Is Philadelphia Safe To Visit?


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philadelphia safe

Philadelphia is one of the most historic cities in the United States and is the place where the Declaration of Independence and Constitution was signed. It is rich in history and culture and an extremely worthwhile place to explore.

However, violence in certain parts of the city is an everyday occurrence. Philadelphia has safe areas as well as dangerous parts. And anywhere you go, you’d be well-advised to know where to stay, as well as areas to avoid.

Is Philadelphia Safe To Visit?

Philly is a city of different neighborhoods, and each one can be very different from the next. While the crime rate in Philadelphia is high, it can be a safe place to visit if you stay in the right neighborhoods, keep your wits about you, and use common sense.

How Much Crime Is There in Philadelphia?

Philadelphia’s crime rates are above the national average in terms of crimes and certain areas can be incredibly dangerous.

According to NeighborhoodScout’s list, Philadelphia ranks 88th on their Top 100 Most Dangerous Cities In America list.

In 2020, 500 people were killed, which is a 40% increase in homicides from 2019 and more than all the homicides in 2013 and 2014 combined!

Also in 2020 more than 2,240 people were shot, which is 40% more than ever recorded by police.

As of August 9, 2021 there have been 325 murders for the year, which is a 25% increase from 2020.

The murder rate in Philadelphia is 22.47 per 100,000, which puts it at 16th highest homicide rate in the US.

The chance of being a victim of violent crime in Philadelphia is 1 in 111

The possibility of being a victim of property crime in Philadelphia is 1 in 33

The possibility of being a victim of crime in Philadelphia is 1 in 25

What Kind of Crimes Are Common in Philadelphia?

Modern-day Philadelphia is ridden with theft, burglary, and forgery for property crimes. However, Philadelphia also has an actual violent crime rate, with the top being assault and robbery.

Its crime rates are much higher than the national average, making it a dangerous place.

The U.S. average for violent crime in the U.S. is 1 in 326.3 people, while Philadelphia is 1 in 110.

Here are the crime stats report for 2019 and 2020:

Violent Crime

2019

2020

% Change

Homicide 346 469 +35.5%
Rape 1011 821 -18.8%
Robbery/Gun 2169 1844 -15%
Robbery/Other 3461 2766 -20.1%
Aggravated Assault/Gun 2599 3798 +46.1%
Aggravated Assault/Other 5555 5393 -2.9%

 

Property Crime

2019

2020

% Change

Burglary/Residential 4727 3571 -24.5%
Burglary/Residential 1339 3255 +143.1%
Theft Of Motor Vehicle Tag 1695 2403 +41.8%
Theft From Person 580 335 -42.2%
Theft From Auto 11435 10328 -9.7%
Theft 15329 12506 -18.4%
Retail Theft 8814 7740 -12.2%
Auto Theft 6894 9295 +34.8%

**All data is from the 2020 Philadelphia Police Crime Stats Report**

What Neighborhoods Should I Avoid?

When visiting or moving to Philadelphia, there should be certain areas that you should avoid at all costs. Unless you’re a previous resident or know your way around the streets, we wouldn’t recommend wandering into these areas. You want to avoid these areas at night especially:

Kensington/Juniata Park

Kensington has a population of 13,617 with a crime rate of 4,006 per 100,000 people. It’s located in the heart of Philadelphia and is one of the most dangerous and dilapidated parts of the city. Drugs have utterly destroyed the neighborhood, with one resident calling it a ‘Zombieland’. Another resident mentioned that:

‘You will see suffering in magnitude that you have never seen before—people with bum legs using literal tree branches as walking sticks, people with sores all over their bodies, women who weigh 80 pounds

Kensington_philadelphia

 

Nicetown

Nicetown has a population of 17,382 with a crime rate of 2,639 per 100,000 people. It’s one the most dangerous neighborhood in Philadelphia and is located in North Philadelphia.

nicetown philadelphia

 

Huntingdon

Huntingdon has a population of 22,735 with a crime rate of 1,452 per 100,000 people. It’s located in North Philadelphia.

 

Frankford

Frankford has a population of 39,792 and has a crime rate of 1,369 per 100,000 people. It’s located in Northeast Philadelphia.

frankford philadelphia

 

Strawberry Mansion

Strawberry Mansion has 19,690 and crime rates of 1,944 per 100,000 people. It’s located on the east side of Fairmount Park in North Philadelphia.

Strawberry-Mansion philadelphia

 

Fairhill

Fairhill has a population of 27,298 and a crime rate of 1,545 crimes per 100,000 people. It’s located east of North Philadelphia.

fairhill philadelphia

 

Alleghany West

Alleghany West has a population of 18,676 and a crime rate of 2,458 per 100,000 people. It’s located in North Philadelphia and is close to Nicetown.

Alleghany-West philadelphia

 

10. Harrowgate

Harrowgate has a population of 17,456 and a crime rate of 1,701 per 100,000 people. It’s located near the Northeastern side of Kensington.

Harrowgate philadelphia

 

11. Carroll Park

Haddington-Carroll Park has a population of 35,068 and a crime rate of 1,588 per 100,000 people. It’s located in West Philadelphia.

carroll park philadelphia

 

12. Elmwood

Elmwood has a population of 24,891 and a crime rate of 1,217 per 100,000 people. It’s located in the Southwest of Philadelphia.

elmwood philadelphia

 

Is Downtown Philadelphia (Center City) Safe?

Downtown Philadelphia is genrally safe to visit. It is a big and bustling city with lots of people around during the day time. At night it is not as well lighted as New York, so be mindful of your surrondings, stay in well lit areas and avoid talking to the homeless.

 

What Part of Philadelphia is Safe?

Luckily, there are still safe areas that have lower crime rates. These are the safest places you can be when traveling to Philadelphia:

  1. Southwest Center City – is at the heart of downtown Philadelphia and has a small population of 7,835 people.
  2. Filter Square – Filter Square has a population of 6,637 and is next to the University of Pennsylvania, Hospitals, and the Center City area.
  3. Fish Town – This is the biggest town with a population of 25,207 and is one of the best neighborhoods to live in.
  4. University City – Has a population of 21,228 and is home to younger residents who enjoy an urban lifestyle.
  5. Fairmont – Has a population of 13,858 and is an inner-city neighborhood next to museums, libraries, shopping districts, and much more.
  6. Spruce Hill – Spruce Hill has a population of 13,544 and is a historical safe residential district in Philadelphia.
  7. Old City – has a population of 16,247 and is in the very center of Philadelphia. 
  8. Washington Square West – Has a population of 15,076 and is one of the best urban residential areas with great amenities.
  9. Bella Vista – Bella Vista has a population of 10,177 and is near Center City with many inner-city activities and attractions.
  10. Society Hill – Society Hill has a population of 8,376 and is a safe suburban area with many retirees.

Is Philadelphia Safe to Walk at Night?

While some areas are safer than others, you shouldn’t be walking around at night. If you find yourself in a situation where you have to be out at night, stick to busy areas. Always stay close to establishments or remain in well-lit areas and use common sense.

Is It Safe As a Woman to Visit?

As a woman, you can be safe if you stay in crowded areas and avoid dangerous neighborhoods. Just remember to remain cautious and never walk alone at night or walk into abandoned streets or alleys.

Philadelphia Safety Tips / Advice From Residents

There are a few tips you can take to heart that can help you stay safe in Philidelphia:

  • Don’t walk around at night in a bad neighborhood
  • Always respect the people in neighborhoods.
  • Use common sense, keep to well-lit areas, and make sure your phone is charged.
  • Don’t wear headphones or earbuds.
  • Always keep your valuables secure.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and keep your belongings tucked into your arm or pocket.
  • Know where you’re going and double-check the route so that you don’t look like a tourist.
  • Know Taxi companies in the area and keep a list on your phone or paper.
  • Don’t stop for panhandlers and say, “I’m sorry.”
  • Don’t look like a deer in headlights or paranoid, and relax.

Final Thoughts on the Safety of Philadelphia

Philadelphia can be a safe or a dangerous place, depending on the neighborhood. If you’re traveling to Philly, it’s essential to know where you are and how to stay en route. Always use common sense and street smarts to get around. If you follow these tips, you’re sure to be safe on your next visit to Philadelphia.

Mariska Lee

Mariska is a recovering attorney who gave up her professional job to discover new perspectives of life while traveling in a 2009 Ford Transit. She has been living the van life for 3 years and has not looked back since.

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