The Most Dangerous Neighborhoods In Seattle: 2022's Ultimate List

Ossiana Tepfenhart
by Ossiana Tepfenhart
Seattle is a great city full of history and fun destinations, but it has a strong element of danger as well. There are several neighborhoods that you should avoid, such as South Lake Union, Northgate, and Central District are dangerous. Whether it be Haller Lake or Sand Point, let’s take a look at the most dangerous neighborhoods in Seattle, WA.

Often considered to be one of the most gentrified cities in America, Seattle has a ton of attractions that make it hot real estate. It’s home to the original Starbucks coffee, has the Space Needle, an amazing arts life, as well as history galore. But, there are also downsides in the worst neighborhoods in Seattle — but how do you know which are the most dangerous neighborhoods in Seattle?

The most dangerous neighborhoods in Seattle include The Central District, Capitol Hill, Lower Queen Anne, and Haller Lake. Northgate, Atlantic, South Lake Union, First Hill, Belltown, and Sand Point also make the list of worst neighborhoods in Seattle. Steering clear of these areas will ensure that you are less likely to become a victim of a property or violent crime.

Going to the worst neighborhoods in Seattle isn’t a bright idea, even if you know people there. Curious about which neighborhoods have made the list of the worst this year? Hold onto your Starbucks! Here’s what statistics had to say about it.

Is Seattle Safe?

It’s true — on one side, at least among artists, living in Seattle is a status symbol—a sign that you’ve legitimately made it. However, there’s another side to Seattle that is far from illustrious.

In recent years, the city faced a dramatic increase in hard drug usage that caused crime rates to spike, leading to a striking divide between the rich and poor neighborhoods. In rich areas, you can get virtually any luxury you care for. In the bad neighborhoods? Well, it can get scary.

Seattle is one of those places that can be very dangerous or totally safe, depending on where you go. For the most part, this elegant and trendy city is considered to be safe for tourists to go to. However, there are many portions of Seattle that struggle with drug addiction.

Currently, Seattle ranks in the 50 most dangerous cities in America. Most of the crimes that are committed in this city are property crimes, with a heavier than average focus on vehicular theft or assault through vehicles. Car thefts, car vandalisms, and even hit and runs are far more common here than they typically are.

Knowing where to stay is a must if you want to have a great time here. If you plan on moving to Seattle, especially if you have a family, then check out our guide: The Best Places To Live In Seattle For Families.

What Are The Worst Neighborhoods In Seattle?

For the most part, the main portions of Seattle are alright. It’s usually the outskirts or areas close to the industrial sector that seem to have the biggest issues with crime. When we looked into this, we took data from police estimates about the crime in each neighborhood to determine the most dangerous neighborhoods in Seattle.

10. Central District

  • Population: 16,895
  • Property Crime per 100k people: 5,143
  • Violent Crime per 100k people: 872
  • Total Crime: 156% higher than the national average

Though we said that the main parts of Seattle are typically alright, the truth is that Seattle’s Central District still has a fairly worrying amount of crime. Most of the crime that happens in this neighborhood is petty theft, though drug use and robberies have been reported.

In terms of violent crime, assault remains the most commonly reported crime in this ‘hood. Central District has surprisingly high housing prices despite being a bad neighborhood.

This is primarily a result of the area’s popular restaurant scene as well as the easy access locals have to a wide range of fun amenities. That is why the cost of living in this district is 52 percent higher than a typical neighborhood.

With that said, the schools here are known for having problems with both academia and low resources. So, it’s still not a good place to live despite what the price tag might tell you.

9. Capitol Hill

  • Population: 37,489
  • Property Crime per 100k people: 7,120
  • Violent Crime per 100k people: 885
  • Total Crime: 241% higher than the national average

Most people who don’t live in Seattle would be dumbfounded to find out that Capitol Hill made this list, but it’s true. The tourist hotspot is known for trendy bars, gay clubs, vintage shopping as well as its Millennial-friendly “hipster” culture.

Despite all the upscale goodies people love here, it’s still a fairly dangerous place to be. The good news is that most of the crime here isn’t violent.

Prior to the recent riots, the area was mostly known for burglaries, property theft, identity theft, and car theft. However, there have been recent riots regarding police relations in the city. Since then, the neighborhood quickly became associated with vandalism, smashed shop windows, arson, and looting.

It’s not certain how long it will take for Capitol Hill to recover from the recent rioters’ actions. However, it’s not surprising. It’s still deemed to be one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in Seattle for a reason.

8. Lower Queen Anne

  • Population: 11,479
  • Property Crime per 100k people: 7,259
  • Violent Crime per 100k people: 941
  • Total Crime: 250% higher than the national average

Lower Queen Anne is one of those places that just doesn’t seem to get much luck when it comes to keeping people safe or happy. Much like Capitol Hill, this Seattle neighborhood faces an uphill battle with looting, theft, and property damage from people who are in need of a quick buck.

Living in Lower Queen Anne gives you a 1 in 12 chance of being a victim of a crime. A typical Lower Queen Anne resident also carries twice the national average’s chance of becoming a victim of burglaries or property theft.

Life here is still far more expensive than a typical American’s lifestyle. However, the good news is that property values here are a little more reasonable than Capitol Hill’s.

7. Haller Lake

  • Population: 8,563
  • Property Crime per 100k people: 9,326
  • Violent Crime per 100k people: 1,129
  • Total Crime: 346% higher than the national average

Most of the prior neighborhoods are still considered to be relatively nice to visit. Now that we’re getting into the real gritty stuff, you’re going to start seeing a major change in the overall quality of life.

Haller Lake is one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in Seattle when it comes to both violent and nonviolent crimes. It might have a middle-class vibe, but it’s not the kind of place you want to walk around at night.

Here, you’re twice as likely to be a victim of violent crime and three times as likely to be a victim of property crime. Despite a high-ish average household income, the cost of living causes many people to feel the pinch. With that comes desperation that often leads to crime.

6. Northgate

  • Population: 4,283
  • Property Crime per 100k people: 10,545
  • Violent Crime per 100k people: 1,499
  • Total Crime: 413% higher than the national average

It’s no secret that Seattle’s suburbs have been struggling with both meth and heroin addiction. Sadly, the once-quiet neighborhood of Northgate is one of the areas that is most heavily affected by the addiction epidemic. Along with high overdose rates, Northgate locals regularly find themselves in violent situations.

With a crime rate that is several times higher than many neighborhoods of Newark or Detroit, it’s safe to say that you should avoid this area at all costs.

If you do decide to move here, just be aware that you are three times as likely to be a victim of a violent crime than the national average. Gang activity and theft rates caused Northgate Mall, one of the first malls in America, to die out.

Don’t Want To Read The Whole List? Watch This Video Instead.

5. Atlantic

  • Population: 5,133
  • Property Crime per 100k people: 9,074
  • Violent Crime per 100k people: 1,538
  • Total Crime: 352% higher than the national average

Well, Atlantic is a little bit different than many of the others on this list. Or, at least, it’s a little distinctive when compared to other areas deemed to be the worst neighborhoods in Seattle.

The good news is that your property is going to be slightly safer than other areas with a comparable crime rate. The bad news? It has a lot of homicides and assaults.

So while your car might not drive away without you in it, you might end up with a hospital stay as a result of your visit here if you’re unlucky. It’s a trade-off. Living here means that you are three times more likely to experience both violent and non-violent forms of crime.

A median income of $66,000 per household may make it seem like an okay neighborhood, but don’t be fooled. Atlantic has some of the worst schools in Seattle serving students, and many homeowners wish amenities were more plentiful.

4. South Lake Union

  • Population: 6,331
  • Property Crime per 100k people: 8,996
  • Violent Crime per 100k people: 1,551
  • Total Crime: 350% higher than the national average

Among locals, South Lake Union is considered to be more of a biotech and Amazon hotspot than anything else. Even so, it has a lot of problems that make it a bad place to live.

With a crime rate that increases an average of 8% year after year, South Lake Union definitely earned its stripes as one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in Seattle.

Despite having an average household income of $88,000, people in South Lake Union live in a palpable state of fear once the sun sets. In this neighborhood, you have a 1 in 10 chance of being a crime victim.

Our suggestion? Don’t go out late at night, and if you have to, make sure you don’t go out alone.

3. First Hill

  • Population: 12,112
  • Property Crime per 100k people: 10,256
  • Violent Crime per 100k people: 1,787
  • Total Crime: 413% higher than the national average

It’s exceedingly rare to see a neighborhood that has a higher crime rate than First Hill. In fact, First Hill is pretty close to being dead last when it comes to the quality of living.

Why? Because high property values, mixed with a high cost of living and an insanely high crime rate make for a terrible living experience—even if you’re used to rough neighborhoods.

The violent crime rate is 390 percent higher than the national average. That alone is a testament to why many people in this neighborhood live in fear.

Assaults are commonplace here, as are issues related to addiction. Oddly enough, First Hill has some of the best schools in Seattle nearby. So, if you are willing to deal with the risk, your children might have a good future ahead of them.

2. Belltown

  • Population: 10,468
  • Property Crime per 100k people: 11,614
  • Violent Crime per 100k people: 1,992
  • Total Crime: 480% higher than the national average

Belltown might be one of the more affordable neighborhoods in Seattle, but that low price tag is there for a reason. The crime in this neighborhood spiraled out of control and no one seems to be able to stop it.

Assaults, robberies, and even murders get reported here on a regular basis. Police are at a loss on how to solve the crime issue. It’s really just the crime that makes Belltown one of the worst neighborhoods in Seattle.

Despite having good schools in the area, most families try to avoid living in Belltown if they can afford to do so. With a 1 in 8 chance of being a victim of a crime here, who can blame parents for skipping town?

1. Sand Point

  • Population: 703
  • Property Crime per 100k people: 8,869
  • Violent Crime per 100k people: 2,862
  • Total Crime: 389% higher than the national average

Like many of the worst neighborhoods in Seattle, Sand Point doesn’t initially look like a bad place to live. In fact, it gives off that nice, down-home working-class ambiance that many people find comforting.

The schools are not too bad, and there are plenty of amenities that would make this place a very attractive place for a young family. Unfortunately, this place has a huge drawback.

Though the population is only 700-strong, the crime rates in this town are off the charts. Violent crime is almost seven times higher than the national average here.

If put to a population of 100,000 people, Sand Point would have approximately 2,862 violent crimes every year. One out of every 35 people in Sand Point will experience a violent crime in their time here. That’s not something to be proud of.

Crime Rates In The Most Dangerous Neighborhoods In Seattle

NeighborhoodProperty Crimes (% above national average) Violent Crimes (% above national average)
Central District163%125%
Capitol Hill264%128%
Lower Queen Anne271%143%
Haller Lake376%191%
South Lake Union359%300%
First Hill424%361%
Sand Point346%607%

Related Questions

Why is Seattle considered to be depressing?

Seattle is often called a “depressing city” as a result of the weather. This part of Washington is famous for having a few sunny days, lots of rain, and lots of clouds. People who have Seasonal Affective Disorder are advised to invest in a sun lamp to help alleviate the effects of the gloomy weather if they choose to live here.However, despite being in the Northern part of the United States, Seattle’s winters are tolerable with temperatures between 40 to 55 degrees. It’s highly unusual to see snow or extreme heat in Seattle. That’s why many people enjoy living here.

How many homeless people are there in Seattle?

Like many major cities on the West Coast, Seattle struggles with a high homeless population. The most recent studies show that there are approximately 11,000 homeless people living within the King County area. This number is expected to increase due to recent economic turmoil, as well as recent fires throughout the Oregon area.

Which is more expensive, Seattle or New York City?

Though both have high rent prices, New York City is still considered to be the more expensive option. Rent is 40.6 percent cheaper in Seattle and the cost of living remains 33.3 percent cheaper.

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Ossiana Tepfenhart
Ossiana Tepfenhart

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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