The common stereotype of the City of Seattle is a lot of rain, grunge, Starbucks, Microsoft and a physically-fit residential population that is fairly safe. While most of that is true, Seattle, like many other major cities in the United States, does have a darker and more crime ridden side. Of course this is all relative as an unsafe area of Los Angeles may be significantly worse than an unsafe area of Seattle. Several of the neighborhoods on this list have been gentrifying in recent years with the opening of new restaurants, shops, gyms and public events. Of course there are always the small pockets of crime in every neighborhood, even during the gentrification process.
Nevertheless, there are multiple neighborhoods in the City of Seattle that can be considered “riskier” and the following is a list of the 10 most dangerous.
1. South Park
Located south of Downtown Seattle, South Park has a crime rate that is 187-percent higher than the national average making it the most dangerous neighborhood in Seattle. A major contributor to this rate is the motor vehicle theft risk which 48-percent higher than the national average. There are 23.25 daily crimes that occur in the neighborhood for every 100,000 people and you have a 1 in 12 chance of being a victim at any given time.
2. Rainier Beach
Not far behind South Park is Rainier Beach. With a total estimated crime rate of 7,631; 684 violent crimes and 6,974 property crimes per 100K residents, Rainier Beach is considered high risk. The overall crime rate in Rainier Beach is 158-percent higher than the national average. Therefore, fore every 100K people, there are 20.91 daily crimes that occur in the neighborhood and the number has increased by 9-percent year-over-year. As a resident or visitor, you have a 1 in 14 chance of being the victim of any type of crime.
Located in the Brighton area of Seattle, Othello has a crime rate that is 155-percent higher than the national average. When exploring this neighborhood, you have a 1 in 14 chance of being a victim of any crime. While there is little violent crime, the property crime is extremely high.
4. Beacon Hill
With a crime rate that is 148-percent higher than the national average, Beacon Hill is the site of the former headquarters of Amazon.com. For every 100,000 individuals in Beacon Hill, there are 20.13 daily crimes. Therefore, you have a 1 in 14 chance of being the victim of crime. Despite these statistics, the neighborhood is rapidly gentrifying with new restaurants opening weekly and events launching on a regular basis. It is also the home to the Beacon Food Forest, a new project that has created an urban farm.
Located in one section of Downtown Seattle, Yesler is an area with a crime rate that is 127-percent higher than the national average. Residents and visitors have a 1 in 15 chance of becoming the victim of a crime and this area has seen total year-over-year 9-percent increase in crime. 18.44 daily crimes occur for every 100,000 individuals.
6. Lake City
Located approximately 8 miles northeast of Downtown Seattle, Lake City has an overall crime rate that is 83-percent higher than the national average. Residents have a 1 in 19 chance of being the victim of a crime and there are 14.84 crimes per 100,000 people per day.
With a total of 2,632 total report incidents that range from murder to rape to property crime, the Burien neighborhood has a crime rate that is 77-percent higher than the national average. With regards to violent crimes, Burien has a 40-percent higher rate than the national average. Based on this information, 14.34 crimes occur daily in Burien per 100,000 individuals. However, it appears as if this neighborhood is gentrifying. The total decrease in crimes from last year at this time is 6-percent.
8. White Center
With a population of around 14,000, White Center is nicknamed “Rat City” due to the preponderance of rats in the area at some point in the neighborhood’s history. The crime rate is 48-percent higher than the national average with a daily rate of 12.05 crimes. When in White Center, you have a 1 in 23 chance of being the victim of a crime. Overall, crime has only increased by 1-percent since this same time last year, indicating stability.
Skyway has a crime rate that is 18-percent higher than the national average. There are 9.61 daily crimes that occur per 100,000 people and you have a 1 in 29 chance of being the victim of a crime. Since last year, crimes in Skyway have increased by only 1-percent indicating that the neighborhood is stabilized. Most of the crimes in the Skyway neighborhood can be attributed to property damage such as broken windows and graffiti.
10. Aurora Ave
Rounding out the top of the list is the Aurora Ave neighborhood. As an enclave in Belltown, there are numerous nightlife options in the area. However, bars that stay open late can cause problems from locals and visitors alike. Although the majority of crimes committed on Aurora Ave are the result of property damage, the neighborhood has a 6-percent higher crime rate than the national average with 8.62 crimes per day. Residents have a 1 in 32 chance of being the victim of a crime.
Compared to most other cities in the United States, Seattle is fairly safe. Also, Seattle is a wonderful seaside city with excellent nightlife, culture, sports, theater, museums and events. Like with any city, there are areas to look into further due to safety. However, most of Seattle’s crime statistics show that property damage is the bigger problem than violent crimes.