These 4 Cities in Pennsylvania Are the Murder Capital, Says a Study.

In a recent study conducted by, Pennsylvania has been highlighted for having some of the highest murder rates in America. The study focused on cities with populations of 25,000 or more, analyzing the number of murders per 1,000 residents to determine the most dangerous areas.

Among the top 30 Murder Capitals of America, Pennsylvania cities have made a significant impact, shedding light on the concerning issue of violent crime in the state.

What is the Murder Rate in the Four Cities in Pennsylvania

The murder rates in the four cities in Pennsylvania are as follows:

– McKees Rocks: The murder rate in McKees Rocks is 6,409 per 100,000 residents, making it 173% more dangerous than the national average.

– Darby: Darby reported 152 murders in 2021 out of a population of 10,667, with a property crime rate of 4,625 incidents per 100,000 people.

– Philadelphia: Philadelphia had a murder rate of 20.7 per 100,000 residents, ranking it as having the highest per-capita murder rate among major U.S. cities.

– Chester: Chester’s crime rate is 116% higher than the Pennsylvania state average, with 4,389 crimes per 100,000 people.

These statistics highlight the concerning levels of violent crime in these cities, emphasizing the need for effective strategies to address the underlying causes and improve public safety.

McKees Rocks

McKees Rocks, nicknamed “The Rocks,” is a borough in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, known for its high crime rate. With a population of 5,920, McKees Rocks has a crime rate of 6,409 per 100,000 residents, making it 173% more dangerous than the national average. In 2022, there were 106 incidents of violent crime and 262 incidents of property crime, which are significant numbers considering the town’s small population.


Darby, located in Pennsylvania, is known for its high levels of violence. In 2021, it reported 152 murders among its population of 10,667. Property crime is also rampant, with a rate of 4,625 incidents per 100,000 people.

Residents face a 1 in 22 chance of being victims of any crime. Moreover, Darby has a notably high poverty rate, with residents earning an average of less than $35,000 annually.


Philadelphia, despite its size, isn’t as high on this list as you might expect. When compared to its population, its crime rate isn’t exceptionally high. However, this doesn’t mean the city is completely safe. With a population of 1,603,797, Philadelphia has a crime rate of 4,006 per 100,000 residents, which is 97% higher than the state average.

Residents face a 1 in 25 chance of falling victim to any type of crime. Like in many big cities, crime tends to be concentrated in specific areas, with North and West Philadelphia being the most prone to violence.


Chester, a city in Delaware County near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is known for its high crime rate and political corruption. With a population of 32,605, it’s frequently listed among the most dangerous cities in the U.S. Crime in Chester is 116% higher than the state average, with 4,389 crimes per 100,000 people. As of 2021, the median home price there is only $66,800.

What Measures Are Being Taken to Address the Issue of Crime in These Cities

To address the issue of crime in these cities, various measures are being implemented based on research and recommendations:

1. Fixing up Abandoned Buildings: One approach involves fixing up abandoned and vacant buildings to deter criminal activity. Research has shown that this can lead to a decrease in assaults, gun assaults, and nuisance crimes without displacing crime to other areas.

2. Hot-Spot Policing: Law enforcement agencies are utilizing evidence-based tactics like hot-spot policing, which involves deploying police intelligently in specific high-crime areas. This strategy focuses on community partnerships and has been effective in reducing crime without displacing it to other areas.

3. Focused Deterrence Policing: Another strategy is focused deterrence policing, which targets specific problems like drug dealing, gangs, or gun violence. By focusing on individuals and groups driving criminal activity and offering alternatives through social services, this approach aims to deter offenders from engaging in violent behavior and provides them with different options.

4. Community Involvement: Engaging the community in crime prevention efforts is crucial. By building resilience, reducing susceptibility, developing healthy gender norms, and creating protective environments, public health strategies aim to prevent and reduce crime and violence. Programs like universal school-based initiatives and hospital-based violence intervention programs have shown success in reducing violent behavior among children and adolescents.

These measures highlight a multi-faceted approach that combines physical improvements, targeted policing strategies, community involvement, and public health initiatives to address the complex issue of crime in these cities.


The data presented in the study sheds light on the pressing issue of violent crime in Pennsylvania. With several cities in the state featuring prominently in the list of Murder Capitals of America, it is evident that more needs to be done to address the root causes of such high murder rates.

From improving law enforcement strategies to addressing social and economic disparities, a comprehensive approach is required to tackle the underlying factors contributing to violence in Pennsylvania cities.

In conclusion, the study serves as a stark reminder of the challenges faced by Pennsylvania in combating violent crime. By acknowledging the problem and working towards effective solutions, the state can strive towards creating safer communities for its residents.

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