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With the 9th lowest violent and property crime rates in the nation, Rhode Island can definitely lay claim to being one of the safest states to live in. Of all of the state’s cities, just 4 (Central Falls, Pawtucket, Woonsocket, and Providence) recorded violent crime rates above the national average. The rest enjoy low rates of both violent and property crime, though 7 cities truly distinguished themselves through earning a Safety Index score above 0.7, putting them in the upper echelon of safe cities in the United States.

Narragansett is Rhode Island’s safest community. The coastal resort town, whose population is known to double in size during the summer months, recorded a violent crime rate of just 0.64 per 1,000, Furthermore, Narragansett logged a property crime rate of 6.94 per 1,000, which is unusually low for a resort community. Following closely behind is #2 East Greenwich, the wealthiest municipality in Rhode Island, which boasts a violent crime rate even lower than Narragansett.

Ranking #3 is Scituate, a modestly-sized town in Providence County that logged just 5 violent crimes and 43 property crimes in 2017, followed by #4 Smithfield, a city that boasts a similar violent crime rate yet slightly higher property crime rate.

Three other Rhode Island cities, South Kingstown, Glocester, and Middletown, earned a Safety Index of 0.7, based on the strength of violent and property crime rates a mere fraction of national averages in each category. Of these, Glocester has the lowest amount of crime, posting a 0.29 per 1,000 violent crime rate and 3.26 property crime rate (lower than the overall U.S. violent crime rate).

Safest Cities in Rhode Island, 2019

RankCitySafety Index
1Narragansett0.99
2East Greenwich0.93
3Scituate0.78
4Smithfield0.72
5South Kingstown0.71
6Glocester0.71
7Middletown0.7
8Portsmouth0.69
9Bristol0.69
10Tiverton0.68
11Westerly0.61
12North Providence0.61
13Barrington0.6
14Warwick0.56
15Johnston0.56
16North Kingstown0.55
17Warren0.55
18Newport0.5
19North Smithfield0.5
20Cumberland0.49
21Burrillville0.47
22East Providence0.45
23Cranston0.42
24Coventry0.42
25Lincoln0.31
26West Warwick0.3
27Central Falls-0.16
28Pawtucket-0.16
29Woonsocket-0.19
30Providence-0.28

Methodology

We used the most recent FBI crime statistics to create state rankings. There were initially 7,430 cities in the data set. After filtering out the cities with populations of less than 10,000, 2,929 cities remained. We then calculated violent crime rates and property crime rates by dividing the crime numbers by the population to get rates per 1,000. We also calculated the ratio of law enforcement workers to per 1,000. These were weighted with -50% for the violent crime rate, -25% for the property crime rate, and +25% for the law enforcement rate. The resulting metric gave us a the safety index score. The higher this number more safe the city is.

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