Pennsylvania is the 11th safest state in the country, but it contains many dangerous cities. Philadelphia may be the most well-known city in PA, but it is far from the most dangerous. Many of the dangerous cities in Pennsylvania are small, sparsely populated, and unassuming.
The violent crime rate in Pennsylvania is 3.1 per 1,000 residents. However, the national violent crime rate is 3.7%. Don’t be fooled, however, there are many cities within Pennsylvania that boast much more alarming crime numbers.
Follow along as we explore the dangerous cities of Pennsylvania. Take notice of what these cities have in common and how crime trends vary based on population.
There may be some surprises, but it is important to know which cities are safe to visit in Pennsylvania.
Table of Contents
- 1. McKees Rocks
- 2. Uniontown
- 3. Chester
- 4. Darby
- 5. Pottstown
- 6. Yeadon
- 7. Johnstown
- 8. Duquesne
- 9. Ambridge
- 10. Philadelphia
- Related Questions
- Summing It Up
1. McKees Rocks
- Violent Crime Rate Per 1K: 17.16
- Property Crime Rate Per 1K: 47.75
- Annual Crimes: 382
- Population: 5,885
McKees Rocks is a small city in Pennsylvania, and its population faces a lot of crime. The city is smaller than most other cities on this list, but the crime rate per capita is disturbing. There are 65 crimes for every 1,000 McKees Rocks residents.
The city only spans 1.12 sq. miles and has 341 crimes per sq. mile. Property crime occurs more often in McKees Rocks, but violent crime still happens. There are 101 annual violent crimes and 281 property crimes in McKees Rocks.
Residents of McKees Rocks should be wary of violent crime. In McKees Rocks, residents risk a 1 in 58 chance of having a violent crime commit against them. McKees Rocks natives also face a 1 in 21 chance of property crime, so lock your doors.
- Violent Crime Rate Per 1K: 13.83
- Property Crime Rate Per 1K: 46.37
- Annual Crimes: 592
- Population: 9,835
Theft and burglary are common property crimes in Uniontown, PA. The property crime rate trumps the violent crime rate in Uniontown by more than triple. Uniontown experiences 456 annual property crimes, and 136 violent crimes.
Install an alarm system if you live in Uniontown. You risk a 1 out of 22 chance of experiencing a property crime such as theft or burglary. There is no rhyme or reason as far as where is safe and where is not in Uniontown.
In total, Uniontown only covers 2.05 sq. miles. Uniontown boasts 290 crimes per sq. mile, so keep your eyes peeled wherever you go.
- Violent Crime Rate Per 1K: 14.04
- Property Crime Rate Per 1K: 34.12
- Annual Crimes: 1,633
- Population: 33,909
Chester is a large city with a high volume of property crime reports. The city has the 8th highest number of property crimes in Pennsylvania. Crime is rising in Chester, and the majority of the reports are for theft.
Chester residents have reported 630 cases of theft this year. The theft rate combined with the alarming 352 reported burglaries drives the property crime ranking.
Some of the most dangerous areas in Chester are City Center, Upland Street, and Central Ave. There are 48 crimes for every 1,000 Chester natives. Consider safe areas like Morton Ave or Butler Street if you look for a house in Chester.
- Violent Crime Rate Per 1K: 14.05
- Property Crime Rate Per 1K: 32.59
- Annual Crimes: 498
- Population: 10,678
Darby takes the dishonor of being the most violent city in Pennsylvania. There are 150 reported violent crimes this year, and 95 of them were assaults.
The poverty rate in Darby is 28.2% and is related to the crime rate. Burglary, theft, and vehicle theft make up 348 of this year’s crimes in Darby. Darby residents risk a 1 out of 31 chance of a property crime commit against them.
Sadly, Darby residents also face the reality of a 1 in 71 chance of experiencing violent crime. Avoid areas in Darby like Borough Center if you are alone or it is dark out.
- Violent Crime Rate Per 1K: 8.65
- Property Crime Rate Per 1K: 33.22
- Annual Crimes: 949
- Population: 22,667
For every 1,000 Pottstown residents, there are 42 crimes reported. Pottstown is only a 50-minute drive northwest of Philadelphia. Property crime is the most common type of crime reported in Pottstown.
Of the 949 annual crimes in Pottstown, 753 of them are property crimes. The most common property crime in Pottstown is theft. So far this year, there are 606 theft reports in Pottstown.
In Pottstown, 22% of all residents live below the poverty line.
- Violent Crime Rate Per 1K: 7.58
- Property Crime Rate Per 1K: 33.65
- Annual Crimes: 473
- Population: 11,471
Just like Pottstown and Darby, property crime is the main issue in Yeadon. Yeadon has the 9th highest number of property crimes in the entire state. Residents of Yeadon have reported 290 thefts and 45 burglaries this year.
Yeadon is a small city and spans 1.59 sq. miles. There are 297 crimes per sq. mile in Yeadon. You face a 1 out of 30 chance of property crime in Yeadon.
Violent crime is less common than property crime in Yeadon. Only 87 of the 473 annual crimes are considered violent crimes in the city.
- Violent Crime Rate Per 1K: 12.34
- Property Crime Rate Per 1K: 33.01
- Annual Crimes: 882
- Population: 19,447
Johnstown is not as known as Philadelphia, but it was once a bustling city. Now, Johnstown boasts 19,447 residents and 882 annual crimes. One out of every 81 Johnstown residents experience violent crime.
There were 177 assaults in Johnstown this year. Robbery and rape are also big factors in the violent crime rate with 32 and 26 reports, respectively.
Johnstown residents also risk burglary and home invasion with 191 annual reports. In Johnstown, 1 out of every 30 residents has a property crime commit against them. Steer clear of dangerous neighborhoods in Johnstown such as Oakhurst.
- Violent Crime Rate Per 1K: 10.45
- Property Crime Rate Per 1K: 29.56
- Annual Crimes: 222
- Population: 5,548
Crime dropped in Duquesne over the last few years, but it is still dangerous. The crime in Duquesne is driven by the 36.3% poverty rate. Duquesne only spans 2 sq. miles, but it packs 109 crimes into each one.
Residents of Duquesne may be 1 out of 34 to be a victim of theft or burglary. There are 17 thefts per 1,000 Duquesne natives. Violent crime makes up 58 of the 222 crimes in Duquesne this year.
Streets like Kennedy Ave are mostly safe but travel with groups if you are in the central city. Recently, there was a massive drug bust on Williams Street, another bad spot.
- Violent Crime Rate Per 1K: 13.39
- Property Crime Rate Per 1K: 27.37
- Annual Crimes: 271
- Population: 6,649
For every 1,000 Cambridge residents, 41 will be the victim of a crime. Ambridge is a small city with high crime relative to its population. For every 75 Ambridge residents, 1 of them is the victim of a violent crime.
There have been 79 assaults in Ambridge so far this year. You are more likely to be robbed than assaulted in Ambridge, however. Ambridge residents reported 139 thefts and 26 burglaries this year.
Compared to other dangerous cities, the poverty rate in Ambridge is low at 14.29%.
- Violent Crime Rate Per 1K: 9.12
- Property Crime Rate Per 1K: 31.03
- Annual Crimes: 63,597
- Population: 1,548,138
Philadelphia is known as the city of brotherly love. If you look at the volume of crime in Philadelphia, you may assume it belongs higher on this list. However, there are over 1,000,000 Philadelphia residents, so the crime rate is not as severe as you may think.
Philadelphia is not free of crime, however, and 40 out of 1,000 residents experience it. Property crimes far surpass violent crimes in Philly. One out of 32 Philadelphia residents have a property crime commit against them.
Violent crime is less common and affects 1 in 110 Philadelphia natives. There are 446 crimes per sq. mile in Philadelphia. In 2020, Philadelphia has the 2nd highest murder rate amongst America’s biggest cities.
|1. McKees Rocks||10.37 Per 1K||0.85 Per 1K||4.59 Per 1K||35.17 Per 1K||2.38 Per 1K||10.2 Per 1K|
|2. Uniontown||2.47 Per 1K||0.1 Per 1K||2.24 Per 1K||37.62 Per 1K||1.42 Per 1K||7.32 Per 1K|
|3. Chester||8.49 Per 1K||0.53 Per 1K||4.69 Per 1K||18.58 Per 1K||5.16 Per 1K||10.38 Per 1K|
|4. Darby||8.90 Per 1K||0.09 Per 1K||3.47 Per 1K||23.69 Per 1K||4.59 Per 1K||4.31 Per 1K|
|5. Pottstown||5.43 Per 1K||0.09 Per 1K||1.59 Per 1K||26.73 Per 1K||1.5 Per 1K||4.99 Per 1K|
|6. Yeadon||5.75 Per 1K||0.09 Per 1K||1.31 Per 1K||25.28 Per 1K||4.45 Per 1K||3.92 Per 1K|
|7. Johnstown||9.1 Per 1K||0.26 Per 1K||1.65 Per 1K||21.85 Per 1K||1.34 Per 1K||9.82 Per 1K|
|8. Duquesne||5.77 Per 1K||0.54 Per 1K||3.6 Per 1K||17.3 Per 1K||3.6 Per 1K||8.65 Per 1K|
|9. Ambridge||11.88 Per 1K||0.3 Per 1K||1.05 Per 1K||20.91 Per 1K||2.56 Per 1K||3.91 Per 1K|
|10. Philadelphia||4.88 Per 1K||0.22 Per 1K||3.32 Per 1K||23.34 Per 1K||3.59 Per 1K||4.1 Per 1K|
Is Pennsylvania a safe place to live in?
Pennsylvania is a safe place to live. The violent crime rate is the 21st lowest in U.S. Property crime is even less widespread, and Pennsylvania has the 8th lowest reports in the country.
What is the safest city in Pennsylvania?
Cornwall is considered one of the safest cities in Pennsylvania. Crime in Cornwall is 98% below the national average. In fact, Cornwall is considered safer than 94% of the rest of the cities in the country.
Is it expensive to live in Pennsylvania?
It costs 10% less to live in Pennsylvania than the average rent in America. Munhall is one of the cheapest places to live in Pennsylvania.
Summing It Up
McKees Rocks and Uniontown are the two most dangerous cities in PA. Property is the biggest problem in any one of the most dangerous cities in Pennsylvania.
For most of the dangerous cities in PA, the central part of the city is the hotspot for crime. Pay attention to crime maps if you travel to any of the above dangerous cities. Stay safe and don’t be discouraged from visiting these cities, just use caution.
See Our Other Articles About The Most Dangerous Cities
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