New York City’s Safest Neighborhoods and Places to Live


Urban street view of one of New York City's safe neighborhoods, showcasing a mix of modern and traditional architecture with residential and commercial buildings lining the road. The street is bustling with cars and the occasional bus, highlighting the area's livability and the presence of green trees suggests a pleasant, community-friendly environment.

Estimated reading time: 9 minutes

Safety is among the most important criteria when deciding where to live. There is tons of information available online about crime statistics and safety ratings, but sifting through all that data for every neighborhood in a large city like New York is extremely time-consuming. 

We’ve done the hard work for you to lead you directly to the safest neighborhoods in New York City. We reviewed and compiled data from:  

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Disclaimer: Safety is a shared responsibility and the well-being of a community depends on the collective efforts of its residents, local authorities, and visitors. Whether it’s safety at the workplace or in a neighborhood, it is always a combined effort. While we have diligently researched and compiled data to guide you to some of New York City’s safest neighborhoods, it’s important to remember that safety can vary and change over time.

The following list is based on data from the NYC Crime Map, Neighborhood Scout Reports, and Crime Grade, and serves as a general guideline rather than a guarantee of safety. Always stay informed about the latest local safety measures and community initiatives.

Please consider this as a starting point for your own research, and always prioritize personal safety and awareness in any neighborhood.

Battery Park City, Manhattan

Battery Park City is a neighborhood in Manhattan that contains a little something for everyone. Residents enjoy lots of restaurants, bars, coffee shops, and parks. During the week, you’ll see the many restaurants and coffee shops filled with professionals from the nearby financial district. But on weekends, the neighborhood belongs to the locals. The riverfront park will be full of joggers, picnickers, and families enjoying the outdoor green space. 

Battery Park City residents are far less likely than the average American to experience violent crimes or property crimes:

Prospect Heights, Brooklyn

Prospect Heights in Brooklyn is rated as one of the safest areas in New York City for raising a family. This is largely because of the low crime rates and solid public schools. Prospect Heights is home to a diverse group of residents with a thriving Caribbean-American community. 

And you’ll find lots to do here! Enjoy a stroll through the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, explore treasures at the Brooklyn Museum, or take in a basketball game at Barclays Center.

Fresh Meadows, Queens

Fresh Meadows in Queens earned notoriety as the New York Post’s choice for the safest neighborhood in all of New York City in 2022. Going well beyond crime stats, the post considered factors like flood zones, proximity to hospitals, emergency response times, evacuation routes, climate, and even rodent levels.  

Well situated between the Long Island Expressway and Union Turnpike, Fresh Meadows offers easy access to the rest of the city. But with all the green space, it feels like a world away!

Morningside Heights, Manhattan

Located on the west side of Upper Manhattan, Morningside Heights is home to Columbia University and the Manhattan School of Music. Morningside Heights is a thriving community, made up of a diverse group of young professionals and families. The population is exceptionally well educated, with the most common education level being a Master’s Degree. The public school system in Morningside Heights is above average, and property values are high.

While Address Reports’ crime data is unavailable for this neighborhood, data from Niche shows that the risk of robbery, theft, burglary, and murder is all far lower in Morningside Heights than the national average. 

Inwood, Manhattan

At the Northernmost tip of Manhattan, you’ll find Inwood, the traditionally Dominican neighborhood that’s growing in diversity while retaining its mom-and-pop vibe. Chain stores haven’t taken over the area, which is still home to lots of local small businesses, which line Dyckman and West 207th streets and keep the neighborhood feeling like a community.   

Locals love the good schools and green space, which includes the popular Inwood Hill Park. Plus, with Broadway running directly through Inwood, you have easy access to some of the best culture and nightlife in the world!

Roosevelt Island, Manhattan

If you’re looking for a safe neighborhood with a killer view of the Manhattan skyline, check out Roosevelt Island. Still considered part of the Manhattan borough, Roosevelt Island is a small island in the East River.

Locals and tourists alike enjoy the tree-lined Four Freedoms Park at the southern tip of the island where you can find the FDR Hope Memorial. Residents appreciate the safety of living in this island neighborhood while still being conveniently located to access the rest of the city.

Nolita, Manhattan

Nolita, Manhattan – Nestled between the hustle of SoHo and the bustle of the Lower East Side, Nolita offers a charming escape with its boutique shops and quaint dining spots. The neighborhood is small and personable, often considered a hidden gem with lower crime rates contributing to its appeal.

Bellerose, Queens

Bellerose is a working and middle-class neighborhood in Queens. It may be a bit of a trek from the city, but it’s still accessible by train or bus. This bit of distance comes with the benefit of making Bellerose more affordable than many of the other safest neighborhoods in New York City.

You can get more information on the current crime data at, which shows more reassuring crime statistics for Bellerose.

Upper East Side, Manhattan

If you can afford it, Manhattan’s Upper East Side is a safe haven in the heart of New York City. Nestled between Central Park and the East River, the Upper East Side is home to 5th Avenue’s Museum Mile, which contains cultural gems like the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and El Museo del Barrio.  

Chelsea, Manhattan

Chelsea is a bustling neighborhood located on the West Side of Manhattan, known for its vibrant arts scene, high-end shopping, and the popular High Line park. Its crime rates are considerably low compared to the city average, particularly for a neighborhood with such a vibrant night-life.

Greenwich Village, Manhattan

Greenwich Village, known for its bohemian vibe and rich history, is a beloved neighborhood in Lower Manhattan. With its quaint tree-lined streets, world-class restaurants, and renowned performance venues like the Comedy Cellar and Blue Note, Greenwich Village maintains a neighborhood-like feel in the heart of the city. The area is also home to New York University, which means there is an increased police presence, and crime rates are lower than the city average.

Financial District, Manhattan

The Financial District, located at the southern tip of Manhattan, is a bustling hub of business activity on weekdays, transforming into a calm, quiet neighborhood in the evenings and on weekends. The neighborhood is also home to several popular tourist attractions, like the New York Stock Exchange, the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, and One World Observatory. Despite its business focus, the crime rates here are among the lowest in the city.

What About the Safety of NYC in General?

As of January 2024, New York City has seen a continuation of the trend of reductions in most major crime categories when compared to January of the previous year. The NYPD reported substantial drops in several key areas of crime:

  • Murders decreased by 25%.
  • Rapes saw a reduction of 24.4%.
  • Burglaries were down by 19.8%.
  • Felony assaults decreased slightly by 1.5%.
  • Grand larceny auto reported a decrease of 3.8%.

Additionally, shooting incidents were reduced by 10.8%, which also led to an 11.5% decrease in the number of shooting victims. The NYPD’s ongoing efforts in gun violence prevention are reflected in the seizure of 508 guns in January 2024 alone, contributing to more than 14,115 guns taken off the streets since the beginning of the current administration two years ago.

However, not all crime categories saw reductions. There was an uptick of 5.4% in robberies and a 0.4% increase in grand larceny. Bias incidents investigated by the NYPD’s Hate Crime Task Force across the five boroughs also increased by 12 incidents, driven by a rise in anti-Jewish incidents.

Overall index crime in the city dipped by 2.9% in January 2024 compared to January 2023, reflecting the NYPD’s continued focus on crime prevention and enforcement measures.

For more detailed statistics and ongoing updates, you can visit the NYPD’s official website and their CompStat 2.0 portal, which provides up-to-date crime-related statistics in the seven major crime categories.

Which borough in NYC is the safest?

Staten Island, the least populated of New York City’s five boroughs, continues to maintain its reputation as one of the safest areas in the city. Its relative seclusion, suburban feel, and lower population density often translate to fewer reported crimes compared to other boroughs, lending to its perception as a safe haven within the bustling metropolis. The borough is also known for its strong sense of community, which contributes to its overall safety.

Like anywhere, safety can vary from neighborhood to neighborhood. As always, it is recommended for individuals to review the most current crime statistics and talk to residents to get a comprehensive understanding of the safety in specific neighborhoods.

Areas to avoid in NYC

Using historical data and common safety advice, here’s a compiled list of areas that have been mentioned in various sources over time as having higher crime rates or being potentially less safe, especially at night. It’s important to note that conditions in any neighborhood can change over time, and an area that was once considered less safe may have seen improvements.

Similar to NYC, safety in most larger cities across the United States will fluctuate for many years to come. For example, the safest parts of a city like San Diego CA are very now versus the last decade. Big cities, especially ones as large as New York City or San Diego, can change fast.

Always check the most current information and use your judgment when visiting these or any areas:

  1. Certain parts of the Bronx: Some neighborhoods in the Bronx have historically had higher crime rates, such as Hunts Point and Fordham.
  2. Parts of Brooklyn: Areas including East New York, Brownsville, and certain parts of Bushwick have been known for higher crime rates, though Bushwick has seen significant gentrification and change.
  3. Some areas in Harlem, Manhattan: Central and East Harlem have been areas of concern in the past, but like many parts of NYC, they have also seen redevelopment and improvement.
  4. Certain areas in Queens: Neighborhoods such as Jamaica and parts of Far Rockaway have had higher crime rates historically.
  5. Parts of Staten Island: Certain neighborhoods like Stapleton and Mariners Harbor have been noted for higher crime rates in the past.

Remember, this list is based on historical data and perceptions, and many of these areas are also home to vibrant communities, cultural attractions, and redevelopment projects that have contributed to safety improvements. Always stay informed with the latest local news and safety advice, and exercise standard urban safety precautions when exploring any city.

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