Washington DC is about a lot more than politics! Niche ranks Washington DC, in the top-five best cities for young professionals. Young people and retirees alike are looking to live in Washington DC for its great job opportunities, affordable housing, and diverse culture.
But many people are hesitant to call Washington DC movers. They have heard about the Washington DC crime rate, and they believe it is too high for them. The truth about the DC crime rate is more complicated than you think. Get the facts and look at the safest areas in Washington DC, and you can have a comfortable and prosperous life in the city. Here is your guide to the safest neighborhoods in Washington DC.
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Crime Stats in Washington DC
The Metropolitan Police Department released the crime statistics for Washington DC in 2022. 27,302 crimes occurred over the course of the year. This gives Washington DC an overall crime rate of 4,064 crimes per 100,000 residents.
3,830 violent crimes occurred, including 203 homicides. This means that the violent crime rate is 570.1 per 100,000 Washingtonians, and the murder rate in DC is 30.2 per 100,000.
Nationwide figures for 2022 are not yet available. In 2021, 395.7 violent crimes occurred per 100,000 in the United States. This means that the violent crime rate in Washington DC is 30.6% higher than the national crime rate. The murder rate was 6.9 per 100,000, so Washington DC has a murder rate nearly five times higher than the national rate.
However, the overall crime rate in Washington DC decreased by 4% between 2021 and 2022. Violent crime dropped by 7%, with the Washington DC murder rate dropping by 10%. The property crime rate dropped by 3%.
The National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform released a report in December 2021. It found that the majority of gun violence comes from gang activity and street violence, which drive up the crime rate. People not involved in gangs are far less likely to be a victim of crime than gang members.
The Metropolitan Police Department has a crime map you can use to see where crimes have occurred in recent years. A map of the last two years shows that the crimes are consolidated in the central areas of DC. The safest parts of Washington DC are the areas closest to the Potomac River and the borders of Washington, with some places experiencing almost no crimes over the last two years.
Safest Neighborhoods in Washington DC
Many areas of Washington DC are extremely safe. They include great DC neighborhoods for families, professionals, and people seeking political jobs in Washington DC.
Georgetown | Peaceful and Thriving College and Residential Community
- Crime: Violent crime rate is 60% lower than the city average
- Median home price: $1,450,000
- Great for: College students, diplomats, professionals
Many locals consider Georgetown to be one of the safest places to live in Washington DC. The neighborhood is best known for Georgetown University, which US News and World Report ranks in the top 25 universities in the country.
The eastern part of the neighborhood is residential, with many townhomes and family houses available for sale. Townhomes contain several bathrooms and bedrooms, and you can buy most of them for less than $5 million. Each townhome has a unique aesthetic and architectural style, but most have amenities like spacious yards that you can adapt to your liking.
The embassies of nine countries are located in Georgetown. You can also find work at various stores throughout the neighborhood, including ones that serve students. The neighborhood has several bustling commercial areas, including the Potomac River waterfront. The waterfront is within walking distance of several train stops and bus stations, making it a great place to work for commuters.
Chevy Chase | Conveniently Located Community With Diverse High Schools
- Crime: Total crime rate is 13% lower than the national average
- Median home price: $1,225,000
- Great for: Retirees, families with children, commuters
Chevy Chase has a total crime rate that is less than half the Washington DC crime rate. Chevy Chase is primarily a residential area with many recently-built houses on side streets. Streets are walkable and let you see well-maintained front yards and gardens.
Students in Chevy Chase can go to Jackson-Reed High School, which Niche considers the most diverse public high school in DC. The high school has an English as a second language department with nine teachers, making it a good choice for families that speak languages other than English at home.
St John’s College High School is a private Catholic school in Chevy Chase. It is one of the most diverse Catholic schools in the area, with nearly 20% of students identifying as Black or African American. The school is well-known for its JROTC program, which has participated in presidential inaugurations.
Seven separate Metrobus lines serve the community and connect residents to the safe neighborhoods in Washington DC. Residents are within walking distance of three train stations on the Red Line, which provides access to other safe areas of Washington DC, downtown Washington, and Montgomery County, Maryland.
Adams Morgan | Safe Washington DC Community With Diverse Residents and Vibrant Nightlife
- Crime: Total crime rate is 31.7% lower than the city average
- Median home price: $631,250
- Great for: Young people, single professionals
Adams Morgan has a violent crime rate that is less than half of the city average, making it one of the safest Washington DC neighborhoods. Adams Morgan has a mix of embassies, apartment buildings, nightclubs, and restaurants with live music. You can find cheap places to live and fun locations to spend time at night with your family and friends.
Adams Morgan is one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the city. You can find restaurants with many different world cuisines, including Ethiopian, Latino, and Vietnamese eateries.
The neighborhood is also well-known for its eclectic nightlife. The streets are safe at night, and you can enjoy drinks and live music at a number of locations like Madams Organ Blues Bar. Many people from other parts of Washington DC visit the clubs, so it’s a great place to live if you want to meet new people.
18th Street NW is one of the main streets in Adams Morgan. You can find a number of prosperous businesses as well as affordable apartment buildings. Studio apartments are available for less than $2,500 a month.
Foggy Bottom | Safe and Artistic Student-Driven Community
- Crime: Violent crime rate is 51% lower than the city average
- Median home price: $492,500
- Great for: Art connoisseurs, students, young professionals
Foggy Bottom has below-average crime rates for the Washington DC area, though some areas are safer than others. A Washington DC crime map shows that the area of Foggy Bottom with the most crime occurs along 1st Street Northwest in the northern part of the neighborhood. The other areas have very little crime.
Foggy Bottom is best known for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, which offers free concerts, lectures, and theatrical performances throughout the year. But you can also enjoy Rock Creek Park and its many pristine hiker and biker trails.
George Washington University (GWU) is located in Foggy Bottom. Niche gives GWU an A rating and ranks it in the top 10 colleges in the country for its location. Foggy Bottom residents have great relationships with GWU students, and the campus is within walking distance of major institutions like the World Bank. Niche also ranks it in the top 25 schools in the country for international relations and public health.
Washington DC Neighborhoods to Avoid
The closer you are to the geographic center of Washington DC, the more likely you are to experience crime. The most common crimes are property crimes like burglaries and car thefts. The most common violent crime is assault with a dangerous weapon, but this is uncommon and takes place amongst gang members or people walking alone at night.
The most dangerous neighborhoods in Washington DC include:
- Deanwood: Violent crime rate is 614% higher than the national average
- Brentwood: Total crime rate is 241% higher than the national average
- Anacostia: Violent crime rate is 351% higher than the national average
- U Street Corridor: You have a 1 in 11 chance of becoming a crime victim
- Stadium Armory: Violent crime rate is 274% higher than the national average
You can drive through these neighborhoods, though you should protect your car in a secure lot or garage and keep your valuables out of sight. You can experience crime while riding the train or bus. Avoid drawing attention to yourself by putting your phone and wallet away.
Is Washington DC safe?
Though you should avoid certain areas of Washington DC at night, most of Washington DC is safe. Most residential communities and tourist areas experience little to no crime and almost no violent crime.
Where does Washington DC rank in crime?
Neighborhood Scout considers Washington DC safer than 2% of American cities. However, this ranking is due to certain neighborhoods having extremely high levels of crime compared to other areas. The safe areas in Washington DC in the northern and eastern parts of the city are secure by national standards.
Why is Washington DC crime rate so high?
Washington DC has a number of dangerous gangs that engage in violence against each other. The city also experiences domestic and family violence that can lead to assaults and shootings.
Map of Safe Communities in Washington DC
You can take a look at the safe neighborhoods in Washington DC with this helpful map.
Washington DC is becoming a prominent city for young people, especially high school and college students. While the overall Washington DC crime rate may seem high, many communities like Georgetown are safe and have great opportunities for work and housing. As long as you follow basic safety rules, such as putting valuables away, you should be able to stay safe.
If you’re ready to start moving to Washington DC, Suburban Solutions has a complete package of Washington DC moving services. Get your moving quote at 301-928-8669.