Most Dangerous Cities in Pennsylvania

List of the Top 10 Most Dangerous Cities in Pennsylvania (2023)

As one of the states with a high crime rate, Pennsylvania often finds itself among the top 15 in this category. Despite its abundance of attractions like cities, culture, and mountains, there are certain areas in Pennsylvania that are not as desirable due to safety concerns. It may come as a surprise that many of the most violent towns in the state are not located near Philadelphia. Therefore, in this article, we will list the top 10 most dangerous cities in Pennsylvania for 2023.

Most Dangerous Cities in Pennsylvania

McKees Rocks

McKees Rocks, popularly known as “The Rocks,” is a borough in Allegheny County and is considered the most dangerous place to reside in Pennsylvania. Despite having a small population of 5,920, McKees Rocks has a high crime rate of 6,409 per 100,000, making it 173% more hazardous than the national average. Shockingly, the city witnessed 106 violent crimes and 262 incidents of property crime in 2022, which is an alarming figure given its small population.


Darby, located in Pennsylvania, has gained notoriety for its high levels of violence, with 152 murders reported in 2021 alone. The city’s population of 10,667 makes this statistic even more alarming. Property crime rates in Darby are also exceptionally high, with a staggering 4,625 incidents per 100,000 people. As a result, residents face a 1 in 22 chance of being a victim of any crime. Adding to this bleak picture is the fact that Darby’s poverty rate is also sky-high, with residents earning an average income of less than $35,000 per year.


Chester, a city located just outside of Philadelphia in Delaware County, is notorious for being one of the most dangerous cities in Pennsylvania. With a population of 32,605 people, Chester has a long-standing history of high crime rates and political corruption, leading to its consistent appearance on lists of the worst cities in the United States. Shockingly, the crime rate in Chester is 116% higher than the PA state average, with 4,389 crimes per 100,000 people reported. In 2021, the median home price in Chester was recorded at a meagre $66,800, further emphasizing the dire state of the city.


Located in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, McKeesport is a city with a population of 17,727 that has been known for its high level of danger. The city’s total crime rate is 4,291 incidents per 100,000 people, making residents have a 1 in 24 chance of becoming victims of any crime. In 2021, the city reported 332 violent and 542 property crimes, making it a dangerous place to live. The city has been struggling with poverty and unemployment, with a median income of just $26,271 per household.


Yeadon, a town in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, carries a significant crime risk, with a rate of 4,083 per 100,000 people. This means that the residents of Yeadon have a 1 in 25 chance of falling prey to any criminal activity. The FBI statistics for 2021 reveal that there were 747 incidents of violent crimes and 3,336 property crimes per capita in the town. Despite the concerning crime rate, the median home price in Yeadon is $138,000, and the average household income is $48,420.


Ambridge is situated in Beaver County, Western Pennsylvania, with a population of 6,972. Unfortunately, the total crime rate in Ambridge stands at 4,057 incidents per 100,000 people, making it 73% higher than the US average. The city has a high rate of violent crime, with residents having a 1 in 39 chance of becoming a victim. Despite this, Ambridge has a median income of $33,758 and a median home price of $66,200.


Despite its size, Philadelphia may not rank high on the list of cities with high crime rates compared to its population. However, this doesn’t mean that the city is completely 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. This means that residents have a 1 in 25 chance of becoming a victim of any crime. As with many other large cities, certain areas within Philadelphia see higher crime rates, particularly in North and West Philadelphia, considered the most violent areas.


Located in Montgomery County, Pottstown has a population of 23,433. Unfortunately, the crime rate in Pottstown is 88% higher than the state average, with 3,823 incidents per 100,000 residents. This means there is a 1 in 27 chance of becoming a victim of any crime. In 2021, 183 violent crimes and 740 property crimes were recorded, which is relatively high for a town of this size.


The city of Reading, situated in Berks County, has a population of 95,112. Unfortunately, residents of Reading have a higher chance of becoming a victim of any crime, with a ratio of 1 in 28, and the total crime rate is 81% higher than the state average. In the year 2022, there were 690 violent crimes and 2,742 property crimes reported in the city. Despite being located in the Delaware Valley, near the mountains and Philadelphia, the city struggles with a poor economy and poverty. The median home value in Reading is just $69,400.


With a population of 18,411, Johnstown has a high crime rate of 68% above the Pennsylvania state average. The city’s total crime rate is 3,417 per 100,000 people, and residents have a 1 in 30 chance of falling victim to any crime. Annually, the city records an average of 251 violent crimes and 558 property crimes. Shockingly, the median household income in the city is only $24,075, which is 56% lower than the national average.


Despite being a famous state to live in or visit, Pennsylvania still grapples with major issues such as manufacturing job losses, urban poverty, and high crime rates. Unfortunately, these ten cities are not exempt from these problems. In particular, the areas surrounding Philadelphia are notorious for their violent crimes, which is a significant concern for residents and visitors alike. However, despite these challenges, it’s hard to deny that Pennsylvania has much to offer its residents and visitors.

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