Do you live in one of the most dangerous cities in New York?
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 New York — and anyone looking to move to New York — 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 Empire State for 2019:
- Niagara Falls (Photos)
- Buffalo (Photos)
- Rochester (Photos)
- Binghamton (Photos)
- Johnson City Village
- Herkimer Village
- Albany (Photos)
- Troy (Photos)
- Syracuse (Photos)
- Watertown (Photos)
After analyzing 207 cities in New York, why did Niagara Falls 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 New York.
For more New York reading, check out:
- 10 Best Places To Live In New York
- These Are The 10 Best Counties To Live In New York
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live In New York
Graphing The Most Dangerous And Safest Places In New York
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
5. Johnson City Village
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
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 comes in 6th on our list for the most dangerous places in New York.
Residents of Herkimer Village have a 1 in 19.8 chance of being the victim of a crime. For reference, the most dangerous place in the country has about a 1 in 5 chance of being the victim of a crime.
Herkimer Village ranks as the 6th highest city for property crime per capita which contributes to its high chance of crime.
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 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 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.
Watertown’s motto might tout that the city is “a great place to live,” but its status as the 10th most dangerous city in New York might stain that saying a bit.
Watertown residents have a 1 in 24.4 chance of being the victim of a property crime every year.
Violent crime has also gone up nearly 30% between 2015-17, with a higher than 1 in 185 chance of being the victim of violence.
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:
- Kirkland Town (Pop. 8,204)
- Mount Hope Town (Pop. 6,904)
- Lewisboro Town (Pop. 12,823)
For more New York reading, check out:
- 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In New York
- These Are The 10 Best Places To Retire In New York
- These Are The 10 Richest Cities In New York
- 10 Safest Places In New York According To Science
- 10 Worst Places To Live In New York State
Detailed List Of The Most Dangerous Cities In New York
|5||Johnson City Village||14,595|
|56||Seneca Falls Town||8,811|
|62||Spring Valley Village||32,795|
|71||New Hartford Town and Village||20,313|
|76||Pelham Manor Village||5,577|
|79||North Syracuse Village||6,796|
|88||Saranac Lake Village||5,268|
|94||Port Chester Village||29,616|
|96||New Paltz Town and Village||14,125|