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Coming to the US for a brief stay? Unsafe neighborhoods to avoid

First of all, what’s a brief stay in the US?

A brief stay is one where a traveler comes for tourism, family visitation, or a business purpose. In which case, a simple ESTA USA visa is enough to grant the traveler entry into the US.

Upon entry, you definitely need a place to crash at night and lead your everyday life.

So, where will that be? Logically, you want to get a place that’s closer to what you’ve come to do in the US. For example, if you’ve come for the casinos, you want to get a place that’s as close to Las Vegas as possible. That’s the home of casino gambling in the USA, after all.

Whatever your purpose of visitation is, feel free to choose anywhere you want in all of the USA, but beware of the following neighborhoods.

Los Angeles

Los Angeles is definitely up there amongst the destination of choice for most ESTA application travelers. Avoid the following hoods if LA is where your ESTA USA visa takes you.

  1. San Pedro St.
  2. Los Angeles St.
  3. 5th St.

Boyd St.

Predicted yearly crime rate (Forbes, 2021) = 34.7% (based on 1000 residents)

Based on the estimated number of violent crimes, the areas listed above are definitely up there with the most dangerous vicinities in the USA. If you can, try your best to avoid spending your ESTA application visit here.

Why are these areas crime-laden?

Because a large percentage of the residents live below the average US minimum wage. According to the American Community Survey (ACS), 55% of the people living in these block groups live on less than $10k/year. That’s lower than what 98% of the US population earns.

Additionally, it’s estimated that about 80% of the people living in these areas are mostly males. Since the male gender is more likely to commit crime than their female counterparts, it’s not surprising that these blocks are crime-laden.

There is a second group of violent neighborhoods in LA. These are:

  1. 7th St.
  2. Olympic Blvd.

Santa Monica Fwy.

  1. 9th / S. Los Angeles St.
  2. Alameda St. 

Maple Ave.

Gladys Ave.

Predicted yearly crime rate (Forbes, 2021) = 29.3% (based on 1000 residents)

From Pacific Park to Heal the Bay aquarium, there are a million things to do in Santa Monica alone. Yet, the safety of these regions is why many ESTA USA travelers avoid the region. Unless your ESTA status warrants that you must visit the above-listed areas, you may want to consider other safer hoods.

Why are these areas crime-laden?

Because of youth dominance. Neuroscience tells us that youth are more likely to commit crimes because their brains aren’t fully developed. The average male age in these areas is 30.6 years, while the average age of females is 32.5 years.

Another reason for the high crime rates in these blocks is the high unemployment rate. 

San Francisco 

San Francisco is many travelers’ go-to tourism destination. From Golden Gate Bridge to San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, lots of ESTA application tourists flock into US’ thirteenth largest city to have a taste of the real deal.

If you apply for ESTA for this reason, too, here are some of the least-safe areas to avoid.

Division St. / 9th / Brennan / 10th / Bryant / 11th St., Harrison St., 6th St., and Townsend St.

Predicted yearly crime rate (Forbes, 2021) = 29.8% (based on 1000 residents)

The major crime themes in these areas are property crimes. As an ESTA USA traveler, you will need to keep your doors shut properly at all times to prevent common crimes like burglary.

Why are these areas crime-laden?

Because of a high percentage of male presence. According to recent population surveys, about 61% of residents are males.

Also, a majority of the occupants are younger generations. Finally, a high number of residents live on less than $10,000 a year.


If you ask many ESTA application travelers why they enjoy visiting and staying back in Kansas City, many of them will say because of the affordable cost of living.

Indeed, Kansas is remarkably low-cost in terms of housing, lifestyle, and entertainment. Despite being home to popular parks and stadiums in the US, you don’t need to spend too much to get by in Kansas.

Unfortunately, some of the hoods in Kansas aren’t completely safe, especially for ESTA USA tourists.

These areas include:

Cleveland Ave.

  1. 8th St.
  2. 12th St.

Prospect Ave.

Predicted yearly crime rate (Forbes, 2021) = 30.4% (based on 1000 residents)

30.4% crime rate is a pretty high number for a city with an estimated population of 3 million. However, the beauty of Kansas is that you will likely run into many ESTA USA tourists and travelers like you. So all in all, you’ll feel more at ease here.

Why are these areas crime-laden?

A large percentage of the residents of these areas survive on approximately $10k per annum. What’s worse? A large fraction of the residents are not even in the labor force. That means, many people aren’t working in this area. Clearly, that explains why the crime rate is so high in these regions.

There is a second group of violent neighborhoods in Kansas. These are:

Ann Ave, N. 10th St., Washington Blvd., N. 3rd St. / Minnesota Ave. / N. 4th St.

Predicted yearly crime rate (Forbes, 2021) = 20.4% (based on 1000 residents)

Minnesota, Ann Avenue, and Washington Boulevard are some of the best places in Kansas to be. If not for anything, at least for the history.

Unfortunately, the violent criminal history in the area sometimes drives people away. We can’t tell you not to visit these areas because, clearly, these are some of the happening spots in Kansas. Our advice to ESTA application travelers is that you guys should be extremely careful and cautious while in these areas.

Why are these areas crime-laden?

Younger generation population dominance

Large fraction living below $10k yearly

High unemployment rate

Portland, Oregon

ESTA tourists love Oregon for the food, drinks, and historical buildings. Also, as the largest and most populous city in Oregon, this area attracts business people from every corner of the world.

Unfortunately, some areas in the region aren’t without flaws. Listed below are some of the least safe areas in Portland, Oregon.

Steel Bridge, the Willamette River, Fremont Bridge, N. Russel St., N. Williams Ave. / NE Thompson St., the NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. / NE Hancock St. / NE 1st Ave. / NE Weidler St., Pacific Highway, and the BNSF Railroad.

Predicted yearly crime rate (Forbes, 2021) = 21% (based on 1000 residents)

As compared with many of the block groups we’ve discussed so far, the crime rate here is still pretty low. That means travelers won’t experience as many violent crimes in the region as they would in the block groups listed for Kansas or LA.

That said, 21% crime rate isn’t to be toyed with. It’s still worth keeping an eye out for yourself and your property while in these areas.

Why are these areas crime-laden?

There seems to be a lingering unemployment issue in the region. As of the time of writing, it’s believed that the unemployment rate in these block groups is higher than in 96% of U.S. block groups nationally.

Also, there’s the issue of many residents living below the $10k mark every year.

Umesh Agarwal

Umesh Agarwal, a founding member of Credit 101 LLC ( | An established entrepreneur, credit guru, and mentor, is no exception to the young thinkers who wandered through the idea of being your own boss and escaping the shackles of micromanagement. What separated him from the rest of the aspiring millionaires is how his ideas fueled his life to action. Umesh studied Engineering in India; eventually moved to Texas and completed his Masters of Science in Engineering.

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Umesh Agarwal

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