The 15 Most Dangerous Cities In Arizona: 2022's Ultimate List
The American Southwest is known for many things—Native American reservations, hot weather, and absolutely breathtaking views of the local scenery. That’s why so many people tend to come here as tourists. This is especially true of Arizona, where celebrities tend to go when they want to kick back at a luxury spa or resort. It’s easy to love AZ.
Based on FBI statistics, Tolleson, Globe, Holbrook, Winslow, and Page are the most dangerous cities in Arizona. These cities rank highest consistently on a per capita basis in both violent and property crimes, with between 129 – 347% higher crime occurrences than all of Arizona. Other areas you should avoid include Tucson, Tempe, Kingman, Phoenix, and Show Low.
Unfortunately, many parts of Arizona aren’t as upscale as Paradise Valley. Arizona is one of those states where you see either really good or terrible areas. It almost feels as if there is no in-between at times.
Is Arizona Dangerous?
The FBI recently ranked Arizona as a relatively safe state, with violent crime rates below the national average. Even though it’s designated as a safe-ish state, studies still show Arizona to be the 17th most dangerous state in the US. So while it’s not the best at safety, it’s not the worst.
Locals agree that most of the violence that occurs in Arizona tends to be centered close to the Mexico border. The bigger issue for most communities deals with the opioid crisis. Arizona has a high incidence of heroin use, which has caused spikes in crime and overdose deaths.
What Are The Most Dangerous Cities In Arizona?
Trying to quantify danger and problematic behavior can be difficult, which is why we have to rely on the statistics that are reported by police.
To find out which cities were the worst places to be, we decided to take a look at the hard, FBI-sourced crime statistics on Areavibes to make our decision. Here’s what we found out…
- Population: 6,985
- Violent Crime: 1,205
- Property Crime: 12,169
- Total Reported Crime: 13,374
With its particularly noticeable desert charm, it’s hard to ignore how much of a Southwestern vibe Tolleson has. This small town might be pretty, but it’s not safe by any means of the word. 1 in every 11 residents has been a victim of a property crime within the city limits.
While violent crime is “only” 119 percent above the national average, property crime is currently around 318 percent above the norm. Grand larceny is one of the most common issues reported, but arson, vehicle theft, and burglaries all happen to have above-average rates here.
In 2020, there were a total of 13,374 reported crimes. These crimes included everything from murder and rape to property-based incidents.
According to FBI statistics, there were 1,205 incidents of violent crimes and 12,169 property crimes. With a population of 6,985, these numbers guarantee a good chance of becoming a victim of either type of crime.
Most people in Tolleson already have home security devices on their houses, and they also tend to avoid walking around late at night. Who can blame them?
- Population: 7,369
- Violent Crime: 1,910
- Property Crime: 6,400
- Total Reported Crime: 8,311
At one point, Globe was a mining town that was renowned for safety. Sadly, when mining work dried up, things started to look pretty bad for this city. It only got worse as the decades marched on, leaving this place a complete mess when it comes to both crime and poverty rates.
The adjusted total crime rate is 269 percent higher than the national average, with violent crime being 463 percent above the norm. If you look at the statistical adjustments, Globe actually leads Arizona when it comes to murder and assault. Not a good look!
According to FBI statistics, there have been a total of 8,311 reported crimes for Globe. These crimes included murder, rape, assault, grand theft auto, and other property incidents.
However, the amount of property crime far surpassed violent crime. In 2020, there were 1,910 violent crimes and 6,400 property crimes reported per capita.
If you decide to move here, you need to know that this area gives you a 1 in 11 chance of being a victim of crime. Worried about being attacked? You should be. You have a 1 in 47 chance of being a violent crime victim here, too.
- Population: 5,011
- Violent Crime: 765
- Property Crime: 6,355
- Total Reported Crime: 7,120
In Holbrook, there were 117 burglaries recorded last year. It doesn’t appear to be a large number at first look, but when you consider that the town only has 5,011 residents, it becomes a bigger issue.
The town draws millions of people each year as the entrance to the Petrified Forest National Park. Visitors who know what’s good for them will keep an eye out: the town that prides itself on its roadside Americana appeal has horrible crime rates.
In 2020 there were a total of 7,120 reported crimes. These included everything from murder and rape to car theft and burglary. Of this total, there were 765 violent crimes, and 6,355 property crimes reported per capita.
- Population: 9,539
- Violent Crime: 1,151
- Property Crime: 3,710
- Total Reported Crime: 4,861
Winslow is one of the most adorable towns on this list, and it regularly becomes a tourist hotspot thanks to its Old West charm. While it may be a great place to visit, this city off Route 66 still has a rampant crime problem that’s only starting to decrease.
Violent crime is a full 133 percent higher here than the national average. Assault rates are almost double the state average, and if you’re comparing it to the national average, it’s around 2.5 times the rate. For a town this size, it also has a notably high murder rate. So, maybe walking around at night isn’t a good idea.
While most violent crimes are well above the average, crimes related to theft aren’t as high as you’d expect. It’s a mixed bag here. If you stick to tourist-friendly areas, you should be alright.
FBI statistics show that there were a total of 4,861 crimes for Winslow reported in the 2020 calendar year. These crimes included everything from murder to auto theft.
Of the total, there were 1,151 violent crimes and 3,710 property crimes. While these numbers may seem insignificant, when comparing them to a population of 9,539, the crime rate is pretty extreme.
- Population: 7,532
- Violent Crime: 1,285
- Property Crime: 3,538
- Total Reported Crime: 4,824
Among Arizona’s tourism industry, Page is known for being home to a wide range of breathtaking natural wonders. With many nearby national parks, it’s considered to be a haven for all things related to nature. Unfortunately, it’s a fairly rough town to live in.
A 1 in 95 chance of being violently attacked in the street places this in the top three most dangerous cities in Arizona. There is a silver lining, though. Despite Page still having a crime rate that’s fairly high up there, the city has been experiencing a rapid decline in crime across the board.
Year by year crime has decreased by a whopping 8 percent. Locals have been crediting the law enforcement’s strong response rate as well as an increase in school outreach. Even so, violent crimes are still 174 percent higher here.
In total there have been 4,824 reported crimes in Page, which has a population of 7,532. These crimes include both violent and property crimes alike. In the 2020 calendar year, there were 1,285 violent crimes, and 3,538 property crimes reported per capita.
- Population: 527,586
- Violent Crime: 3,843
- Property Crime: 19,931
- Total Reported Crime: 23,774
At this point in our list, we begin to see crime rates that are above twice the national average. Tucson, for example, has a total crime rate that is 121 percent higher than average.
The violent crime rate is a full 94 percent above the norm, making your chances of getting hit almost double. This even takes the high population of this city into account.
People who live in Tucson have a 1 in 18 chance of being a victim of crime. While year by year crime has declined by as much as 6 percent, most people agree that this city has a long way to go before people will be willing to call it safe. Ask any police officer in the area, and they’ll tell you their job is never done.
According to FBI statistics, there were a total of 23,774 reported crimes for the Tucson area in the 2020 calendar year. These included both violent and property crimes.
Of the total crime tally, there were 3,843 violent crimes and 19,931 property crimes reported per capita. This is among a city with a population of 527,586.
- Population: 174,708
- Violent Crime: 1,100
- Property Crime: 7,124
- Total Reported Crime: 8,224
Tempe has been fighting multiple battles on the crime front. In recent years, the city was able to witness a marked decrease in property crime. Unfortunately, gang activity has gone through the roof in recent years. This led it to be number six on our list, and also led to many complaints from locals.
Much like other cities on our list so far, assaults are actually below the national average in Tempe. However, rape and robbery have a notably higher score. If you’re female and decide to check out Tempe’s nightlife scene, you need to keep a close eye on your drink and avoid walking alone at night.
There have been a total of 8,224 crimes reported in Tempe in the 2020 calendar year, according to FBI statistics. These crimes included both violent and property crimes alike.
Of the 8,224 total, there were 1,100 violent crimes and 7,124 property crimes. Comparing this to a population of 174,08, you’ll see that the crime rate is still on the high end, although not as bad as previous Arizona cities mentioned.
- Population: 28,586
- Violent Crime: 396
- Property Crime: 3,528
- Total Reported Crime: 3,923
Some of the most dangerous place in Arizona aren’t exactly dangerous per se, but are just small and have active crime rates. Even so, property crime seems to be a major problem here, with theft being reported at a rate that is 77 percent above the national average.
Less than 15 percent of Kingman’s population is educated with a Bachelor’s degree or higher. So school systems might have something to do with the terrible outcome. However, year by year crime has decreased by a very admirable 21 percent.
In Kingman, there have been a total of 3,923 crimes reported for the 2020 calendar year. These crimes include murder, assault, rape, car theft, burglary, and other property-based incidents.
Furthermore, property crime outnumbers violent crime by quite a bit. There were 396 violent crimes and 3,528 property crimes. This all occurred within a population of 28,586.
- Population: 1,555,324
- Violent Crime: 13,646
- Property Crime: 51,089
- Total Reported Crime: 64,735
Phoenix is the largest city in Arizona, and also happens to have one of the highest crime rates by the actual numbers reported in city limits. Unlike most major cities in the United States, Phoenix’s issue is not property crime, but violent crime. It’s around double the national average!
Though this place has plenty of safe neighborhoods that you can choose from, the truth is that it has a seriously gritty side to it. An above-average rape rate and assault rate have made Phoenix stand out as a particularly dangerous place for women.
According to FBI statistics, there have been a total of 64,735 reported crimes. Compared to a city with 1,555,324, it may at first seem like it’s not a big deal, but that’s a lot of crime!
In the 2020 calendar year, there were 13,646 violent crimes and 51,089 property crimes. These included everything from murder and rape, to vehicle and property theft.
10. Show Low
- Population: 10,875
- Violent Crime: 651
- Property Crime: 2,715
- Total Reported Crime: 3,366
Show Low is one of the Arizona’s more bizarre towns, just because of the odd name. This town is a paradox. On one hand, violent crime has risen by 35 percent year by year. This means you have a 1 in 85 chance of being victimized within city limits—the third-worst in the state. On the other hand, property crime isn’t as high as you’d expect it to be.
Despite all this, the general crime rate in this town isn’t as bad as it could be. When it comes to the general outlook on this town, many people blame the bad school systems for the spike in crime. However, the full scope of the matter has yet to be revealed.
According to FBI statistics, there were a total of 3,366 reported crimes for the 2020 calendar year. There were 651 violent crimes, and 2,715 crimes per capita reported. This included everything from murder to property theft.
Photo Credit: ABC15 Arizona
- Population: 12,073
- Violent Crime: 603
- Property Crime: 2,651
- Total Reported Crime: 3,254
The city of Coolidge has a pretty high crime rate that even by Arizona’s standards, is a horrible statistic. And by US norms, it’s even worse. It is also prone to haboobs and sudden flooding due to its climate. On the plus side, Nikola Motor Company’s decision to build a 389-acre factory here may soon boost the local economy.
But regardless, the total reported crimes for Coolidge during the 2020 calendar year equated to 3,254. These crimes included everything from murder to car theft.
Of the 3,254 total crimes reported, there were 603 violent crimes and 2,651 property crimes. Remember that this is among a population of 12,073, so while the numbers are low, the crime rate is higher for this area.
- Population: 239,943
- Violent Crime: 1,123
- Property Crime: 6,956
- Total Reported Crime: 8,079
Glendale, for the most part, isn’t a bad place to live. In fact, most people find the amenities to be fairly great. However, the school systems are not that good and the crime rate has skyrocketed. This, in turn, has made the city struggle with its image among locals. The total crime rate is 76 percent above the national average. Yikes.
The big standout crime here is armed robbery, which is around 50 percent above the average in Arizona. You have a 1 in 23 chance of becoming a victim of crime within city limits, with a 1 in 215 chance of being a victim of violent crime. The biggest issue here, aside from theft, is burglary.
Lately, Glendale’s burglary issue has gotten worse. As a result, many Arizonians who normally feel confident in their neighborhood’s safety decided to get home security safety and firearms to protect their home.
Overall, there have been a total of 8,079 reported crimes in 2020 for Glendale. This is among a population of 239,943. Of this total, there were 6,956 property crimes and 1,123 violent crimes reported per capita.
13. Avra Valley
- Population: 5,606
- Violent Crime: 522
- Property Crime: 2,400
- Total Reported Crime: 2,923
Avra Valley is not a good place to visit if you’re a lady. While the city may be adequate for males, it is a whole different scenario for women. According to zippia.com, 21.5 percent of the women in the area are poor.
Women hold only 24.1 percent of management positions, and women earn only 63 cents for every dollar earned by men. It’s no surprise that it’s been dubbed Arizona’s worst city for women in 2020.
As far as crime goes, there was a total of 2,923 reported crimes in 2020. This was reported within a population of 5,606, deeming it a high crime rate. Also, this accounts for murders, assaults, rapes, and property-based crimes.
There were more property crimes than violent crimes in the 2020 calendar year. Of the total, there were 522 violent crimes and 2,400 property crimes.
- Population: 5,643
- Violent Crime: 636
- Property Crime: 1,117
- Total Reported Crime: 1,753
Snowflake may be little, but it has a catchy name. There’s a chance it’ll have some breathtaking sights. However, it also has one of Arizona’s highest crime rates. You have a 1 in 23.2 risk of being a victim of a property crime in this area.
The bad news continues on coming: typical households earn only $44,363 per year, while property values are among the lowest in the state.
The total number of crimes reported in the area in 2020 was 1,753. In a population of 5,643, this is a pretty significant amount. These crimes included everything from murder to property theft. Of the 1,753 reported crimes, there were 636 violent crimes, and 1,117 property crimes reported per capita.
- Population: 7,252
- Violent Crime: 216
- Property Crime: 1,132
- Total Reported Crime: 1,348
Most Guadalupe households are trying to make ends meet on a modest $32,298 income. To be fair, that figure is up 13.4% from this time last year, but given that it’s still nearly $20,000 behind the national average, we doubt the city’s citizens will be breaking out the balloons and party hats just yet.
The state’s unemployment rate is the fifth-highest, while the crime rate is one of the highest in the country: if you reside here, your chances of becoming a victim of a violent crime are 50 percent higher than in most other places.
In the 2020 calendar year, there were 1,348 total crimes reported. Of this total, there were 216 violent crimes and 1,132 property crimes. This included everything from murder to property theft.
What Do You Need To Do To Stay Safe In Arizona?
For the most part, you won’t have to do much in order to keep yourself safe in this state. It’s still, for the most part, a safe place to be. Crime rates in America are, as a whole, decreasing. However, if you still feel the need to keep yourself safe, then you should consider doing the following:
- Consider sticking to good cities or good neighborhoods. The easiest way to stop yourself from being a crime victim is to avoid places with crime. By avoiding “bad cities,” you’ll be able to avoid having closer run-ins with the wrong crowd.
- If you’re moving to Arizona, get a home alarm system. We hear that ADP is a good one to try, but really, any home security system is a good one. Even if you get something as simple as a Ring recording doorbell, you’ll find yourself in a better position should anything happen to your home. However, make sure you maintain it correctly so it doesn’t keep ringing as this would defeat the purpose of the security aspect.
- Be aware of your surroundings. Keeping an eye out for dodgy characters, carrying your cellphone on you at all times, and knowing a little self-defense can make a huge difference in how you come out of certain situations.
- Don’t go to dangerous cities alone at night. Do you have a reason to be in a dangerous city alone at night? If you do, it’s best to make sure that you have at least one person with you. Many criminals seek out loners simply because they tend to be easier targets.
- Learn about the town before you go there. While it’s not something most people are willing to discuss, Arizona is still home to several “sundown towns” that have residents who are violent towards outsiders after sundown. Others are known for high rates of theft. By knowing the specific threats, you can better protect yourself.
Ossiana Tepfenhart is an expert writer, focusing on interior design and general home tips. Writing is her life, and it's what she does best. Her interests include art and real estate investments.
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