10 Most Dangerous Cities To Live In Washington (with Stats)
Washington is one of the most beautiful places in the United States. The pacific northwest has a lot of character, and Washington has plenty to do with that. With that said, Washington boasts many cities with high crime rates that make them undesirable to live in.
The worst cities in Washington are Fife, Tukwila, and Spokane due to their high crime rates. Significant Washington cities like Tacoma and Seattle are also among the most dangerous places to live. Even smaller cities, such as Toppenish and Shelton are quite dangerous due to both violent and property crimes.
Crimes such as theft, assault, robbery, and burglary are common in all of the above cities. Follow along as we dive deep into the worst cities in Washington state.
The Most Dangerous Cities To Live In Washington State
It doesn’t matter whether you’re moving to or traveling through a city… it’s important to know exactly what to expect. Therefore, we’ve listed the most dangerous cities in Washington so that you know what city to avoid.
- Violent Crime Rate Per 1K: 7.66
- Property Crime Rate Per 1K: 65.89
The high crime rate in Fife is even more disturbing when you consider how small its population is. There are 129 crimes per square mile in this small city, and most of them are property crimes. You are likely to experience theft, burglary, and vehicle theft in Fife, and it affects 1 in 15 residents.
Property crime makes up the majority of recent crime reports in Fife with 671 total incidents. There are nearly 40 thefts per 1,000 Fife residents. You are more than twice as likely to experience property crime in Fife than in the rest of Washington state.
Violent crimes, such as murder, robbery, rape, and assault affect 1 in 131 Fife residents. Assault is the most common violent crime in Fife, and there were 44 recent reports. Fife is so small that crime is equally spread throughout the city, so you should exercise caution wherever you are.
- Violent Crime Rate Per 1K: 7.77
- Property Crime Rate Per 1K: 164.64
Tukwila is nearby the famous Seattle-Tacoma airport, and it has many job opportunities that keep residents there. Unfortunately, however, the element of crime and danger is always present in Tukwila and it casts a dark cloud over the city. There were 3,508 recent violent and property crimes reported in the city.
Tukwila is a fairly large city, and it boasts 164 crimes per square mile, most of which occur in the southern part. You are safest in Riverton, but nearby neighborhoods such as Foster are highly dangerous and spillover. The closer that you get to central and southern Tukwila, the closer you are to the majority of crimes.
Property crime is extremely high in Tukwila and it affects 1 in 6 residents. To put that in perspective, there were recently 3,350 thefts, burglaries, and vehicle thefts in Tukwila. Luckily, violence only affects 1 in 129 people, but that doesn’t mean that Tukwila is a safe place to live.
Don’t Want to Read the Whole List? Look At This Infographic!
- Violent Crime Rate Per 1K: 6.84
- Property Crime Rate Per 1K: 58.75
Spokane is known as one of the hubs of commerce in Washington, but it’s almost equally recognized for its crime. Both violent and property crimes are common in Spokane, and there are 243 crimes per square mile. Property crime is the most common threat, and you risk a 1 in 17 chance of experiencing it in Spokane.
Theft is the highest reported crime in Spokane, and there were 10,026 recent incidents. Your home isn’t always safe in Spokane as indicated by the 1,743 burglaries recently reported. Violence is another present danger in Spokane that impacts the lives of 1 in 146 people.
With 1,520 recent violent crime reports, the threat of assault and robbery is real in Spokane. There were 6 recent murders, but assault, rape, and robbery make up the majority of the reports. If you find yourself in Spokane, consider sticking to safer neighborhoods like Dartford.
- Violent Crime Rate Per 1K: 8.56
- Property Crime Rate Per 1K: 53.15
You can find gorgeous glass art, bustling bars, restaurants, and hip spots in Tacoma. Sadly, that’s not all that you’ll find in Tacoma as it’s one of the most dangerous cities in Washington. Tacoma is spread across 62 square miles, and there are 269 crimes per square mile.
With 1,864 violent crimes and 11,577 property crimes, Tacoma has been quite dangerous recently. Assault is the most common violent crime in Tacoma with 1,258 recent incidents. You risk a 1 in 117 chance of suffering assault, robbery, rape, and murder in Tacoma, Washington.
As bad as the violence is in Tacoma, property crime is significantly more common. For 1 in 19 Tacoma residents, crimes such as theft and burglary will disrupt their lives. Crime is evenly distributed throughout Tacoma, but neighborhoods such as Brookdale and Allison are the safest.
- Violent Crime Rate Per 1K: 6.36
- Property Crime Rate Per 1K: 64.71
Similar to Fife, Toppenish is a small city in Washington that boasts a high crime rate. To put it in perspective, you face a 1 in 14 chance of experiencing violence or property crime in Toppenish. The 299 crimes per square mile in Toppenish paints a picture of a city with a plague of crime.
There may not be as many crime reports as Spokane or Tacoma, but the small population makes the existing crime disturbing. Much of the crime in Toppenish is relegated to South Elm Street, but the small size of the city allows for spillover. Areas such as Alfalfa are safer than South Elm Street or the city’s center, but only by a small margin.
Both violent and property crimes are more likely in Toppenish than in the rest of Washington. Violent crimes are inflicted on 1 in 157 Toppenish residents. Toppenish may be one of the cheapest places to live in Washington, but it’s also one of the most dangerous.
Don’t Move To These Cities In Washington
- Violent Crime Rate Per 1K: 5.96
- Property Crime Rate Per 1K: 46.39
Seattle is the largest city in Washington, and it’s one of the cultural centers of the United States. There are 394 crimes per square mile in Seattle, and most of them are property crimes. With that said, there have been 4,491 incidents of assault, murder, rape, and robbery in Seattle recently.
Assault leads the way in Seattle’s violent crime with 2,761 cases in recent history. Robbery is another major violent crime in Seattle that affected 1,342 residents recently. You face a 1 in 168 chance of suffering a violent crime as a Seattle resident.
There have been nearly 8,000 recent burglaries in Seattle, so you’re not even always safe at home. Theft is the most common crime, however, and the 24,028 recent thefts are quite telling. Be careful as property crime affects 1 in 22 Seattle residents.
- Violent Crime Rate Per 1K: 5.16
- Property Crime Rate Per 1K: 56.31
Shelton is a small city, but its violent and property crime numbers are quite high. The city only takes up 6 square miles, and there are 113 crimes per square mile. Areas such as Lake Boulevard and Pioneer Way are the most dangerous spots in Shelton.
As a resident of Shelton, you face a 1 in 18 chance of theft and burglary. Out of 655 recent crimes, 600 of them were property crimes, and theft is the most common. Violence is another reality in Shelton, and 1 in 194 residents will have to experience it.
Luckily, there haven’t been any murders in recent history in Shelton, Washington. However, the 30 assaults, 20 rapes, and 5 robberies prove that you are in physical danger in the city. Shelton is a charming city, but the threat of danger is quite real.
- Violent Crime Rate Per 1K: 4.36
- Property Crime Rate Per 1K: 40.64
You may know Aberdeen, Washington as the place where grunge music was birthed. Sadly, many other people know Aberdeen for its high crime and poverty rate. Much of the crime in Aberdeen is fueled by drugs leading to a high property crime rate in the city.
For example, 1 in 15 Aberdeen residents will suffer a theft, vehicle theft, or burglary. Out of 754 recent crimes, 681 of them were property crimes, and 519 were thefts. You are at much less of a risk of experiencing a violent crime in Aberdeen than theft, but the threat is still there.
Violence impacts 1 in 230 Aberdeen residents, and the 33 recent assaults drive that fact home. There has only been 1 recent murder, but the 25 rapes and 14 robberies are a disturbing display of violence in Aberdeen. All in all, Aberdeen has a unique history and charm, but it may not be worth the threat of crime and danger.
9. Port Angeles
- Violent Crime Rate Per 1K: 5.78
- Property Crime Rate Per 1K: 35.64
You may know Port Angeles by its Labor Day Festivities and the world-famous Olympic National Park. However, residents of this small city sadly know it just as well by its widespread crime. Spread across 14 square miles, Port Angeles is home to 78 crimes per square mile.
Sadly, 721 of 838 total recent crimes consist of burglary, vehicular theft, and theft. There were 530 recent thefts in Port Angeles and 128 burglaries. Violence is another part of life in Port Angeles, and it affects 1 in 173 residents.
The most common violent crime in Port Angeles is assault, and luckily there haven’t been any murders recently. Streets such as Fairmont Avenue should be avoided at all costs if you are alone at night. You are safest in neighborhoods such as Agnew in Port Angeles, but you should be careful regardless.
- Violent Crime Rate Per 1K: 7.63
- Property Crime Rate Per 1K: 38.35
Lakewood is home to some gorgeous views, but they are overshadowed by danger. With 2,807 recent crimes, Lakewood residents are always at risk for crime. Property crime specifically is a plague in Lakewood with 2,341 cases recently alone.
Property crime is so common in Lakewood that 1 in 26 residents experience it. Theft and burglary are the two most common property crimes in Lakewood, but vehicle theft is also common. Invest in a home security system if you live in Lakewood, as there were nearly 400 recent burglaries.
Violent crimes, such as assault and robbery, are quite common in Lakewood. It’s a sad part of life in Lakewood that 1 in 131 residents suffer a violent crime. Neighborhoods such as Custer in Lakewood are safe, but it never hurts to watch your back in this city.
11. Port Orchard
- Violent Crime Rate Per 1K: 4.52
- Property Crime Rate Per 1K: 33.77
We felt sad for the folks of Port Orchard because their score was so poor. This small community is experiencing a severe economic downturn. Yes, there are houses available there; but, no one wants to live there.
Port Angeles has joined its neighbor, Bremerton, in falling into the lowest 20% of cities due to increasing unemployment, unoccupied houses, and high crime rates.
- Violent Crime Rate Per 1K: 2.63
- Property Crime Rate Per 1K: 28.67
Longview receives poor marks due to its high unemployment rate. How will you put food on the table, or even have a house to put it in if you don’t have a job?
Most people who live in Longview have to travel for their work as there are little to no jobs available here. And any that are available, are mostly dead-end jobs that people cannot make a career of.
- Violent Crime Rate Per 1K: 3.38
- Property Crime Rate Per 1K: 37.76
Centralia has a population of 16,729 people, making it a medium-sized city. It is located in Western Washington, off of the main freeway.
The average home value is $148,900, which ranks 15th poorest in the state. The unemployment rate in Centralia is 9.5 percent, which is a depressing figure, but the worst part about living here is the high crime rate.
It’s one of the most dangerous locations to inhabit, having never recovered from the notorious 1919 massacre.
14. Union Gap
- Violent Crime Rate Per 1K: 2.74
- Property Crime Rate Per 1K: 96.77
Union Gap is a tiny hamlet with a population of 6,125 people. The city is located immediately south of Yakima, and the two cities are connected by a main street and blend, yet they remain distinct and separate entities.
Union Gap has the lowest average home value in the county, at $93,700. This suggests that there aren’t many individuals eager to relocate here, as the cheap price indicates a lack of demand for housing.
Although Union Gap appears to be a pleasant and calm little hamlet at first appearance, locals find life here to be nothing short of a struggle. There isn’t much to do here unless you move your company to Yakima.
- Violent Crime Rate Per 1K: 2.66
- Property Crime Rate Per 1K: 31.57
Kelso is a city in Western Washington with an estimated population of 11,871. If you’re thinking about relocating to Kelso, you should reconsider.
Despite its proximity to the beautiful Mount St. Helens area, it is not a good site to try to make a life. More individuals are attempting to flee Kelso than are attempting to enter.
The third-worst average home value in the state is $120,700. In the city, there is essentially no demand for houses. It could be because the state’s jobless rate is a whopping 14.7 percent, the third-highest in the country.
- Violent Crime Rate Per 1K: 1.62
- Property Crime Rate Per 1K: 28.65
With a population of 8,434, Hoquiam is a coastal town. If you thought Quincy had low housing values, Hoquiam has the second-worst in the state. The median property price in the area is $96,600. At 12.2 percent, the unemployment rate is extremely high.
Residents who do manage to find work have a difficult time making ends meet. This town’s average combined household income is $37,628 per year. On these low earnings, it’s nearly impossible to make ends meet. Even those who work in the community are forced to live in poverty as a result of this.
- Violent Crime Rate Per 1K: 1.54
- Property Crime Rate Per 1K: 26.54
When it came to livability, the city was a disaster. There isn’t much to do in Parkland, and if you do manage to find work, statistics indicate that it won’t pay well. There are far better places to live.
Parkalnd is notorious for gang activity so it’s not a safe place to walk around alone, or at night. It’s also very dangerous to work here so if you live here, it’s best to search for a job elsewhere.
18. Bainbridge Island
- Violent Crime Rate Per 1K: 0.40
- Property Crime Rate Per 1K: 8.97
Bainbridge Island is much lower on the list of places to visit if you want to attract a crowd. It might not be so bad if you’re searching for a place to go off the grid and hide from the rest of the world. If you have a life, you will spend the majority of it commuting to and from work.
There is no work on the island, so you’ll have to rely on the Ferry to get to town and back every day. Please, please, please don’t be late. There isn’t much to do in the town because it’s in the middle of nowhere.
19. Airway Heights
- Violent Crime Rate Per 1K: 0.39
- Property Crime Rate Per 1K: 8.94
The cost of living is considerable, while the average annual income is only $41,014 dollars. That is the total family income earned by all members of the household. There aren’t a lot of solid work opportunities in the area.
Because there isn’t much to do in this small town, there isn’t much demand for houses. You are likely to be bored out of your mind in addition to being unemployed.
- Violent Crime Rate Per 1K: 4.06
- Property Crime Rate Per 1K: 32.85
The famous naval shipyards are located in Bremerton. This port city was once a lovely and enjoyable place to live, but it was in another era.
This city gets a thumbs down from Road Snacks because its crime rates are so out of control that it ranks in the lowest 20% of all cities in the state. Plus, taking the ferry to everywhere gets old quickly.
See How Washington Compares to Other States
Nick Durante is a professional writer with a primary focus on home improvement. When he is not writing about home improvement or taking on projects around the house, he likes to read and create art. He is always looking towards the newest trends in home improvement.
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