Massachusetts is renowned for its high quality of life and is consistently ranked as one of the top five safest states in the USA. However, like any other state, there are some areas that are best avoided due to their high crime rates. In this article, we will take a closer look at the ten most dangerous cities in Massachusetts that are ranked based on their crime rates and quality of life.
10 Most Dangerous Cities in Massachusetts with the Highest Crime Rates
Holyoke, a city located near East Mountain in Massachusetts, is considered the most dangerous city in the state. With a population of 38,238, it has a crime rate that is 195% higher than the national average, making it a high-risk area for criminal activities. In fact, the city has a total crime rate of 4,020 per 100,000, which means that residents have a 1 in 25 chance of becoming victims of any crime. In 2021, there were 367 incidents of violent crime reported in Holyoke, including two murders, 63 robberies, and 285 assaults. However, the number of property crimes was much higher, with 1,301 incidents reported in the same year.
Springfield, situated in Hampden County with a population of 155,929, holds the notorious distinction of being one of the most perilous cities in Massachusetts. With a crime rate 150% higher than the national average, Springfield is the most hazardous city in the state. Residents face a staggering total crime rate of 3,403 per 100,000, and have a 1 in 30 chance of being victims of any type of crime. Among the various types of crime prevalent in Springfield, robbery, assault, and burglary are the most frequent.
North Adams, a town located in Berkshire County, Massachusetts, is known to have a high crime rate. With a population of 12,961, the total crime rate in North Adams is 3,114 per 100,000. Unfortunately, residents of North Adams have a 1 in 33 chance of falling victim to a crime. The town has witnessed 138 violent crimes and 309 property crimes in 2021. Common crimes that occur in North Adams include assault, burglary, and theft.
New Bedford, situated along Massachusetts’ South Coast, is among the most perilous cities in the state. It has a population of 102,882, with a total crime rate of 3,089 per 100,000 residents – 129% higher than the Massachusetts average. The likelihood of becoming a victim of any type of crime in New Bedford is 1 in 33. In 2021, the city witnessed four murders, 84 robberies, and 476 assaults. Property crime is also a significant concern in New Bedford, with over 1,200 theft incidents reported this year.
Located in Hampden County along the Connecticut River, Chicopee is one of the cities in Massachusetts with a high crime rate. With a population of 55,560, the total crime rate in Chicopee is 2,626 per 100,000, which is 93% higher than the state average and 12% higher than the national average. Residents have a 1 in 39 chance of falling victim to any type of crime. Robbery, assault, and vehicle theft are the most commonly reported crimes in the area.
Boston, Massachusetts, is renowned for being the cultural and economic hub of the state, but it also holds the reputation of being one of the most hazardous cities in the region. Despite having a population of 675,647, Boston is considered relatively secure, and the crime rate is mostly dependent on the neighborhood. Sadly, Boston’s crime rate is 74% higher than the state average, with a total of 2,366 crimes per 100,000 individuals. This equates to a 1 in 43 chance of becoming a victim. In 2021, the city recorded almost 4,000 violent crimes and over 12,000 property crimes. However, when taking into account the city’s overall population, Boston is only moderately dangerous.
Chelsea, a city located in Suffolk County and adjacent to Boston, has a reputation for being one of the worst cities in Massachusetts for crime. With a population of 40,787, the total crime rate in Chelsea is 2,048 per 100,000 people, which is 50% higher than the state average. This means that residents have a 1 in 49 chance of becoming a victim of any type of crime. In 2021, the most common types of crime reported in Chelsea were robbery, assault, burglary, and theft.
With a population of 94,000, Fall River is the tenth largest city in Massachusetts. Unfortunately, the city has a total crime rate of 1,989 per 100,000, which is 46% higher than the state average. This means that residents of Fall River have a 1 in 51 chance of becoming the victim of any type of crime. In 2021 alone, there were 853 violent crimes reported, with robbery and assault being the most frequent.
Located in Worcester County, Webster is home to a population of 17,776. The town has a total crime rate of 1,766 per 100,000 people, meaning that residents have a 1 in 57 chance of becoming a victim of a crime. As of 2021, there were 123 violent crimes, including six robberies and 108 assaults. Additionally, there were 40 burglaries and fourteen counts of motor vehicle theft. While Webster’s crime rate is higher than the Massachusetts average, it is worth noting that the town is not considered dangerous by national standards.
Haverhill, situated in Essex County along the New Hampshire border, is known for its high crime rate. With a population of 67,787, the city has a total crime rate of 1,472 per 100,000 people, which is 8% higher than the state average. The probability of becoming a victim of any type of crime in Haverhill is 1 in 68. In the year 2021, there were 377 violent crimes and 545 property crimes reported in the city. The most commonly occurring crimes include robberies, assaults, burglaries, and thefts.
The Bottom Line
Even though Massachusetts is commonly considered as a safe and prosperous state in the US, it is imperative to note that there are some dangerous cities in Massachusetts that should be avoided. As per the list, there are several places in Massachusetts that face higher-than-average crime rates, which can be a concern for visitors or people relocating to the state. Therefore, it is essential to conduct thorough research and familiarize oneself with the area before planning a visit or relocation.