Pennsylvania frequently appears in the top 15 states with high crime rates. Despite being home to vibrant cities, rich culture, and stunning mountains, there exist some cities in Pennsylvania that are less than ideal. Interestingly, most of the state’s most violent towns are not even close to Philadelphia. In the year 2023, the following are the top ten most perilous cities in Pennsylvania.
10 Most Dangerous Cities in Pennsylvania
- McKees Rocks
1. McKees Rocks
McKees Rocks, a borough in Allegheny county, is commonly referred to as “The Rocks” and has the unfortunate distinction of being the most dangerous place to live in Pennsylvania. Despite its small population of 5,920, the city has a staggering crime rate of 6,409 per 100,000 residents, which is 173% higher than the national average. Shockingly, in 2022 alone, there were 106 incidents of violent crime and 262 incidents of property crime in this area, highlighting the severity of the situation.
In Pennsylvania, Darby has gained notoriety for its alarming crime rates. In 2021, the city recorded 152 murders among a population of 10,667, making it one of the most violent cities in the state. The rate of property crime is equally concerning, with a staggering 4,625 incidents per 100,000 people. This means that residents of Darby have a 1 in 22 chance of becoming victims of any type of crime. Moreover, the poverty rate in Darby is also distressingly high, as residents earn an average of less than $35,000 per year.
Chester, situated in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, is known to be one of the most perilous cities in the state. With a population of 32,605 people, it’s located just outside of Philadelphia. Chester has been featured on numerous lists of the worst cities to live in the United States, owing to its history of high crime rates and political corruption. Shockingly, the crime rate in Chester is 116% higher than the Pennsylvania state average, with 4,389 crimes per 100,000 people. As of 2021, the median home price in Chester is a mere $66,800.
McKeesport, a city located in Allegheny County, PA, is considered dangerous due to its high crime rate. The city has a population of 17,727 and a total crime rate of 4,291 incidents per 100,000 people, resulting in residents having a 1 in 24 chance of becoming victims of any type of crime. In 2021, there were 332 reported cases of violent crimes and 542 cases of property crimes. Among the city’s issues are poverty and unemployment, with a median income of just $26,271 per household.
Yeadon, situated in Delaware county, Pennsylvania, is a town with a high crime rate of 4,083 per 100,000 individuals. This means that the residents of Yeadon have a 1 in 25 chance of becoming a victim of a crime. According to the FBI’s 2021 statistics, there were 747 incidents of violent crimes and 3,336 incidents of property crimes per capita. The median home price in Yeadon is $138,000, and the average household income is $48,420.
Ambridge is a town situated in Beaver County, Western Pennsylvania, with a population of 6,972. The total crime rate in Ambridge is 73% higher than the US average, with 4,057 incidents per 100,000 people. Unfortunately, the city’s residents have a high chance of becoming a victim of violent crime, with a 1 in 39 probability. The median income of Ambridge is $33,758, and the median home price is $66,200.
Philadelphia may not be as high on this list as you might expect based on its size. However, when considering its population, the crime rate is not excessively high. This does not mean that the city is completely safe, though. With a population of 1,603,797, Philadelphia’s crime rate stands at 4,006 per 100,000, which is 97% higher than the state average. Therefore, residents face a 1 in 25 chance of becoming a victim of any type of crime. As with many large cities, crime is concentrated in specific areas, with North and West Philadelphia being the most violent.
Located in Montgomery County, Pottstown is a small town with a population of 23,433 residents. Unfortunately, the crime rate in Pottstown is quite high at 3,823 incidents per 100,000 people, which is 88% higher than the state average. This means that residents have a 1 in 27 chance of becoming a victim of any type of crime. In 2021, 183 violent crimes and 740 property crimes were recorded, which is a concerning statistic given the city’s population.
With a population of 95,112, Reading is situated in Berks County. Unfortunately, residents have a high chance of becoming victims of crime, with a ratio of 1 in 28 and a total crime rate that’s 81% higher than the state average. In 2022 alone, 690 violent crimes and 2,742 property crimes were reported in the city. Despite its location in the Delaware Valley, near the mountains and Philadelphia, Reading is grappling with a poor economy and high poverty levels. The median home value in Reading is currently only $69,400.
With a population of 18,411, Johnstown has a crime rate that surpasses the Pennsylvania state average by 68%. This city has a total crime rate of 3,417 per 100,000 people, with residents having a 1 in 30 chance of becoming victims of any type of crime. Johnstown experiences an average of 251 violent crimes and 558 property crimes annually. Shockingly, the median household income in Johnstown is only $24,075, which is 56% lower than the national average.