The Top 10 Dangerous Cities to Live in Massachusetts (2024 Update)

Massachusetts, known for its rich history and cultural heritage, also faces challenges with crime in certain cities. As of 2024, the landscape of safety in Massachusetts has evolved, with some cities experiencing higher rates of violent and property crimes. This article delves into the top 10 dangerous cities in the state, providing recent statistics and insights into the factors contributing to these crime rates.

1. Springfield

  • Population: 154,098 (as of 2021)
  • Violent Crime Rate: Approximately 34.63 per 1,000 residents
  • Notable Crimes (2021): 19 homicides, 59 kidnappings, 124 sex offenses, 31 rape cases
  • Property Crimes (2021): 23 arson cases, 512 motor vehicle thefts, 308 robberies.

Springfield, the most dangerous city in Massachusetts, has seen a gradual increase in crime rates, with the worst neighborhoods being Metro Center, Pine Point, Hungest Hill, Indian Orchard, Forest Park, South End, and Bay.

2. Boston

  • Population: 704,758 (as of 2021)
  • Violent Crime Rate: About 20.53 per 1,000 residents
  • Notable Crimes (2021): 38 homicides, 77 kidnappings, 383 sex offenses, 180 rape cases
  • Property Crimes (2021): 26 arson cases, 1,159 motor vehicle thefts, 774 robberies.

Despite being a major cultural and economic hub, Boston struggles with crime, particularly in neighborhoods like Central and Downtown Boston, Dorchester, Chelsea, and Roxbury.

3. New Bedford

  • Population: 96,346 (as of 2021)
  • Violent Crime Rate: Approximately 29.88 per 1,000 residents
  • Violent Crimes (2021): 2,879 cases, including aggravated assaults and robberies.

New Bedford, with its significant crime rate, ranks third on this list, highlighting the need for effective crime prevention strategies.

4. Worcester

  • Population: 186,365 (as of 2021)
  • Violent Crime Rate: Around 17.74 per 1,000 residents
  • Violent Crimes (2021): 3,307 cases, with notable neighborhoods like Grafton Hill, Vernon Hill, Belmont Hill, and Pleasant Street.

Worcester’s crime rates, particularly in specific neighborhoods, position it as a city of concern regarding public safety.

5. Chicopee

  • Population: Approximately 55,000
  • Notable Aspect: Highest homicide rate for a city of its size in the state.

Chicopee, once known for the Westover Air Reserve Base, now faces significant public safety challenges.

6. Chelsea

  • Population: Around 40,000
  • Violent Crime Rate (2020): 521 per 100,000 people
  • Homicides (2020): 2 cases.

Chelsea’s high density and crime rate make it a city where safety is a significant concern, despite being a bustling area.

7. Fall River

  • Population: 89,077
  • Crime Score (2019): 5.9/10
  • Violent Crimes (2019): 6 homicides, 16 rapes, 111 robberies, over 400 aggravated assaults.

Fall River stands out for its high rate of criminal activity, with a considerable portion being violent crimes.

8. Brockton

  • Population: 105,643
  • Violent Crime Rate (2020): 671 per 100,000 residents
  • Homicides (2020): 4 cases.

Known as the “City Of Champions,” Brockton’s violent crime rates and history of assault and other serious crimes are a stark contrast to its sporting accolades.

9. Worcester (Revisited)

  • Population: Just under 200,000
  • Criminal Events (Recent Year): Nearly 1,800, with over 1,200 being assaults.

Worcester’s crime statistics reinforce its position on this list, with a substantial number of assaults contributing to its high crime rate.

10. New Bedford (Revisited)

  • Violent Crimes (Recent Year): Well over 1,000, including robbery, rape, aggravated assault, and arson【7†source】.

The statistics of New Bedford emphasize its continued struggle with both violent and property crimes.


Understanding the dynamics of crime in these cities is crucial for residents, authorities, and policymakers. While the statistics provide a snapshot, they also underscore the need for ongoing efforts in crime prevention, community engagement, and socioeconomic development to enhance public safety across Massachusetts.