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.
New York State and the FBI use seven Index crime categories as indicators of overall crime trends: murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault, which are classified as violent crimes; and the property crimes of burglary, larceny and motor vehicle theft. The FBI created these categories to allow for uniform crime reporting across all 50 states.
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 2021, here are the top 11 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.
11. Rochester (Monroe County) has a violent crime rate of 304.3
Rochester is located in Monroe County, which is between Buffalo and Syracuse. It sits on the border of the United States, right off of Lake Ontario. Monroe County has a population of 759,863 as of 2021. Its property crime rate, at 1633.7, is significantly higher than the violent crime rate. The rate for a violent crime committed with a firearm is the second highest in the state at 134.9.
10. Schenectady (Schenectady County) has a violent crime rate of 330.5
It appears that Schenectady has gotten a bit safer. In 2020 it had a violent crime rate of 359.5. Schenectady County is home to 159,464 New Yorkers. General Electric's administrative core and Price Chopper Supermarkets headquarters are both located in the county. The property crime rate is 2,083.90. The rate of violent crimes committed with a firearm also dropped from 79.7 in 2020 to 64.6 in 2021. It is located just west of Albany.
9. Binghamton (Broome County) has a violent crime rate of 336.8
Broome County, which is located directly north of Scranton, Pennsylvania, in the southeast region of the state, has a population of 193,265, according to the most recent count from 2021. Property crime rate is the biggest crime threat in Broome County with a rate of 2,067.60. The rate for a violent crime committed with a firearm is 39.8.
8. Syracuse (Onondaga County) has a violent crime rate of 355.9
Onondaga County, which includes Syracuse, has a population of 470,355. 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 1,579.90 and its violent crimes committed with a firearm rate is 77.6.
7. Buffalo (Erie County) has a violent crime rate of 369.9
Erie County has reduced violent crime over the last year. In 2020 the violent crime rate was 402.2. Home of the Buffalo Bills, Erie County has a population of just under 1 million - 940,988. Erie County has the third highest rate of violent crimes committed with a firearm at 123.1, which is down from the previous year's rate of 130.7. The property crime rate is 1,802.40.
6. Albany (Albany County) has a violent crime rate of 384.2
Albany is the capital of New York State. The county has a population of 311,537. Aside from housing state government, Albany also has more than 100,000 college and university students attending one of its 12 colleges. It has a property crime rate of 2,145.20 and a violent crime rate of 89.6.
5. Catskill (Greene County) has a violent crime rate of 427.3
Green County's population in 2021 was 48,211. Its county seat is Catskill. The county is located on the west bank of the Hudson River. The property crimes rate is 800.6 and the violent crimes committed with a firearm rate is really low at 10.4. The county includes some of the state's natural wonders including Catskill Park, Hunter Mountain and Kaaterskill Falls.
4. Queens (Queens County) has a violent crime rate of 439.8
Queens County is located within the area known as New York City. It has a population of 2,333,311.
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 1,245.80 and the rate of violent crimes committed with a firearm is 60.5.
3. Brooklyn (Kings County) has a violent crime rate of 576.8
Kings County, home of the borough of Brooklyn, has a population of 2,643,508. 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 1,332.60 in 2021 and the rate of violent crimes committed with a firearm was 89.5.
2. Manhattan (New York County) has a violent crime rate of 742.6
New York County is the most densely populated county in the United States with a population of 1,578,342 in 2021.
Manhattan has been described as the economic and cultural center of the United States and serves as home to the United Nations Headquarters. Wall Street, in Lower Manhattan, has been called the financial capital of the world, and is home to the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ.
The property crimes rate was 2,649.70 in 2021 and the rate of violent crimes committed with a firearm was relatively low for the population at 85.9.
1. 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 1,039.00 in 2021, up from 928.8 in 2020. The population of Bronx is 1,426,273. Bronx County had a rate of 127.5 violent crimes committed with a firearm last year, but it has increased to 179.8 this year.The rate of property crimes in Bronx County was 1,647.10.
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