These Are The 10 Most Dangerous Cities In Massachusetts For 2018


We looked at the most recent FBI crime data to identify the most dangerous cities in the Bay State.

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Do you live in one of the most dangerous cities in Massachusetts?

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 Massachusetts — and anyone looking to move to Massachusetts — 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 Bay State:

  1. Holyoke (Photos)
  2. North Adams (Photos)
  3. Springfield (Photos)
  4. New Bedford (Photos)
  5. Brockton (Photos)
  6. Worcester (Photos)
  7. West Springfield
  8. Pittsfield (Photos)
  9. Chelsea (Photos)
  10. Hadley

Why did Holyoke 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 Massachusetts.

If you’re looking for something more national, check out the most dangerous cities in America or the most dangerous states in America.

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How we determined the most dangerous cities in Massachusetts 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 233 cities in Massachusetts.

We then ranked each city from 1 to 233 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 Massachusetts — Holyoke. Read on for a detailed look at the 10 most dangerous cities in Massachusetts.

Here’s a visualization of the criteria:
Most Dangerous Cities In Massachusetts Graph

Click To Enlarge

Read on for a detailed look at the 10 most dangerous cities in Massachusetts.

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1. Holyoke

Holyoke, Massachusetts

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 40,738
Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,070
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,941
Holyoke comes in as the 1st most dangerous city in Massachusetts, losing the top position it has held in past years.

Part of the Springfield Metro area in western Mass., Holyoke experienced a small 4% rise in violent crime and 10% rise in property crime between 2014-16.

That left residents with a 1 in 20.2 chance of being the victim of theft or arson in 2016, and a greater than 1% shot of being the victim of violence.

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2. North Adams

North Adams, Massachusetts

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 13,162
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,375
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,289
The smallest city to make this list and the home of the largest contemporary art museum in the country, North Adams may seem out of place on a list about dangerous cities.

Yet this center for tourism in Berkshire County has experienced a wicked 37% rise in violent crime between 2015, bringing the likelihood residents face of being the victim of violence to nearly 1%.

Property crime, meanwhile, has remained stagnant at roughly a 1 in 30.4 chance of being the victim of theft or arson each year.

North Adams was also ranked as the most stoned city in Massachusetts, according to our research.

3. Springfield

Springfield, Massachusetts

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 154,102
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,030
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,291
Just 8 miles south Holyoke, Springfield is the 3rd biggest city in Massachusetts, and the 3rd most dangerous overall.

Springfield is famous for being the headquarters of Smith & Wesson, the largest producer of handguns in the world, which may help explain Springfield’s violent streak.

While property crime is 44% less common in Springfield than some other cities on the list, residents still faced a 1 in 97 chance of being the victim of violence in 2016.

4. New Bedford

New Bedford, Massachusetts

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 94,524
Rank Last Year: N/A
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 866
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,093
One of the largest cities on the south cost of Massachusetts, New Bedford ranks as the fourth most dangerous place in the state.

In 2016, residents faced a 1 in 92 chance of being the victim of violence, reflective of a very modest 5% drop from 2011.

Meanwhile, property crime has remained pretty much stagnant.

5. Brockton

Brockton, Massachusetts

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 95,189
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 6)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 1,081
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,405
Located on the eastern part of the state, Brockton is second only to Chelsea in terms of violent cities in Massachusetts.

Yet while Chelsea has experienced an impressive drop in violent crime in recent years, Brockton’s numbers in both property and violent crime have been more or less the same from 2014-16.

And with residents facing a 1 in 81 chance of being the victim of violence each year, Brockton could easily pass out Chelsea for most violent city in Mass in just a few years.

6. Worcester

Worcester, Massachusetts

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 184,595
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 889
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,902
The second biggest city in New England and Massachusetts (behind Boston), Worcester is among the most dangerous cities in the state.

The “Heart of the Commonwealth” (so named for its central location) has experienced no recent change in crime for better or for worse.

And that’s not a good thing for a city in the 7th most violent with the 7th most property crime in the state.

7. West Springfield


Population: 28,689
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 3)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 655
Property Crimes Per 100k: 4,203
Located on the western side of the Connecticut River across from Springfield, West Springfield has its own crime problems.

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While it is the least violent place on this list, and has seen another 11% drop in violence from 2014-16, the West Side is the 2nd worst place in the state in terms of property crime.

The 1 in 23.8 chance residents faced of being the victim of a property crime did not significantly change between 2014-16.

8. Pittsfield

Pittsfield, Massachusetts

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 43,031
Rank Last Year: 8 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 790
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,361
A smaller city on this list, Pittsfield has experienced some wild swings in crime in recent years.

While instances of violent crime fell to 340 between 2014-16, property crime now stands at 12th worst.

If they could get the same magic working for property crime as they have for violence, Pittsfield may one day be the idyllic place its residents want it to be.

9. Chelsea

Chelsea, Massachusetts

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 40,096
Rank Last Year: 9 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 922
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,279
Located directly across the Mystic River from Boston, Chelsea is the smallest city in Massachusetts in terms of total area (just 2.5 sq. miles).

Still, Chelsea knows how to pack a lot of violence into a small space, with residents facing 1 in 108 chance of being the victim of violence in 2016.

The crazy thing is that this likelihood was 1 in 61 in 2011, meaning Chelsea has seen about a 35% drop in violent crime over the years, and is still the 6th most violent city in Mass.

10. Hadley

Source: Public Domain

Population: 5,372
Rank Last Year: 33 (Up 23)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 446
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,871
Hadley may not even be on this list in another year if the current trends continue — violent crime was more than cut in half between 2014-16, with the number of instances falling from to 24.

Property crime also fell during this time, so Hadley is improving its crime altogether.

Locking It All Up In Massachusetts

The latest FBI crime data shows that Holyoke ranks as the most dangerous city in Massachusetts for 2018.

However, there will be new data coming out later this year. At that point we can revisit Holyoke’s status — that is if they haven’t beaten us all up already.

If you’re curious enough, here are the safest cities in Massachusetts:

  1. Boxford
  2. Franklin
  3. Groveland

For more Massachusetts reading , check out:

Detailed List Of The Most Dangeroues Cities In Massachusetts

City Rank Previous Rank Population Violent Crimes Per Capita Property Crimes Per Capita
Holyoke 1 2 40,738 1,070 4,941
North Adams 2 3 13,162 1,375 3,289
Springfield 3 1 154,102 1,030 3,291
New Bedford 4 94,524 866 3,093
Brockton 5 11 95,189 1,081 2,405
Worcester 6 5 184,595 889 2,902
West Springfield 7 4 28,689 655 4,203
Pittsfield 8 8 43,031 790 2,361
Chelsea 9 9 40,096 922 2,279
Hadley 10 33 5,372 446 3,871
Montague 11 17 8,242 691 2,159
Boston 12 15 673,880 707 2,150
Leominster 13 6 41,547 649 2,262
Fitchburg 14 7 40,391 772 2,094
Fall River 15 14 88,371 1,093 1,885
Lynn 16 12 92,443 772 2,079
Chicopee 17 16 56,887 465 2,313
Greenfield 18 13 17,456 670 2,090
Revere 19 22 53,514 489 2,134
Dennis 20 28 13,905 409 2,301
Lawrence 21 10 80,622 740 1,871
Northampton 22 23 28,521 452 2,103
Wareham 23 20 22,422 548 1,989
Fairhaven 24 43 16,120 347 2,313
Salem 25 29 42,888 305 2,408
Webster 26 21 16,842 718 1,733
Auburn 27 32 16,508 278 2,477
Falmouth 28 30 31,382 382 1,991
Ware 29 55 9,891 586 1,708
Athol 30 42 11,612 421 1,817
Saugus 31 41 28,131 323 2,033
Lowell 32 25 111,027 342 1,980
Haverhill 33 26 62,851 593 1,562
Palmer 34 48 12,171 542 1,585
Barnstable 35 18 43,974 452 1,616
Nantucket 36 34 11,036 235 2,772
Quincy 37 37 93,437 436 1,611
Sturbridge 38 53 9,520 357 1,743
Cambridge 39 31 111,030 264 2,133
Winchendon 40 38 10,727 354 1,668
Salisbury 41 47 9,425 360 1,633
Dartmouth 42 74 34,630 207 2,321
Southbridge 43 19 16,819 309 1,676
Lunenburg 44 46 11,438 271 1,835
Marlborough 45 56 39,899 401 1,406
Agawam 46 57 28,844 280 1,695
Taunton 47 71 56,720 357 1,320
Stoughton 48 72 28,583 290 1,539
Ayer 49 60 8,078 420 1,237
Peabody 50 103 52,501 392 1,304
Braintree 51 37,673 238 1,762
Everett 52 35 46,754 310 1,394
Adams 53 36 8,131 295 1,426
Orange 54 79 7,615 341 1,313
Seekonk 55 61 15,159 197 2,104
Lee 56 69 5,790 224 1,761
Randolph 57 39 33,807 283 1,393
Raynham 58 59 13,818 202 1,968
Somerville 59 51 80,899 254 1,490
Attleboro 60 58 44,225 210 1,761
Bellingham 61 67 16,922 200 1,896
West Bridgewater 62 65 7,097 197 1,831
Bourne 63 44 19,577 250 1,312
Ludlow 64 120 21,484 242 1,335
Burlington 65 63 26,083 199 1,736
Middleboro 66 83 24,490 412 988
Framingham 67 71,422 295 1,163
Abington 68 84 16,201 222 1,469
Danvers 69 52 27,997 139 2,171
Malden 70 49 61,102 276 1,173
Westfield 71 89 41,700 223 1,318
Easthampton 72 95 16,026 311 1,042
Swansea 73 81 16,418 200 1,498
Milford 74 76 28,606 237 1,216
Somerset 75 87 18,223 230 1,196
Millbury 76 86 13,532 162 1,655
Williamstown 77 111 7,591 158 1,712
Winthrop 78 73 18,216 411 839
Oxford 79 75 13,895 187 1,417
Leicester 80 91 11,355 202 1,312
Methuen 81 82 49,912 158 1,644
Harwich 82 54 12,112 206 1,246
Freetown 83 78 9,199 228 1,141
Weymouth 84 64 56,149 286 938
Canton 85 102 22,962 339 862
Northbridge 86 77 16,638 204 1,178
Acushnet 87 97 10,466 181 1,280
Mashpee 88 45 14,122 233 991
Woburn 89 92 39,638 206 1,125
Westminster 90 62 7,595 250 934
Natick 91 101 36,777 157 1,345
Mattapoisett 92 121 6,282 270 843
Carver 93 125 11,600 241 887
Monson 94 155 8,812 408 658
South Hadley 95 66 17,748 129 1,425
North Attleboro 96 110 29,013 120 1,492
Tewksbury 97 85 31,160 202 962
Gloucester 98 117 29,836 244 767
Hull 99 70 10,482 248 763
Kingston 100 108 13,378 164 1,061
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One thought on “These Are The 10 Most Dangerous Cities In Massachusetts For 2018

  1. Springfield is horrible my girls grew up learning how to fight to defend themselves while trying to get a education drugs yes everyone has them o wait guns these kids have more firepower than the gun store it’s crazy and as my sons grow I want out before they get shot or something cause these kids don’t fight they shoot I mean I walk around here like fuck you but it’s just sad

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