Most Dangerous Cities in Virginia

List Of Top 9 Most Dangerous Cities in Virginia With Highest Crime Rate(2023)

Virginia is a state that attracts many due to its prime location near D.C., the beach, and the mountains. However, it is important to note that while Virginia has much to offer, certain areas have higher rates of violent crime and property crime. If you are thinking about relocating to Virginia, it is essential to be aware of the worst places to live in Virginia to avoid any mishaps. Hence, we have curated a list of such areas to help you make an informed decision.

9 Most Dangerous Cities in Virginia


Portsmouth, located across the Elizabeth River from Norfolk, is considered the most dangerous city in Virginia. With a population of 97,915, it has a significantly high rate of violent crimes. The crime rate in Portsmouth is 228% higher than the Virginia State average, giving residents a 1 in 19 chance of becoming a victim of any crime. Shockingly, in 2022 alone, a total of 4,429 crimes were reported, including 36 murders, 138 robberies, 529 assaults, and 3,007 incidents of theft. These alarming figures call for immediate action to ensure the safety of the city’s inhabitants.


Emporia, a city located in Greensville County with a population of 5,766, is considered one of Virginia’s worst cities due to its high crime rates. With a total crime rate of 4,203 per 100,000, which is 61% higher than the U.S. average, it is evident that the city is struggling with crime-related issues. In 2022, the city witnessed 166 crimes, out of which 22 were violent crimes, and 144 were property crimes. Common crimes reported in Emporia include assault, burglary, and theft.


Galax, situated in the southwestern region of Virginia near the Appalachian Foothills, is notorious for its high crime rate. Despite having a population of only 6,720 people, the crime rate in this town is alarmingly high, standing at 3,768 per 100,000. This means that residents of Galax have a 1 in 27 chance of being a victim of a crime. In 2022, there were no reported murders, but the town recorded nine assaults, 25 burglaries, 187 thefts, and 22 motor vehicle thefts. All these incidents highlight this small town’s disproportionately high level of danger.

South Boston

South Boston, situated in Halifax County, is home to 7,588 residents. Unfortunately, the town has been plagued by economic struggles, leading to high poverty rates and a steady decline in population over the past twenty years. Additionally, the crime rate in South Boston is concerning, with a current rate of 3,587 crimes per 100,000 people. This means the likelihood of falling victim to a crime in the town is 1 in 28.


Norfolk, Virginia, is known as one of the most dangerous cities. The city is famous for housing the world’s most significant naval base, the Naval Station Norfolk. The overall crime rate in Norfolk is 3,354 per 100,000 individuals, 43% higher than the national average. Besides the naval base, Norfolk has alarming rates of violent and property crimes. Over the past year, there have been 9,850 reported crimes, including 63 murders and 1,364 cases of assault.


Richmond, Virginia, is not only the capital of the state but also one of its most dangerous cities. With a population of 204,214, Richmond has a high crime rate of 3,270 per 100,000, which is 39% higher than the national average. In 2022 alone, the city recorded 7,703 property and violent crimes, including 90 murders, 267 robberies, 534 assaults, and 711 burglaries.


Fredericksburg is a charming town steeped in history, but unfortunately, it has also gained notoriety as one of the most unsafe places to live in Virginia. With a total crime rate of 3,129 per 100,000, the chances of being a victim of crime are high, with a 1 in 33 possibility for residents. Shockingly, the town experienced 947 crimes in 2022 alone, including 153 violent offences and 794 property crimes.


Danville is a city that boasts a rich history of the Civil War, and its population is around 42,590. Unfortunately, the total crime rate in Danville is higher than the national average, with 3,118 crimes per 100,000 people. In 2022, 1,406 crimes were reported in the city, including 6 murders, 30 robberies, and 107 assaults. Among these, property crimes are the most common, with burglaries being the most prevalent.


Petersburg is a city with a rich history and a population of 33,458. Unfortunately, the city’s total crime rate is 37% higher than the U.S. average, meaning residents have a 1 in 34 chance of becoming victims of any crime. According to reports from 2022, there were a total of 978 crimes committed in the city, including 18 murders, 20 robberies, 191 assaults, 71 burglaries, and 81 motor vehicle thefts. Despite the city’s affordability, with a median home price of just $111,300, residents should be aware of the crime and take necessary precautions to ensure their safety.

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