This City Has Been Named the Most Dangerous City to Live in Delaware

Delaware, a compact state with a population of fewer than one million, is renowned for its historical importance, business-friendly regulations, and picturesque beaches. However, not all areas within Delaware offer equal levels of safety and tranquility. Recent crime statistics highlight Wilmington as the most perilous city in the state.

Wilmington’s Crime Rate

Wilmington, Delaware’s largest and most populous city housing approximately 70,000 residents, serves as the state’s economic and cultural nucleus. Despite its attractions and opportunities, Wilmington grapples with a high crime rate, earning the title of the most dangerous city in Delaware.

According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report for 2023, Wilmington reported a total of 4,683 crimes, including 1,050 violent crimes and 3,633 property crimes. This results in a crime rate of 2,683 per 100,000 residents, surpassing the national average of 830 per 100,000 residents by over three times. The violent crime rate stands at 15 per 1,000 residents, four times the national average, while the property crime rate is 44.6 per 1,000 residents, nearly double the national average.

Wilmington’s crime rate significantly exceeds the state average of 2,675 per 100,000 residents, constituting 18% of Delaware’s total crimes and 27% of violent crimes in 2023. Consequently, Wilmington holds the position of the most dangerous city in Delaware and the 23rd most dangerous city in the United States for the same year.

Wilmington’s Crime Trends

Wilmington’s struggle with crime is not a recent development, dating back to the 1980s with the onset of the crack cocaine epidemic. The city has experienced cycles of violence, poverty, and societal decay, contributing to its elevated crime rate.

In 2014, Wilmington reached its peak crime rate at 3,368 per 100,000 residents, accompanied by 32 homicides, earning the city the moniker “Murder Town USA” from Newsweek. Subsequent initiatives and reforms aimed at reducing crime have yielded a 20% decrease in Wilmington’s crime rate from 2014 to 2023. Despite improvements, the city still faces challenges, maintaining a crime rate well above national and state averages.

Wilmington’s Crime Causes and Solutions

Numerous factors influence Wilmington’s crime rate, including economic inequality, racial segregation, educational disparities, drug abuse, gang activity, and a lack of trust in law enforcement. Addressing these issues requires comprehensive, long-term solutions to break the cycle of violence and victimization.

Potential solutions include creating more job opportunities for low-income and unemployed residents, offering affordable and quality housing, enhancing education and training programs, expanding mental health and substance abuse services, strengthening community and faith-based organizations, improving police-community relations and accountability, and fostering a culture of peace and nonviolence.


Wilmington, with its assets and potential, faces considerable challenges and dangers, earning the title of the most dangerous city in Delaware and one of the most perilous in the United States. The city’s high crime rate poses a serious threat to the safety and well-being of residents and visitors alike. To transform Wilmington into a more livable and prosperous city, decisive and comprehensive actions are imperative to reduce crime and enhance the overall quality of life.


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