10 Most Dangerous Cities In New York

We used data and science to identify the most dangerous cities in the Empire 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 New York and is updated for 2019.

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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. Yes, New York has its fair share of dangerous cities.

And lucky for you, we have the top 10 most dangerous cities in New York for 2019 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 NEWS10 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 207 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 2019.

Here are the 10 most dangerous cities in New York for 2019:

  1. Niagara Falls (Photos)
  2. Buffalo (Photos)
  3. Rochester (Photos)
  4. Binghamton (Photos)
  5. Johnson City Village
  6. Herkimer Village
  7. Albany (Photos)
  8. Troy (Photos)
  9. Syracuse (Photos)
  10. Watertown (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 2019 is Niagara Falls.

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 New York 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 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 2019

Niagara Falls, NY

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 48,385
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,124 (2nd most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,827 (2nd 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 2nd highest violent crime ranking in the entire state of New York, and the property crime rate ranks 2nd worst in the state. In fact, in 2017, there were 2,336 property crimes committed. That’s a lot of stolen property.

Review Of Niagara Falls by HomeSnacks User

Unfortunately I was born and raised here and this city has gone downhill so far it is truly depressing and disheartening. There isn’t anything for the youth to do but get into trouble following behind millennials, if their not doing that then their busy getting pregnant which I can’t figure out which one is worse.

My favorite places was the Center on Center Ave., Rainbow Mall, the Wintergarden, Ice Skating Ring, Splash Park and the Black Experience in the Summer until ALL of them got closed down.

Buffalo, NY

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Population: 256,169
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,019 (3rd most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,836 (9th 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 3rd highest violent crime rate in all of New York. In 2017, for example, there were 2,611 violent crimes committed in Buffalo.

That being said, there are slightly less property crimes–Buffalo ranks 26.1 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.

Rochester, NY

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Population: 208,591
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 897 (4th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,803 (10th most dangerous)
More on Rochester:  Data | Photos

Rochester is the third most dangerous city in New York.

On the upside, there were 1,000 less property crimes in 2017 than the year before in 2016, 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!

Binghamton, NY

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Population: 45,399
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 797 (7th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,367 (7th 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 2017, there were 1,983 property crimes.

Overall, the city of 45,399 ranked as the 4th 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.

5. Johnson City Village

Johnson City Village, NY

Population: 14,595
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 623 (16th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 5,179 (1st 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 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 5th on this list of most dangerous cities in New York, one spot better than last year.

6. Herkimer Village

Herkimer Village, NY

Population: 7,410
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 674 (12th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,372 (6th most dangerous)
More on Herkimer Village:

Herkimer Village is the 6th most violent city in the state.

Both categories of crime have been going up between 2015-17.

Folks in Herkimer Village have about 1 violent crime per 148 residents.

Albany, NY

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Population: 98,174
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 892 (5th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,457 (14th most dangerous)
More on Albany:  Data | Photos

Albany comes in at 10th place when it comes to violent crime: there were 791 violent crimes in 2017, which gives Albany its 10th 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 since 2011.

Troy, NY

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Population: 49,644
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 707 (9th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,488 (13th most dangerous)
More on Troy:  Data | Photos

Troy is relatively comparable with Albany. There is slightly less violent crime and property crime in Troy than in Albany, but the cities deal with similar safety issues.

However, though Troy has slightly less violent and property crime, both types of crimes have actually increased in numbers over the past three years, whereas Albany’s rates have decreased. So let’s hope Troy doesn’t start moving up this list?

Syracuse, NY

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Population: 143,069
Rank Last Year: 14 (Up 5)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 705 (11th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,366 (17th most dangerous)
More on Syracuse:  Data | Photos

Syracuse is a large city with one of the higher populations on this list. It has the 11th highest violent crime rate in New York and has the 17th worst property crime rank in the state. In 2017 alone, there were 4,817 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

Rochester IS a GREAT PLACE to live ! Trust me I lived in Syracuse – the armpit of the universe. Rochester is cosmopolitan – non-judgmental, progressive. Cant comment on cost of living RE: retirement. Namaste – David

Watertown, NY

Source: Public domain

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 25,746
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 4)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 539 (21st most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,093 (8th most dangerous)
More on Watertown:  Data | Photos

Watertown New York is, statistically, a relatively dangerous hot spot. While violent crimes have edged down in recent years, property crimes have increased, and residents of Watertown have a 1 in 24.4 chance of being involved in a property crime.

How Is Your Town In ?

How we determined the most dangerous cities in New York 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 207 cities in New York.

We then ranked each city from 1 to 207 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 — Niagara Falls.

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 Niagara Falls ranks as the most dangerous city in New York for 2019.

We want to point out again that there’s still safes places in Niagara Falls 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. 8,204)
  2. Mount Hope Town (Pop. 6,904)
  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 Niagara Falls 48,385 1,124 4,827
2 Buffalo 256,169 1,019 3,836
3 Rochester 208,591 897 3,803
4 Binghamton 45,399 797 4,367
5 Johnson City Village 14,595 623 5,179
6 Herkimer Village 7,410 674 4,372
7 Albany 98,174 892 3,457
8 Troy 49,644 707 3,488
9 Syracuse 143,069 705 3,366
10 Watertown 25,746 539 4,093

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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