Unfortunately, crime is something that happens. And New York City, like any major big city in the world, has its fair share of dangerous neighborhoods. Regardless, it still ranks as one of the safest cities you can settle in.
n New York, there are many potential experiences you stand to get a kick out of. The best places would get you jazzed up and the famous sites would never be enough. That’s what makes New York one of the most visited cities till date.
But when in the city, the infamous question is usually asked first: What is the most dangerous neighborhood in New York City? From statistics and reviews, here they are:
Top 10 Most Dangerous Neighborhoods in New York City
- Brownsville: When it comes to drug related deaths, murder and homicide, Brownsville beats every other city in New York to it. This neighborhood is also in record to have the lowest life expectancy rate and highest infant mortality. This is all because of the extreme violence it faces.
A mortality report released by Department of Health (DOHMH) in 2019 showed 17 deaths for every 1,000 people between 2013 and 2017. This is four times more than New York’s homicide rate average of 3.8.
Funny thing is, as outrageous as this result is, it is actually a decline. Brownsville was once the murder capital of New York. It is no surprise this neighborhood is not only tagged dangerous, but deadly.
Midtown: As much as Midtown is considered one of the best places to visit, it’s also one of the unsafe areas of New York. With its massive attractions that make it a popular tourists’ destination, perhaps, it’s same reason that pull the crimes closer. There’s Central Park, Times Square and then there are clusters of pick pockets and muggers.
For a neighborhood that houses 62,000 people, property crime covers 740 per 10,000 people; while violent crime covers 120 per 10,000.
Bedford - Stuyvesant (Bed-Sty): This neighborhood has a rich history, but not enough to drown the crimes being committed. It used to be known as the largest ghetto in America back in the 60s and 70s, with high record of violence. But now, a lot has been done to reform the community, which has improved the safety of the residents. Currently with one of the top largest population, 234,457 inhabitants, Bedford’s total crime rate reaches 2,548 crimes per 100,000 inhabitants. You’ll likely become a victim of a crime 1 in 40chances. With that record, you may or may not wonder: Is Bed-Sty safe? There are areas in the neighborhood to shy away from at night so you don’t get mugged. Like along Myrtle Avenue, reports of activities at corners still exist.
Hunts Point: Back then, Hunts Point used to be registered as one of the most dangerous areas in the Bronx. This neighborhood had a reputation of being crime-filled, with high drug concentration. And recently, it’s seen as still in a bad shape with crumbling tenements, negative vibes and dangerous hot spots. The population in Hunts Point is roughly 23,000 with crime rate of 55% greater than the national average. If you happen to be a resident in Hunts Point, your chance of being a crime victim is 1 in 26.
Mott Haven: This neighborhood is trying to keep its dangerous past in the past, but that’s still an unsuccessful feat. Especially as it is one of the most dangerous areas in the Bronx. The rehab centers and patrol officers are too many in trying to keep the crime rate at bay. About 70,000 people live here and the total crime rate is 1,749 crimes to 100,000 people. Violent crime rate seems to have shot up to 360% greater the national average. In this neighborhood, there are areas like the Saint Mary’s lark and a few others where it is advised not to walk alone at night.
Downtown: Even with one of the few smallest population numbers in New York, Downtown has a crime rate that is over 400% greater than the national average. This neighborhood is not so dangerous in terms of burglaries or murder. Significantly, property crime, and not violent crime, takes a larger part of the crime numbers. When in this neighborhood, the chance of being a crime victim is 1 in 8.
East Harlem: This, perhaps, should be one of the most diversified neighborhoods in the city. Located at upper Manhattan, East Harlem has been the center for immigrants of any tribe. In the past, this neighborhood, both ghetto and affluent, saw so much crime. From robberies and shootings, to drug sale rings, rapes and grand larceny.
If you ever sit and wonder: is Harlem safe? Here you go. 23rd & 25th precinct, and then 129th St and 7th Avenue are to be on the lookout for crime happenings. Even the subway station around 25th St could make you feel unsafe over Harlem ghetto.
But lately, there’s been a lot of decline in total crimes, with increased number of patrol officers. So far, East Harlem has violent crimes 264% greater than the national average. Still, East Harlem safety is more than 23% of other New York’s cities.
Soundview: There are almost a 100,000 people that live in Soundview and they’ve not all had to witness the worst of crimes. This neighborhood used to be dangerous some decades back but now, it seems relatively safe. Property crime has an estimate of 1,306 in 100,000 people while violent crime 893. The chances of being a victim of a crime in this neighborhood is 1 out of 46.
Tremont: This neighborhood in West Bronx has very little arrests reported, and also not the most dangerous in New York of course. However, with a population of 106,000 people, total crime of 2,539 is on the high side. The violent crime in the neighborhood is evidenced to be 178% higher than the national average.
Fordham: Though located in Bronx and ranked the 14th best, it is still one of the most dangerous areas in New York. With one of the smallest population as 64,000 inhabitants, its total crime rate per 100,000 people is at an alarming 3,135. If you live in Fordham, then your chances of being a crime victim is 1 in 32.
Current Crime Situation in New York
Violent crimes, clearly, have been very rare in a decade. What’s common is theft by swindlers, hustlers, pickpockets, and others issues relating to safety. But in 2019, over 300 people were victims of murder. Approximately an 8% rise from 2018. Ironically, data from March 2019 explains how the overall crime rate has declined to the lowest ever, since recorded in 1994. It dropped by 6.2%.
Top Worst Neighborhoods and Districts in Unsafe Areas in New York City
Being safe in New York is dependent on a lot of factors. Some neighborhoods are dangerous only at nights, while some others could be at whenever time of day. Again, some crimes in neighborhoods could be targeted at tourists and visitors alone, while others are also to locals alike. It is possible to live a decade and never have to be a victim to a dangerous crime. Or only to view crimes by screenplays and TV screens, and never be mugged. Just like it’s possible to be a victim every other day in every other acclaimed worst neighborhood.
The worst neighborhoods and districts in Unsafe Areas in New York are:
- Long wood: A neighborhood in the Bronx, with population of 33,198 people. Though this is one of the safest neighborhoods in the Bronx, the overall risk of crime is 4% higher than the National Average. Low number could illustrate: is the Bronx safe? Luckily there’s Best Western hotel near Prospect Av. Station that’s not only safe but known to have great service. It’s only 12miles from the airport and traveling solo, especially for women, is not a real concern
- Fort Greene: A Brooklyn neighborhood of 23,886 people. In this area, the risk of robbery is 31% higher than the national average. Most of the residents commute using the bus, train or the subway within Brooklyn and away. It’s only relatively safe if you keep away from the doors. Crimes are less common in this aspect. Also, Hampton Inn Brooklyn and AC hotel by Marriott have good reviews on safety by night, even for women traveling alone.
- Brooklyn Heights, Boerum Hill & Dumbo: Although it’s a safe neighborhood, these areas, out of 69 neighborhoods, ranked 49 in violent crime and 62 in property crime. While crime rates were declining in recent times, in these areas, burglaries, robbery and murder kept rising.
- Garment District: A Manhattan neighborhood of 4,586 people. The risk of crime is 27% higher than the National Average.
- Chelsea & Hell’s Kitchen: Some people ask: Is Hell’s Kitchen dangerous? A mine for crime, Hell's Kitchen was infamous for gang violence as Chelsea used to be filled with drug traffickers. Even with the drop in crime rate, violence is still apparent in these areas. For 8th and 9th Avenues which are usually busy, it’s safe to go about at night. Even ladies don’t need to travel with partners. There are always people moving about way past evening. The hotels at the west side usually have good security.
- Ocean Hill: Another Brooklyn neighborhood with a total population of 31,831. The overall risk of crime is 1% higher than the National Average. With 1%, it goes without saying: is Brooklyn safe? There’s no risk in this neighborhood with public transportation. Petty crimes and mugging are less common, so exploring at night, by foot or car, wouldn’t give you the shivers.
- Greenwich Village & Meatpacking District: With well-to-do inhabitants and many tourists in this area all the time, crime rate tends to go higher. There’s been 71% decrease in overall crime since 1993 though car break-ins have been seen to rise.
- High bridge: A Bronx neighborhood with decent set up and clean areas. However, what’s still prevalent is street crimes and drug addicts. In recent firms, High Bridge was one of the top 40 neighborhoods for safety in New York, ranked sixth in the Bronx, as per DNA Info.
- Norwood: Here, violent crimes are almost twice the national average. Very likely, property crimes would be fewer than national average. Getting around in public transport through Washington St seems to be the safest medium for commute if you have lots of cash in hand. Most lady tourists are hardly spotted solo in this neighborhood.
- Vinegar Hill: This neighborhood in Brooklyn has an overall risk of crime 40% lower than the National Average. Within this area, it’s the least dangerous if you commute through Wall Street, Rockefeller center or downtown Brooklyn in public transport. Preferably, moving by foot will serve well as places are clumped together.
Staying Safe in New York City
So far, the outlined neighborhoods and districts are the few that declared crime rates greater than other neighborhoods. To be safe in New York, it’s best to keep away from those dangerous neighborhoods. Better still, thread carefully while kitted for full mental participation.
For areas you’re unsure about its safety, like Central Harlem safety, Brooklyn safety, or Crown Heights Brooklyn safety, it’s best to regard them as unsafe till proven otherwise.
If you have to wonder: is New York Central Park Dangerous at night? Then yes, it is. Certain areas can attract dangerous crowd after dark. During the day also, it could be dangerous. It’s possible to witness a Central Park crime as there would be more people in concentration.
Carefully choose the areas in New York City’s neighborhoods to walk when in day time or night time. But really, is New York safe at night? What about in Manhattan, is it safe to walk in Manhattan at night? Is Harlem safe for tourists? Most Manhattan areas, like Alphabet City, are safe for walking at daytime.
Some safe neighborhoods are Sutton Place, Tudor City, Carnegie Hill, Battery Park City and the Queens. Meanwhile, the best neighborhoods in Queen are mostly the safest. Sunnyside, Bayside, and Glendale.
Safety cannot be over emphasized. In New York, to be cognizance of the dangerous areas, you have to be alert and bold to ask:
- Is Bush Wick safe?
- Is Crown Heights safe?
- Is Jamaican Queens safe?
- Is Queens New York safe?
- Is Flat Bush safe?
- Is Long Island City safe?
- Is Sunset Park Brooklyn safe?
- Is Coney Island safe?
- Is Brooklyn New York safe?
- Is Jackson Heights safe?
- Is Brighton beach safe?
- Is East Williamsburg safe at night?
- Is Prospect Park safe?
These areas are all relatively safe.
New York consistently welcomes lot of tourists and visitors into the city daily. While decades ago, it used to be a dangerous and risky city, it isn’t anymore. In fact, New York keeps ranking as one of the safest cities in the US. There has been drastic improvement in total crime and still keeps improving.