Living in Houston can be a wonderful experience, but choosing a safe neighbourhood to reside in is crucial. Although Houston is not necessarily an unsafe city, certain areas are known to be more dangerous than others. To ensure your safety and peace of mind, it’s advisable to familiarize yourself with Houston’s most violent neighbourhoods. Keep reading to learn more.
Is Houston a Dangerous Place to Live?
Although Houston is not considered a perilous city, its crime rates have increased in recent years. The city’s crime rate is currently 126% higher than the national average, putting it on par with other major cities across the country. Perhaps the most concerning trend is the increase in violent crime observed since 2020.
Although Houston is a relatively safe city, there are specific neighbourhoods that have higher crime rates than others. Based on crime statistics from 2021 and 2022, these areas are considered the worst in Houston.
Most Dangerous Neighborhoods in Houston
Sunnyside, located south of downtown Houston, has become infamous for its high crime rate, which has worsened in recent years. With a population of 17,751, it’s considered the most dangerous neighbourhood in Houston, with a crime rate of 91 per 1,000 people. Shockingly, this means that residents have a 1 in 11 chance of becoming a victim of a crime. Among the most prevalent violent crimes committed in Sunnyside are robberies and assaults, and while less frequent, incidents of murder also occur.
The MacGregor neighbourhood in southeast Houston’s Third Ward is considered one of the most hazardous regions in Houston. Despite being home to stunning old mansions and a prestigious research university, the MacGregor neighbourhood also comprises numerous low-income apartments, often associated with rampant violent crime and theft. The violent crime rate in this area is a staggering 76 incidents per 1,000 residents, leading to its classification as one of the most challenging locations in the United States.
In the 1950s, Frank Sharp developed Sharpstown as a family-friendly community with great amenities. Initially, the area flourished and became a hub for entertainment, with good schools and a safe environment. However, over the years, Sharpstown deteriorated, and it became known for its high crime rates.
Shockingly, over one-third of the population aged 25 and above in Sharpstown have not graduated from high school. The annual violent crime rate in Sharpstown is 34% higher than in Houston, with firearm-related violent crime being 65% higher than the Houston rate.
Greenpoint, also known as “Gunpoint” by the locals, is one of Houston’s most notorious neighbourhoods due to its high crime rates. Situated in the southeast of Houston, the police department has been tirelessly working to ensure law and order in the area. However, their efforts have not been entirely successful, as crime rates have continued to rise for over a decade. In the 1990s, the city converted some low-income apartments into higher-end family housing, which positively impacted the crime rate. Unfortunately, after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005, many evacuees settled in the Greenspoint area, increasing crime rates. The authorities are now focusing on cleaning up the apartment complexes and revitalizing the area, which has resulted in some improvements. While Greenspoint is still considered a dangerous area in Houston, there has been a notable reduction in crime. Auto thefts have decreased by 4%, robberies by 16%, sex assaults by 14%, and burglaries have remained flat.
Far North, situated along the i-45 highway towards the outskirts of Houston, is considered one of the city’s most dangerous areas. The region has a high crime rate, with limited economic opportunities for its residents. The median income in Far North is only $30,316, and the median home value is $72,540. Although the neighbourhood does have a notable retail and commercial presence, it fails to provide much-needed opportunities for growth. With a population of roughly 60,000, the area has a violent crime rate of 2,455 per 100,000 people.
The crime situation in Northeastern Houston is a matter of grave concern. The area has been experiencing high crime rates, 63% higher than the US national average. What’s even more alarming is that the violent crime rate in this region is 197% higher than in the rest of the country. These statistics are pretty unsettling and call for immediate attention.
If you live in Northeast Houston, you may have a roughly 1 in 25 chance of falling victim to criminal activities. Although the Brock Park Golf Club and other nearby attractions are available, the neighbourhood still struggles with high crime rates. The area is considered more dangerous than 90% of different communities in Texas.
Northwest Houston has been identified as one of the most unsafe areas in the city, with crime rates soaring to 48% above the national average. The rates of violent crimes are even more alarming, standing at a staggering 131% of the US average. The probability of residents becoming victims of violent crime in this region is 1 in 29, which is quite concerning.
Compared to other neighbourhoods in Texas, Northwest Houston is deemed more dangerous, with a rating higher than 86%.
The East End of Houston has a rich history that dates back to the 19th century. It’s safe to say that this neighbourhood greatly influenced Houston’s growth and development. Although it was once the city’s economy and politics epicentre, it has since lost its former glory. Presently, the crime rate in this area is 49% above the national average, and the violent crime rate is also 101% higher than the US national average.
Located in the southwestern part of the Houston metro area, Sugarland is known to be one of the most dangerous suburbs in Houston. It is essential to take extra precautions while in this area.
Sugarland, with a population of 126,502, has a median income of $42,634 and an unemployment rate of 6.8%. While the city boasts some fascinating attractions, such as the Houston Museum of Natural Sciences and Fort Bend Children’s Discovery Center, it’s not ideal for raising children due to the high rate of violent crimes at 1,228 per 100,000 people. However, it still makes for an excellent destination for a day trip.
Located southeast of central Houston and touching the bay, Pasadena is an attractive destination for tourists because of its water access and attractions such as the Bay Area Museum and Armand Bayou Nature Center. However, despite having an unemployment rate of only 5% and a median income of $64,381, Pasadena has a very high crime rate. The chances of becoming a victim of violent crime in this neighbourhood are 1 in 175. Crimes such as armed robbery, aggravated assault, rape, or murder are prevalent, with a rate of 6 per 1,000 inhabitants.
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