10 Most Dangerous Cities In New York For 2020

We used data and science to identify the most dangerous cities in the Empire 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 New York and is updated for 2020.

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Not only do you have to worry about getting the measles in this state, you have to worry about where to live that’s safe. Yes, New York has its fair share of dangerous cities.

And lucky for you, we have the top ten most dangerous cities in New York for 2020 broken down below. One might think that most of the problems are centralized around New York’s largest city: New York City. Surprisingly, New York has done a fair job of keeping it’s crazy spread evenly across the state.

Some might wonder why we produced this list. Well, one goal is to definitely help people navigate these dangerous cities when trying to make an informed decision on what city they should call home. Let’s be real, we’re not talking about navigating Times Square during New Year’s Eve kind of danger. The type of danger we’re talking about gets people on NEWS ten at six. To compile our list, we looked at violent crimes and property crimes in cities with a population of 5,000. That left us with 200 cities. 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 New York cities. There are neighborhoods and shopping centers in these cities that are working hard to make life easier. And it’s not entirely New York’s fault. They have close to 20 million people. As with most situations, there’s bound to be problems with that many people: especially that many New Yorkers in one area.

To see where these New York cities with more issues than the New York Housewives are located, take a look below at our most dangerous cities in The Empire State for 2020.

Here are the 10 most dangerous cities in New York for 2020:

  1. Buffalo (Photos)
  2. Niagara Falls (Photos)
  3. Binghamton (Photos)
  4. Schenectady (Photos)
  5. Rochester (Photos)
  6. Watertown (Photos)
  7. Albany (Photos)
  8. Johnson City Village
  9. Utica (Photos)
  10. Syracuse (Photos)

What are the circumstances that make these New York cities this way? Maybe not enough jobs, low wages, drugs, bad weather; and in New York’s case, their mediocre NFL teams?

We’re not entirely sure. But one thing we are sure about is that the number one most dangerous city in New York for 2020 is Buffalo.

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 New York for 2020.

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.

Learn more about the safest places in New York.

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 New York reading, check out:

Graphing The Most Dangerous And Safest Places In New York

Most Dangerous Cities In New York Graph

Click To Enlarge

The 10 Most Dangerous Places To Live In New York For 2020

Buffalo, NY

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 258,219
Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,042 (2nd most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,815 (5th most dangerous)
More on Buffalo:  Data | Photos

Unfortunately, Buffalo Wings aren’t the only thing that Buffalo has a lot of. It also has the 2nd highest violent crime rate in all of New York. In 2018, for example, there were 2,692 violent crimes committed in Buffalo.

That being said, there are slightly less property crimes–Buffalo ranks 5th for most property crimes in the state.

Review Of Buffalo by HomeSnacks User

Buffalo now has a beautiful waterfront. It is a great place to raise a family and homes are reasonably priced.

Pros: Waterfront, Albright Knox Art Gallery, Food, Affordability, NHL hockey, NFL football

Cons: We all know about the snow, but it is manageable.

Niagara Falls, NY

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Population: 48,225
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 866 (4th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,068 (4th most dangerous)
More on Niagara Falls:  Data | Photos

Most people know the town of Niagara Falls for the giant waterfalls that are a gift from Mother Nature. Unfortunately, to actually live in Niagara Falls is not so peaceful.

Niagara Falls has the 4th highest violent crime ranking in the entire state of New York, and the property crime rate ranks 4th worst in the state. In fact, in 2018, there were 1,962 property crimes committed. That’s a lot of stolen property.

Review Of Niagara Falls by HomeSnacks User

I love visiting Niagara Falls, NY. The scenes of the falls along with the Niagara River are just amazing. There is so much to do for free, and with the casino, the aquarium, hiking trails, and so much more nearby, it’s a perfect getaway.

The fireworks every night are wonderful. I also loved the aquarium; it’s small, but the sea lion show is really cool. Just walking along the Niagara River and on Goat Island and the Three Sisters Islands is really cool.

Binghamton, NY

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Population: 44,876
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 726 (8th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,218 (2nd most dangerous)
More on Binghamton:  Data | Photos

While there is certainly less violent crime in Binghamton than in Rochester or Buffalo, there is actually more property crime. In 2018, there were 1,893 property crimes.

Overall, the city of 44,876 ranked as the 3rd most dangerous in New York.

Review Of Binghamton by HomeSnacks User

Crime: I lived in the Binghamton area for 50+ years. There are some bad areas as with any town but I only had a few incidents in all those years. It is not a city of urban decay and violence.

Jobs: Mostly service oriented. If you are in the tech field go elsewhere. There is Lockheed Martin, BAE and Universal Instruments and not much else. These companies are dependent on contracts for their survival so expect layoffs/downturns. There is a large skilled labor force looking for work due to the rotten economy so good jobs are hard to find.

Weather: Overcast with a 75% chance of rain throughout the day.

Cost of living: Houses are cheap but taxes and everything else offsets that.

People: Generally the folks are pretty darn good. A mix of rightwingers and liberals. People seem to be tolerant and will give you a chance if you don’t act like an idiot. Not much money but good people.

Weather and economy are depressing.

There are things to do outside when the rain and snow stops. Tennis, biking, hiking, parks.

I cant comment on the night life but a large amount of students reside there during the school year so there must be some entertainment.

There are nice shops and restaurants and museums. Everything is close by.

Traffic is not a problem as most people left decades ago.

If you are retirement age then it is a great place to live. Plenty of medicenters and clinics.

If you are young then get out while you can.

Binghamton is like living at your parents house: You have what you need to survive but you cant wait to leave.

Schenectady, NY

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Population: 65,550
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 7)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 945 (3rd most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,212 (13th most dangerous)
More on Schenectady:  Data | Photos

Schenectady is the 4th most dangerous city in all of New York. With a smaller population than Syracuse, there are still 2,800 property crimes committed per year, meaning you have about a 5% chance of being the victim of a property crime.

Additionally, the violent crime rate is ranked 7th highest in the state when taking into consideration population.

Review Of Schenectady by HomeSnacks User

Schenectady NY downtown is booming! Proctors, new casino, brand new beautiful rail station, plentiful parking, and restaurants and bars filled every weekend downtown.

A trip through downtown on state street and erie blvd reveals traffic and lots of mixed use buildings going up. Thats not to say neighborhoods dont have their challenges, but neighborhood clean ups should be a concerted effort by the stakeholders who live there.

Rochester, NY

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Population: 207,701
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 777 (6th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,387 (12th most dangerous)
More on Rochester:  Data | Photos

Rochester is the 5th most dangerous city in New York.

On the upside, there were 1,000 less property crimes in 2018 than the year before in 2017, so we can only hope the numbers will keep decreasing.

Review Of Rochester by HomeSnacks User

I may not live in Rochester any more, but it will always be home!

Watertown, NY

Source: Public domain

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Population: 25,525
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 4)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 685 (11th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,541 (8th most dangerous)
More on Watertown:  Data | Photos

The largest city in Jefferson County, Watertown has experienced a 13% increase in its violent crime rate and a 19% rise in property crime rate between 2017-2018.

Folks in Watertown had about a 1 in 28.2 chance of being robbed or burnt in 2018, which is just the heavy price you pay for living in Watertown.

Albany, NY

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Population: 98,322
Rank Last Year: 7 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 837 (5th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,200 (15th most dangerous)
More on Albany:  Data | Photos

Albany comes in at 7th place when it comes to violent crime: there were 823 violent crimes in 2018, which gives Albany its 5th place ranking for violent crime. Still, at least it’s less than Newburgh!

That being said, property crime is much higher here than in Newburgh.

The upside is, both property and violent crime rates are decreasing in Albany, and have been for years.

8. Johnson City Village

Johnson City Village, NY

Population: 14,418
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 3)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 436 (25th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,133 (3rd most dangerous)
More on Johnson City Village:

While the violent crime is certainly lower than others on this list, Johnson City Village is actually ranked the 3rd worst place in New York when it comes to property crime.

The uncertainty of safety when it comes to property and belongings is why Johnson City Village comes in at 8th on this list of most dangerous cities in New York.

Utica, NY

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Population: 60,413
Rank Last Year: 16 (Up 7)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 630 (12th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,168 (16th most dangerous)
More on Utica:  Data | Photos

Utica has seen a continuous drop in crime of late — just not at a quick enough rate to get it off this list.

And with residents still facing a 1 in 31.6 chance of being the victim of a property crime, there’s little cause for celebration. In fact, the latest FBI report shows that there were 381 violent crimes in a town of only 60,413 in 2018.

Syracuse, NY

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Population: 143,129
Rank Last Year: 9 (Down 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 702 (10th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,088 (20th most dangerous)
More on Syracuse:  Data | Photos

Syracuse is a large city with one of the higher populations on this list. It has the 10th highest violent crime rate in New York and has the 20th worst property crime rank in the state. In 2018 alone, there were 4,420 property crimes.

That being said, the violent crime is decreasing in the state, meaning there is hope that Syracuse can be a less violent place in the years to come. Let’s just hope the property crime rates begin to drop as well.

Review Of Syracuse by HomeSnacks User

Syracuse, NY, is a blue collar rust belt city filled with history and character. It’s admittedly not for all, as it absolutely does lack the polish of many more prosperous cities, and it’s weather can be punishing. But, the city has a proud past that was instrumental in American history, ranging from being an integral part of the Erie Canal, to being the site where the basketball shot clock was invented, and much, much more in between. Syracuse also has several museums, a handful of sports teams, and the Syracuse University Orange, it’s pride and joy.

Good: The people, the history, the sports, and the general blue collar feel are fantastic.

Bad: The weather, the economy, and the crime rate could use some help.

How we determined the most dangerous cities in New York 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 New York cities over 5,000 in population. That left us with 200 cities in New York.

We then ranked each city from 1 to 200 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 New York — Buffalo. 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 New York.

Locking It All Up In New York

The latest FBI crime data shows that Buffalo ranks as the most dangerous city in New York for 2020.

We want to point out again that there’s still safes places in Buffalo 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 New York:

  1. Kirkland Town (Pop. 8,355)
  2. Sleepy Hollow Village (Pop. 10,267)
  3. Lewisboro Town (Pop. 12,823)

For more New York reading, check out:

Where Are The Most Dangerous Cities In New York?

Rank City Population Violent Crimes Per Capita Property Crimes Per Capita
1 Buffalo 258,219 1,042 3,815
2 Niagara Falls 48,225 866 4,068
3 Binghamton 44,876 726 4,218
4 Schenectady 65,550 945 3,212
5 Rochester 207,701 777 3,387
6 Watertown 25,525 685 3,541
7 Albany 98,322 837 3,200
8 Johnson City Village 14,418 436 4,133
9 Utica 60,413 630 3,168
10 Syracuse 143,129 702 3,088

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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