Pennsylvania is a state that has a reputation for high crime rates, often ranking among the top 15 states in the United States. Despite offering various attractions such as cities, culture, and mountains, some cities within Pennsylvania have a less desirable reputation. Interestingly, many of the state’s most violent towns are not in or around Philadelphia. As we move into 2023, let’s look at Pennsylvania’s top ten most dangerous cities.
Most Dangerous Cities in Pennsylvania
1. McKees Rocks
McKees Rocks, also called “The Rocks,” is a borough in Allegheny County and has been deemed the most dangerous place to live in Pennsylvania. Despite having a population of just 5,920, the city’s crime rate is alarmingly high at 6,409 per 100,000, making it 173% more dangerous than the national average. Shockingly, the city witnessed 106 violent crimes and 262 property crimes in 2022, which are significantly high figures considering the city’s small population.
Darby, located in Pennsylvania, has gained a reputation for being one of the most dangerous cities in the state. The high crime rate is alarming, with 152 murders reported in 2021 alone and a property crime rate of 4,625 incidents per 100,000 people. The chances of becoming a victim of any crime are high, with residents having a 1 in 22 case of falling prey. Moreover, the city’s poverty rate is disproportionately high, with residents earning an average of less than $35,000 annually.
Chester, a city located just outside of Philadelphia in Delaware County, is known to be one of the most dangerous cities in Pennsylvania. With a population of 32,605 people, Chester has a reputation for being a place with high crime rates and political corruption. Despite its proximity to Philadelphia, Chester consistently ranks among the worst cities to live in the United States.
According to recent statistics, the crime rate in Chester is 116% higher than the state average, with 4,389 crimes per 100,000 people. In 2021, the median home price in Chester is just $66,800, significantly lower than the state average.
Located in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, McKeesport is a city known for its high crime rate. With a population of 17,727, the town has a total crime rate of 4,291 incidents per 100,000 people. Unfortunately, residents of McKeesport have a 1 in 24 chance of becoming a victim of any crime. In 2021, 332 violent crimes and 542 property crimes were reported in the city. The high crime rate in McKeesport can be attributed to the issues of poverty and unemployment that the city faces, with a median household income of only $26,271.
Yeadon, in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, is another town with a high crime rate. With 4,083 crimes per 100,000 people, residents in Yeadon have a 1 in 25 chance of being victims of any crime. As per the FBI’s latest statistics in 2021, there were 747 incidents of violent crimes and 3,336 property crimes per capita. The median home price in Yeadon is $138,000, and the average household income is $48,420.
Ambridge is a town in Beaver County, in western Pennsylvania, with a population of 6,972. Unfortunately, the total crime rate in Ambridge is relatively high, with 4,057 incidents per 100,000 people, which is 73% higher than the US average. The city is known for its elevated violent crime cases; residents have a 1 in 39 chance of becoming victims. In terms of income, Ambridge has a median income of $33,758 and a median home price of $66,200.
Philadelphia may not be as high on the list as expected due to its size. However, the crime rate is not as high as one would think when considering the population. This does not mean that the city is entirely safe. With a population of 1,603,797, Philadelphia has a crime rate of 4,006 per 100,000, 97% higher than the state average. Residents have a 1 in 25 chance of being a victim of any crime. Like many large cities, crime is primarily concentrated in specific areas, with North and West Philadelphia being the most violent.
Pottstown, situated in Montgomery County, is home to around 23,433 people. Unfortunately, the crime rate in this area is much higher than the state average, with 3,823 incidents per 100,000 people. This means that residents are more likely to become victims of any crime, with a 1 in 27 chance. Shockingly, in 2021 alone, there were 183 violent crimes and 740 property crimes recorded, which is relatively high considering the city’s population.
Located in Berks County, Reading is a small city with a population of 95,112. Unfortunately, residents of Reading have a 1 in 28 chance of becoming the victim of any crime, and the total crime rate in the city is 81% higher than the state average. In 2022, 690 violent crimes and 2,742 property crimes were reported in the town. Despite its location in the Delaware Valley, near the mountains and Philadelphia, Reading faces economic struggles and poverty. The median home value in Reading is just $69,400, which reflects the city’s financial challenges.
With a population of 18,411, Johnstown has a crime rate that is 68% higher than the Pennsylvania state average. The city’s total crime rate is 3,417 per 100,000 people, meaning residents have a 1 in 30 chance of falling victim to any crime. The city experiences around 251 violent crimes and 558 property crimes yearly. The median household income in Johnstown is only $24,075, which is 56% lower than the national average.
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