Houston, the fourth most populous city in the United States, boasts a population of over 2 million residents. It possesses a captivating historical background, and its distinct vibe and culture set it apart from other major cities in Texas.
However, like any sizable urban center, Houston is not exempt from having areas that are not only undesirable but also notably unsafe.
The majority of the city lacks zoning regulations, which means that you can come across a neighborhood adorned with million-dollar homes and, within a half-mile distance, encounter a dilapidated area plagued by crime.
Drug trafficking, robbery, and murder rank among the prominent criminal concerns in Houston, contributing to its emergence as one of the country’s primary hubs for human trafficking.
Outlined below are some of Houston’s most perilous neighborhoods, as determined by the incidence of violent crimes per 100,000 individuals in each respective area, compared to the average rate of violent crime in Houston.
Situated on the outskirts of Houston, in close proximity to the Airport, the Far North neighborhood stands out as the most perilous area in the city. It is home to a population of 59,742 individuals, and the region is distinguished by its notably inexpensive housing prices and a median income that is slightly more than half of the national average.
Crime statistics reveal that the rate of violent offenses in Far North surpasses the Houston average by 103%, presenting a significant safety concern for its residents. In fact, individuals residing in this neighborhood face a 1 in 10 probability of falling victim to criminal activities each year.
The Northeast neighborhood is a region plagued by elevated crime rates and subpar living conditions. With a population of 129,659, the median income in this area is approximately two-thirds of the national average.
In Northeast, the rate of violent crime is 72% higher than the Houston average, and residents face a 1 in 12 likelihood of falling victim to crime annually.
Sunnyside, located south of downtown Houston, has gained notoriety as the most dangerous neighborhood in Texas and the sixth most dangerous in the entire United States. It is home to a population of 17,751, with a median income that falls below half of the national average.
The rate of violent crime in Sunnyside stands at 91.27 per 1,000 residents, resulting in a 1 in 11 chance for residents to become victims of crime each year. For decades, Sunnyside has been grappling with persistent issues such as gang violence, drug trafficking, prostitution, and murder.
MacGregor, located in southeast Houston’s Third Ward, was previously recognized as the 15th most dangerous area in the United States. It has a population of 23,228 and a median income that is approximately 75% of the national average.
The violent crime rate in MacGregor stands at 75.89 per 1,000 residents, resulting in a 1 in 13 chance of being a victim of crime each year. The neighborhood boasts attractive older mansions, charming homes, and is home to the well-funded University of Houston.
However, there is also a significant presence of low-income apartments throughout the area, as well as Texas Southern University, a college with a high incidence of violent crimes, and prevalent theft issues.
Sharpstown, originally conceived as a planned community in the mid-1950s by Frank Sharp, was envisioned as an ideal place for families. Initially, Sharp’s vision proved accurate, as Sharpstown flourished and became a desirable district known for its entertainment options, quality schools, and overall safety.
However, in subsequent decades, the area has unfortunately succumbed to high crime rates, earning a reputation as a crime-ridden neighborhood. The current population stands at 51,540, with the median income being around two-thirds of the national average.
Sharpstown’s violent crime rate is alarmingly high, with 56.77 incidents per 1,000 residents. This translates to residents facing a 1 in 18 chance of falling victim to a crime each year.
Notably, the locale formerly known as Sharpstown Mall, now called PlazAmericas, is an area of particular concern among local residents, who exercise caution when venturing there.
While Sharpstown and some of its surrounding neighborhoods are deemed dangerous and advised to be avoided, Houston boasts numerous safe and pleasant areas that provide excellent opportunities for living, working, and enjoying life.
If safety is a primary consideration, alternative neighborhoods like Meyerland or Spring Branch may present safer options for residents and visitors alike.