Top 10

Top 10 Dangerous Cities to Live in New Jersey: A Comprehensive Analysis



New Jersey, often celebrated for its vibrant boardwalks and cultural richness, also grapples with the darker reality of urban crime. This article presents a detailed analysis of the top 10 most dangerous cities in New Jersey, based on the latest crime statistics and safety reports. Understanding the challenges these cities face is crucial for residents, potential visitors, and policymakers alike.

1. Camden

Camden tops the list as New Jersey’s most dangerous city, with a staggering 1,603 violent crimes per 100,000 people​​. Plagued by high crime and murder rates, Camden’s safety issues are exacerbated by urban decay and reduced police force effectiveness. The city’s struggle with violence and poverty makes it a challenging environment for its residents.

2. Trenton

As the state capital, Trenton’s high violent crime rate of 1,169 incidents per 100,000 people paints a concerning picture​​. Struggling with poverty, urban blight, and gang activity, Trenton’s crime problems are deep-rooted and complex, requiring significant intervention for improvement.

3. Paterson

Paterson’s reputation is marred by violent crime and drug-related issues. With gang activity and heroin addiction fueling much of the crime, the city faces ongoing challenges in creating safe neighborhoods​​.

4. Atlantic City

Known for its casinos and entertainment, Atlantic City’s crime rate is significantly high, particularly in property crimes and petty theft. The influx of tourists and related activities contribute to the city’s crime problem, with violent crimes reported at around 900 per 100,000 people​​.

5. Irvington

Bordering Newark, Irvington struggles with gang activity and drug addiction. With approximately 500 violent crimes per 100,000 people, the city’s crime rate remains a significant concern​​.

6. Long Branch

Surprisingly, Long Branch, despite its proximity to affluent areas and a major university, has rough spots contributing to its high crime rates. With 453 violent crimes per 100,000 people, the city faces challenges in maintaining public safety​​.

7. Salem

Salem’s high crime rate, with 2,060 violent incidents per 100,000 residents, is alarming given its small population size. Coupled with a high poverty rate, Salem’s safety issues are a critical concern for its residents​​.

8. Asbury Park

Asbury Park, despite its growing tourism, is still reeling from economic challenges. With 1,226 violent crimes per 100,000 residents, the city’s gang activity and safety concerns persist​​.

9. Penns Grove

Penns Grove stands out for its high crime rate, poverty, and struggling educational infrastructure. With significant safety challenges, the town demands urgent attention and resources​​.

10. Wildwood

Wildwood completes the list with its own set of safety concerns. Detailed statistics for Wildwood were not available in the sources consulted, but its inclusion in multiple reports indicates significant safety issues​​.

Additional Statistical Insights

  • Newark, with a population of 311,549, saw a total of 5,852 crimes, including 1,456 violent crimes and 4,396 property crimes​​.
  • Irvington, with a population of 61,176, witnessed 190 violent crimes and 1,040 property crimes​​.
  • In Atlantic City, 257 out of the 1,199 crimes committed were violent, while 1,100 were property-related​​.
  • Paterson, with a population of 159,700, had 1,168 violent crimes and 1,969 property crimes​​.
  • Trenton reported 818 violent crimes and 1,652 property crimes​​.

Safety Measures and Recommendations

While New Jersey, as a state, ranks as one of the safer ones in the U.S., these cities present unique challenges. The concentration of crime in urban centers, often linked to socioeconomic factors, underscores the need for comprehensive safety strategies. Residents and visitors are advised to stay informed, exercise caution, and engage with community safety initiatives to mitigate risks.


The top 10 most dangerous cities in New Jersey reveal a complex tapestry of urban challenges. From Camden’s high crime rates to Wildwood’s safety issues, these cities reflect the urgent need for targeted interventions and community engagement to enhance safety and quality of life. As New Jersey continues to navigate these challenges, awareness and proactive measures are key to fostering safer communities.