While I love living in New York, there are some dangerous and violent areas across the state. Taking a look at statistics provided by the state's Division of Criminal Justice Services, these are the counties with the most violent and property crimes. The stats provided by the state are for the county, but I've also included the major city in each of the counties since they tend to be more identifiable. This list is not meant to scare, just to make New Yorkers and visitors aware. Many people automatically think New York City is the most dangerous and violent in the state. While that is partially true, as you'll see below, there are quite a few other "unsuspecting" cities joining it on the list.
When it comes to violent crimes, based on the numbers reported in 2020, here are the top 10 counties (including major cities) in New York:
The overall crime rate of a county is calculated by dividing the total number of Index crimes submitted by police agencies in each county by the county’s population and multiplying the result by 100,000. The U.S. Census Bureau is the source of county population data. ~ New York Division of Criminal Justice Services
10. Chautauqua / Jamestown has a violent crime rate of 312.9
Chautauqua County is located in Western New York. The largest city in the county is Jamestown and the county seat is Mayville. With a population of 125,262, Chautauqua County has a property crimes rate of 2,018.2 and a violent crimes committed with a firearm rate of 34.3.
9. Broome County / Binghamton has a violent crime rate of 350.7
Broome County, which is located directly north of Scranton, Pennsylvania, in the southeast region of the state, has a population of 188,206, according to the most recent count from 2020. Its property crime rate, at 2,401.6, is significantly higher than the violent crime rate. The rate for a violent crime committed with a firearm is 48.9.
8. Onondaga County / Syracuse has a violent crime rate of 354.4
Onondaga County, which includes Syracuse, has a population of 456,836. It is considered west central in the Finger Lakes region of New York. For many New Yorkers, it is known best as the home of The Great New York State Fair. Its property crime rate is 1,830.9 and its violent crimes committed with a firearm rate is 80.1.
7. Schenectady County / Schenectady has a violent crime rate of 359.5
Schenectady County is home to 154,361 New Yorkers. General Electric's administrative core and Price Chopper Supermarkets headquarters are both located in the county. The property crime rate is 2,119.7 and the rate of violent crimes committed with a firearm is 79.7. It is located just west of Albany.
6. Albany County / Albany has a violent crime rate of 361.2
Albany is the capital of New York State. The county has a population of 303,723. Aside from housing state government, Albany also has 100,000 college and university students attending one of its 12 colleges. It has a property crime rate of 2,053.8 and a violent crime rate of 77.4.
5. Erie County / Buffalo has a violent crime rate of 402.2
Home of the Buffalo Bills, Erie County has a population of just under 1 million - 912,816. While the Western New York county is home to the second most populous city, it has the "honor" of having the highest rate of violent crimes committed with a firearm - 130.7. The property crime rate is 1,974.1.
4. Greene County / Catskill has a violent crime rate of 411.3
Green County's population in 2020 was 46,678. Its county seat is Catskill. The county is located on the west bank of the Hudson River. The property crimes rate is 764.8 and the violent crimes committed with a firearm rate is 12.9. The county includes some of the state's natural wonders including Catskill Park, Hunter Mountain and Kaaterskill Falls.
3. Queens County / Queens has a violent crime rate of 428.6
Queens County is located within the area known as New York City. It has a population of 2,246,431.
Queens is the most ethnically diverse urban area in the world, as residents often closely identify with their neighborhood rather than with the borough or city. The borough is a patchwork of dozens of unique neighborhoods, each with its own distinct identity. ~ New York State
The property crimes rate in Queens County is 1,238.3 and the rate of violent crimes committed with a firearm is 55.2.
2. Kings County / Brooklyn has a violent crime rate of 571.8
Kings County, home of the borough of Brooklyn, has a population of 2,551,468. It is the most populated county on the list.
In recent years, Brooklyn has benefited from a steady influx of financial back-office operations from Manhattan, the rapid growth of a high-tech and entertainment economy in DUMBO, and strong growth in support services such as accounting, personal supply agencies, and computer services firms. ~ New York State
The property crimes rate was 1,424.6 in 2020 and the rate of violent crimes committed with a firearm was 91.6.
The Most Violent and Dangerous City in New York State is the Bronx
Bronx County, home of the Bronx, one of New York City's five boroughs, has the most violent crimes with a rate of 928.8. The population of Bronx was 1,413,534. Although it is number one when it comes to violent crimes, Erie County and Buffalo had the highest rate of violent crimes committed with a firearm. Bronx County had a rate of 127.5 violent crimes committed with a firearm, second to the Western New York county and city. The rate of property crimes in Bronx County was 1,633.4.
Bronx County was the last of the 62 counties of New York State to be incorporated. Although the Bronx is the third most densely populated county in the U.S., about a quarter of its area is open space, including Woodlawn Cemetery, Van Cortlandt Park, Pelham Bay Park, the New York Botanical Garden and the Bronx Zoo. ~ New York State
* Raw data provided by Division of Criminal Justice Services, analysis by Yasmin Young
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