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The 10 Worst Neighborhoods in Philadelphia

Worst Neighborhoods in Philadelphia

Philadelphia is Pennsylvania State's capital. The place is known for its world-class entertainment, top-notch restaurants, and all the other things that big towns offer. Philadelphia is the 5th largest city in America and the second largest metropolis on the Eastern coast.

You should expect hazardous areas and a high crime rate in any populous city. Every city all over the world has excellent neighborhoods as well as poor neighborhoods. In this case, Philadelphia is not an exemption. Despite Philadelphia hosting some wonderful and family-friendly areas, it has an alarming crime rate.

According to statistics, Philadelphia's crime rate is 55% higher than the national average. Before expounding on the worst neighborhoods of Philadelphia, let us evaluate the safety situation in Philadelphia.

Is Philadelphia safe?

The violent crime rate is among the metrics used to determine a locale's safety. Examples of violent crimes include robbery, murder, forcible rape, and non-negligent manslaughter. Property crimes include theft, forgeries, and burglary.

The violent crime rate in Philadelphia is 139% more than the national average. In Philadelphia, you stand 1 in 25 chances of being a victim of violent crime. The good news, however, is that the crime rate falls by 3% yearly.

Provided that you keep off the problematic neighborhoods, Philadelphia is safe. This should therefore be a non-issue for visitors. If you insist on visiting the less desirable areas, make sure you exercise extreme caution.

Among the most dangerous neighborhoods of Philadelphia include Strawberry Mansion, Elmwood, Hunting Park, and Fairhill. Let us now deeply analyze the worst areas in Philadelphia below.

10. North Central

From the name of this neighborhood, it is easy to guess where this neighborhood is located. North Central has an estimated population of 21,880 with an average annual salary of $25,296. It is considered 3% safer compared to other Pennsylvania cities.

Despite being included in the list of Philadelphia's worst neighborhoods, this locale has some exceptional aspects. For instance, part of the Temple University campus rests in this neighborhood. Apart from that, Girard College sits outside the southwest edge of North Central.

Even with all the goodies and its small population, the area is faced with a rough economy. If you are not a student in this region, prospects won't be bright for you. People here struggle with a median income of $25,296 and an unemployment rate of 7.9%.

According to Road Snacks, the irony of the locale is that even with the famous learning institutions around, local public schools still surfer. Housing problems and crime engulf this neighborhood. North Central is ranked 16th on the list of the most hazardous neighborhoods in Philadelphia. Here, you stand 1 in 13 chances of being a violent crime victim.

9. Frankford

This neighborhood rests on the Northeast side of Philadelphia. This town is bounded by Oxford Circle, Frankford Creek, and other towns. It is roughly six miles northeast of the Center City. Back in the 80s, the place was very scary.

According to history, a murderer called Frankford Slasher always stalked and later killed victims. One specific intersection at Hawthorne and Bridge was listed as number six in the top recreational drug corners nationwide. The population in Frankford is 39,792, with an average annual salary of $33,217. In this neighborhood, 1369 crimes are probable in every 100,000 people.

Frankford was historically separated into East Frankford and Frankford, along with the entire Frankford Avenue neighborhood. The separation got Caucasians on the west and African Americans on the east. This is a diverse neighborhood with different ethnic groups.

Like most places in America with different ethnic groups, there is so much racial tension in Frankford. For that reason, you would not want to live in this neighborhood.

8. Elmwood

Elmwood, often referred to as Elmwood Park, sits in the southwestern part of this city, enjoying proximity to the airport. This neighborhood is bound to the East by the Schuylkill River and to the North by Mt. Moriah Cemetery.

Elmwood has a population of 24,891 and is mostly dominated by Poles and Irish Americans. Villages in Elmwood sprung up after the establishment of Catholic parishes in the 20th century.

Finding employment in Elmwood is a hard undertaking. According to Saca Voyage, this neighborhood suffers an unemployment rate of 8.0%. People who are lucky to be employed struggle with bills since the median income is estimated to be $36,524.

The concerns about crime and weak schools are attributed to weighing down this neighborhood. It is believed that there are 1217 crimes in every 100,000 inhabitants. Even with its dark side, there are things to enjoy in the neighborhood. You will like the hopping nightlife and parks, among other activities.

7. Haddington- Carroll Park

Haddington is a west Philadelphia neighborhood bounded by Lansdowne Avenue and West Girard Avenue on the North and South. You will see banners on the streets reading, "Carroll Park- Where neighbors become friends."

This neighborhood has an estimated population of 35,068, and most of the residents are African Americans in the working class. The area faces very serious economic problems, with the lack of well-paying jobs making people lead miserable lives.

The unemployment rate in Haddington is 8.9%, with employed people taking home a median income of $28,706. Carroll Park finds its spot in the list of worst neighborhoods of Philadelphia. Statistics show that in every 100,000 persons, 1588 crimes are probable.

Due to the lack of housing markets, it is easy to afford homes in this neighborhood. The median home value here stands at $68,396. Despite its bad reputation, there are several amenities for lovers of nature.

6. Harrowgate

This neighborhood is bounded to the North by Kensington and to the West by Port Richmond. People refer to this part of the town as "North Philly." According to Clue Luster, this is an unknown, poor, and blighted location largely populated by Puerto Ricans.

Recently, there was a teenager who was caught in a crossfire after 30 shots dominated this neighborhood. The teenager was severely hit and almost died. You should get used to these things in this part of town.

The bad condition of this neighborhood can be explained by the fact that painkillers are part of this neighborhood. Pharmacies in the neighborhood received 26 million of the pain pills in 7 years. The population here is 17,456, and residents face an unemployment nightmare.

Harrowgate has an unemployment rate of 13.6%, and people who are lucky to be employed take home poor wages. The median income in this neighborhood stands at #23,871. When it comes to crime, there will be 1701 crimes for every 100,000 inhabitants in the neighborhood.

5. Alleghany West

This neighborhood sits way up on the Northern end of town and is the third most violent place in Philadelphia. Like most Northern Philadelphia locations, Alleghany West is a disadvantaged African American community.

Post-industrial depreciation and disinvestment have contributed to the harm experienced in this neighborhood. The neighborhood experienced the most notable population reduction between 1990 and 2000.

You will easily notice many unused industrial sites like the ones used to construct the commuter rail trains. According to Area Vibes, these sites have been repurposed for the production of films. The area experiences low home prices at only $26,000. You, however, wouldn't want to settle in such an area due to its high crime rate.

For every 1000,000 inhabitants of the neighborhood, there will be at least 2458 crime reports. The unemployment rate here is also high at 7.9%, and employed people take home a median income of $25,196.

4. Fairhill

With a population of 27,298, this neighborhood sits in the West of Kensington along Glenwood Avenue. This region is famous for its unending rows of houses, with only 20% of residents being homeowners. Fairhill serves as the home for Philadelphia's Hispanic community and Philadelphia Badlands.

The neighborhood is, however, known for crimes, poverty, and drug use which make it an unsuitable neighborhood to visit or live in. the intersection at Indiana Avenue and 3rd Street has been listed as number two on the list of the dangerous drug corners in the city.

People who are lucky to find employment still struggle to pay bills. Their average income proves that residents are far below the poverty line. A family of four is estimated to earn $15k annually. It is even worse to find out that 61% of the residents are below the poverty line, five times more than the national average.

3. Strawberry Mansion

From the name of this neighborhood, you could be easily lured to believe that this is a good city, but it is not. According to Original News Break, the neighborhood carries a bad reputation as one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in Philadelphia.

It was until 2013 that the neighborhood ceased being the home to one of the most dangerous schools in the U.S. the Strawberry Mansion High was so bad that it ended up being profiled by ABC news. Here, there were more than one hundred security cameras, along with metal detectors on each door.

Teachers were under attack, and riots erupted during lunch. There are only 710 kids in a school of 2100, which explains the situation in the school.

The neighborhood is, however, experiencing some changes, with its south and west sides being gentrified. Currently, home prices stand at $48,000, which is low, bearing in mind that some of the wealthiest people in Philadelphia once resided here.

Employed people registered an average annual income of $31,085, while the unemployment rate stands at 8.6%. There are 1944 crimes in every 100k inhabitants of this neighborhood.

2. Hunting Park

Another neighborhood in Philadelphia that you will want to avoid is Hunting Park. The neighborhood is popular for its gang activity. Much of the crime in this neighborhood comes from the local neighborhood street gangs.

The drug trade has also contributed largely to the rising crime rate in the area. It is also worth noting that more organized gangs operate in the location. Some of these gangs include the Latin Kings and Black Mafia, not to mention the numerous motorcycle gangs.

One resident in North Philly once told Philadelphia Weekly that Hunting Park was the heart of the community. However, things turned upside down, and the locale worsened. There was an instance where a father was shot down as he drove his car through this neighborhood.

According to USA Esta Online, this was after he had won a whopping $10,000 in a local lottery, and people followed him home. Despite its tainted image, the location is rich in history with several historical structures. These include the Bayard Tailor School, K. McClure School, and Clara Barton School.

1. Tioga- Nicetown

Even with its name being "nice," this neighborhood is not nice. Tioga and Nicetown are two different communities in the Northern part of Philadelphia. The town has been consensually known as Nicetown. If you want to know what part of Philadelphia is worse, look no further.

When you research the name of a neighborhood on the internet only to get results such as crime, shooting, and the like, you can tell how bad such a place could be. True to the word, this part of town is so rough.

During World War II, this place was so bad. Additionally, like no other community in the area, deindustrialization resulted in white flight, which led to so much poverty. A blip of hope was realized after gentrification boosted home prices to about $42,000. The economy would later crash when home prices went down to $22,000.

How to keep safe in Philadelphia

As much as Philadelphia has some dangerous neighborhoods, you will be extremely safe when you confine yourself to safe neighborhoods. However, it is also safe to take caution when visiting a new place. Part of the safety measures will be using public transport and remaining in the house at night.

Motorists are advised to avoid the areas around City Hall since the traffic patterns are always altered. Similarly, given the proximity of Philadelphia to New Jersey and Camden, visitors might opt to stay in Camden. That is not a good idea because Camden is known for its high crime rate.


America is generally an amazing country with amazing people and beautiful cities. One of these cities is Philadelphia which is commonly referred to as the "Heart of America." the place has several tourist attractions and rich history.

Like in any other major city, it is always advisable to exercise caution and avoid hazardous neighborhoods. In the list above, we have listed some of the worst neighborhoods in Philadelphia that you should avoid.

As mentioned earlier, Philadelphia is safe, and tourists have nothing to fear. Your safety is guaranteed if you conduct detailed research on areas to avoid and follow the laid-out safety guidelines.

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Dana Hanson

Written by Dana Hanson

Dana has extensive professional writing experience including technical and report writing, informational articles, persuasive articles, contrast and comparison, grant applications, and advertisement. She also enjoys creative writing, content writing on nearly any topic (particularly business and lifestyle), because as a lifelong learner, she loves to do research and possess a high skill level in this area. Her academic degrees include AA social Sci/BA English/MEd Adult Ed & Community & Human Resource Development and ABD in PhD studies in Indust & Org Psychology.

Read more posts by Dana Hanson

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