Houston is a bustling Texan city with a diverse population and thriving economy. However, like many urban areas, it also has its fair share of dangerous neighborhoods. From high rates of violent crime to rampant gang activity, these areas can pose a significant threat to residents and visitors alike.
So, I decided to take a look at the top 10 most dangerous neighborhoods in Houston based on the level of violent crime and property crime. Whether you’re a Houston local or just passing through, it makes sense to be aware of these neighborhoods and take care when venturing into them.
So buckle up and get ready for a deep dive into 10 of the most dangerous Houston neighborhoods.
1 Far North
Located on the outskirts of town, not far from the Airport, the Far North is the most dangerous neighborhood in Houston. A population of 59,742 live here, and the area is characterized by very low house prices and a median income that is a little over half the national average.
In 2022, there were 8,153 total crimes committed per 100,000 people in Far North. That’s 53% above the Houston average and a staggering 3.5 times the rate nationally.
6.5 times the national rate…
Violent crimes (murder, rape, robbery, assault) were committed at a rate of 2,455 per 100,000 people. This works out as just over twice the rate in Houston and around 6.5 times the national rate. You definitely want to watch your back around these parts as you have a 1 in 41 chance of being the victim of violent crime if you live here.
Property crimes (burglary, theft, vehicle theft) are also rampant here, running at 5,698 incidents per 100,000 people. This is almost three times the national average and 38% higher than the citywide figure.
These figures demonstrate just how dangerous far north Houston can be, with crime rates well above national and city averages. It’s important for residents and visitors to take precautions when in this area, so avoid walking alone at night and keep your valuables out of sight.
Taking in the neighborhoods of East Houston, Settegast, and North Shadydale, 129,659 people live in the Northeast, and it’s officially the second most dangerous area to live in Houston.
The total number of crimes committed per 100,000 people was 6,710 in 2022. This is just under three times the national average. Violent crimes were particularly high at 2,079 offenses per 100,000 people. This just is over five times the national rate and 72% in excess of the Houston average. It’s a risky business living in Northeast Houston, with a 1 in 48 chance of violence, to be precise.
Whilst not as bad as in Far North, property crimes are still committed here at 2.4 times the national rate. 4,631 property crimes per 100,000 people were committed in 2022. That means almost 1 in 22 people in this area. Not good.
Once again, you’ll need to keep your wits about you if you live here or are planning a visit.
The third most dangerous neighborhood in Houston is the North, home to 119,685 residents. According to 2022 data, the overall violent crime rate in north Houston was 1,870 incidents per 100,000 people, 50% more than the citywide figure. In comparison, the national rate is 388 incidents per 100,000 residents, making North Houston’s rate 4.8 times the national average.
Whilst the level of violent crime is less than in Northeast Houston, North Houston experiences a similar amount of property crime, with an overall rate of approximately 4,556 incidents per 100,000 people. That’s 2.3 times the national rate of 1,958. So, no leaving your doors unlocked around these parts.
All of this adds up to a total crime rate of 6,426 crimes per 100,000 population, 2.7 times the national level. Due caution must be taken in North Houston.
Around 262,000 people, or 11% of the city’s population, live in this part of town. Sadly for them, it is the fourth most dangerous place to call home in Houston.
Total crime numbers in Southeast Houston are running at 2.5 times the national figure at 6,022 per 100,000 residents. While this sounds bad, by Houston standards, it’s only 13% higher than the figure for the city as a whole.
Violent crimes are still a problem here, though, with 1,785 offenses per 100,00 people. This is just under 50% higher than the citywide rate and 4.6 times the danger level you see nationally. You’ve still got to watch your back here.
Property crimes in Southeast Houston are only just above the city average (4,106) at 4,237 per 100,000 people. Even though we’re heading in the right direction, this is still 2.2 times the national number.
Situated southwest of central Houston, the Medical neighborhood is home to 44,356 people. As this list is about the most dangerous neighborhoods within the city of Houston, the number of violent crimes is our primary measure of danger. That placed the Medical neighborhood fifth as they had a total of 1,631 violent crimes per 100,000 residents in 2022. That’s still 35% above the city average and just over four times the national threat.
It’s a good job that violent crime carries more sway than property crime on our list, as the Medical neighborhood has a lot of it. There are more property crimes here than in the most dangerous area of Houston, the Far North. There were a shocking 6,735 incidents per 100,000 people in 2022. That’s a level of property crime 64% higher than the citywide number and 3.4 times the national rate.
Add these crime stats together, and you get an overall number of 8,366 crimes per 100,000 people, the highest total on our list. That’s a pretty scary 1 in 12 chance of being the victim of a crime if you live here. Not so high if you’re just visiting, but you’ll want to be pretty vigilant all the same.
Northwest Houston has way less property crime than Medical but suffers a similar amount of violent crime at 1,611 offenses per 100,000 people. Once again, that’s just over four times the national average and 35% more than what you would expect citywide.
If it were just property crimes we were taking into account, Northwest would still be at number six on my list with 4,380 incidents per 100,000 people. By Houston standards, this is only 6.6% above citywide figures. By national standards, we’re talking well over double.
Total crime figures of 5,991 per 100,000 residents make those living in this neighborhood 13% more likely to become a victim of crime than your average Houstonian. There also just over 2.5 times more likely to suffer crime than your average American.
7 East End
As we head to the East End, we start to see a welcome fall in the violent crime numbers. The 87,359 residents bear witness to 1,352 violent crimes per 100,000 people, which is much closer to the city average than we’ve seen so far. Just under 12% higher, to be precise. This is, however, still 3.5 times the national average, so this is no place to relax just yet.
Property crime levels in the East End are, unfortunately, quite high. In fact, the East End sees the third highest property crime levels of the 10 neighborhoods on my list at 4,782 per 100,000 people. That’s 16% higher than Houston levels and just under 2.5 times the rate nationwide.
Despite having significantly less violent crime than Northwest Houston, the higher property crime figures mean that your overall chance of being a crime victim here is higher at 15% above the city average and 2.6 times the national number.
The 71,050 people of Westchase see virtually the same level of crime as those in the East End. Violent crime frequency is a fraction lower at 1,335 offenses per 100,000 residents, as are property crimes at 4,643 per 100,000 people.
As these statistics are virtually the same as the East End above, please refer to them for a citywide and national comparison. Suffice to say that as we head down the list, we are encountering areas that are more representative of Houston as a whole, but still way above national crime levels.
186,971 Houstonians call Bellaire home, which is a sizeable chunk of the city’s population. By Houston standards, overall crime numbers here are actually lower than the city average. There are just under 18% fewer crimes committed here in total, 4,391 per 100,000 people to be exact. But that’s still 1.9 times the national rate; however, that’s to be expected in big metropolitan areas.
Violent crimes are just 7% above the citywide figure at 1,295 per 100.000 people. That’s way down on the 10 most dangerous neighborhoods in Houston, but still an alarming 3.3 times the threat level experienced by your average American.
It’s the far lower property crime figures that lower the overall number. Residents of Bellaire witnessed 3,096 property offenses per 100,000 in 2022. This is a full 25% lower than the rate across the city as a whole
Our last neighborhood on my list is Sugarland, and it’s also the first to have a violent crime rate that is lower than the city average. The 125,992 residents saw 1,228 violent crimes committed per 100,000 people in 2022. That’s 2% lower than the citywide rate. Obviously, this is still high when compared to the national rate.
Property crimes in Sugarland are actually a little higher than in Bellaire, but still well below the Houston average. There were 3,244 incidents per 100,000 people last year which is 22% less than the city average.
In terms of total crimes, the 4,472 crimes per 100,000 people experienced in Sugarland is 18% lower than Houston’s average. That still makes it 1.9 times the level of crime experienced nationally, but far from the worst place to live in Houston.
How Does Houston Compare with other Cities with Dangerous Neighborhoods?
Well, find out with our comprehensive guides to the 10 Most Dangerous Cities in NJ, the Most Dangerous Neighborhoods In Los Angeles, the 10 Most Dangerous Neighborhoods In Chicago, the Most Dangerous Cities in North Carolina, the Most Dangerous Cities In Florida, the Most Dangerous Neighborhoods in Atlanta, the Most Dangerous Cities in California, or the Most Dangerous Cities In Ohio in 2023.
Or, for a nationwide view, check out our guide to the 10 Most Dangerous States In The US.
On the flip side, you might be interested in the Safest Places To Live In Florida, the Safest Neighborhoods In Philadelphia, the Safest Neighborhoods In Atlanta, the Best Neighborhoods In Long Island, or the Best Neighborhoods In Brooklyn.
So that concludes my look at the ten most dangerous neighborhoods to live in or visit in Houston. The Far North area of the city has by far the highest level of violent crime in Houston, giving it the dubious honor of being the most dangerous neighborhood in the city.
Houston is a city that has much to offer, but it also has areas with high crime rates that pose a genuine threat to residents and visitors alike. My examination of the most dangerous neighborhoods highlights the need for caution when venturing into these areas. The violent crime and property crime statistics in some of these neighborhoods are pretty alarming, with rates far exceeding the national averages.
In the end, that doesn’t mean the whole city is a no-go zone. The vast majority of Houston neighborhoods are comparatively safe, and with awareness and caution, residents and visitors can easily enjoy all that this vibrant city has to offer while staying well out of harm’s way.
Stay safe, and enjoy Houston!