Worst Neighborhoods in Phoenix

By PropertyClub Team
Sep 8th 2023
Phoenix is a rapidly growing city that offers lower home prices, endless entertainment options, and breathtaking desert landscapes. But to truly enjoy Phoenix, avoiding the bad areas and most dangerous neighborhoods is crucial to a good quality of life. In this article, we’ll list the ten worst neighborhoods in Phoenix for crime.

hash-mark10 Worst Neighborhoods in Phoenix

  1. Central City
  2. Alahambra
  3. Encanto
  4. South Mountain
  5. North Mountain
  6. Camelback East
  7. Maryvale
  8. Estrella
  9. Laveen
  10. New Village

hash-mark1. Central City

The worst neighborhood in Phoenix is Central City due to its high crime rate. Although Central City is the economic and historic heart of Phoenix, it is almost one of the most dangerous areas in the city. With a population of 58,161, Central City’s total crime rate is 315% above the national average. Violent crime is quite high in Central City, with shootings, homicides, and robberies being common. In certain business and tourist districts, property crime can be an issue for unchecked belongings. In general, areas near Sky Harbor and Interstate 17 are the most dangerous. 

hash-mark2. Alahambra 

Alahambra is also one of the worst neighborhoods in Phoenix. Alhambra is an urban community located south of Northern Avenue and north of Grand Canal. This large, working-class area of the city has a population of 127,764 and a crime rate that is 180% higher than the national average. Violence is common in Alahambra, with shootings, robberies, and muggings being common. Theft is also a major problem, and residents often complain about vehicle and home theft. Drug trafficking is common in Alahambra, which contributes to many of the area’s social problems. 

hash-mark3. Encanto 

Encanto is another one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in Phoenix. Encanto is located just north of Central City, encompassing a wide area, including the Phoenix Art Museum. With a population of 54,600, Encanto has a crime rate that is 159% higher than the national average. Violent crime is rife in this neighborhood, with homicides, robberies, and assaults being common. Theft, including pickpocketing, larceny, and car theft, are also common in Encanto. 

hash-mark4. South Mountain

South Mountain is a dangerous Phoenix neighborhood located near downtown and is known for being one of the city’s most impoverished areas. South Mountain is a well-known hotspot for drug trafficking, violent crime, and gang activity. Much of the population lives below the poverty line, and the school district is poorly rated. South Mountain’s crime rate is 90% above the national average, with a violent crime rate that is 152% higher than the national average. 

hash-mark5. North Mountain

North Mountain is also one of the worst areas in Phoenix for crime. This neighborhood is located near Center City and offers access to some of the city’s best hiking trails. However, in some concentrated areas, property crime remains a problem. North Mountain’s population is roughly 170,000, with a total crime rate that is 102% above the national average. Common crimes include larceny, theft, and vehicle theft. In some areas, violent crime remains a concern. The vast majority of visitors report feeling safe on the hiking trails.

hash-mark6. Camelback East

Another one of the worst neighborhoods in Phoenix is Camelback East. Although this area has high crime, it remains popular with tourists and is home to attractions such as the Arizona Biltmore Resort and Camelback Mountain. Camelback East is adjacent to Paradise Valley and Scottsdale and has a total crime rate that is 95% higher than the national average. Most of the crimes in the area involve incidents of property theft, vandalism, and scattered incidents of assaults. The areas with the highest concentration of crime tend to be to the west and south. 

hash-mark7. Maryvale

Maryvale is a dangerous Phoenix neighborhood northwest of Central City. The area’s population is roughly 208,189, with a total crime rate that is 77% above the national average. While Maryvale has historically been known as one of the most dangerous areas in Phoenix, many parts of the neighborhood have undergone revitalization. Property crimes such as home and vehicle theft still affect some parts of the neighborhood, however, especially on the West end.  

hash-mark8. Estrella 

Estrella is another one of the worst Phoenix neighborhoods due to high crime rates. Estrella is a suburban neighborhood that, while not overall dangerous, does experience some issues with property crime. The neighborhood’s population is 90,255, and it has a total crime rate that is 60% above the national average. There were 887 violent incidents and 3,134 incidents of theft recorded in the 2022 year. Most of those crimes included larceny, vandalism, burglary, car theft, and assault. Some areas of Estrella become more dangerous after dark. 

hash-mark9. Laveen

Laveen is a community located southwest of Downtown Phoenix. With a population of 48,021, Laveen’s population is 52% above the national average. Laveen’s has many violent incidents annually, with homicide and robbery being common. Police presence in the area is inadequate, with residents often complaining that police don’t respond quickly to emergencies. The most dangerous parts of Laveen include 59th and Baseline and areas north of the Salt River Bottom.

hash-mark10. New Village

New Village is a small suburban community with a population of roughly 5,700 people. While crime may be slightly higher than the Phoenix average, New Village is considered a safe place to live overall. Most of the crime that does occur in New Village tends to be property crime and vehicle theft. New Village has an active community watch program, which has reduced much of the transient crime in recent years.