This Pennsylvanian city was just named one of the nation’s “dangerous cities”

McKees Rocks, a small city in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, with a population of just over 6,000, has been designated as the most dangerous city in the United States according to FBI statistics.

This alarming distinction is underscored by a crime rate that is 205% higher than the national average, making the chances of becoming a victim of any crime 1 in 16, and for violent crime, 1 in 58. The city struggles with both property and violent crimes, significantly impacted by economic hardships and educational challenges​​.

Economic and Educational Challenges

McKees Rocks faces profound economic issues, with a median household income of $28,750, which is 48% lower than the national average. The poverty rate stands at 29.9%, and the unemployment rate is 9.1%.

Educational attainment is also a concern, with low graduation and college attainment rates, limiting job opportunities and career advancement for residents. These factors collectively contribute to a cycle of poverty and violence​​.

Pennsylvania’s Other Dangerous Cities

McKees Rocks is not alone in its struggles within Pennsylvania. Other cities like Darby, Chester, McKeesport, and Yeadon also report high crime rates and face similar socioeconomic challenges, marked by significant poverty and violence​​.

Addressing the Crime Problem

Tackling McKees Rocks’ crime problem requires a multifaceted approach. Strategies include investing in education and job training, providing essential social services and support, and enhancing community policing and engagement. These measures aim to address both the root causes and symptoms of crime​​.

Community Initiatives in McKees Rocks

The Grow Sto-Rox initiative envisions creating a safe, healthy, and prosperous community. Efforts focus on:

  • Listening and collaborating with the community.
  • Providing access to resources and opportunities.
  • Identifying community needs and supporting programming.
  • Facilitating increased collaboration throughout the community​​​​​​​​.

Addressing Trauma and Poverty

Grow Sto-Rox acknowledges the need for trauma-informed and strength-based approaches to combat poverty and crime. The initiative includes training, community engagement, and systemic racism education. Their programs aim to help individuals recognize and address trauma and build upon their strengths for personal and economic growth​​.

Collaborative Efforts for Economic Growth

Key organizations within the Sto-Rox community, including the Sto-Rox School District, have formed partnerships to improve outcomes for youth and families and identify opportunities for transformational collective impact.

These collaborations aim to bridge workforce and economic development gaps and prioritize community outreach and engagement to vulnerable residents​​.


McKees Rocks, facing dire statistics as one of the most dangerous cities in the country, is battling this reality through a comprehensive community approach. Initiatives like Grow Sto-Rox are instrumental in addressing the underlying causes of crime, such as poverty, lack of education, and trauma.

By focusing on community engagement, education, and economic development, there is hope for a more prosperous and safe future for the residents of McKees Rocks.

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