Report: Wilmington Most Dangerous Small City In Country

And bucolic Lancaster, Pennsylvania, isn’t far behind.


Camden is well-known as the most dangerous city in the country. And now our sales tax-free haven to the south, Wilmington, Delaware, has been declared the most dangerous small city in the country.

The report was released on Wednesday by real estate site Here is their list of the 10 most dangerous small cities in the United States:

1. Wilmington, Delaware
2. Canton, Ohio
3. Jackson, Tennessee
4. Rocky Mount, North Carolina
5. North Little Rock, Arkansas
6. Pensacola, Florida
7. Daytona Beach, Florida
8. Lauderhill, Florida (tie)
8. Homestead, Florida (tie)
10. Warner Robbins, Georgia

(Are you sure you want to retire to Florida?)

According to the report, Wilmington has more overall violent crimes based on population than any other small city, with 1,703 per 100,000 residents. For murder and total crime, it ranks third.

To determine the most dangerous small cities in the country, Movoto analyzed the FBI’s 2012 uniform crime report for cities with populations between 50,000 and 75,000, meaning Wilmington just made the cut with 72,000 people. Movoto included murder, rape, robbery, and assault, but also non-violent crimes like burglary, theft, and motor vehicle theft.

Looking beyond the top 10, Lancaster, Pennsylvania. isn’t very safe, either. While best known for Dutch Wonderland and shoo-fly pie, Lancaster is the 13th most dangerous small city in the country as per the Movoto report.

And if you’re wondering how Philadelphia is doing with its homicide problem, we’re at 57 murders for 2014. That’s a 39-percent reduction compared to this date in 2007, when the murder epidemic was completely out of control. But — and there’s always a but — we’re up 18 percent over last year at this time, when there were “just” 48 homicides. And then you have people doing stuff like this, too. So there’s that.

PHOTO: Tim Kiser, Creative Commons via Wikipedia.

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  • rechill

    Lancaster is beautiful as long as you don’t go into the city except for 4 square blocks near F&M college.

    • DTurner

      That’s not really true, the city has dramatically improved over the past decade and downtown is actually pretty nice these days; definitely in better shape than Wilmington at least.

      • matthew brandley

        AS long as its daylight out

        • DTurner

          Meh, it’s worse, but it’s not that awful, at least downtown.

      • eldondre

        this is correct. Lancaster has its share of crime but crime is down and the city has indeed improved a lot. this list is bunk. camden and chester aren’t included? guess we can’t expact honesty and integrity out of a real estate site

        • DTurner

          According to some searching, it looks like Camden is too big (a little over 77k residents) and Chester is too small (33k residents), since the population range was 50-75k residents for the study.

          • eldondre

            its just an arbitrary slice

          • DTurner

            Pretty much, but I guess you need to set perimeters at some point.

          • eldondre

            perhaps but without any analysis theyre arbitrary. the most interedting thing is wilmington really dies have a high crime rate. camden high though it doesnt look nearly as bad. there are some really nice parts of wilmington but they razed so much if the city. razing the city seems to have made it worse rather than better.

          • DTurner

            The problem with Wilmington is that they never really had a plan for what to do with the corporate money. They should have focused on using the money to make downtown more attractive and to establish some thriving neighborhoods, instead they basically provided no direction and let development spread out along the waterfront with no clear ties to the city. It has some nice areas, for sure, but the density of nice things is pretty low.

          • eldondre

            are you certain that wasnt their plan?

          • DTurner

            I don’t think Wilmington’s leadership is/was strong enough to develop a coherent plan. Plus, I’m not really sure what the benefit of the current situation is, it’s not like the riverfront is some sort of booming area either.

          • eldondre

            the riverfront was completely razed at some point, it used to be a bustling shipbuilding area and port. I’d say what has been built there is pretty consistent with urban renewal plans which often aim to destroy the old and bring in more suburban style developments.

    • Becky Holzinger

      Well, the ex-wife of Lancaster Police Chief Keith Sadler, Rosaura Torres Sadller, has written a book stating he abused her for years – “Abuse Hidden Behind the Badge” – and no one in Lancaster will address the situation! That tells you a lot right there!

      • Author Rosaura Torres

        Thank you Becky, for years many High ranking officers within the Philadelphia Police Department knew of the abuse. Did your Mayor ever question why Keith did not become Commissioner for the Philadelphia Police Department? Instead Nutter appointed Ramsey. I can go on and on….Thank you again.

      • Adam Smith

        What is this

        This woman is a well-established liar and her responder made online threats? Is that what I am reading? Wow. Thanks for your insight.

  • rechill

    And a place like Sawgrass, FL is probably lovely for retirement.

  • matthew brandley

    Has anyone taken notice as to what certain type os element of society just happens to be living in these so called fine cities of america? Yes folks you guessed it correctly!

    • tired of bigots

      Of course the racists must come out. But before you throw around your pea sized brain opinions there are white criminals in these places as well…despite what the news tells you. So come out your mom basement for 5 minutes and get a clue about the world you really live in.

      • Scott Gregory

        Im sure u r right that theres white criminlas in these areas but the question is, “Whats the percentage of these crimes that r attributed 2 certain types of races or people?” Its all bout the percentages. I think YOU need a clue on math n statistics but I can totally understand ur denial. If my race commited more violent crime, id b in denial 2 from embarrasement.


        You get a phucking clue Skippy. In every city USA, the violence problem is n i g g e r s, n i g g e r s, n i g g e r s, and n i g g e r s. Get it dipsh*t?

  • New2Philly

    Just moved here from FL. You couldn’t pay me to go back there to live.

  • FitchMike26

    Camden only has 6400 more people than Wilmington. It’s obvious the writers of this article intentionally set the goal posts directly below Camden’s population level.

  • Jonathan Fullmer

    I cant believe chester, pa didnt make that list?

    • Johnny Domino

      No love for Reading, either.

      You can torture numbers to say anything you want, pretty sure that’s what is going on here.

      • Scott Gregory

        yeah its all a big conspiracy (sarcasm) I dont think all these writers and whoever just got 2gether and targeted certain cities ALL ACROSS THE COUNTRY 4 no reason.. They just looked at the crime stats in these cities and thats it…The numbers dont lie. Plus, if u think that numbers arent accurate, y dont u live there and u can test out ur own theory..

        • Johnny Domino

          Well, I worked in one of the cities and live in another, but I won’t let my perceptions and personal experience tarnish your rant.

          BTW, if you need to label your sarcasm, you’re doing it wrong.

          • Scott Gregory

            i think my sarcasm is fine and im not sure what city u lived or worked in but if u looked at ALL the cities, both big n small across the country u would find a certain racial common denominator thats predominately associated with all these violent crimes as far as percentage goes. I lived in Philly all my life n bein so close 2 the area I know about Camden an Wilmington and the racial demographics. Wilmington DE has a black population of %58 and Camden, NJ is %48 which is considered high when u account 4 the national black population is only %13 and the violent crime rate in the african American communties far exceeds that. This is a fact

          • Johnny Domino

            Thanks for setting me straight on that.

            Your dry cleaner called, did you want starch in your hood?

          • Scott Gregory


          • Rosalie Davis

            You mentioned your experience several times when explaining facts….it is my opinion that you have made stereotypical comments which do not add up to real facts. You can explain your experience but it does not make it right for everyone else. Can you please cite where you got those numbers from because like I stated earlier….just because you say so doesn’t mean it’s true. BTW I lived in Wilmington most of my life and my experience was my experience…

  • Bnutz

    So glad I moved from Wilmington years ago. Only visit family that still resides there. It’s so sad.

  • Brittany

    i still can’t believe it’s more dangerous than Watts


    Lets be clear about the problem in Wilmington;