What Are the Worst Neighborhoods in Phoenix (Arizona)?

People have been relocating to Phoenix in droves, for jobs, education, environment, and hopes of an overall improved lifestyle.

Of course, Phoenix has a lot to offer, but it also has its fair share of issues, from an educational system that needs improvement to serious crime in some neighborhoods.

So, what are the worst neighborhoods in Phoenix?

Five neighborhoods top the list of places to avoid when visiting or relocating to Phoenix. They are Central City, South Mountain, Valeen, Alhambra, and Encanto.

This Arizona metropolitan area’s violent crime rate was higher than the national rate in 2020, and its rate of property crime was also higher than the national rate.

How is the crime rate calculated?

violent crimes

The rankings are based on the number of violent crimes committed per 100,000 residents in each neighborhood relative to the Phoenix average.

Murder, rape, robbery, and assault are all examples of violent crimes. Local law enforcement statistics and, when not available, assumptions focused on the demographic information are used to determine Phoenix’s most hazardous neighborhoods.

In general, how safe is it to live in Phoenix?

There were six murders and four rapes per 100,000 residents in Phoenix in 2020, which was the sixth-highest murder rate in Arizona.

Meanwhile, the burglary and auto theft rates have escalated to the point where 1 in every 30.2 residents has been a victim of property crime.

How volatile is the Central South area in Phoenix, AZ?

The most common crimes in the area are those found in densely populated urban areas.

Violence – including shootings, panhandlers, car break-ins, and muggings – is common in the city.

Violence is 508 percent higher than the national average in this city of 9,988 crimes per 100,000 people.

There are varying levels of security in this neighborhood.

You will feel more secure if you travel further from Central Avenue or Van Buren Avenue.

Because it is located in the heart of Phoenix, this area has the most police officers.

Van Buren Avenue

With a rich and diversified ethnic and cultural past, Central City South is a well-established area.

It is home to some of Phoenix‘s oldest neighborhoods, as well as some of the city’s busiest industrial and commercial areas.

What contributes to crime in Central South, Phoenix?

The physical, economic, and social conditions of the region, which were once regarded as thriving, have deteriorated during the last four decades.

Many areas now have unoccupied homes and buildings in bad structural shape.

The area’s population is significantly less educated, underemployed, and poorer than the city’s overall population.

Almost every type of crime is more common here than the city’s average rate. Several studies commissioned by the local community have uncovered the area’s issues, assets, and potential for improvement, as well as the pressing need for redevelopment.

What is Phoenix’s plan to improve the Central South area?

According to the City of Phoenix’s planning department, the Central City South Area Plan has goals to improve the area in regard to its recreation opportunities, health services, social services, housing, and individual resident development.

City of Phoenix

Goals and objectives are also established to lead government efforts to improve the area and remove obstacles that have deterred private re-investment.

Community, as well as private investment (such as money and time and effort contributions), are leveraged to benefit from limited governmental resources when they become available.

How did the Central South area become segregated?

In the early 1890s, flooding along the Salt River led to the displacement of many residents who sought higher ground in the newly developed neighborhoods to the north.

Newer housing developments have imposed racial segregation on the minority communities, forcing them to relocate to the south of Van Buren Street.

Mexican, Chinese, and later African American families settled in Grant Park and the regions west of 7th Avenue throughout time.

How did development further isolate the Central South neighborhood?

Commercial, as well as warehouse construction near the Union Pacific Railroad rails, grew as Phoenix grew.

Union Pacific Railroad rails

Even though jobs were available in the area, the railroad corridor created a barrier between Central City South and the rapidly growing city to the north, both physically and psychologically.

The Black Canyon/Maricopa Freeway was built in the early 1960s, defining the area’s west and south boundaries.

The freeway’s massive presence, at a height of 30 feet above the ground, further isolated the neighborhood from the rest of downtown Phoenix.

Many dwellings were removed and rebuilt by substantial industrial and commercial development along the freeway’s border.

Phoenix’s Sky Harbor International Airport’s eastward expansion has also increased the amount of noise coming from aircraft.

What are the crime statistics for Phoenix in general?

The crime rate is significantly greater than the national average. With an 11th percentile ranking, Phoenix Metro is safer than 89% of other metro areas, however.

This is just looking at the actual city limits of the Phoenix metro region.

In a typical year, the annual crime rate in the Phoenix metro region is 59.39 per 1,000 residents.

The south side of Phoenix, according to locals, is the safest region of the metro area. As many as one in ten people in Phoenix’s central neighborhoods will become a victim of crime, while the number drops to one in 28 in the southern section of the metro region.

Crime Statistics

The core areas of Phoenix Metro, AZ, experience more crimes than any other part of the city, with an annual total of 71,591 offenses.

Fewer crimes are committed in the southwest Phoenix metro area, where an average year only sees 1,721 victims.

Which parts of Phoenix have the highest crime?

When visitors who don’t live in the Phoenix metro area explore the place throughout the day and look at the crime stats, the rate of crime per inhabitant may seem exaggerated.

As an illustration, the core region of the metro area has more retail outlets. Few people dwell on the blocks where many crimes occur.

People who live in the Phoenix metro area may not be in immediate danger even if their neighborhood is highlighted in red on a map of crime rates.

Do criminals in Phoenix target busy areas?

Airports, parks, and schools all have more problems. Due to the vast number of people and low population density, major airports, such as Phoenix’s Sky Harbor International Airport, always appear to be high-crime areas.

The 686 parks and recreational areas in the Phoenix metropolitan area have the same issue yet few of the 4,485,930 people in the Phoenix metropolitan region live near recreational facilities.

Phoenix metropolitan

Even in parks with low crime, the numbers may appear larger because of the volume of visitors.

Regardless of whether or not a person lives in a given area, crime will occur. After looking at the crime rate and total crime maps, take a look at neighboring locations that individuals may be visiting.

What makes Alhambra a volatile community?

134,116 people call the neighborhood home, which is mainly a working-class area with harsh limits.

Drug trafficking and a high number of shootings are the most common complaints from the area’s people.

Property crime accounts for 5,489 of the total 6,825 crimes per 100,000 people.

Compared to the national average, Alhambra’s crime rate is 165 percent higher.

Where can you feel safe in Alhambra?

East of 17 is where you’ll feel most secure in this neighborhood. Grand Canyon University’s hotel has received nothing but positive evaluations for its security.

There is a noticeable police presence in this neighborhood as well.

What makes Encanto one of Phoenix’s five worst neighborhoods?


123,300 people live in this undesirable part of town. Previously, it was renowned as Phoenix’s largest slum.

Perhaps it has such high crime because it has been the most impoverished, most varied, and most socioeconomically disadvantaged district in Phoenix for the better part of a few decades now.

As a result, you should expect to hear gunfire and even witness drive-by shootings. Then, there are gang activities, robberies, assaults, and car thefts that occur from time to time.

In this neighborhood, a person’s likelihood of being a victim of a crime is one in twenty-two.

Are there certain areas of South Mountain that are safer than others?

South Mountain

Located between Baseline and South Mountain, the most beautiful area of this community is found on the south side.

The safest place to be is along Baseline and not to the north of it. In addition, the region between 7th Street and the baseline should be avoided at all costs.

It’s difficult to go around on foot in crowded regions. Due to the high volume of traffic in Phoenix and the high incidence of pedestrian deaths in the South Phoenix area, extreme caution is advised.

Hiking, on the other hand, is a popular pastime on South Mountain.

Is there a lot of crime in Valeen, a suburb of Phoenix?

Only 55,000 people call this area home, and it’s one of the valley’s most diverse locations.

Laveen is known to have a higher concentration of criminals than other sections of town. Laveen is one of the more dangerous neighborhoods in Phoenix, with a high rate of violent crime in general.

Victims report regular shootings and other forms of criminal activity such as aggravated assault and robbery as well as home invasions and break-ins.

This neighborhood’s police officers are understaffed; thus they are unable to deal with complaints as quickly as they would like.


The number of violent crimes is 64% higher than the national average, making the suburb of Valeen a fairly dangerous place to live not just by Phoenix’s standards, but by the nation’s.