When many people think of New York, they automatically think New York City. And when you ask them to think of dangerous places in New York, most people would probably suggest the Big Apple… again.
However, as we’ve seen time and time again here at the Movoto Real Estate blog, making assumptions makes… well, you know the rest. And in researching the most dangerous places in New York State, we found, once again, that our assumptions about New York City’s level of danger were way off base.
In fact, it didn’t even make the top 10. Here are the places that did:
1. City of Buffalo
2. City of Rochester
3. City of Syracuse
4. City of Niagara Falls
5. City of Schenectady
6. City of Newburgh
7. Village of Johnson City
8. City of Binghamton
9. City of Albany
10. City of Utica
If you’re wondering how in the world New York City didn’t make the cut and Buffalo came in at No.1, never fear; we’ll go over all of that in our next section. Then we’ll take a closer look at these 10 dangerous places.
Just like any of our Big Deal Lists, this ranking was created, not with our own opinions, but with research and analysis. We relied on the 2013 Uniform Crime Report from the FBI to research all of the largest places in the state of New York, in terms of the following criteria:
- Vehicle theft
We divided these crimes into four categories:
- Violent crimes
- Property crimes
- Total crimes
Once we omitted any places in the state that didn’t report data (which just happens), we were left with a total of 138 places, all with populations of 10,000 people or more. We then ranked each of these places with scores from one to 138, where the lower scores went to the more dangerous places.
Next, we weighted violent crimes, murders, and property crimes to make up 30 percent of the overall score and total crimes to make up just 10 percent.
Finally, we averaged each of these weighted scores into one overall Big Deal Score, where the lowest score went to our most dangerous place, Buffalo, New York.
Still can’t believe it? Well, we’ll go over just what makes Buffalo, along with the rest of our top 10, more dangerous than the rest in the next paragraphs. And if you want to check out some more dangerous places in the state, just head to the end of the post for a look.
- This ranking is not a critique of police practices or effectiveness. It is simply an analysis of where crimes occurred.
Source: Flickr user Official U.S. Navy Page
If anyone out there is surprised that Buffalo, and not New York City, came in as the most dangerous place in New York, just remember we calculated the number of crimes per person in each place.
New York City may have had a total of 194,355 crimes, but it also has more than 8 million residents. Buffalo, on the other hand, had 15,740 crimes in 2013 for its population of 258,789, giving it the third most crimes per person.
Worse still were its particularly high number of violent crimes—3,249 in 2013, a staggering 47 of which were murders. This gave it the second and third most per person in these categories, respectively.
Source: Flickr user Ryan Hyde
In 2013, Rochester had more murders per person than anywhere else in our top 10, with a total of 42 for the year.
This, plus the 92 rapes, 918 robberies, and 1,055 assaults gave Rochester a total of 2,107 violent crimes for the year—that’s the fourth most per person.
Additionally, Rochester had the sixth highest number of property crimes per person, with 10,051 for the year, giving it the fourth highest number of crimes per person overall.
Source: Flickr user dfirecop
Syracuse may be a hub for culture and education, but according to the FBI’s latest numbers, it’s also a hub for crime. In fact, residents in Syracuse have just a 1 in 19 chance of being the victim of a crime (as compared to, say, a 1 in 417 chance in Glen Cove, NY).
The reason for this high chance of being the victim of a crime is the high number of total crimes per person—the sixth highest in the state.
These crimes were made up of 6,473 property crimes and 1,192 violent crimes, 21 of which were murders. It ranked the eighth, seventh, and sixth most per person in these categories, respectively.
Source: Flickr user Aneurysm9
The good news is, Niagara Falls didn’t rank quite as badly in the category of murders as some of the others in our top 10—it had just three in 2013, giving it the 19th most per person.
The bad news is, it ranked worse than most in all other categories. For its 584 violent crimes and population just shy of 50,000, Niagara Falls had the third most violent crimes per person.
And for its 2,807 property crimes, it had the second most per person in this category. All in all, this city had the second highest number of total crimes per person in our analysis.
Source: Flickr user rik-shaw
This city in Eastern New York comes in among our top 10 mostly due to its high number of violent crimes per person.
In 2013, it had a reported total of 607 violent crimes—eight murders, 31 rapes, 203 robberies, and 365 aggravated assaults. With its population of just over 66,000 people, this gave Schenectady the sixth most violent crimes per person.
This, plus its 11th most property crimes per person (a total of 2,800 in 2013), gave Schenectady the eighth most crimes per person overall and residents just a 1 in 19 chance of being the victim of a crime.
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Source: Flickr user Where_Is_Jo_Now
Just a moment ago we told you that Schenectady had a high number of violent crimes per person—but that was nothing compared to Newburgh. This city had the highest number of violent crimes per person out of anywhere in our analysis, with a total of 435 for its population of just 28,571.
These violent crimes included five murders (the fifth most per person), 21 rapes, 150 robberies, and 259 assaults.
It also had a reported 1,040 property crimes, giving it the 24th most per person in this category, and the seventh most crimes per person overall.
7. Johnson City
Source: Flickr user Doug Kerr
The Village of Johnson City had 69 violent crimes for its population of 14,866. This gave it the 19th most violent crimes per person.
But with 949 property crimes (828 thefts, 111 burglaries, and 10 vehicle thefts), Johnson City had the highest number of property crimes, and, therefore, the highest number of total crimes per person in our analysis.
Because of this, residents had a 1 in 15 chance of being the victim of a crime.
Source: Flickr user Kevin Jackson
This Broome County city ranked among our top 10 mostly due to its third highest number of property crimes per person. To be a bit more specific, Binghamton had a total of 2,349 property crimes for its population of 46,304. These included 1,767 thefts, 525 burglaries, and 57 vehicle thefts.
Additionally, the city had a total of 284 violent crimes, including three murders, 19 rapes, 101 robberies, and 161 assaults, giving it the 13th most per person in this category, and the fifth most total crimes per person in our analysis.
Source: Flickr user Bill Morrow
In 2013, Albany had a total of 4,881 crimes, which, with its population of just under 98,000, gave it the 10th highest number of crimes per person in our analysis.
These crimes included 4,090 property crimes and 791 violent crimes, eight of which were murders. It had the 13th, ninth, and 12th most crimes per person in these categories, respectively.
Source: Flickr user Russ Nelson
Bringing our list to a close is the City of Utica. It had a high number of crimes, pretty much across the board, with a 2013 total of 2,889. With its population of 61,686, this gave it the 14th most per person.
this was made up of 2,528 property crimes (the 15th most per person) and 361 violent crimes (the 14th most). To be more specific, these property crimes included 1,997 thefts, 449 burglaries, and 82 vehicle thefts, while the violent crimes included seven murders, 27 rapes, 102 robberies, and 225 aggravated assaults.
Things are Shaping Up… For Some Places
It's unlikely you'll find anyone who'd consider New York City anything less than downright dangerous, but as our ranking shows, the Big Apple is not the crime capital it once was. In fact, it came in at No. 41.
For those places that did make our list, though, don’t worry. It doesn’t mean they're not still good places to live, they just have a little cleaning up to do. In the meantime, if you want to move someplace a little safer, get in touch and we can do the work for you.
Stay safe out there!
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