New York State notched a slight uptick in overall crime in 2020. According to the state’s Division of Criminal Justice Services, violent crime inched up 1% from 2019 while property crime edged up a bit more, by 1.9%. In the longer term, though, the state’s crime rate is trending downward. Between 2011 and 2020, the Empire State saw a 8.9% drop in violent crimes and a nearly 27% decrease in property offenses. (The FBI classifies burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson as property crimes. Violent crimes include murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, rаpe, robbery, and aggravated assault.)
As with most states, cities within New York’s borders had wildly divergent crime statistics, however. To determine the 25 most dangerous cities in New York, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data on violent crimes from the FBI’s Crime Data Explorer. Cities and towns with a population of at least 2,500 were ranked based on the number of violent crimes reported in 2020 per 100,000 residents. Data on population and property crimes also came from the FBI. Supplemental data on median household income and poverty rate came from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 American Community Survey and are five-year estimates.
If you’re thinking New York City was the state’s most crime-plagued city, you’d be wrong. On this list, the Big Apple registered at No. 13. With a population of more than eight million, the city recorded about 48,000 violent crimes, for a ratio of 577.8 per 100,000 residents. Property crimes hit 129,361, equating to 1,558.5 per 100,000 residents. Not ideal, but a safer place statistically than much of the state. (Nationwide, these are America’s 50 most dangerous cities.)
The New York City Police Department assembled different statistics, but its numbers indicate an overall decline in violent and property crimes overall. In 2020, 95,552 incidents were reported to the NYPD, a drop of 681 fewer victims than the previous year. Despite that drop, the department did note an increase in homicides, shootings, burglaries, and car thefts. (These are 25 cities where murders are on the rise.)
So which city booked the highest crime rate? The northern metropolis of Buffalo, which has a population of about 255,000. There, property crimes numbered 7,844 for a ratio of 3,080.6 per 100,000 residents. Violent crime totaled 2,592, factoring out to 1,018 per 100,000 residents.