The City Is Now Massachusetts’ Most Dangerous Place to Live

In 2023, Holyoke has been identified as the most dangerous city in Massachusetts, a title it has held for three consecutive years. Located just north of Springfield, between the Connecticut River and the Mount Tom Range, Holyoke presents a contrasting image of serene natural beauty and alarming crime statistics.

Alarming Crime Rates

  • Overall Crime Rate: The total crime rate in Holyoke is three times higher than the state average. This staggering figure underscores the severity of the crime situation in the city.
  • Property Crime: In 2020, the chance of falling victim to property crime in Holyoke was 1 in 32. This high rate necessitates heightened vigilance and precautionary measures by residents and visitors alike.
  • Violent Crime: Holyoke reported nearly one violent crime per day. This includes having the second-highest murder rate and the 49th-highest rate of rape cases in Massachusetts​​.

Factors Contributing to High Crime Rates

While the specific factors contributing to Holyoke’s high crime rates aren’t detailed in the sources, it’s generally understood that various socio-economic factors play a role in crime prevalence. These may include poverty, unemployment, educational disparities, and social issues like substance abuse and family breakdown. Cities like Holyoke, with complex socio-economic landscapes, often face challenges in effectively addressing these underlying issues.

Comparison with Other Massachusetts Cities

Holyoke’s crime rates stand out even when compared to other cities in the state. For example, cities like North Adams and Worcester are also recognized for their high crime rates, but Holyoke surpasses them in terms of property and violent crimes​​​​.


The designation of Holyoke as the most dangerous city in Massachusetts highlights significant public safety concerns. It’s a reminder of the ongoing challenges faced by cities grappling with high crime rates. Addressing these issues requires a multifaceted approach, including law enforcement strategies, community engagement, and socio-economic development programs aimed at tackling the root causes of crime.

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