Most Dangerous Cities in Virginia

By PropertyClub Team
Mar 1st 2023
Many people are drawn to Virginia due to its proximity to D.C., the beach, and the mountains. Despite all of the great things Virginia has to offer, there are many areas that experience disproportionately high rates of violent crime and property crime. To avoid making any mistakes if you are considering relocating, we’ve compiled a list of the worst places to live in Virginia. 

hash-mark10 Most Dangerous Cities in Virginia

  1. Portsmouth
  2. Emporia
  3. Galax
  4. South Boston
  5. Norfolk
  6. Richmond
  7. Fredericksburg 
  8. Danville
  9. Petersburg
  10. Newport News

hash-mark1. Portsmouth

The most dangerous city in Virginia is Portsmouth. This city has a particularly high violent crime rate and is located across the Elizabeth River from Norfolk, and has a population of 97,915. The crime rate in Portsmouth is 228% higher than the Virginia State average, with residents having a 1 in 19 chance of becoming the victim of any type of crime. In 2022 there were a total of 4,429 crimes, including 36 murders, 138 robberies, 529 assaults, and 3,007 incidents of theft. 

hash-mark2. Emporia

Emporia is another one of the worst cities in Virginia due to its high crime rates. Emporia is located in Greensville County and has a population of 5,766. The total crime rate in Emporia is 4,203 per 100,000, which is 61% higher than the U.S. average. The total amount of crimes in 2022 was 166, with 22 being violent crimes and 144 property crimes. The most common types of crime are assault, burglary, and theft. 

hash-mark3. Galax

Galax is a dangerous Virginia town located in the southwestern part of the state, near the Appalachian Foothills. It has a population of 6,720 people and an extremely high crime rate of 3,768 per 100,000. Galax residents have a 1 in 27 chance of being the victims of any type of crime. In 2022 there were zero murders, nine assaults, 25 burglaries, 187 thefts, and 22 motor vehicle thefts. Considering its small population, Galax is a disproportionately dangerous city. 

hash-mark4. South Boston

South Boston is located in Halifax County and has a population of 7,588. South Boston suffers from a bad economy and poverty, with a consecutive population decline over the past two decades. The total crime rate in South Boston currently stands at 3,587 crimes per 100,000 people, making the chance of becoming the victim of any crime 1 in 28.

hash-mark5. Norfolk

Norfolk is also one of the most dangerous cities to live in Virginia. The city is home to Naval Station Norfolk, the largest naval base in the world. The total crime rate of Norfolk is 3,354 per 100,000, which is 43% higher than the U.S. average. Outside of the naval base, Norfolk has high rates of both violent and property crime. In the last year alone, there were 9,850 recorded crimes, including 63 murders and 1,364 counts of assault. 

hash-mark6. Richmond

Richmond is the capital of Virginia as well as being one of its most violent cities. It has a population of 204,214 and a crime rate of 3,270 per 100,000, which 39% higher than the U.S. average. In 2022, Richmond had a total of 7,703 property and violent crimes. This figure included 90 murders, 267 robberies, 534 assaults, and 711 burglaries. 

hash-mark7. Fredericksburg

Fredericksburg is a historic town and the site of the Civil War Battle of Fredericksburg. It’s also one of the most dangerous places to live in Virginia. Fredericksburg has a total crime rate of 3,129 per 100,000, and residents have a 1 in 33 chance of becoming the victim of any type of crime. In 2022 Fredericksburg had a total of 947 crimes, including 153 violent and 794 property crimes. 

hash-mark8. Danville

A city filled with Civil War history, Danville has a population of 42,590. The total crime rate in Danville is 3,118 per 100,000, which is 37% higher than the national average. In 2022, there were 1,406 crimes recorded, with 6 murders, 30 robberies, and 107 assaults. Property crime, by far, is the most common type of crime, with burglaries being common. 

hash-mark9. Petersburg 

Petersburg is a historic city with a population of 33,458. The total crime rate in the city is 37% higher than the U.S. average, with residents having a 1 in 34 chance of becoming the victims of any type of crime. In 2022 there was a total of 978 crimes, including 18 murders, 20 robberies, 191 assaults, 71 burglaries, and 81 motor vehicle thefts. The median home price in Petersburg is just $111,300. 

hash-mark10. Newport News

Newport News is another one of the worst cities in Virginia when it comes to crime. It’s also the fifth most populous city in Virginia, with a population of 186,247. Newport News is 30% more dangerous than the Virginia average, with a crime rate of 2,665 per 100,000. In 2022, the city reported 29 murders, 130 robberies, and 955 assaults. While violent crime remains a problem, property crime occurs at nearly triple the rate of violent crime. While Newport News may be home to many companies and employers, it’s not a city that is desirable to call home.