Top 11 Most Dangerous Places in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is undoubtedly a desirable state. The population of the state rose by 1.5% in 2019 compared to 2020. According to projections, Pennsylvania will have attracted over 200,000 new citizens by the year 2050. Make sure to check out this list of Pennsylvania’s most dangerous locations if you’re thinking about joining them. It might also assist you in selecting the ideal new town.

Chester: Pennsylvania’s Most Dangerous Place

In 2021, Chester, a city with 33,905 residents, had 1,383 violent crimes and 3,005 property crimes per 100,000 residents. Chester also has the second-lowest rate of burglaries in the state. Chester’s high crime rate can be partly attributed to its status as Pennsylvania’s oldest city. The city is situated between Wilmington, Delaware, and Philadelphia on the banks of the Delaware River. The city’s economy declined as manufacturers moved their factories from this once-booming manufacturing center to other regions. A community and local government initiative aims to revitalize and gentrify the city nowadays.

McKeesport: Pennsylvania’s Most Dangerous Area for Property Crime

McKeesport is a tiny community outside of Pittsburgh. In 2021, 20,765 inhabitants reported 2,759 property crimes and 1,531 violent crimes per 100,000 residents, despite the rural surroundings. It ranks first among all the cities in the state for the most reported burglaries, despite having fewer population. The municipality is the second most dangerous in Pennsylvania, with a crime rate that is 250 percent greater than the state average. The town was first established in the mining sector, and in the 1900s, it expanded into the steel industry. The borough’s economy started to suffer as manufacturers relocated. Much of the downtown area was devastated by a strong tornado in 1944, and then by a severe fire in 1976. The city hasn’t been able to stabilize its economy after these losses, despite efforts.


Pottstown was founded in 1815 and its foundation was forging and metalworking. The Potts family inspired the borough’s name. With 22,705 residents, Pottstown now has 717 violent crimes and 3,105 property crimes per 100,000. Following a population boom in 1960, Pottstown inhabitants have been gradually relocating to neighboring communities. The local economy has been further strained by the population decline, leading to regions of blight and small company collapse. Pottstown is now among the most dangerous locations in Pennsylvania as a result of the combo.


Wilkinsburg has a population of only 15,389, but for every 100,000 residents, there were 2,618 property crimes and 779 violent offenses. When Wilkinson was first established as a municipality in 1887, it was prosperous. It was really the most populous borough in the nation by 1950. But the town’s economy failed along with the steel sector. Between 1960 and the present, the population has gradually decreased, which has reduced the revenue base required to maintain the town’s prosperity.

New Kensington

This little community might be regarded as one of the country’s first planned towns. In 1891, the Burrell Improvement Company started selling lots to a planned town after acquiring land along the Allegheny River. Successful in its early years, New Kensington had streetcars, trains, and even a passenger ferry on the river. Regretfully, locals started to relocate to busier boroughs and suburbs. With 12,273 residents, 529 violent crimes, and 2,648 property crimes, New Kensington is currently Pennsylvania’s fifth most hazardous place to live.

Harrisburg: A Growing Pennsylvania Town

The high number of tourists in Harrisburg may be the cause of the city’s increased crime rate. There were 2,172 property crimes and 900 violent crimes reported out of 49,195 total residents. The history of Harrisburg in America is extensive and illustrious. The town in Pennsylvania was a training base for Union soldiers and played a significant role in the Civil War. In addition, Harrisburg was a stop on the Underground Railroad, which carried slaves. Visitors are still drawn to the National Civil War Museum, Hershey Park, historic neighborhoods, and a thriving downtown. Toxic substances were released during the 1979 Three Mile Island Accident, which resulted from a partial meltdown of a nearby nuclear power facility. As a result of the catastrophe, a large number of people moved away, but the town now seems to be expanding once more.


Wilkes-Barre, a town built on coal mining, has started over. Nonetheless, out of 100,000 residents, the town reported 2,092 property offenses and 594 violent crimes. In spite of this, since 2005, when former mayor Thomas Leighton announced his plan to rebuild the city, significant efforts have been made to develop, enhance, and boost the city’s economic standing.

Swatara Township

Swatara Township, which has a population of 26,643, was included on the list due to its high rate of property crime. There were 2,950 property crimes committed, while only 285 violent offenses were registered for per 100,000 residents. The town is mostly rural, with some small-scale urbanization. There is a notably lower rate of violent crime than in neighboring municipalities.

Darby Township

The population of Darby Township is 9,256 as of right now. In all, 1,901 property crimes and 734 violent crimes were reported for every 100,000 residents. The township has a long history of Swedish immigration dating back to 1683, when it was initially established close to Darby Creek. Early settlers cultivated cordial relationships with the local aboriginal tribes, facilitating the easier transportation of products to neighboring villages. But compared to other communities, Darby Township’s crime rate is still quite low.


With a population of 121,855, Allentown recorded 2,283 property crimes and 386 violent crimes for per 100,000 residents. It’s a busy city because of its many museums, the Liberty Bell, and its vibrant downtown. These activities’ economic stimulation helps to maintain a reduced crime rate. William Allen, a former Philadelphia mayor, created the town, which is now Pennsylvania’s third-largest metropolis, in 1762. Despite the high prevalence of crime, it is generally safe to stroll around the city.

Centralia- The Most Environmentally Dangerous Place in Pennsylvania

The low crime rate of Centralia can be attributed to its small population. It’s interesting to note that Centralia’s high level of unemployment is also the reason it ranks among Pennsylvania’s most unsafe locations. A coal fire started beneath the town in 1962. The fire persisted and spread beneath the streets in spite of efforts to put it out. All houses were condemned and subject to eminent domain claims by the government by 1992. The USPS stopped providing any mail delivery to the region in 2002. The fire had consumed 400 acres of land as of today.