New Jersey’s 10 Most Dangerous Small Towns

Annnnnd South Jersey takes the top prize!

The Toms River Patch has compiled a list of New Jersey’s ten most dangerous small towns, based on which towns smaller than 20,000 people had the hightest rates of violent crime. And wouldn’t you know it, South Jersey takes the top five spots!

Here’s the list:

  • Salem City, Salem County
  • Lindenwold, Camden County
  • Pemberton, Burlington County
  • Penns Grove, Salem County
  • Corbin, Atlantic County (pop. 492!)
  • Victory Gardens, Morris County
  • Lawnside, Camden County
  • Keansburg, Monmouth County
  • South Hackensack, Bergen County
  • Egg Harbor City, Atlantic County

More detail over at Patch, but now you know where to avoid. Salem City especially, where property crime is high, and leaky nuclear reactors are nigh.

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  • Pru Nanticoke

    Thankfully, people are smart enough to know the manipulation tactics of news writing; what’s omitted, “yeast” added, etc.

    I am a 911 dispatcher in Camden County…so, for instance, Lawnside…the main police calls they get there are domestic, animal calls, and car accidents off of the White Horse Pike. Though, like anywhere else, there is the occasional serious incident (1-2 per YEAR). It is a town where most crimes are reported. If another town reports more crime or Lawnside reports less…they’d fall off of this list. Which, btw, a new list should be complied because, if you click the link to the ORIGINAL story, it states that Lawnside has seen a whopping 75% drop in crime. So they shouldn’t even be on a list like this. So, though I believe that Lindenwold does belong on this list, Lawnside does not. A more honest title would then be, “Top 10 Small Towns That Report The Most Crime”

    • Deb Goodwater

      I agree, I don’t hear about anything outside of what you mentioned happening in Lawnside. Note:these are majority African american communties.

      • CEDUPZ

        African first or American first?

        • Deb Goodwater

          the truth. I would say african indigenous. we were here before columbus

          • CEDUPZ

            Vikings before Columbus, they didn’t like the place, they went back to Norway…

          • Deb Goodwater

            uh , yes , I think one was named Thorhall/ thorall , he was a dark African viking,

          • JIMBO THE GREAT


          • JOSE HEMANUS


        • Jeffrey Scouler

          Wow on a note to you sir does it really matter people try to be courtious to one another and someone like you has to turn it upside down you are a black eye on this post and whatever rece you are you should be ashamed to even post. You are one of many sheep in the world

          • CEDUPZ

            Why are BLACK eyes considered bad? Are you RACIST?

          • ziggy315

            Calm down people you are all getting angry over nothing, you sound like your from Keansburg.

          • CEDUPZ

            I’ve never been to Spain, but I have been to Keansburg…Is it owned by former Gov Kean, or Kean college?

          • Deb

            I agree with Jeffrey Scouler!

    • Jane Yavis

      I as a little surprised to read Lawnside as one of the the towns. WIth you on the “Report the Crime” part.

    • Fred Barnes

      How did Camden not make this list? Is everyone in the state afraid of Norcross & the Camden County Democrat rulers?

      • take2ofdeez

        Probably because there’s nothing small, or town-like about Camden…don’t let your political blinders get in the way of reading comprehension.

      • shitfucker

        u dum.

      • Deb

        the population is over 22,000…actually 77, 250

    • mateo

      “It is a town where most crimes are reported.” Uhm, this statement alone discredits your validity.

  • jarradcvh059

    my Aunty Mila recently got Audi Q5 Hybrid by working parttime from a
    macbook… here are the findings J­a­m­2­0­.­ℂ­o­m

    • Jesse Bognanno

      thats nice… now go jump off a bridge cuz we dont care

      • merder009

        Don’t forget to pay the toll first lol



  • Pru Nanticoke

    Also…this list was probably compiled while ‘The Whip’, one of only 2 bars open in Lawnside, was open (there are no longer any bars in the town). Even less crime was reported once it was shut down.

  • cn


  • chris christy

    jersey is a dump

    • Blind christy reality

      Philadelphia isn’t a dump? Get real

      • GlassJawn

        Philadelphia has a lower rate of crime per capita than any of the ten Jersey towns shown above. Philadelphia is also the fifth safest city big city in the USA in terms of overall crime. So who should get real?

        • llawrence

          than move to no phiily or the mantua area! lmfao! you probably never been outta that scum hole

        • Ciao99

          Don’t make me laugh. You might want to cite a source for that ludicrous statistic you pulled out of you behind.

        • good job

          Philadelphia is a dump. AND came in at #4 most dangerous large city to live in.

    • harry whyi

      so is your cum dumpster mother

  • Sgibson

    Disproportionate measuring systems, gives you stupid lists like this. Come on america.

  • Addison

    These stats were compiled in 2011. Absolutely horrendous reporting. Penns Grove wouldn’t make the top 10 today as per the original story. Good job though. you got yourself some clicks

    • glad i am out

      Apparently you do not live in the grove, or been there for a while, because the town is horrendous. there are more abandoned houses and businesses there than when I grew up. I go back to visit family from time to time, but would never raise my children in a place like that. glad I got out and will stay out. the burglary rate is high as well as the drugs.



        • James

          Drugs are bad, mkay

  • Rich-D

    Did anyone notice. No matter your out of State destination, you have to pay to get out of NJ!

    • Wakka

      County Bridge Comission bridges are free both ways ;)

      • Rich-D

        Not the Burlington County Bridges!

  • paulr123us

    don’t belive the media at all todays reporters lack the old reports saying. olny the facts. todays reporters are so quick to get a story out the fail to do research and get facts.

  • Jesse Bognanno

    so toms river didnt make the list??? they should have since they like to kill the homeless people there

  • Rob

    i live in keansburg ..our town is safe ..if you choose to hang with the wrong crowd and do the wrong things then your asking for trouble ..



      • BornAndRaisedInDaBurg

        Where the fuck is the stepford area?

    • Brock Dodson

      Wasn’t someone abducted and raped in an abandoned house just three weeks ago during the snow storm? Keansburg is a heap.

    • Steve

      Just stay away from the boardwalk. That tiny quarter mile is what gives it the bad reputation. Keansburg isn’t really a bad place.

  • A true Keansburg resident.

    it seems to me the smallest town get the worst reputations. But it also seems to me that the smallest towns are the ones you can depend on when a neighbor is in trouble. Look harder people, there is bad in every town.. born and raised in Keansburg, wouldn’t traded the experience for anything.. True Keansburg people are the truest people you can find.. It’s the transplants and outsiders that give it the bad name.

    • Thank Heaven I’m Outta There

      Sorry, but unless things have changed since I moved away from there, Keansburg sucks. I was almost raped there when I was a minor- by a True Keansburg person. I was bullied there for years. No, Keansburg isn’t all that, but the Keansburg people back when were truly mean and nasty. The best people I met there were “transplants.”

      • BurgResident

        Who is this “true keansburg” person. What does that definition even mean? I’ve lived in the burg my entire life. I went to St Anns. I went to KHS. I went to College. I now make enough to support my family on my own with out my wifes salary. Living well within our means for prosperity later in life. My entire block is compiled of “regular people”

      • rich

        bull shit get rid of the white trash and section 8 people then Keansburg will be like it used to be

    • Megan Hernandez

      My family grew up there. Moved there from New York and Elizabeth in the 1950s. I lived there as a baby, moved away, then moved back for a short time while in college because I was able to live there for free, but moved away for good after that. I still have family there, so I go there often. Some good memories. And there ARE good people there. But I would never, ever let my children grow up there or go to school there. The school system is one of the THE worst in the state. It’s ranked in the lowest category (“New Jersey District Factor Group A”; Google it) along with Asbury Park, Paterson, Newark, New Brunswick, Camden, and Trenton schools. It makes me sad—brings me to tears, actually—that the children growing up there are at such a disadvantage in terms of education (and it makes me just as sad for the children in the other towns/cities I’ve mentioned as well). There was always a lot alcoholism in Keansburg—bar on every corner type of town. Drug problems galore. It’s so, so sad, really, because it was once a beautiful place, where people went to vacation. That era ended 60+ years ago. I will say this, though—when Hurricane Sandy hit, you know who helped the town most? Its OWN people. The principal of a school set up a shelter, restaurant owners served people meals, residents went around passing out food and water to their neighbors in trouble. I know this thread is supposed to be about the most “dangerous” small towns, so maybe commenting on the residents and how they have each others’ backs is getting off on a tangent, but I felt it needed to be said. I will say this, though: NOT surprised it made this list. In fact, I Googled “worst towns in NJ” expressly because I was looking to see if Keansburg was listed on it. I came across this list and, voila, it was there. So sad.

  • burgermiester

    8. Keansburg, Monmouth County, population 10,105, violent crime rate 4.9

    Since 2011: Violent crime in the bayshore town of Keansburg continues to plummet. A 38 percent drop in violent crime in 2012 has been eclipsed by another 50 percent drop in 2013. Property crime has also been cut in half.

  • Mainesy

    millville, vineland and or bridgeton ( cumberland co. ) weren’t on there!?

    • Jane Yavis

      I wondered that too, but looked up the population. In all three cases they are greater than 20K so not a small town.

  • Disgusted

    I live in the town listed as #5. First of all, the town’s name is not Corbin, it is Corbin City. The fact that it is listed here is beyond ridiculous. The main crime we have here is deer eating our flowers! There have been isolated thefts through the years from people in other towns, but I would hardly classify that as violent crime. The gentleman who wrote the story should get his facts straight before he writes an article.

  • Kathy Crawford


    • Dr. J.

      what? the have the highest crime and highest hiv/aids in people especially women!

      • Jay

        And we have Pittsgrove, Elmer, and Woodstown…some of the MOST desired school district in NJ. Overall Salem County is the best…and we are FAR from Salem City. Just because Salem City is horrible doesn’t mean Salem County is horrible, lets not get it twisted here.

        • James

          And you have HIGH property taxes that go higher and higher.

        • James Hathaway

          I grew up in Elmer. It was a nice little town, but I don’t see how the Pittsgrove School District is desirable, and Elmer’s grade school is a joke at this point. Elmer itself is nothing but “For Rent” homes, as the economy bottomed out heavily. It’s depressing. I really hope it recovers. Great, quiet, little family town with friendly neighbors, and the fact that it’s dry really aids the family atmosphere. Great church community as well.

    • jack

      Salem county is a great place to live in

  • Adam

    I love how u r defending ur trashy towns. I live in Keyport and would never live in Keansburg. Wouldn’t even bring kids to that boardwalk. And despite what u think, Keyport will not replace the ‘Burg on that list any time soon. That’s not to say that everyone from there is a deviant, misfit or a 3rd generation victim of fetal alcohol syndrome. No not all, just the over-whelming majority.

    Just kidding KB. I have family there. But u know there’s some truth to it.

    • Megan Hernandez

      Newsflash: Keyport is, like, a hair better than Keansburg. Union Beach, Port Monmouth…it’s all the same. The Bayshore area. Low income = bad schools. Sorry, but it’s true. There are some great hard-working people in all these places, and some beautiful scenery, plus lots of history, but I would never raise my kids in any of these towns, mainly because of the school systems. Keyport schools aren’t much better. Sad but true.

      • blp

        Union beach school is on the top 10 list for nj keyport school system is not so great. You cant put Keansburg in the same sentence as union beach or keyport. Keansburg is the armpit of nj.

        • Megan Hernandez

          I’ve never heard that about UB schools, and I’ve been doing a lot of research on school systems recently. Maybe they excelled in a certain area at one time or something, but the top schools in the state are in category “J”, and UB and Keyport schools are in category “CD”—one of the lower ones. There’s something called “district factor groups” in NJ which breaks down all the school systems on a scale of A–J ( The best school districts are in category “J” (i.e., West Windsor, Rumson, Little Silver, Saddle River, etc.). The worst in “A” (i.e., Keansburg, Asbury Park, Newark, Trenton, Camden, etc.). Along with UB and Keyport, you’ll find that Neptune, Linden, Rahway, etc., are also in group “CD”, if that gives you a better picture of the kinds of school systems we’re talking about. Another website that rates schools is UB gets low ratings here, too. My point is not to trash UB or its people or schools. Some schools have great teachers/curriculum but poor test scores give them a bad rap. That could be the case here. I just know since I’ve had kids that are approaching school age, I’ve been doing a lot of research, and knowing what I know about the Bayshore area (from personal experience and from what I’ve been reading about the school systems), I’d never send my kids to school in ANY of those towns—UB, Keyport, Keansburg, Port Monmouth, Belford, etc. Even Port Monmouth has crappy schools—and they’re part of the Middletown Twp. school system now, but their test scores/ratings are lower than the rest of the schools in Middletown Twp. It’s sad, really, that children (and sometimes the parents) have no choice in the matter. I wish all the kids in these towns had a better start to life. There are some great, hard-working people in all of these towns—NOT everyone is an alcoholic toothless wonder (and don’t think for one second that Keyport and UB don’t have these same exact kinds of people running around town just like Keansburg, because they DO—I’ve seen plenty of it). But be it due to poor test scores, budget issues, or a combinations of things, the schools are not good, and I’d never send my kids to any of them. Move next door to Hazlet and the quality of the school goes up a little bit, as it does in most parts of Middletown (if you can afford it). Even Old Bridge, a largely middle-class town, has pretty good schools. If people can afford to, they should move to one of these towns for the sake of their kids’ educations. We all can’t afford to live in Rumson and send our kids to school there (nor would I want to, to be honest), but there are affordable small towns with decent school systems, you just have to do the research.

  • zar

    How are you going to put keansburg and egg harbor city and not put Millville or Bridgeton. This list is a joke

    • vic from the burg

      Well its clear u are alittle disappointed that you town or surroundings went included on this list. My only synopsis is that you clearly not doing your part to make these ranks. Hip it there, commit more crimes, call them in, get arrested a thousand times and bring those numbers up. Goodday

    • nope

      I live in Millville, and as long as you stay off of 2nd 3rd 4th streets….and that area by wood school you are fine. Nice reading comprehension you have there though. This is for cities with less than 20,000 people. Bridgeton is about 25,000 and Millville is about 30,000

  • laura f

    Why isn’t Camden on here? Makes no sense

  • njnative

    Lived in Lawnside my entire like 58 years. I do not lock my house or car. Never had a problem. Is it because it is a African community that we get put on this list?

    • Ciao99

      African as in African immigrants? Usually communities with real Africans have lower crime rates than African Americans.

  • Gilbert Brown

    CORBIN CITY CRIPS :throws signs:



  • Jeffrey Scouler

    come on lawnside bullshit i am a caucasion american grew up in cherry hill have many friends from lawnside violent it is not, Just because its population is mostly african american is the only reason this town came up in this ridiculous poll what a shame I suppor tLawnside as a friendly town with good people, What a black eye and this whole article should be retracted and the facts should be posted of where the poll was taken and who was questioned in the poll and what statistics were used.

  • Sara

    I live in Woodstown, which is about 8-10 minutes from Pennsgrove and Salem. My parents, who are natives of Pedricktown and attended St. James High School and Pennsgrove High School in Pennsgrove, say that Pennsgrove and Salem USED TO BE beautiful towns with stores, restaurants, and were both safe places to live. Pennsgrove was full of Italian families and many kids, including my parents, could shop/play/walk/run around Pennsgrove without a problem. Now, Salem and Pennsgrove are absolutely disgraceful. Driving through either town you could possibly spot a drug deal or gang. Businesses are boarded up, houses and yards are a mess and in shambles, and both towns have a truly ‘ghetto’ feel. I instantly feel uncomfortable when driving through some of these towns, so they DESERVE to be on this list!!

  • Rita Magdin

    So why isnt paulsboro on the list its a mini camden right. Very high crime area. Buisness close all the time cant have anything last long in that area.

    • Debi

      They call Lindenwold mini Camden too! What the hell? I mean there are great parts of all of these towns. Its sad that only the negative is in the highlights

      • maryan

        Lindenwold was doomed years ago when the mayor allowed all those apartments to be built up and down Laurel Road and off the Pike. Plus, there are not many new housing developments anywhere. Old town with too many section 8 and low incoming housing. Plus the speed line, while an advantage of living in the area, is too transient. Many kids from Philly and Camden take it and go to the Lindenwold schools. At least they used to when I lived there. Having said all that, I never had a problem when I lived there 24 years ago. Took the train to and from Philly every day also.

  • Jane Yavis

    Well, today, THREE MONTHS LATER, Martin Luther King Day 1-20-14, this is the story that hits Dom Giordano from 1210 Talk Radio’s Radar – Anyone care to venture a guess where his conversation leads? . Hardly a sharp knife in the drawer, he knows what his base wants to hear,,,,,,,and his base knows what he wants to hear.

  • FEB

    Penns Grove and Salem are overran by knee grows. The town between tem is Pennsville, 95% white. No where near as many problems. I wonder why/

  • Carl Bradley

    Typically misleading story. Take Corbin City as an example. If the statistic is violent crimes per capita, and Corbin City has less than 500 people, 1 violent crime would be statistically high when compared to cities of 20, 30, 40,000. That doesn’t mean it is a dangerous town. It means it is a tiny town that had a crime happen.

  • phreaktor

    South Jersey is full of shitholes.

    • Phreaktor the Phaggot

      And Phreaktor, u take pictures of yourself without a shirt on…

      • phreaktor

        Your point? I’m glad I made you take te time to set up an account to reply to me.


    I have to agree with Lindenwold making this list. LIndenwold is a bad place, especially in the Arborwood section of the town. If anything I would add neighboring Clementon and Pine Hill to the list as well, I just hope it doesn’t spill into neighboring Berlin, Stratford or Laurel Springs.


    I can name a few more places that have for their size, relatively high crime rates. Gloucester City, Woodbury, Glassboro, Maple Shade, Bridgeton, Vineland, Pleasentville.

  • Anna

    I lived in Keansburg, although there are some you would think twice before hanging out with them, Keansburg is really not that bad. What about the towns like Asbury Park , Newark, Jersey City, or towns like that that are on the news almost every night with gun shooting or streets that even the cops won’t go down. As for the others I have not even heard of them so how bad can they really be ??

  • Robert J Nugent

    To tell the truth K-Burg is only dangerous because of the people outside of our town. The latest crimes were committed by Middletown residence. Drugs came from New York residence. A lot of fights were against Asbury/Neptune Residence. Not saying everyone is the same but when did you hear someone from the Burg committing a crime? You get rid of the bad seeds and clean up some of the parents who allow their kids to do whatever; we would be a much more successful non-dangerous town!!!

  • Gileum

    I live in Keansburg and it is NOT that bad. I grew up in Hoboken and it was much worse. Most of the delinquents in this town come from neighboring towns because they think they can get away with it here. They are too chicken shit to do it in their OWN home towns where their mommies can shake their heads at them with disappointment every time they get caught.

    In Hoboken, my dad’s car got robbed, had the hub caps stolen, had his antenna stole, and had the right headlight stolen. I got into fights every day in the school system, and one of the janitorial staff in my apartment complex was arrested for trapping two kids in a service room and making them watch him sexually molest a toy doll of some sort. Those police sirens were going off at all hours of the night.

    In Keansburg, I have yet to be robbed, I got into fewer fights in High School, my car has never been touched, and the one incident I had with some punk on the street was some idiot 16 year old trying to be a hood rat thug, claiming he was gunna pop me, until my whole block cornered him against a fence and he turned tail and ran when the cops showed up. Yeah. Real tough guy.

    Keansburg has a bad reputation because of all the punk ass kids coming from OTHER towns. They PRACTICE here in Keansburg and then they get CAUGHT. I really wish things like this would stop painting my town as this congealing sesspool of bad eggs and crime when honestly, after living here for more than 10 years, I have yet to even notice a criminal element in my town. Except for in the newspaper, where they conveniently hide in small text someplace in the middle of the article, and only mention it ONCE that the people causing trouble come from Hazlet, Middletown, Holmdel, Red Bank, and just about anywhere else that ISNT Keansburg.

  • John

    Lmao “The Burg” is far from safe. I have lived 15-25 minutes from there my whole life and ill tell ya i wouldn’t want my wife there at night.

  • chaz r

    I lived in lindenwold for a year 2011. I thought it was a little hood. But nothing close to how philly can get. Pretty much if you’re looking for trouble, you will find it.

  • Melissa

    I live in Lindenwold, wasn’t expecting to be on the top 10 list. I knew it was bad but not that bad

  • Denise Rambo

    Penns Grove needs to call Bruce Willis and tell him to bring John McClane home for a little bit to clean things up!

  • Nanette

    Egg Harbor City???? Corbin City???? This is a bullcrap report that only serves to damage great small towns because of the numbers…

    • Nanette

      Since you’re Philadelphia Magazine, why not post a list of the most dangerous neighborhoods in Philadelphia?

  • cbworse

    Salem and Penns Grove are both horrible places to drive thru or even live. I can not see improvements in either town due to many things. Populations have declined in both towns in the past four decades. There are people trying to make improvements from the private sector especially in Salem. The problem is the folks you need to move to Salem and PG will not due to the education facilities, crime rate, tax rate, employment opportunities and all the things that go into a desirable community.

  • cbworse

    I hope the problems do not spread to the rest of Salem County!

  • Meghan

    Keansburg is NOT dangerous, that’s funny. Lived here 30 years, it’s just not

  • Deb

    Patch….I am from S. Jersey (Somerdale…did not make your list) and get the feeling you are picking on us…but keep in mind that Hackensack and Jersey City have populations way too high to make it on the list. Yeah we have Camden…but that is one city…not 2. I doubt the crime rate in S. Jersey vs Central Jersey vs N. Jersey vary much. Oh and BTW I am white and about a mile from Lawnside and I don’t understand why Lawnside made it on the list either. I am also wondering if it is a racial thing. I grew up in Magnolia (right next door to Lawside) and am only the other side of Magnolia away from Lawside now…and I would not hesitate to go to Lawnside for any reason. Now I do agree on Lindenwold…but I am also wondering if Lindenwold did make it on the list why was Clementon not also included? It’s just as bad there…and also Pine Hill for that matter.