The Top 20 Most Dangerous Places in New York State

Written by Alanna Davis
Published: March 14, 2024
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Although many people know New York for its glitz and glamour, not all places in this state are entirely safe. In fact, people planning to travel or move to New York may be curious about locations that they should avoid visiting. Reasons for the relative safety of an area can be influenced by factors such as the average income in an area, level of education, access to housing and food, drug use, and gang activity. Allow this article to help inform your decisions about where you will travel. Here are 20 of the most dangerous places in New York in no particular ranked order.

1. Binghamton

Aerial shot of a green temple in downtown Binghamton, during an orange sunset

Roughly 50,000 people live in Binghampton.

©Wirestock/iStock via Getty Images

Despite what you may think, Binghampton is one of the most dangerous places in New York. The crime rate here is almost two times larger than the average city in the United States.

2. East New York

The Williamsburg Bridge is a suspension bridge across the East River at night in New York City , USA

New York City is one of the largest in America with roughly 8.5 million residents.

©Belikova Oksana/Shutterstock.com

Within New York City, East New York has one of the highest crime rates. Prostitution, drug use, and gang activity are all rampant in this area.

3. Buffalo

Buffalo, New York

Buffalo has been nicknamed “Queen City.”

©iStock.com/Joseph Hrycych

Although Buffalo is less dangerous than other places in New York, this city has frequent occurrences of violent and non-violent crimes such as theft. According to Crime Grade, “Your chance of being a victim of crime in the Buffalo area may be as high as 1 in 7 in the east neighborhoods, or as low as 1 in 144 in the southeast part of the city.”

4. Schenectady

Schenectady is a small City in Upstate New York on the Erie Canal

In order to protect yourself, try to travel in groups and avoid being outside after dark.

©Jacob Boomsma/Shutterstock.com

Many New York residents think of Schenectady as a dangerous place. Similar to Binghampton, the crime rate here is over double the national average.

5. Newburgh

A welcome sign at the New York state line.

Newburgh, New York was named after Newburgh, Scotland.

©iStock.com/wellesenterprises

The frequency of crime in Newburgh is much higher than your average American city. However, the local police force has made strides in cutting down on this recently, and projections for the future of this city look promising.

6. Utica

Aerial View of Downtown Utica in Upstate New York

Utica has been nicknamed “The City of Possibilities,” “Renaissance City,” and “Sin City,” throughout the years.

©Jacob Boomsma/Shutterstock.com

In Utica, your chance of being involved in a crime is 42 out of 1,000. This is higher than the national average, which sits at 10 out of every 1,000 people, but only slightly higher than New York’s average, which is 38 out of every 1,000 people.

7. Albany

Albany. Georgia. USA

Albany is older than New York City.

©SevenMaps/Shutterstock.com

Some people consider Albany a dangerous place to be because of the high amount of petty crimes that occur there. Unlike other places in New York, your chance of being involved in a violent crime is relatively low. However, property-related crimes are popular here.

8. Rochester

Aerial view low-density two story residential house in sprawl development outward expansion suburbs of Rochester, New York. Upscale suburban home with large lot size, green grassy lawn, fall season

Rochester is an incredibly historic city.

©Trong Nguyen/Shutterstock.com

Rochester’s crime rate is comparable to that of Utica at 43 out of 1,000 residents. According to the Rochester Institute of Technology, “Rochester continues to rank among the highest in terms of homicide rate, moving from fifth highest in 2021 to fourth highest this year.”

9. Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls, a complex of waterfalls on the Niagara River

Despite its beauty, Niagara Falls can be a dangerous place to live.

©avstraliavasin/iStock via Getty Images

Niagara Falls is currently one of the most dangerous cities in New York, although things weren’t always this way. This location is a popular tourist destination and was once known as the “Honeymoon Capital of the World.”

10. Troy

New York

Uncle Sam is buried in Troy, New York at the Oakwood Cemetery.

©BestStockFoto/Shutterstock.com

Troy, New York is a relatively small town compared to others we’ve discussed today. Because of this, you might think that the crime rate would be significantly less. However, the truth is that Troy is plagued by crime, and the chances of becoming a victim in this town are 41 out of every 1,000 individuals.

11. Poughkeepsie

Poughkeepsie View From Walk Over The Hudson

This city was founded in 1687.

©Michal Grzechulski/Shutterstock.com

Poughkeepsie has nearly double the United States national average crime rate. Assault, murder, and rape are concerns here and property crime is not uncommon either. Individuals traveling here should take all reasonable measures to protect themselves. Try traveling in groups and avoiding high-crime areas.

12. Endicott

A Blue Flag For The State of New York In The Wind

Roughly 14,000 individuals live in Endicott.

©railway fx/Shutterstock.com

In Endicott, 33 per 1,000 residents will be involved in a violent crime. Although this is significantly less than other places we’ve discussed today, this is still well over the American average which is roughly 22 per 1,000 residents.

13. Wyandanch

the buildings of long island in front of east river at twilight

Wyandanch is located on Long Island.

©f11photo/Shutterstock.com

According to Crime Grade, “Wyandanch is in the 25th percentile for safety, meaning 75% of cities are safer and 25% of cities are more dangerous.” Assault and robbery are two of the most common types of crime here.

14. Kingston

Rondout Creek flows past under bridges on the waterfront in South Kingston New York USA

Kingston is a small town in upstate New York.

©Real Window Creative/Shutterstock.com

If possible, avoid traveling to Kingston while you’re in the state of New York. A crime occurs here roughly every 16 hours, and many of them are serious offenses.

15. Mount Vernon

Mount Vernon. New York. USA

For a time, George Washington lived in Mount Vernon.

©SevenMaps/Shutterstock.com

Crime in Mount Vernon is still a serious concern, however, it seems that efforts to slow the rate at which they happen have been successful in Mount Vernon recently. Despite this, individuals living or traveling to this town should exercise caution.

16. Oneida

This city is located in Madison County, New York.

©iStock.com/Mirages-nl

Oneida has one of the highest crime rates of all throughout the state of New York. As many as 45 per 1,000 residents may be involved in an incident per year. In particular, the southwest portion of this city has the most concentrated amount of crime.

17. Watertown

Flag of US state New York seal in big broken material concrete hole facade structure

The population of Watertown is comprised of roughly 25,000 individuals.

©Bennian/Shutterstock.com

The most common crimes that occur in Watertown are assault and rape. Assault happens here almost twice as much as the national average, and rape cases are reported with over three times the frequency than other cities in America.

18. Malone

Flag of New York State

Malone, New York has gone through several name changes throughout the years.

©iStock.com/bndart

Some people tout Malone as being an affordable place to live. However, affordable housing comes at a cost, and individuals living here report feeling unsafe in many areas around this town.

19. Hunts Point

apartment buildings in Hunts Point, Bronx, NYC

Hunts Point is located in the South Bronx.

©chris-mueller/iStock via Getty Images

Similar to East New York, Hunts Point is one of the most dangerous places in New York City. This area has a high incidence rate of drug-related crime, prostitution, and gang activity.

20. Brownsville

Map of New York

Brownsville borders East New York.

©Bobtokyoharris/iStock via Getty Images

Located in Brooklyn, Brownsville has an incredibly high crime rate compared to other places in the state. At one point, this neighborhood had the highest murder rate in New York City. Despite this, things seem to have been taking a turn for the better recently. Police have been cracking down, and according to the New York Daily News, there was a period of six weeks where no homicides were reported at all.

Common Types of CrimePlace
Violent crimeUtica, Rochester, Niagara Falls, Endicott
Property crimeBinghamton, Newburgh, Albany, Malone, Mount Vernon
Both violent crime and property crimeEast New York, Buffalo, Schenectady, Troy, Kingston, Wyandanch, Poughkeepsie, Oneida, Hunts Point, Brownsville

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Ondrej Bucek/iStock via Getty Images


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About the Author

Alanna is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering insects, animals, and travel. In addition to writing, she spends her time tutoring English and exploring the east end of Long Island. Prior to receiving her Bachelor's in Economics from Stony Brook University, Alanna spent much of her time studying entomology and insect biology.

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