16 Most Dangerous Neighborhoods in Philadelphia

Unlike its nickname, The City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia is riddled with crime and danger. Many consider Philly an extremely dangerous city. From North Philly to the Badlands, there are unsafe neighborhoods in every direction. Can’t the locals just eat their cheesesteaks and get along? Well, it’s not that simple. Philadelphia is chockful of bad areas you’ll want to avoid.

Here is a list of the 16 most dangerous neighborhoods in Philadelphia PA in order from most unsafe to safest – based on 2022 crime data and statistics.

Dangerous Neighborhoods in Philly

1. Kensington, 19134

Kensington, also known as ‘Kenso’, is often cited as Philadelphia’s worst neighborhood due to high rates of drug activity and violent crime. This neighborhood has led to Philly’s opioid crisis – leading to more local crime and public health issues.

The area where Kensington Avenue and Allegheny Avenue intersect is rough. Avoid this unsafe neighborhood at all costs. This neighborhood has become an open-air drug market. Homeless fill the streets doing hard drugs out in the open without any recourse.

Statistically, Kensington doesn’t have the highest crime rate compared to other Philly neighborhoods. However, it holds the number one spot on this list as the most dangerous neighborhood in the City of Brotherly Love.

Kensington Danger Level: Extremely Unsafe

2. Fairhill, 19133

Fairhill is known locally as “El Barrio” due to its large Puerto Rican community. The neighborhood struggles with extreme poverty and some of the highest crime rates in Philadelphia, including violent crimes and drug trafficking. Whether you’re a Philly local or just visiting, I’d recommend avoiding this sketchy area.

Fairhill Danger Level: Extremely Unsafe

3. Harrowgate, 19134

Harrowgate, just north of Kensington, faces similar issues with drug abuse and violent crime. It’s very close to the major drug markets of Kensington Ave and Allegheny Ave. The result surplus of criminal activities. Harrowgate has a ton of property crime each year. Avoid this dangerous Philadelphia neighborhood when possible.

Harrowgate Danger Level: Extremely Unsafe

4. Glenwood, 19132

Glenwood Danger Level: Very Unsafe

You’ll notice on this unsafe area list that zip codes between 19131 – 19134 are bad. The neighborhood of Glenwood in 19132 is no exception. This area’s reputation for danger comes from its high incidence of violent crimes, particularly shootings and homicides. There weren’t full crime statistics for this neighborhood that we could cite. Either way, many would consider Glenwood as one of the most dangerous parts of Philly.

5. Franklinville, 19140

Dangerous Neighborhoods Philadelphia

Franklinville Danger Level: Very Unsafe

Franklinville is plagued by drug-related crime and violence. The neighborhood has struggled to overcome its reputation as a hotspot for illegal activity. It is considered a very unsafe area in Philadelphia.

6. Juniata, 19124

Juniata is known for a relatively high crime rate compared to other Philadelphia neighborhoods. This neighborhood is sandwiched between Feltonville and Harrowgate. A.K.A., it’s surrounded by other unsafe areas. Juniata’s location creates a perfect storm of sketchiness throughout this neighborhood.

Juniata Danger Level: Very Unsafe

7. Tioga-Nicetown, 19140

Nicetown-Tioga faces significant challenges with violent crimes, including shootings and assaults. More specifically, the Nicetown neighborhood is the worst or the two areas. The property crime rates are extremely high. There’s a lack of police presence here, making it a hotbed for criminals. Don’t leave personal items in plain sight when parking your car in this unsafe neighborhood.

Tioga-Nicetown Danger Level: Very Unsafe

8. Olney, 19120

Olney is diverse. Sadly, economic disparities have led to social instability and crime. The area experiences a wide range of criminal activities, making it one of the less safe parts of North Philadelphia.

Olney Danger Level: Very Unsafe

9. East Germantown, 19144

Not all of Germantown is bad. However, East Germantown is another level of danger. This part of Philly is extremely dangerous but should be looked at with caution. Avoid this area at night when walking through dimly lit streets.

East Germantown Danger Level: Moderately Unsafe

10. Mill Creek, 19139

Mill Creek is located between 52nd Street and 44th Street in 19139. Recently, there’s been a surge in crime due to socioeconomic downturns. There’s a constant struggle with poverty, unemployment, and housing instability in this neighborhood.

Mill Creek Danger Level: Moderately Unsafe

11. Carroll Park, 19131

When it comes to property crime, Carroll Park tops the charts. The crime rates in this part of Philly are extremely high (these statistics also include Belmont Park). What makes Carroll Park so dangerous? This neighborhood has security issues, making it easier for criminals to commit crimes and get away with them.

Carroll Park Danger Level: Moderately Unsafe

12. East Parkside, 19104

bad neighborhoods Philadelphia

East Parkside Danger Level: Moderately Unsafe

Besides its close-knit community, East Parkside is known for frequent police calls related to violent crimes. While it’s not as dangerous as other neighborhoods in Philly, there’s plenty of gun violence here.

13. Haddington, 19139

Haddington, including parts of Carroll Park, experiences a variety of crimes. There’s no shortage of burglary and street crime in this dangerous Philly neighborhood. The community has been working on revitalizing Haddington. Sadly, progress is slow.

Haddington Danger Level: Slightly Unsafe

14. Elmwood Park, 19142

Elmwood Park battles with high rates of crime, especially related to drugs and gang activity. These issues have tarnished its reputation – it’s viewed as a relatively unsafe neighborhood in Philadelphia PA. There are ongoing challenges to the community’s safety in this area.

Elmwood Danger Level: Slightly Unsafe

15. Kingsessing, 19143

Kingsessing Danger Level: Slightly Unsafe

Although located next to Cobbs Creek, Kingsessing is a bad area of Philly that’s worth avoiding. It’s not the absolute worst part of town but it’s moderately sketchy. Crime frequently happens along the Schuylkill River. There’s also a major squatter issue in the Kingsessing neighborhood. It’s important to know the laws surrounding squatter issues if you’re dealing with one in Philly. Keep your property safe if you own a home in this neighborhood.

16. Strawberry Mansion, 19132

Strawberry Mansion is historically known as one of the most dangerous areas in Philadelphia. Located next to Temple University in North Philly, this neighborhood is gentrifying. Real estate development has shifted from neighborhoods like Fairmount and Brewerytown toward Strawberry Mansion.

Although the real estate path of progress is headed toward this area, it’s still slightly unsafe at times. As a Philadelphia local, I don’t rank this area as the worst part of the entire city – but I do tread with caution depending on the block I’m walking down in 19132.

Strawberry Mansion Danger Level: Slightly Unsafe

Resources for Avoiding Bad Areas in Philly

Thankfully, there are resources you can use when traveling throughout bad areas in Philly to increase your awareness of a particular neighborhood. Spot Crime helps identify what types of crimes have happened and where. If you’re unsure about traveling through a dangerous neighborhood in Philly, check to see what crimes are happening nearby.

Crimes tend to happen in geographical clusters. For example, Kensington experiences a ton of crime all within a few blocks. Squatters can illegally occupy rowhomes, and even larger industrial buildings, without property owners knowing it. If you know someone who needs to sell their industrial space, even if squatter-occupied, have them reach out to us. We buy properties of all different sizes in Philly.

How Dangerous is Philadelphia (Really)?

Although this list of the most dangerous neighborhoods in Philadelphia seems pessimistic, the City of Brotherly Love isn’t all bad. As a Philadelphia-based company, we believe in this city. We buy houses in Philly regardless of how unsafe it can feel at times. When living in a city like Philly, it’s all about using your head.

Here are several safety tips to use when traveling through unsafe areas of Philadelphia:

Philadelphia is a city with tons of character but it’s not for everyone. There are plenty of dangerous neighborhoods that scare people out of town. If you want to sell your house fast in Philadelphia and move to a different city, contact our company. We buy properties in (almost) every neighborhood throughout the city.