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Where Are the Safest Neighborhoods in Boston?

West Roxbury, Allston/Brighton and Dorchester top the list for "safest" neighborhoods in Boston.

"Safe" is always a murky term since you can't quantify safety purely on the amount of crime in an area — however, a lot of renters who reach out to me asking about safety cite crime as the primary metric they're concerned about. I sifted through data from the Boston Police Department to compile an accurate list of the safest neighborhoods in Boston.

I'll stress that this post should definitely be a conversation! 

I completely understand that residents are protective of their neighborhoods, so I want to make sure I'm representing the data totally accurately. I've had some great input on Twitter from some residents about how to best represent the data. A few key shoutouts go to:

Here's the rundown that I compiled from the data (click image to view data):

safest neighborhoods in boston

HEADS UP! The police districts in Boston don't correspond to specific neighborhoods. They overlap and blend across neighborhood lines, which makes it nearly impossible to do a true apples-to-apples analysis about crime in specific neighborhoods. Check out the Boston Police Department District Map compared to the Boston neighborhood map below for context!

safest neighborhoods in boston

Safest Neighborhoods (and Neighborhood Groups) in Boston — by crime rate:

#1 — West Roxbury / Roslindale

CRIME RATE: 8.3

Lowest crime rate in Boston! 492 total crimes reported over a population of 59,146 people, which is a 15% decrease from last year. Do you live in West Roxbury? You're in the top 5! Tell everyone how safe and awesome your neighborhood is!

safest neighborhoods in boston

#2 — Allston/Brighton

CRIME RATE: 12.1

904 total crimes reported over a population of 45,801 people, which is a 2% increase from last year.

safest neighborhoods in boston

#3 — Dorchester 

CRIME RATE: 13.1

1502 total crimes reported over a population of 114,235 people, which is a 16% decrease from last year.

safest neighborhoods in boston

#4 — East Boston 

CRIME RATE: 14.4

582 total crimes reported over a population of 40,508 people, which is a 16% decrease from last year. Do you live in East Boston? You're in the top 5! Tell everyone how safe and awesome your neighborhood is!

safest neighborhoods in boston

#5 — Charlestown

CRIME RATE: 15.6

256 total crimes reported, which is a 9% decrease from last year. Do you live in Charlestown? Tell everyone how safe and awesome your neighborhood is!

safest neighborhoods in boston

#6 — Jamaica Plain

CRIME RATE: 19

711 total crimes reported over a population of 37,468 people, which is a 16% decrease from last year. 

safest neighborhoods in boston

#7 — Hyde Park

CRIME RATE: 20

612 total crimes reported over a population of 30,637 people, which is a 6% increaes from last year.

safest neighborhoods in boston

#8 — South Boston 

CRIME RATE: 28.1

935 total crimes reported over a population of 33,311 people, which is a 3% decrease from last year.

safest neighborhoods in boston

#9 — Roxbury / Mission Hill

CRIME RATE: 30.1

1,950 total crimes reported over a population of 64,759, which is a 4% decrease from last year.

safest neighborhoods in boston

Least "safe" neighborhoods in Boston.

#10 — South End / Back Bay / Fenway

CRIME RATE: 35

2,675 total crimes reported over a population of 76,461 people, which is a 16% decrease from last year.

safest neighborhoods in boston

#11 — Downtown

CRIME RATE: 41.7

According to a note on the BPD's website from A-1's Captain Kenneth Fong, "Downtown* encompasses Bay Village, Beacon Hill, Chinatown, Downtown Boston Business Improvement District, Downtown North Association, Financial District, Leather District, Midtown Park Plaza Neighborhood Association, North End, West End, and the Wharf District.

1,705 total crimes reported over a population of 40,844, which is a 23% decrease from last year.

safest neighborhoods in boston

#12 — Mattapan

CRIME RATE: 43.3

979 total crimes reported over a population of 22,600 people, which is a 14% decreaes from last year.

safest neighborhoods in boston

Note: You'll notice that not every neighborhood in Boston is listed above. There are only 12 "districts" that the Boston Police Department covers, some of which include multiple neighborhoods. You can see the full list of BPD districts here. Neighborhood images source: Boston Redevelopment Authority

Trulia does a nice job as well.

If you're interested in seeing a more interactive view of the safest neighborhoods in Boston, feel free to check out Trulia Local to see their "Crime Risk" heat map below.

safest neighborhoods in boston

Image source: Trulia

Want to learn more about Boston's neighborhoods?

Check out our Boston Neighborhoods interactive map! Here's a screenshot of the web app — browse neighborhoods by commute time, by neighborhood amenities, rent prices and a lot more.

safest neighborhoods in boston

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