Do you live in one of the most dangerous cities in Rhode Island?
We all watch the news and see reports on Facebook of the latest crimes that happen in our hometowns. But it can be hard to tell at a big picture level how dangerous our town actually is.
No one wants to feel unsafe, and statistically speaking, odds are that where you live is most likely relatively safe. In order to help the good people of Rhode Island — and anyone looking to move to Rhode Island — know just how close they are to danger, we took data from the annual FBI report and did some serious analysis.
The data shows that these ten cities are currently the most dangerous in the Ocean State for 2019:
- Providence (Photos)
- Woonsocket (Photos)
- Pawtucket (Photos)
- Newport (Photos)
- Central Falls (Photos)
- Cranston (Photos)
- Warwick (Photos)
After analyzing 35 cities in Rhode Island, why did Providence take the top spot?
For the answer to this question and a detailed explanation of the data and analysis we used in creating this ranking, read on.
Or learn more about the safest places in Rhode Island.
For more Rhode Island reading, check out:
- 10 Best Places To Live In Rhode Island
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Rhode Island
- 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Rhode Island
Graphing The Most Dangerous And Safest Places In Rhode Island
How we determined the most dangerous cities in Rhode Island for 2019?
Every year the FBI release two crime datasets, a preliminary dataset limited to the biggest cities in the country, followed by a more detailed release at the end of the year.
For our analysis, we focused on the JUST released 2017 data, specifically the 2017 Crime In The United States Report. We will update the results when data becomes available in September 2019.
So what criteria did we use? Have a look:
- Violent Crimes Per Capita
- Property Crimes Per Capita
In order to make the analysis as apples to apples as possible, we only considered cities over 5,000 in population. That left us with 35 cities in Rhode Island.
We then ranked each city from 1 to 35 for the two criteria with a #1 ranking being the most dangerous for the particular criteria.
Next, we averaged the two rankings into one “Dangerous Index”.
Finally, we ranked every city on the “Dangerous Index” with the lowest index being the most dangerous in Rhode Island — Providence.
Read on for a detailed look at the 10 most dangerous cities in Rhode Island.
Rhode Island’s capital — and the third largest city in New England — Providence comes in as the most dangerous city in the state. It has the 1st highest rate of violent crime, and places 1st for its rate of property crime.
Residents of Providence had a 1 in 30.4 chance of being the victim of theft or arson in 2017. They also had a 1 in 187 chance of being the victim of violence.
And the bad news: Both categories of crime have not improved at all in recent years.
Located in northern Rhode Island at the border of Massachusetts, Woonsocket ranks in the top 2nd worst rates of violent and property crime in the state.
Residents of Woonsocket faced a 1 in 187 chance of being the victim of violence, a rate which steadily increased from 2015-17.
Property crime did drop by a modest amount during this interval though.
Bordering Providence to the south and Massachusetts to the north and east, Pawtucket is the 3rd most dangerous city in Rhode Island.
While crime hasn’t really improved in the last few years, it hasn’t gotten worse either.
That’s bad news for Pawtucket residents, who had a 1 in 40.1 chance of being the victim of a property crime, and a 1 in 230 chance of being the victim of violence in 2017.
Newport? On a list of most dangerous cities in Rhode Island? Yep, the city that’s famous for its massive gaudy mansions and being the nexus of New England’s high society also has the 4th worst crime in the state.
Newport residents faced 1 in 31.6 chance of being the victim of theft or arson in 2017.
That’s about a 10% drop from 2016, when Newport’s rate would have been even worse than the state’s capital.
Just a few ticks north of Providence, Central Falls has the smallest area of any city, and highest population density of anywhere in the state (its population density is greater than Boston’s).
Living in such a densely packed place evidently breeds a high rate of violence in the state, with residents of Central Falls facing a 1 in 199 chance of being the victim of a violent crime in 2017.
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 128 (14th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,857 (6th most dangerous)
More on Lincoln:
A city of Providence County, Lincoln’s ranked as the 6th most dangerous city in Rhode Island.
With regards to crime, Lincoln has little to celebrate of late, with violent and property crime rates each going up by roughly 11% between 2015-17.
There’s now a 1 in 50.4 chance of being the victim of a crime.
The 3rd most populated city in the state, Cranston is just 5 miles south of Providence and part of the capital’s greater metro area.
While violence increased by 45% between 2015-17, residents only faced a 1 in 732 chance of being the victim of violence in 2017, a rate that wouldn’t make the top ten in most other states.
But, relatively speaking, Cranston has more violent crime than the majority of Rhode Island’s cities.
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 153 (7th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,228 (14th most dangerous)
More on Johnston:
Johnston’s motto might tout that the city is “a great place to live,” but its status as the 8th most dangerous city in Rhode Island might stain that saying a bit.
Johnston residents have a 1 in 81.4 chance of being the victim of a property crime every year.
Violent crime has also gone up nearly 30% between 2015-17, with a higher than 1 in 652 chance of being the victim of violence.
Rank Last Year: 8 (Down 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 142 (10th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,305 (12th most dangerous)
More on Warren:
The lowest populated city to make this list, Warren is not nearly as violent as the cities much bigger than itself.
While property crime sits at a 1 in 76.6 chance of being the victim of theft or arson, it’s probably an acceptable trade off for a 10th violent crime rank.
The 10th biggest city in Rhode Island, Warwick is also in Providence’s neighborhood, just 10 miles south of the capital’s downtown.
Warwick experienced a rise in its violent crime rate between 2015-17, while property crime steadily fell.
This drop meant that residents had a 1 in 59.0 chance of being the victim of a property crime in 2017.
Locking It All Up In Rhode Island
The latest FBI crime data shows that Providence ranks as the most dangerous city in Rhode Island for 2019.
We want to point out again that there’s still safes places in Providence and that this isn’t a comment on the people that live there. So please don’t beat us up.
If you’re curious enough, here are the safest cities in Rhode Island:
- Richmond (Pop. 7,598)
- Scituate (Pop. 10,631)
- Glocester (Pop. 10,108)
For more Rhode Island reading, check out:
- These Are The 10 Best Places To Retire In Rhode Island For 2018
- These Are The 10 Richest Cities In Rhode Island
- 10 Safest Places In Rhode Island
- 10 Worst Places To Live In Rhode Island
Detailed List Of The Most Dangerous Cities In Rhode Island