yes there’s 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 child’s 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 Harrison’s 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.

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:

  1. Connell (Pop. 5,765)
  2. Brier (Pop. 6,975)
  3. Sammamish (Pop. 65,604)

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 Tukwila 20,288 729 16,763
2 Spokane 218,222 798 7,074
3 Tacoma 215,687 866 5,267
4 Shelton 10,188 510 6,448
5 Seattle 742,759 680 5,149
6 Aberdeen 16,404 518 5,084
7 Lakewood 60,694 647 4,642
8 Toppenish 8,898 370 5,518
9 Airway Heights 9,085 363 5,283
10 Centralia 17,299 508 4,589

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.

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