Pennsylvania may be the 11th safest state in the United States, but many of its cities boast high crime rates. Whether it be Chester, Uniontown, or Yeadon, let’s take a look at the most dangerous cities in Pennsylvania.
Pennsylvania is the 11th safest state in the country, but it contains many dangerous cities. Philadelphia may be the most well-known city in PA, but the City of Brotherly Love is not the most dangerous. Many of the most dangerous cities in Pennsylvania are small, sparsely populated, and unassuming.
Based on FBI statistics, McKees Rocks, Darby, Chester, Mckeesport, and Yeadon are the most dangerous cities in Pennsylvania. When it comes to violent and property crimes, these cities rank highest per capita consistently, with between 101 – 205% higher crime occurrences than all of the other cities in Pennsylvania. Other areas you should avoid include Ambridge, Philadelphia, and Pottstown.
Follow along as we explore the most dangerous cities in Pennsylvania and take notice of what they have in common. You’ll pick up on patterns of how crime trends vary based on population. There may be some surprises, but knowing which cities are safe to visit in Pennsylvania, including Pittsburgh, is important.
1. McKees Rocks
- Population: 6,046
- Violent Crime: 1,687
- Property Crime: 4,723
- Total Reported Crime: 6,409
The most dangerous city in Pennsylvania is McKees Rocks, with a crime index of 2. This number means McKees Rocks is safer than only 2% of other US cities. It is a small city in Pennsylvania, and its population faces a lot of crime.
The city is smaller than most other cities on this list, but the crime rate per capita is disturbing. There are roughly 62 crimes for every 1,000 McKees Rocks residents.
Residents of McKees Rocks should be wary of violent crime. In McKees Rocks, residents risk a 1 in 58 chance of having a violent crime committed against them. McKees Rocks natives also face a 1 in 22 chance of property crime, so lock your doors.
A total of 6,409 crimes were reported in 2020. Murder and rape were among the crimes committed, as were property-related incidents.
According to FBI records, there were 1,687 violent crimes and 4,723 property crimes. With a population of 6,046, these figures ensure that you will be a victim of some sort of crime.
- Population: 10,667
- Violent Crime: 1,392
- Property Crime: 3,233
- Total Reported Crime: 4,625
Darby takes the dishonor of being the most violent city in Pennsylvania. This year, 152 reported violent crimes, including assault, rape, robbery, and murder.
The poverty rate in Darby is roughly 28.2% and is related to the crime rate. Burglary, theft, and vehicle theft make up 328 of this year’s crimes in Darby. Darby residents risk a 1 out of 33 chance of experiencing a property crime.
Sadly, Darby residents also face the reality of a 1 in 70 chance of experiencing violent crime. Avoid areas in Darby like Borough Center if you are alone or dark out. Darby has a crime index of 6, making it safer than only 6% of US cities.
According to FBI statistics, there were a total of 4,625 reported crimes for the Tucson area in the 2020 calendar year. These included both violent and property crimes.
Of the total crime tally, there were 1,392 violent crimes and 3,233 property crimes reported per capita. This is among a city with a population of 10,667.
- Population: 34,o56
- Violent Crime: 1,383
- Property Crime: 3,005
- Total Reported Crime: 4,389
Chester is a large city with a high volume of property crime reports. The city has a crime index of 6, making it safer than only 6% of other US cities. Crime is rising in Chester, and the majority of the reports are for theft.
Chester residents have reported 602 cases of theft this year. The theft rate combined with the alarming 254 reported burglaries drives the property crime ranking.
According to FBI statistics, there have been a total of 4,389 reported crimes for this city. These crimes included murder, rape, assault, grand theft auto, and other property incidents.
However, the amount of property crime surpassed violent crime. In 2020, there were 1,383 violent crimes and 3,005 property crimes reported per capita.
- Population: 19,529
- Violent Crime: 1,531
- Property Crime: 2,759
- Total Reported Crime: 4,291
With a population of 19,529 people, Mckeesport is a medium-sized city. It’s holding its own when it comes to the state’s worst places to live. Furthermore, the crime rate in the city is the 22nd highest in the state.
The chances of becoming a victim of a crime are one in 33.6, which is far too high. There were 318 violent crimes reported in the city, with a 1 in 60 chance of being violently attacked or raped. As if the high prevalence of violent crime wasn’t bad enough, this city is also difficult to live in.
In 2020 there were a total of 4,291 reported crimes. These included everything from murder and rape to car theft and burglary. Of this total, there were 1,531 violent crimes and 2,759 property crimes reported per capita.
- Population: 11,506
- Violent Crime: 747
- Property Crime: 3,336
- Total Reported Crime: 4,083
Just like Pottstown and Darby, property crime is the main issue in Yeadon. Residents have a 1 in 31 chance of being a property crime victims.
Yeadon is a small city and spans 1.59 sq. miles. There are 284 crimes per sq. mile in Yeadon. Yeadon has a crime index of 8, making it safer than only 8% of US cities.
In 2020, there were a total of 4,083 reported crimes. These crimes included everything from murder and rape to property-based incidents.
According to FBI statistics, there were 747 incidents of violent crimes and 3,336 property crimes. With a population of 11,506, these numbers guarantee a good chance of becoming a victim of either type of crime.
- Population: 6,891
- Violent Crime: 1,333
- Property Crime: 2,725
- Total Reported Crime: 4,057
Ambridge has a crime index of 8, which means it is safer than only 8% of other US cities. The city is small with high crime relative to its population. Of every 73 Ambridge residents, 1 of them is the victim of a violent crime.
There have been 79 assaults in Ambridge so far this year. You are more likely to be robbed than assaulted in Ambridge, however. 1 out of 39 Ambridge residents become victims of property crime.
According to FBI statistics, there have been a total of 4,057 reported crimes for Ambridge. These crimes included murder, rape, assault, grand theft auto, and other property incidents.
However, the amount of property crime surpassed violent crime. In 2020, there were 1,333 violent crimes and 2,725 property crimes reported per capita.
- Population: 1,559,938
- Violent Crime: 14,420
- Property Crime: 49,145
- Total Reported Crime: 63,565
Philadelphia is known as the city of brotherly love. If you look at the volume of crime in Philadelphia, you may assume it belongs higher on this list. However, there are over 1,000,000 Philadelphia residents, so the crime rate is not as severe as you may think.
However, Philadelphia is not free of crime, and roughly 40 out of 1,000 residents experience it. Property crimes far surpass violent crimes in Philly. One out of 34 Philadelphia residents has a property crime committed against them.
Violent crime is less common and affects 1 in 110 Philadelphia natives. There are 446 crimes per sq. mile in Philadelphia. In 2021, Philadelphia came in at number 12 on a list of big cities with the highest murder rates per 100,000 people.
A total of 53,565 offenses were reported in 2020. Murder, rape, car theft, and burglary were among the crimes committed. 14,420 violent crimes and 49,145 property crimes were reported per capita out of this total.
- Population: 22,619
- Violent Crime: 718
- Property Crime: 3,105
- Total Reported Crime: 3,823
For every 1,000 Pottstown residents, there are roughly 39 crimes reported. Pottstown is only a 50-minute drive northwest of Philadelphia. Property crime is the most common type of crime reported in Pottstown.
Of the 3,823 annual crimes in Pottstown, 3,105 of them are property crimes. The most common property crime in Pottstown is theft. So far this year, there are 556 theft reports in Pottstown. There were 718 violent crimes as well.
Your chances of becoming a victim of violent crime in Pottstown is 1 in 139, with the most common being assault. So far, 100 assaults have been reported this year. In Pottstown, approximately 22% of all residents live below the poverty line.
- Population: 87,899
- Violent Crime: 707
- Property Crime: 2,979
- Total Reported Crime: 3,686
Reading has an estimated population of 87,899 people. Despite having all of the advantages of a major city, the city is in desperate straits. It’s not a good idea to start a family in it.
Reading has a staggering 12.9 percent unemployment rate. This indicates that approximately 13 people out of every 100 are unemployed and are likely living in poverty. The median property value is a pitiful $73,200, indicating that there isn’t much of a demand because no one wants to live there.
A total of 3,686 offenses were reported in 2020. Murder, rape, car theft, and burglary were among the crimes committed. There were 707 violent crimes and 2,979 property crimes reported per capita out of this total.
- Population: 20,169
- Violent Crime: 655
- Property Crime: 2,762
- Total Reported Crime: 3,417
Johnstown is not as known as Philadelphia, but it was once a bustling city. Now, Johnstown boasts 19,195 residents and 826 annual crimes. One out of every 81 Johnstown residents experiences violent crime.
There were roughly 177 assaults in Johnstown in 2021. Robbery and rape are also big factors in the violent crime rate. Johnstown has a crime index of 6, making it safer than only 6% of US cities.
Johnstown residents also risk burglary and home invasion with 191 annual reports. In Johnstown, 1 out of every 33 residents has a chance of experiencing a property crime. Steer clear of dangerous neighborhoods in Johnstown, such as Oakhurst.
A total of 3,417 offenses were reported in 2020. Murder, rape, car theft, and burglary were among the crimes committed. There were 655 violent crimes and 2,762 property crimes reported per capita out of this total.
- Population: 10,094
- Violent Crime: 532
- Property Crime: 2,244
- Total Reported Crime: 2,776
Theft and burglary are common property crimes in Uniontown, PA. The property crime rate trumps the violent crime rate in Uniontown by more than triple. They experience 424 annual property crimes and 137 violent crimes.
Install an alarm system if you live in this city. You risk a 1 out of 23 chance of experiencing a property crime such as theft or burglary. There is no rhyme or reason as far as where is safe and where is not in Uniontown.
A total of 2,776 offenses were reported in 2020. Murder, rape, car theft, and burglary were among the crimes committed. There were 532 violent crimes and 2,244 property crimes reported per capita out of this total.
- Population: 119,624
- Violent Crime: 471
- Property Crime: 2,782
- Total Reported Crime: 3,253
With a population of 119,624 people, Allentown is a larger city. It is found in the county of Lehigh. The fact that this municipality has a high unemployment rate makes it a terrible choice for a home. A tenth of the population is unemployed. It’s also a drawback that the median home value is so low.
This city’s typical home is worth only $131,300, indicating that there isn’t much of a demand because people don’t want to move there unless they have to. The median yearly household income in the state is $41,167, making it the sixth-lowest in the US. There are also few medical doctors available to give health care, and crime rates are higher than the national average.
In 2020 there were a total of 3,253 reported crimes. These included everything from murder and rape to car theft and burglary. Of this total, there were 471 violent crimes and 2,782 property crimes reported per capita.
- Population: 5,534
- Violent Crime: 498
- Property Crime: 2,098
- Total Reported Crime: 2,596
Crime dropped in Duquesne over the last few years, but it is still dangerous. The crime in Duquesne is driven by the roughly 36.3% poverty rate. Duquesne only spans 2 sq. miles, but it packs 104 crimes into each one.
Residents of Duquesne have a 1 out of 37 chance of being a victim of a property crime. There are 17 thefts per 1,000 Duquesne natives. Violent crime makes up 59 of the 211 crimes in Duquesne this year.
According to FBI statistics, there were a total of 2,596 reported crimes for the Duquesne area in the 2020 calendar year. These included both violent and property crimes.
Of the total crime tally, there were 3,498 violent crimes and 2,098 property crimes reported per capita. This is among a city with a population of 5,534.
Photo Credit: Wikipedia
- Population: 5,360
- Violent Crime: 433
- Property Crime: 1,488
- Total Reported Crime: 1,921
Lehighton is a tiny city in Pennsylvania with some of the issues that a larger city would have. Although it is a small town with only 5,3060 persons, the property crime rate is considerable. A robbery has a one-in-67 chance of happening to you. While this is concerning enough, there are other reasons why this is not the best area to live.
According to FBI statistics, there have been a total of 1,921 reported crimes for this city. These crimes included murder, rape, assault, grand theft auto, and other property incidents.
However, the amount of property crime far surpassed violent crime. In 2020, there were 433 violent crimes and 1,488 property crimes reported per capita.
- Population: 24,954
- Violent Crime: 475
- Property Crime: 929
- Total Reported Crime: 1,404
The city’s median property value is a startling $97,900, despite its population of 24,857 people. The unemployment rate is 8.2%, which isn’t the highest in the world, but it’s far from ideal. The typical household income is only $31,200 per year, which includes everyone who works. It’s not even enough to get by. Coal mining was once a major industry in the city.
According to FBI statistics, there were a total of 1,404 reported crimes for the Hazleton area in the 2020 calendar year. These included both violent and property crimes.
Of the total crime tally, there were 475 violent crimes and 929 property crimes reported per capita. This is among a city with a population of 24,954.
Summing It Up
McKees Rocks and Uniontown are the two most dangerous cities in PA. Property is the biggest problem in any one of the most dangerous cities in Pennsylvania.
For most of the dangerous cities in PA, the central part of the city is the hotspot for crime. Pay attention to crime maps if you travel to any of the above dangerous cities. Stay safe, and don’t be discouraged from visiting these cities; just use caution.
See Our Other Articles About The Most Dangerous Cities
- Most Dangerous Cities In Texas
- The Most Dangerous Cities In Florida
- \Most Dangerous Cities In Ohio
Nick Durante is a professional writer with a primary focus on home improvement. When he is not writing about home improvement or taking on projects around the house, he likes to read and create art. He is always looking towards the newest trends in home improvement.
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