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.

The 10 Most Dangerous Cities In Washington For 2020

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

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:

The 10 Most Dangerous Places To Live In Washington For 2020

Tukwila, WA

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

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

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

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.

Tacoma, WA

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

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.

Shelton, WA

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

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.

Seattle, WA

Source: Public domain

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

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

The most populated city in the state and home of the University of Washington, Seattle’s recent rise in crime lands it on this list.

Between 2017-2018, violent crime rose and property crime increased, which “earned” Seattle the title of 5th most dangerous city in Washington.

Aberdeen, WA

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

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 is unfortunately in the top 7 for worst violent crime and 14th worst property crime rates in the state.

While violence fell between 2017-2018, property crime rose, meaning that, overall, Aberdeen’s instances of crime have been increasing.

Residents of Aberdeen had a 1 in 192 chance of being the victim of violence and a 1 in 19.7 chance of being the victim of a property crime in 2018.

Lakewood, WA

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

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

In this case, Lakewood finished as the 7th most dangerous place in the Evergreen State.

Violent crime is an issue as the city ranks 5th overall for violent crime, while also ranking 19th for property crime.

Toppenish, WA

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

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 is the 8th most violent city in Washington.

Unfortunately, Toppenish has experienced a quick and steady rise in its crime in recent years, with both violent and property crime increasing between 2017-2018.

In 2018, residents of Toppenish had a 1 in 269 chance of being the victim of violence.

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

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

Airway Heights might be one of the smallest city to make this list, but it proves that small towns can be every bit as dangerous as big cities.

Airway Heights has seen their property crime statistics drop by over 10% from 2017-2018.

Still, for every year you’re within Airway Heights city limits, you face a greater than 1 in 18.9 chance of being robbed.

Centralia, WA

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

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

The 10th place ranking for most dangerous in Washington goes to Centralia .

Residents have a 1 in 196 chance of being the victim of a violent crime, which means rape, murder or aggravated assault. That’s pretty high, but for a state like Washington, that’s just unacceptable.

Additionally, if you live in Centralia, you have a 1 in 21.8 chance of being the victim of a property crime. That’s a lot of stolen laptops, cell phones and tractor implements.

There were 0 murders in Centralia in 2018.

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 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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