Most Dangerous Cities in Virginia

Virginia is a state that attracts many people thanks to its convenient location near D.C., picturesque beaches, and majestic mountains. However, it is essential to note that some areas in Virginia suffer from disproportionately high rates of violent and property crimes. If you are planning to move to Virginia, it is crucial to avoid these areas. To help you make an informed decision, we have compiled a list of Virginia’s worst places to live.

10 Most Dangerous Cities in Virginia – A Closer Look

1. Portsmouth

Portsmouth is considered the most dangerous city in Virginia due to its alarmingly high violent crime rate. With a population of almost 100,000, it is situated across the Elizabeth River from Norfolk. Shockingly, the crime rate in Portsmouth is 228% higher than the state average, making residents have a 1 in 19 chance of becoming victims of any crime type. According to the latest statistics from 2022, there were a total of 4,429 crimes reported in Portsmouth, including 36 murders, 138 robberies, 529 assaults, and 3,007 theft incidents.

2. Emporia

Located in Greensville County, Emporia is known for its high crime rates, making it one of the worst cities in Virginia. With a population of 5,766, the total crime rate in Emporia is 4,203 per 100,000, which is 61% higher than the national average. In 2022 alone, there were 166 recorded crimes, with 22 being violent and 144 property crimes. The most prevalent types of crime in Emporia are assault, burglary, and theft.

3. Galax

Galax, a town in the southwestern region of Virginia near the Appalachian Foothills, is considered dangerous due to its high crime rate. The town has a population of 6,720 individuals and a crime rate of 3,768 per 100,000, making it a place where residents face a 1 in 27 chance of becoming victims of any crime. In 2022, Galax witnessed nine assaults, 25 burglaries, 187 thefts, and 22 motor vehicle thefts, with no reported cases of murder. Given its small population, Galax’s crime rate is significantly higher than other towns, making it disproportionately dangerous for its residents.

4. South Boston

Located in Halifax County, South Boston has a population of 7,588. Unfortunately, the city has been struggling with a poor economy and poverty, resulting in a decline in population over the last two decades. Additionally, the total crime rate in South Boston is 3,587 crimes per 100,000 people, indicating that the likelihood of becoming a victim of any crime is 1 in 28.

5. Norfolk

Norfolk, Virginia, is known for being one of the most difficult cities. The city is globally recognized for housing the most extensive naval base, Naval Station Norfolk. However, the city’s crime rate is alarming, with 3,354 crimes per 100,000, 43% more than the national average. Apart from the naval base, the city is plagued with high rates of violent and property crimes. In the last year, 9,850 crimes were reported, including 63 murders and 1,364 cases of assault.

6. Richmond

With a population of 204,214, Richmond, Virginia, is known for its high crime rate of 3,270 per 100,000 people, which is 39% above the national average. As one of the most violent cities in Virginia, Richmond witnessed a total of 7,703 property and violent crimes in 2022 alone. This number includes 90 murders, 267 robberies, 534 assaults, and 711 burglaries.

7. Fredericksburg

Unfortunately, Unfortunately, Fredericksburg, a town with a rich history and the location of the Civil War Battle of Fredericksburg is one of the most dangerous places to reside in Virginia. With a crime rate of 3,129 per 100,000 individuals, residents have a 1 in 33 chance of becoming a victim of any crime. In 2022, Fredericksburg experienced 947 crimes, comprising 153 violent and 794 property crimes.

8. Danville

Danville, a city steeped in Civil War history, has a population of 42,590. The total crime rate in the city stands at 3,118 per 100,000 people, which is 37% higher than the national average. In 2022, 1,406 crimes were reported, including six murders, 30 robberies, and 107 assaults. Property crime is The most prevalent type in Danville, with burglaries being prevalent.

9. Petersburg 

Petersburg, a city with a population of 33,458, has a rich historical background. However, the total crime rate in the city is 37% higher than the U.S. average, posing a threat to its residents, who have a 1 in 34 chance of becoming victims of any crime. Shockingly, in 2022, were 978 crimes reported, including 18 murders, 20 robberies, 191 assaults, 71 burglaries, and 81 motor vehicle thefts. Despite this, the median home price in Petersburg is only $111,300, making it an affordable option for those seeking homeownership.

10. Newport News

When it comes to crime, Newport News is among the worst cities in Virginia. Despite being the fifth most populous city in the state, with a population of 186,247, it is 30% more dangerous than the Virginia average, with a crime rate of 2,665 per 100,000. In 2022 alone, the city witnessed 29 murders, 130 robberies, and 955 assaults. Unfortunately, property crime is also prevalent in Newport News, occurring nearly triple the violent crime rate. Despite being home to many well-known companies and employers, Newport News is not a desirable city to call home due to its high crime rates.

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