10 Most Dangerous Cities in New York

Updated On October 10, 2023
New York

The Empire State is a diverse state.

It ranges from the Big Apple in the eastern section across the Adirondack, the Catskill Mountains, and hundreds of lakes and rivers – to the Canadian Border, Niagara Falls, and Buffalo in its westernmost reaches.

The 10 Most Dangerous Cities in New York

While downstate New York – NYC, the lower Hudson Valley, and Long Island are urbanized, most of upstate New York is a canvas of farms, mountains, lakes, and charming little towns and state university campuses.

Buffalo (Erie County)
Buffalo, New York

1. Buffalo (Erie County)

  • Population – 276,807 (2021).
  • Violent Crime Rate – 8.65 per 1,000 residents.
  • Property Crime Rate -28.02 per 1,000 residents.

Buffalo, which is also known as Nickel City, is one of the largest and most dangerous cities in western New York state.

Violent crime in Buffalo is three times the state average and the highest in New York, with property crimes more than twice the average of the Empire State.

Some of the more dangerous sections of the city include Emerson, Babcock, Black Rock, and more.

Binghamton (Broome County)
Binghamton, New York,

2. Binghamton (Broome County)

  • Population – 47,566 (2021).
  • Violent Crime Rate – 7.25 per 1,000 residents.
  • Property Crime Rate – 31.16 per 1,000 residents.

Binghamton is a smaller city located on the southern border where New York meets Pennsylvania.

Binghamton is home to one of the state universities but has its violent and property crime statistics above state and national averages.

If traveling after dark in unknown or dilapidated areas, try not to travel alone and stay focused and aware.

Niagara Falls (Niagara County)
Niagara Falls, New York

3. Niagara Falls (Niagara County)

  • Population – 48,360 (2021).
  • Violent Crime Rate – 7.57 per 1,000 residents.
  • Property Crime Rate – 28.29 per 1,000 residents.

Niagara Falls is a famous destination for tourists and was once the preferred honeymoon capital of the world.

Niagara Falls separates the United States and Canada and is a fantastic sight.

However, the crime rates for violence or property significantly exceed both state and national rates for similar crimes.

The downtown Niagara Falls area tends to be the most crime-ridden.

Albany (Albany County)
Albany, New York

4. Albany (Albany County)

  • Population – 98,617 (2021)
  • Violent Crime Rate – 7.48 per 1,000 residents.
  • Property Crime Rate – 25.94 per 1,000 residents.

Albany, the Empire State’s capital, is located about 120 miles north of the Big Apple, along the Hudson River.

Crime rates in the capital city far exceed national and state averages, where those who reside in Albany have a 1 in 39 chance of becoming a property crime victim.

It is noted that crime rates have been falling in the Empire State’s capital region.

Syracuse (Onondaga County)
Syracuse, New York

5. Syracuse (Onondaga County)

  • Population – 146,103 (2021)
  • Violent Crime Rate – 7.00 per 1,000 residents.
  • Property Crime Rate – 26.89 per 1,000 residents.

Syracuse is a large city in the northern tier of upstate New York.

Like several New York cities, Syracuse has seen a recent uptick in various types of crime.

In 2022, residents of Syracuse faced crime rates that were more than two times the state and national crime rate averages.

The crime per square mile for the Syracuse area is about five times the state and national crime averages.

Rochester (Monroe County)
Rochester, New York

6. Rochester (Monroe County)

  • Population – 210,606 (2021)
  • Violent Crime Rate – 6.70 per 1,000 residents.
  • Property Crime Rate – 30.84 per 1,000 residents.

Rochester, which is located along the Genesee River, is a large city in upstate New York.

Rochester, which is nicknamed Flower City, has violent and property crime rates that are more than twice the state and national crime averages for these categories.

To stay safe, avoid these neighborhoods within city limits – Marketview Heights, JOSANA, Dutchtown, Bulls Head, and Mayer Heights.

Schenectady (Schenectady County)
Schenectady, New York

7. Schenectady (Schenectady County)

  • Population – 66,990 (2021)
  • Violent Crime Rate – 5.40 per 1,000 residents.
  • Property Crime Rate – 25.66 per 1,000 residents.

Schenectady is small to a medium-sized city in upstate New York.

Those in and around the greater Schenectady area will find that the violent and property crime rates exceed New York’s average and the national medians for these types of crimes.

Because the population is small and property crime rates are exceptionally high, those in Schenectady have a 1 in 39 chance of being property crime victims.

Johnson City Village (Broome County)
Johnson City Village, New York

8. Johnson City Village (Broome County)

  • Population – 15,203 (2021)
  • Violent Crime Rate – 3.55 per 1,000 residents
  • Property Crime Rate – 44.07 per 1,000 residents

Johnson City is a small city near the southern New York Border in Broome County.

While violent crime in Johnson City is about equal to the state average, property crime is about 3.5 times the state average.

With 156 crimes per square mile, Johnson City’s rate per square mile is more than four times the Empire State average.

Watertown (Jefferson County)
Watertown, New York

9. Watertown (Jefferson County)

  • Population – 24,575 (2021)
  • Violent Crime Rate – 4.44 per 1,000 residents.
  • Property Crime Rate – 36.26 per 1,000 residents.

Watertown, among the smallest dangerous cities in the Empire State, is located in the northern part of New York near Lake Ontario.

Crimes, particularly property crime, are nearly three times the state average and twice the national median.

The more dangerous sections of this small upstate location tend to be located in and around the center of the city and parts due north.

Utica (Oneida County)
Utica, New York

10. Utica (Oneida County)

  • Population – 64,501 (2021)
  • Violent Crime Rate – 4.91 per 1,000 residents.
  • Property Crime Rate – 32.37 per 1,000 residents.

Utica is a city in central-upstate New York that is located in the Mohawk Valley of Oneida County – about 100 miles north and west of the capital.

Property and violent crime appear to be on the rise, with rates that exceed state levels for both types of crime.

Currently, residents of Utica have a 1 in 31 chance of being a victim of a property crime.

5 Safety Tips for Traveling to New York 

1. Try to keep your cell phone charged at all times, as it may be a lifeline in an emergency when traveling.

Technology creates a great tool for use in emergencies.

Cell phones, with built-in GPS technology, are a great way to keep you heading in the right direction.

Most larger cities have interactive and current interactive crime maps to help steer clear of dangerous neighborhoods.

2. Upstate New York winters can be brutal.

Over 60% of New York has an average snowfall that exceeds 70 inches.

The heaviest snowfall, which averages 100 to 120 inches, happens in several counties Onondaga, Ostego, Herkimer, Ulster, Sullivan, and Delaware.

The heaviest lake-effect snow happens around the greater Buffalo area.

3. Write down emergency contact information, so you have it without much stress and effort.

When traveling, it is always important to be prepared for emergencies.

Keep several copies of emergency contact numbers in case you lose your wallet.

4. Consider travel insurance as it offers peace of mind and allows for relaxation.

While most people think of insurance after the fact, if you really are concerned about yourself and your belongings while traveling in New York, consider obtaining travel insurance.

Travel insurance options vary but include reimbursement for cancellations, illnesses, or loss of expensive gear, like cameras or computers.

5. Send your itinerary to a few friends or family members so someone has an idea of where you will be on a given day.

When your schedule is planned and set, be sure you share the details of your New York trip with a few friends or family members.

Before you leave, confirm that the itinerary you forwarded has been received and didn’t get thrown away by mistake or land in the recipient’s ‘spam folder.’

Depending on the length of your New York vacation, it may be worth the effort to check in with them every so often so they know you are okay.

New York City Safety Overview

READ THE FULL REPORT: New York City Safety Review

Safety Index:

Frequently Asked Questions

When traveling to the greater New York City area, how many airports are located near the city?

There are three major airports that service the greater metro New York City area.

These include JFK in south Queens, LaGuardia in northern Queens, and Newark Airport – across the Hudson River in nearby New Jersey.

What is considered the most dangerous part of New York City's five boroughs?

The most dangerous neighborhood in all of New York City is Hunts Point, located in the South Bronx – just north of the island of Manhattan.

Hunts Point has been facing large crime and drug problems for many years.

How far a distance is New York City from Buffalo, New York?

The Empire State is often larger than one thinks.

From New York City on the state’s eastern parts that meet the Atlantic Ocean to Buffalo – clear across the state is a total distance of 292 miles as the crow flies.

The driving distance from New York City to Buffalo is nearly 400 miles.

4 Comments on 10 Most Dangerous Cities in New York

  1. R
    Rodrigo says:

    New York is a diverse state with a range of urban and rural areas, but it is important to be aware of the higher crime rates in certain cities and to take precautions while traveling there.

  2. New York is a diverse state with a mix of urban and rural areas, but it is important to be aware of the high crime rates in some cities and take precautions while traveling there.

    1. C
      Canarsie James says:

      This is basic info that can be said about any major city TRY TO HELP FOLKS

  3. C
    Canarsie James says:

    5 Boroughs simple 5 rules

    1 keep your cell phone fully charged before getting there have cell plan with roaming / included.

    #2A THE SUBWAY KNOW WHERE YOU ARE GOING! The subway has repeat names on different line EXAMPLE New Lots is on the L and 3, Nostand is on the 3 train and the A/C (A train is an Express train C is local both stop there) NOW THERE IS Rockaway Ave on the 3 and on the ( A/C) however the A train express passes it. There is Church ave on the F/G, THE B/Q AND THE 2/5 please know where you are going before you go, THIS IS THE TECH ERA……….. LOOK IT UP AND know the name of the station 3 stops before yours then count down!

    2B Never hop the turnstiles NEVER I don’t care if Sandy, Candy and Mandy did it Randy might get caught!

    2c If a car is empty do not enter it THERE IS A REASON IT’S EMPTY, stinks, somebody pissed in there……..

    2d watch how folks in front of you use their metrocard (I recommend getting a week unlimited)

    Momma always said don’t follow the crowd HA IN NYC ON THE MTA / MTANYCT you want to when exiting the train MOST OF THE TIME read the above sings before you get to the Example AT BROADWAY JUNCTION THE TRAIN ARE A/C/J/L/Z THE A AND C TRAVEL TOGETHER AND THE JAND Z TRAVEL TOGETHER THE L IS ALONE if you read ahead you will know the direction to travel instead of stopping to read and look lost NYers LOVE LOST PEOPLE taxi taxi taxi NO NO NO until you know the cost ask family, friends or hotel staff so you don’t spend $55 dollars just for you on a $12ride

    3 Street vendors know what they are doing, they may purposely price things at $18 and suggest you give them a $2 if you are not about that life keep plenty of singles ($1 bills) so you can have exact amounts! If not the will off to sell you something else for $12 now you done spent $30 not $20! Know the hustle was born in NYC, collecting bottles to return for $$ is normal do not knock the hustle…………

    4 PLEASE LISTEN UP, know the street between when you are going EXAMPLE 245 Sulivan place Between Nostrand and Rogers or 2 Miami Court Between Brooklyn and New York! It will help you look and sound like a local in a taxi or uber!

    #5 mind your business and DO NOT ASK FOR DIRECTIONS, you might need to go one block east THAT’S IT they MIGHT send you 12 blocks west then turn right and go down 4 blocks and tell you it’s right beside the liquor store you can’t miss it JUST FOR FUN

    OH 5B if using google maps keep your phone in your pocket and use ONE earphone, airpod…… DO NOT LOOK LIKE A TOURIST most of all in Brooklyn, Harlem, The Bronx and Queens!

    Enjoy and welcome to New York City

    recap / elaborate Know what stations are express and which are local always the local train is against the wall and express train is in the middle, cell phone will greatly help us wisely. Don’t just ask what station to get off at ASK THE TRAIN LINE Rockaway ave on the L or New Lots on the 3 Canarsiejames718@gmail.com is where I’m at I hope your love NYC like I love Brooklyn! DO NOT WONDER DOWN RANDOM STREETS if your people stay on E57th PLZ STAY OFF OF e56TH STAY ON THE DIRECT PATH!

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