This City Has Been Named the Most Dangerous City to live in Massachusetts

Massachusetts, the seventh smallest state in the US by land area, is home to over 350 cities, with 26 of them having a population exceeding 50,000. Despite its size, the state boasts a diverse array of cities, each with its own distinctive characteristics and difficulties. Among these cities, one stands out for an unfortunate reason: it has been designated as the most perilous city in Massachusetts.

Holyoke: The Most Dangerous City

The city that has gained this dubious distinction is Holyoke┬╣. Situated near East Mountain, Holyoke has a population of 38,238. The city’s overall crime rate stands at 4,020 per 100,000 residents, resulting in a 1 in 25 chance for its inhabitants to become victims of any type of crime. This crime rate surpasses the national average by 195%, solidifying Holyoke’s status as the most hazardous city in Massachusetts.

Crime in Holyoke

Holyoke’s elevated crime rate encompasses a wide range of offenses. In 2020, the city recorded 8 homicides and boasted a violent crime rate of 739 reported incidents per 100,000 residents. This implies that Holyoke faces not only concerns related to property crimes but also grapples with a significant issue regarding violent crimes.

A Historical Perspective

Historically, Holyoke has been a mill town and was once responsible for manufacturing 80% of the writing paper utilized in the country. Its strategic location at the Hadley Falls, along with its establishment as a Dam city on the grid plan, has also led to the presence of paper, silk, and even alpaca wool mills.

However, the city’s population has been dwindling since its peak of 60,000 residents in 1920, primarily due to a decline in mills during the latter part of the 20th century. This economic downturn may have contributed to the surge in crime rates.


While Holyoke currently holds the unwelcome distinction of being the most dangerous city in Massachusetts, it’s crucial to bear in mind that crime rates can fluctuate over time and are influenced by a variety of factors. Ongoing efforts are in place to reduce crime and enhance safety. Despite its present challenges, Holyoke, like any other city, possesses unique strengths and potential for improvement.

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