Safest Neighborhoods in NYC | Most Dangerous Neighborhoods in NYC

June 18, 2012

After our co-founder Alicia's unfortunate encounters with the problems of muggings in NYC, we found it very appropriate to collect some data to figure out which neighborhoods in NYC were the safest and the most dangerous to live in.

If you're looking for a place to stay (or avoid) in the heart of America, you're probably going to need this information. Here's the data from DNAInfo's Crime and Safety Report on the crime rate of neighborhoods in New York City, complete with our informative, humorous (or so we'd like to think), and often off-topic analysis.

But first, some hilarious stock photos of people getting robbed:

[caption id="attachment_2138" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Is he robbing her, or is she swinging him around in a circle?"] Safest Neighborhood in NYC Person Getting Robbed[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2139" align="alignnone" width="240" caption="Imagine showing up as the actors for this photoshoot. "You want me to do what?""]Getting Robbed Most Dangerous Neighborhood[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2140" align="alignnone" width="213" caption="And this guy is trying to hold up....a computer. Either the photographers were just shit out of ideas, or it's some joke about robbing an online bank."]Bank Robber[/caption]

The 5 Safest Neighborhoods in NYC

If you haven't heard of some of these, there's a good reason for that: they're all about as far from Manhattan as you can get. Two of them are in Staten Island, and three in Brooklyn, but they hold the common trait of being quiet, laid-back suburban or low-rise apartment complexes. Surprisingly, none are in uber-expensive areas such as Tribeca or Riverdale, though Forest Hills does come in right behind in 6th place.
Great Kills & Tottenville, the safest neighborhood in NYC, is especially notable for having a total of 2 murders in 2009 and 2010, which in NYC terms is equivalent to there only being two instances of the F-bomb in a Martin Scorsese movie. Sheepshead Bay, coming in at 5th in the safest neighborhoods in NYC, is best known for being the hometown of Vince Lombardi, whose lasting intimidation must be considered a major factor in the city's low crime rate.

[caption id="attachment_2163" align="alignnone" width="350" caption="Great Kills Marina. No wonder it's the safest. Everyone lives on a boat."]Great Kills Safest NYC Neighborhood[/caption]

Overall Trends

In general, New York City is doing pretty splendid in terms of historical trends. Since the 1990s, overall crime has dropped by 75%, marking the biggest improvement of a North American city in crime-fighting (due primarily to Batman). As compared to the previous year, however, crime also dropped by 1.5%, but at the expense of more specific categories: robberies rose by 15%, murders rose by 13.8%, and rapes jumped up 13.9%. So if you're on one of these neighborhoods below, keep an eye out:

Most Dangerous Neighborhoods in NYC

Now, you're looking at this and thinking, this can't be right. The Village is the 68th safest neighborhood? Midtown is dead last? What, are all the tourists in Times Square actually travelling crack dealers?

[caption id="attachment_2162" align="alignnone" width="315" caption="Yup, every single one. Even that 10-year old in the upper left. "]Midtown Most Dangerous Neighborhoods[/caption]

However, there are some extenuating circumstances to explain these results. Greenwich Village, because of its high cost of living and upscale neighborhoods, actually attracts a high amount of property crime: the rate of home robberies in the Village is over twice as high as NYC's average. Midtown's results, on the other hand, can be explained by the high proportion of tourists that pass through there every day, offering an easy target to pickpockets and muggers at night. Furthermore, though millions pass through Midtown every day, it only contains about 100,000 residents, vastly increasing its crime rate and shooting it to the bottom of our list. I wouldn't take this as a sign to avoid any of these neighborhoods, but I'd certainly be more careful.

Other Notable Neighborhoods

Flushing is essentially a rapidly growing Chinatown located on the outskirts of Queens; similar to Manhattan's Chinatown, but without the crime. This statistic is both surprising and encouraging for the growth of Queens, which earned 9 out of the top 20 safest neighborhoods in NYC. Also, I live here. Feels good knowing I won't be assaulted by cocaine dealers at night. (We're looking at you, Midtown.)

Washington Heights is also notable for rebounding from a nasty stretch in the 80s where it was generally known as the place to find alcohol, illegal drugs, and prostitutes. These days, it's safer than not only the majority of the Bronx, but even some of the most upscale neighborhoods in Manhattan and Brooklyn, such as 41. Park Slope and 61. Chelsea.

In the South Bronx, Morris Heights is doing extremely well given its past history and, well, its location in the South Bronx. It beats all but four neighborhoods in Manhattan, a surprising feat.

You'd think Downtown, with its smaller population of actual residents and higher population of investment bankers would be extraordinarily safe. Not so. Downtown has some of the highest rates of burglaries and grand larceny thefts. Hopefully, they're stealing from those down there that can afford it the most. But that's a terrible thing to say.
Furthermore, we have pressing and critical evidence that Downtown's rankings are no longer fully up to date. Breaking news indicates that Drake's and Chris Brown's brawl over Rihanna has lowered Downtown's rankings by 15 spots, to just above Midtown in "Potential To Get a $2,000 Champagne Bottle Broken Over Your Head."

[caption id="attachment_2214" align="alignnone" width="190" caption="Aw, hell no. I didn't do nuthin'. -Direct quote from Drake."]Drake being Drake[/caption]

Looking for apartments in the safest neighborhoods in NYC? Alternatively, looking to live on the edge and take up residence in the most dangerous neighborhoods? Find no-fee apartments in these areas at Rentenna.
Full credit for the data in this article goes to DNAInfo, at