10 Most Dangerous Cities In NJ

By PropertyClub Team
Oct 20th 2023
New Jersey might be known as the Garden State, but it’s also very densely populated. While some cities in the state are remarkably safe, the worst areas in NJ can be quite terrifying. Read on to discover the most dangerous cities in NJ. 

Before you decide where in NJ you want to live, it’s best to know which cities are the most dangerous and why. After all, you want to ensure you and your family are safe and comfortable. 

hash-mark10 Most Dangerous Cities in New Jersey

  1. Camden
  2. Trenton
  3. Paterson
  4. Atlantic City
  5. Irvington
  6. Long Branch
  7. Salem
  8. Asbury Park
  9. Penns Grove
  10. Wildwood

hash-mark1. Camden

Camden is the most dangerous city in NJ due to its extremely high crime and murder rates. Unfortunately, the city is often in the news for the wrong reasons. Camden has been embattled with some of the worst crime rates in the country. It’s only been made worse by cuts to the local police force and urban decay. 

There are currently 1,603 violent crimes per 100,000 people in this city. Cops have been proactive in trying to get some semblance of order, but the city remains unsafe as homicides and assaults remain high. With such high crime rates, Camden is simply one of the worst places to live in NJ.  

hash-mark2. Trenton

Another one of the most dangerous cities in NJ is Trenton, the state’s capital. The violent crime rate in Trenton is quite high, with 1,169 violent crimes for every 100,000 people who live here, almost three times the national average. Property crimes are fairly high in the city, as well. 

Trenton currently struggles with extremely high poverty ratings, urban blight, and gang activity. While police have tried to clamp down on this city’s crime, it will take a lot more to get things under control.

hash-mark3. Paterson

Paterson is another dangerous New Jersey city that has been gripped with a bad reputation for violent crime, but like others on this list, things are improving. Gang activity and heroin-related addictions spark much of the crime here.

Depending on where you go, you could find a safe neighborhood, or it could be an area that’s dangerous to walk around at night. 

hash-mark4. Atlantic City

Are you one of the many people who want to DO AC in the summer? You’re not alone, but don’t forget, this city has a way of attracting crime, often due to the activities happening in and around the casinos. 

Whether it’s because people are desperate for gambling money or because of gang activity, this city has a fairly rough crime problem. Violent crimes clock in at around 900 per 100,000. The real issue here is petty theft, drug dealing, and property crimes. So keep an eye on your wallet!

hash-mark5. Irvington

Irvington is a dangerous NJ city that borders Newark. However, while Newark has been working hard to get crime under control, its neighbor Irvington has not been as fortunate. Irvington has been dealing with high rates of gang activity and drug addictions that have gone out of control. 

Around 500 violent crimes happen for every 100,000 people who are here. Car thefts and robberies, though, are far more common than people want to admit. So if you can, avoid this violent New Jersey city. 

hash-mark6. Long Branch

Long Branch is another one of the most dangerous cities in NJ. That's somewhat surprising as it is close to Monmouth University, one of the most expensive private colleges in the state. It’s also close to several “old money” towns, including Rumson and Little Silver. 

Unfortunately, Long Branch also has some fairly rough spots—a holdover from the days when this area was deemed fairly run-down. While violent crimes clock in at only 453 per 100,000, property crimes are common enough.

hash-mark7. Salem

Salem is one of the most dangerous towns in NJ. It's also one of the most affordable places to buy a house in New Jersey, with some homes selling for as little as $76,000 right now. However, don’t make a mistake about it; it’s cheap because of the extremely high crime rate. 

This super-small town has 2,060 violent crimes reported per 100,000 residents. Admittedly, there are only around 5,000 residents here. What’s alarming is that there have been more crimes reported than there are residents. 

Between that and a poverty rate of 41 percent, it’s easy to see why Salem isn’t looking too good. 

hash-mark8. Asbury Park

Asbury Park is home to Tillie, Convention Hall, and the Wonder Bar. But don’t take this increasingly touristy city for a safe place to be. While you might love visiting the boardwalk here, the truth is that this town is still reeling from the economic turmoil it had not too long ago. 

1,226 violent crimes happen here for every 100,000 residents who call this place home, making it roughly as dangerous as Trenton. Gang activity remains a serious concern, even though this area has become fairly gentrified in recent years.

hash-mark9. Penns Grove

Penns Grove is a town that ranks amongst the worst in New Jersey when it comes to its safety record. This small New Jersey town has roughly ⅓ of all its residents struggling with poverty wages.

This area has struggling, underfunded schools, and a serious gang issue. According to the statistics, there are approximately 5,000 people living here. The total amount of crimes reported topped 5,338. That’s not a good look, no matter how you slice it.

hash-mark10. Wildwood

Wildwood may not be a violent city, but it sure is dangerous for your property. This city has an eye-popping 6,724 property crimes per 100,000 residents. That makes it the worst city in New Jersey for property crime, bar none.

Everything from petty theft to break-ins have happened here, and much of it is due to the allure of tourist money. It’s a pretty fun place to visit, but that doesn’t mean that it’s a good place to stay. 

hash-markMost Dangerous Cities in NJ Bottom Line

Although there are some extremely dangerous cities in NJ, there are also plenty of safe places to live in the state. New Jersey is actually one of the safest states in the US. Even though these cities may struggle with crime, the state’s overall crime rate is one of the lowest in the country. So, rest assured that your choice to live here is a good one. As long as you choose the right location, you’re good to go.