The SafeWise team is pleased to release the fourth annual State of Safety report.
The State of Safety in Pennsylvania 2022
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Pennsylvania continues to see less crime than the rest of the country, but its violent and property crime rates are the highest in the Mid-Atlantic region. Despite lower incidences of crime statewide, Pennsylvanians still worry about their safety more than most Americans.
In this report
2022 Pennsylvania crime rates
Violent crime in The Keystone State jumped from 3.1 incidents per 1,000 people to 3.9 this year, barely beating the US rate of 4.0. Property crime bucked the nationwide downward trend, rising from 14.0 crimes per 1,000 to 16.4 this year—but that still keeps Pennsylvania under the national rate of 19.6.
Very few Pennsylvania cities reported crime data to the FBI compared to last year, which may be why crime rates rose this year after either falling or remaining steady in our previous reports.
Level of concern and experience with crime in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania continues to show higher concern about safety than most of America despite consistently low crime rates—and 55% think Pennsylvania is a safe place to live.
State crime-rate trends are inconsistent with State of Safety survey participants’ reports of experience with crime—violent crime experiences remained at 8%, while property crime dropped 10 full points year over year.
The outlier is gun violence. State of Safety survey respondents reported double the personal experience with gun violence year over year. That increase may explain why Pennsylvanians are 16% more concerned about gun violence actually happening to them than the national average.
Image: SafeWise. Past 12 months=12 months prior to survey.
Crime concerns in Pennsylvania
We asked Pennsylvania residents which crimes they worry may happen to them. See if Pennsylvanians are concerned about the same crime issues as the rest of the country.
View the complete 2022 State of Safety report.
Violent crime in Pennsylvania: Fear vs. reality
The violent crime rate in Pennsylvania rose 27% this year, from 3.1 incidents per 1,000 people to 3.9. But only 10 cities reported crime data to the FBI, which makes it difficult to compare crime rates year over year. Even so, Pennsylvania still came in below the US violent crime rate of 4.0 incidents per 1,000.
- Proportionately, violent crime is more predominant in Pennsylvania than in the rest of the US.
- Violent crime made up 19% of all crime reported in the state, compared to 17% nationwide.
- 36% of survey respondents use some form of personal protection (US 34%). Pepper spray is used most often, followed by self-defense knives.
- 45% say their personal safety has been affected by the pandemic (US 44%).
Attitudes about gun violence in Pennsylvania
- 62% named gun violence their top safety concern (US 53%), and twice as many people reported having an experience with gun violence in the year before the survey.
- Gun violence grabbed headlines much of the year in hotspots like Philadelphia, where 2021 was a record-breaking year for gun violence.
- Mass shooting incidents increased from 34 in 2020 to 35 this year.
- 44% of survey respondents are most worried about a gun violence incident happening to them (US 38%).
- Firearms are the second-most used form of property protection, behind security cameras and security systems, which are tied as the most-used type of home protection.
- Concealed carry firearms are the third-most-common choice for personal protection among respondents who use some kind of self-defense device.
Property crime in Pennsylvania: Fear vs. reality
Pennsylvania’s property crime rate rose this year, after falling the previous two—increasing by over two incidents per 1,000, from 14.0 to 16.4. Property crime remains the top crime concern in the state, with 45% fearing it may happen to them, versus 42% nationwide.
- Even though property crime is the most worrisome, experience with property crime decreased 42% in Pennsylvania this survey year.
- Even though property crime rose, Pennsylvania saw around 3 fewer property crimes per 1,000 people than the national average.
- 62% of Pennsylvania survey respondents use some form of property protection (US 60%) with security cameras and home security systems used most often—claiming 28% each.
- 32% say the security of their property has been affected by the pandemic (US 29%).
The safest cities in Pennsylvania
For the purposes of this report, the terms “dangerous” and “safest” refer explicitly to crime rates as calculated from FBI crime data—no other characterization of any community is implied or intended.
We couldn’t rank the safest cities in Pennsylvania this year due to limited information reported to the FBI. Only 10 cities provided data to the FBI in 2020 (the most recent year for which data is available). Crime rates for those cities are detailed below.
How we determined the safest cities
Learn how we identified the safest cities on our methodology page.
How to make a safe home anywhere
Whether your city made our list or not, we encourage everyone to be proactive about home security. One of the best ways to stop a burglary before it happens is to add a home security system.
Find security and safety resources in your area
Find the safest cities in each state
Click on the state image or dropdown menu below to check out the safest cities for each state.
Related articles on SafeWise
FBI: Crime Data Explorer, Accessed March 8, 2022.
US Census Bureau, "Data Explorer," Accessed January 24, 2022.
Best Places, “Find a Place Search Tool,” Accessed January 24, 2022.
SafeWise, “2021 State of Safety survey,” Accessed March 8, 2022.
Gun Violence Archive, “Past Summary Ledgers,” Accessed January 24, 2022.
Gun Violence Archive, “General Methodology,” Accessed March 8, 2022.
Melody Hicks, Ben Stickle, Joshua Harms, American Journal of Criminal Justice, “Assessing the Fear of Package Theft,” January 04, 2021. Accessed March 8, 2022.
For definitions and more on data sources, see our methodology page.