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.
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- Violent Crime Rate Per 1K: 7.66
- Property Crime Rate Per 1K: 65.89
- Reported Crimes: 749
- Population: 10,096
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
- Reported Crimes: 3,508
- Population: 19,366
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.
- Violent Crime Rate Per 1K: 6.84
- Property Crime Rate Per 1K: 58.75
- Reported Crimes: 14,568
- Population: 217,353
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
- Reported Crimes: 13,441
- Population: 212,869
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
- Reported Crimes: 626
- Population: 8,873
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.
- Violent Crime Rate Per 1K: 5.96
- Property Crime Rate Per 1K: 46.39
- Reported Crimes: 39,457
- Population: 724,305
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
- Reported Crimes: 655
- Population: 10,167
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
- Reported Crimes: 754
- Population: 16,456
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
- Reported Crimes: 838
- Population: 19,832
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
- Reported Crimes: 2,807
- Population: 60,111
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.
Summing It Up
Fife is the worst city in Washington, followed closely behind by Tukwila. Iconic Washington cities like Tacoma, Spokane, and Seattle are also highly dangerous. Most of these cities are notable for having incredibly high property crime rates that drive the statistics.
Cities like Aberdeen and Port Angeles are also highly dangerous and should be avoided at nighttime. Each of these cities is unique but exploring any of them at nighttime can put you at risk for crime. If you find yourself in any of these cities, refer to local crime maps to safely get around.