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)
- Tacoma (Photos)
- Spokane (Photos)
- Fife (Photos)
- Federal Way (Photos)
- Moses Lake (Photos)
- Kelso (Photos)
- Seatac (Photos)
- Seattle (Photos)
- Lynnwood (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 2018?
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 2016 data, specifically the 2016 Crime In The United States Report. We will update the results when data becomes available for 2017 in October 2018.
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 119 cities in Washington.
We then ranked each city from 1 to 119 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.
Read on for a detailed look at the 10 most dangerous cities in Washington.
Population: 20,195Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 831
Property Crimes Per 100k: 15,488
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 120 chance of being the victim of a violent crime and staggeringly high 1 in 6.5 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: 209,914Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 952
Property Crimes Per 100k: 6,549
Tacoma’s danger level ranks as the 2nd 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 104 chance of being the victim of a violent crime in 2016, and the ever-growing numbers of both categories of crime.
Population: 214,028Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 597
Property Crimes Per 100k: 7,688
Spokane is the 2nd largest city in Washington, and also just so happens to be the 3rd 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 13.0 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: 10,134 Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 720
Property Crimes Per 100k: 7,045
An eastern suburb of Tacoma, Fife rivals the bigger city with its violent crime statistics.
Residents face a 1 in 138 chance of being the victim of a violent crime, a number which increased between 2011 and 2016.
Though the property crime ranking isn’t as bad, it’s still on an upwards trend.
5. Federal Way
Population: 96,338Rank Last Year: 20 (Up 15)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 471
Property Crimes Per 100k: 6,243
Federal Way, located in King County, is the 5th most dangerous and 13th most violent city in Washington.
Violent crime has remained high from 2014-16, during which time property crime fell by only small amounts.
6. Moses Lake
Population: 22,372Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 496
Property Crimes Per 100k: 6,101
Located in east-central Washington, Moses Lake is the largest city in Grant County.
Violent crime increased between 2014-16, 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 16.4.
Population: 11,897 Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 6)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 453
Property Crimes Per 100k: 6,346
50 miles north of Portland and 125 miles south of Seattle, Kelso’s motto is “the city of friendly people.”
Its less-than-super crime statistics might mar that image.
While violent crime has gone up by 32% from 2014-16, property crime has stayed pretty stagnant at a 1 in 17 chance.
Population: 28,466 Rank Last Year: 16 (Up 8)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 530
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,613
SeaTac’s name is based on the first syllables of Seattle and Tacoma.
That’s quite fitting for its #8 spot on this list, since it ranks smack dab in the middle of #3 Tacoma and #14 Seattle.
This outlying suburb of Seattle has seen violent crime go up by 28% in recent years, to a now 1 in 162 chance of being the victim of violence.
Population: 700,313Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 4)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 613
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,487
The 1st largest city in the state, Seattle has achieved substantial reductions in both categories of crime lately.
From 2014-16, violent crime fell to 4,294 occurrences and property crime to 38,433 occurrences, which still left residents with a 1 in 163 chance of being a victim of violence, and a 1 in 18.2 chance of being the victim of property crime in 2016.
Population: 37,217Rank Last Year: 33 (Up 23)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 384
Property Crimes Per 100k: 7,050
Lynnwood, a city in Snohomish County, has seen its crime increase overall for the last few years. According to the FBI, violent crimes have nearly doubled here, and residents have a 1 in 260 chance of being robbed.
Additionally, there were 143 attacks in a city of only 37,217 residents.
Locking It All Up In Washington
The latest FBI crime data shows that Tukwila ranks as the most dangerous city in Washington for 2018.
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:
- These Are The 10 Dumbest Cities In Washington
- These Are The 10 Drunkest Cities In Washington
- These Are The 10 Snobbiest Places In Washington
Detailed List Of The Most Dangeroues Cities In Washington