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What Are the Safest Neighborhoods in Chicago?

Where are the safest neighborhoods in Chicago?

In trying to devise the best way to make a list of Chicago’s safest neighborhoods, I encountered two main challenges; the biggest being defining the word “safe” and the second realizing that Chicago has 78 communities that are each uniquely different from each other. Crime rates are a measure of a series of given crimes per a certain portion of the population.

Hence any given crime rate will differ based on their variables. Some people argue that certain crimes should hold more weight than others in order to provide accurate measures not to mention that the definition of a given community or neighborhood changes depending on the source. What I am trying to say is that at the end of the day these measures are subject to interpretation and should not be taken at face value but rather used to start a conversation. 

Back in 2013, this Chicago Mag article created a map of the top 5 “safest” and “unsafe” neighborhoods based on the 2012 yearly Police Department Raw Data.

 Chicago

Safest

Rank

Neighborhood

Crime rate* per 100,000

1

Edison Park

921

2

Forest Glen

994

3

Mount Greenwood

1,016

4

Norwood Park

1,188

5

Dunning

1,502

 

 

 

 

Most Dangerous

Rank

Neighborhood

Crime rate* per 100,000

1

Fuller Park

13,456

2

Washington Heights

12,870

3

Englewood

12,713

4

Riverside

12,512

5

West Garfield Park

12,272

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In efforts to get more recent data, I fell upon the Chicago Tribune: Crime in Chicagoland that does a fantastic job at mitigating the usual skepticism surrounding these statistics based mainly on how they regroup crime categories.

Here is the gist of how they organized their data from the Chicago Police Department;

They determined the top three crime categories to be;

Violent crimes (robbery battery, assault, homicide, sexual assault)

Property crimes (theft, burglary, motor vehicle theft, arson)

Quality-of-life crimes (criminal damage, narcotics, prostitution)

Using their monthly data, (from April 12th to May 12th 2015), I was able to rank the 78 communities based on the sum of the total crimes of those 3 categories. This sum only offers a mere guideline as it is not weighted to count a particular crime category more important than another. Although the data does fluctuate from month to month these table present the overall trend in what are deemed the “safest” neighborhoods.

The two tables below rank the top 10 community areas with the lowest number of crime reports per 1,000 people followed by the top 10 with the highest number of reports.

I urge you to click on the community areas themselves, you'll be able to see detailed reports but more importantly see the outline of each community area on an interactive map. (as a lot of these borders vary according to the source). It is important to note that most of the popular neighborhoods for renters are somewhere in between these two charts — you can find the full list here

 

RANKING

COMMUNITY AREA

VIOLENT CRIME

PROPERTY CRIME

QUALITY OF LIFE CRIME

SUM

1

Edison Park

0

0.2

0.5

0.7

2

Forest Glen

0.1

0.8

0.4

1.3

3

Mount Greenwood

0.2

0.8

0.3

1.3

4

Norwood Park

0.1

0.9

0.4

1.4

5

Dunning

0.1

0.9

0.6

1.6

6

Garfield Ridge

0.1

0.8

0.7

1.6

7

West Ridge

0.2

1

0.6

1.8

8

Clearing

0.2

1

0.6

1.8

9

Jefferson Park

0.1

0.9

0.8

1.8

10

Edgewater

0.2

1.2

0.5

1.9

 

RANKING

COMMUNITY AREA

VIOLENT CRIME

PROPERTY CRIME

QUALITY OF LIFE CRIME

SUM

68

Chatham

1.6

4.7

2.3

8.6

69

Greater Grand Crossing

2

3.7

3.1

8.8

70

Austin

1.7

2.6

4.6

8.9

71

Fuller Park

2

5.8

2.4

10.2

72

West Englewood

1.7

3.6

5

10.3

73

North Lawndale

2.3

3

5.5

10.8

74

Washington Park

2.8

5.4

3.6

11.8

75

Englewood

2.6

4

5.4

12

76

East Garfield Park

2.2

2.8

7.5

12.5

77

Loop

0.6

10.5

2.2

13.3

78

West Garfield Park

2.6

3.6

11.9

18.1

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