4 Virginia Cities Rank Among the Most Dangerous Places in the US

Virginia, known for its rich history, beautiful landscapes, and lively cities, often seems like a safe and peaceful place. However, a closer look at crime statistics tells a different story. Recent data shows that four cities in Virginia are among the most dangerous in the United States. In this blog post, we will examine these cities, the reasons behind their high crime rates, and what this means for both residents and visitors.

Portsmouth: The Most Dangerous City in Virginia

Portsmouth, located across the Elizabeth River from Norfolk, is the most dangerous city in Virginia. With a population of 97,915, its crime rate is 228% higher than the state average. Residents have a 1 in 19 chance of becoming a crime victim. In 2022, there were 4,429 reported crimes, including 36 murders, 138 robberies, 529 assaults, and 3,007 thefts.

Emporia: A City Struggling with High Crime Rates

Emporia, located in Greensville County, also faces high crime rates. With a population of just 5,766, its total crime rate is 4,203 per 100,000, which is 61% higher than the national average. In 2022, there were 166 reported crimes, including 22 violent crimes and 144 property crimes.

Galax: A Small Town with a Big Crime Problem

Galax, a small town in southwestern Virginia, has a very high crime rate of 3,768 per 100,000. With a population of 6,720, residents have a 1 in 27 chance of being a crime victim. In 2022, there were zero murders, nine assaults, 25 burglaries, 187 thefts, and 22 motor vehicle thefts.

Norfolk: A City Grappling with Violent Crime

Norfolk, home to the largest naval base in the world, is another dangerous city in Virginia. Its total crime rate is 3,354 per 100,000, which is 43% higher than the national average. Last year, there were 9,850 recorded crimes, including 63 murders and 1,364 assaults.

Factors Contributing to High Crime Rates

Several factors contribute to the high crime rates in these Virginia cities. Economic issues, such as poverty and unemployment, play a significant role. Cities like Portsmouth and Emporia have high levels of poverty, which can lead to more crime. Lack of investment in these areas and the presence of high-crime neighborhoods also add to the problem.


Virginia’s ranking among the most dangerous places in the US is a serious issue. The high crime rates in cities like Portsmouth, Emporia, Galax, and Norfolk call for action from local authorities and communities. By investing in community development, improving economic opportunities, and enhancing public safety, these cities can start to reduce crime rates. It’s important for Virginia to recognize the problem and take steps to ensure the state remains a safe and peaceful place.

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