This Small Pennsylvania Town is Among the Most Dangerous in the Country

Pennsylvania is the 11th safest state in the U.S., but it still has some very dangerous cities. Philadelphia, the biggest city in the state, has its share of crime but isn’t the worst. Surprisingly, many of the most violent places in Pennsylvania are small and seem quiet.

According to FBI data, Darby is the most violent city in Pennsylvania. It’s a small town in Delaware County with about 10,667 residents. Darby has a crime index of 4, meaning it’s safer than only 4% of other U.S. cities. People living in Darby have a 1 in 70 chance of facing a violent crime like assault, rape, robbery, or murder. Darby also has a high poverty rate of 28.2%, which is linked to its crime issues.

Why Is Darby So Dangerous?

Darby has had a tough time for many years. It used to be a busy industrial town but started to decline after the Great Depression and never fully recovered. Now, Darby struggles with unemployment, poverty, drugs, gangs, and corruption. Many buildings are old and falling apart, and there aren’t enough resources like police, good schools, healthcare, and recreational facilities.

Darby’s crime problem isn’t new. In 2015, it was the second most dangerous city in Pennsylvania, after Chester. In 2018, it was listed among the 100 most dangerous cities in America. In 2020, Darby had 152 reported violent crimes, including 3 murders, 15 rapes, 46 robberies, and 88 assaults. There were also 328 property crimes, like burglary, theft, and car theft.

What Is Being Done to Make Darby Safer?

Even though the situation in Darby is bad, there are efforts to improve safety and quality of life. In 2019, Darby got a $1 million grant from the state to revamp its downtown and attract new businesses and residents. The town also teamed up with the Delaware County District Attorney’s Office to start Operation Safe Streets, a program to reduce violence and drug trafficking.

Community organizations are also trying to make a difference. The Darby Borough Community Development Corporation (DBCDC) is a nonprofit that offers programs like youth mentoring, senior care, a food pantry, and housing help. They also hold events to encourage community involvement and togetherness.


Darby has many challenges and risks, but it also has potential and opportunities. While it’s the most violent city in Pennsylvania, other cities in the state also struggle with high crime rates and need help. By tackling the root causes of crime, like poverty, unemployment, and lack of education and healthcare, Darby and other cities in Pennsylvania can become safer and better places to live.

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