The 10 Most Dangerous Cities In Rhode Island For 2021


We used data and science to identify the most dangerous cities in the Ocean State for 2021.

RoadSnacks is reader-supported. When you click through real estate links on our site, we earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.
This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. It is our seventh time ranking the most dangerous places to live in Rhode Island and is updated for 2021.

It appears that there are some things more dangerous in Rhode Island than an angry mob boss and a slow driver on the Providence Parkway. The Ocean State has its fair share of dangerous cities, too.

And since danger is our middle name and data is our game, RoadSnacks created a list of the most dangerous places in Rhode Island for 2021. So, if you’re looking to move to Little Rhody, we suggest you take a look at our list below.

How’d we determine the most dangerous places in the eighth oldest state in the country? We consulted the numbers. In total, we analyzed 35 cities. We looked at the FBI’s latest crime report for violent crime and property crime statistics for every place with over 5,000 residents. We discovered that the state had a combination of 23,000 violent and property crimes for 2021, with property crimes leading the way. High crime also seems to be centered around the fastest growing places in the state. Maybe these places need more police presence? Better rehabilitation programs? We’re not entirely sure, but cities like Warwick and Newport need help now: they are losing their war on crime.

Unfortunately, not every place in Rhode Island can be like the state’s safest city, but the violent crimes committed in the state’s most dangerous places would make most parents keep their children hidden and their doors always locked.

The folks that already live in Rhode Island’s most dangerous places know that this is not breaking news; but for the rest of the country, it would be in your best interest to take a look at our list of Rhode Island’s most dangerous places before you make any major life decisions.

The 10 Most Dangerous Places To Live In Rhode Island For 2021

Providence, RI

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 179,762
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 496 (Second most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,011 (Most dangerous)
More on Providence:  | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Providence is at the top of a lot of lists, at least where Rhode Island is concerned. One of the oldest cities in the U.S.,it’s the 1st largest city in Rhode Island in terms of population, as well as the state’s capital. Unfortunately, Providence sits at the top of a less illustrious list: it is the number 1 most dangerous city in Rhode Island for 2021.

With a population of 179,762, the city reported 892 violent crimes over the course of a year. These included 13 murders and 106 rapes. In addition to this violent streak, Providence has its share of property crimes, with 5,413 such events in a year.

Looking at things in terms of population, Providence suffers a per-capita property-crime rate of 3,011/100k people, highest in the state. Meanwhile, the city showed a per-capita violent-crime rate of 496/100k people, ranking it second highest in Rhode Island for that category.

Woonsocket, RI

Source: Public domain

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 41,709
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 568 (Most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,073 (Fifth most dangerous)
More on Woonsocket:  | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Located in the northern part of Rhode Island, Woonsocket is known for its annual Autumnfest. Unfortunately, with the decline of manufacturing in the region, it’s also known for high unemployment and a high crime rate.

The city suffered 237 violent crimes in a year. With a population of 41,709, that equates to a per-capita violent-crime rate of 568/100k people. That figure puts Woonsocket at highest in the state.

The city has a particular problem with rapes, with 34 such attacks in a year. On a per-capita basis, that puts the city as the highest in Rhode Island for that horrendous crime.

Things are a little better when it comes to property crimes. Woonsocket saw 865 such events in a year. Putting that in terms of the city’s population, that figure amounts to the fifth highest pace for the state as a whole. Burglaries are a problem, however, with the state ranking highest in Rhode Island in that category.

Pawtucket, RI

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 72,030
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 406 (Fourth most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,276 (Second most dangerous)
More on Pawtucket:  | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Pawtucket gets its name from an Algonquian term meaning “river fall.” Home of the Red Sox’s minor-league affiliate, it represents the 4th most populous communities in the state, with 72,030 people living within its borders.

That may not sound like much in relation to megalopolises like nearby New York or Boston. But that number of people is enough to give Pawtucket a distinct crime problem. This is especially true when it comes to property crimes. With 1,640 such events in a year, the city ranked second highest in Rhode Island on a per-capita basis.

The city had 293 violent crimes during a year. That includes 57 rapes and 47 robberies. On a per-capita basis, Pawtucket ranked fourth highest for violent crime in the state.

Newport, RI

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 24,584
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 276 (Fifth most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,184 (Third most dangerous)
More on Newport:  | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Nestled against Narragansett Bay, Newport has made its name as a renowned seaside resort, home of the famous Newport Jazz Festival. All those tourists must attract a criminal element, however, as the city also ranks as the number 4 most dangerous place in Rhode Island for 2021.

In terms of raw numbers, Newport might not seem too daunting. After all, the city reported just 68 violent crimes and 537 property crimes in a year. However, it’s important to remember that these figures came in an area with a population of only 24,584.

Referencing the crime wave in terms of population, Newport saw a per-capita pace of violent crime of 276/100k people, putting it fifth highest in the state as a whole. This included 19 rapes, giving it the community the third highest per-capita rate in Rhode Island.

With all those rich folks coming in for summer holidays, it’s not surprising that property crime rates are high in Newport. On a per-capita basis, the area had the third highest pace in the state.

Central Falls, RI

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 19,423
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 422 (Third most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,487 (Eighth most dangerous)
More on Central Falls:  | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Named after a waterfall in the local Blackstone River, Central Falls, Rhode Island, is small but compact. The municipality has just 19,423, but those people are squeezed into an area of less than 1.3 square miles. The result? One of the most densely populated spots in the U.S. – more densely populated than places like Boston, Chicago, or Philadelphia.

Pack all those folks into a tiny area and you’re bound to have some issues. Central Falls provides ample evidence of that, ranking as the number 5 most dangerous spot in Rhode Island. True, the number of violent crimes only totaled 82 for the year and the tally of property crimes only reached 289. But given the small population, those represent significant numbers.

On a per-capita basis, the violent-crime rate in Central Falls is the third highest in the state.

6. Warren

Warren, RI

Source: Public domain

Population: 10,419
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 172 (Seventh most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,276 (Tenth most dangerous)
More on Warren:

Warren, Rhode Island, has an ancient heritage, reaching back even before European settlement in North America. This historic character doesn’t save the community from the scourges of modern life, however, as the area represents one of the most dangerous spots in the state.

Built on the site of a Pokanoket settlement along the coast of Narragansett Bay, Warren has a population of just 10,419. This relatively small total accounted for 18 violent crimes and 133 property crimes. These figures included 5 rapes, 24 burglaries, and 5 car thefts.

On a per capita basis, this gives Warren the seventh highest violent-crime rate in the state. At the same time, the town’s property-crime rate is tenth highest in Rhode Island.

7. Lincoln

Lincoln, RI

Population: 21,891
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 5)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 114 (11th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,735 (Sixth most dangerous)
More on Lincoln:

Lincoln, Rhode Island, has a lot going for it. A suburb of the state capital of Providence and located within a short driving distance from Boston, it provides an excellent jump-off spot for the region’s biggest cities. One major problem, though: Lincoln has also imported some big-city issues. Namely, the area ranks as the number 7 most dangerous spots in Rhode Island.

During a year, Lincoln reported 380 property crimes. This included 33 burglaries and 22 car thefts. Those totals might not seem intimidating in terms of raw numbers. But, remember, Lincoln’s population only reaches 21,891. On a per-capita basis, the area sits at sixth highest on the list of highest property-crime spots in the state.

Luckily, violence isn’t as much of a problem. With only 25 violent crimes in a year, Lincoln has the 11th highest per-capita pace in Rhode Island.

Cranston, RI

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 81,471
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 155 (Eighth most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,362 (Ninth most dangerous)
More on Cranston:  | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

Part of the Providence metropolitan area, Cranston, Rhode Island, is more than just a simple suburb. With 81,471 people, the city ranks, on its own, as the 2nd most populous areas in the state. Unfortunately, this size comes with its share of problems. While relatively safe compared to its neighbor, Cranston still ranks as the number 8 most dangerous place in Rhode Island.

This comes as the city reported 127 violent crimes during a year, a total that included 26 rapes. For property crimes, Cranston’s tally reached 1,110. Comparing those numbers to the city’s overall population, the per-capita rate of violent crime equaled 155/100k people, putting it eighth highest in the state. The pace of property crime reached 1,362/100k people, a figure which sits at ninth highest for Rhode Island as a whole.

Warwick, RI

Source: Public domain

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 80,749
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 94 (13th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,534 (Seventh most dangerous)
More on Warwick:  | Cost Of Living | Crime Report

One of a series of communities surrounding the capital of Providence, Warwick ranks as the number 3.0 most populous city in the state. It also boasts the state’s most important airport.

Along with those benefits comes a share of challenges as well. The city saw 76 violent crimes and 1,239 property crimes in a year. In an area with a population of 80,749, that translates to a per-capita rate of 94/100k people for violent crimes and a pace of 1,534/100k people for the property variety.

All in all, this puts Warwick at the relatively tame 13th highest rate of violent crime in the state. Given this figure, you might feel comparatively safe walking the streets of Warwick. But don’t drop your guard entirely. You’ll need to keep an eye on your stuff, as the pace of property crime ranks seventh highest in Rhode Island.

10. West Warwick

West Warwick, RI

Population: 28,847
Rank Last Year: 9 (Down 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 187 (Sixth most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 825 (18th most dangerous)
More on West Warwick:

West Warwick exists as part of the outer rim of suburbs for Rhode Island’s biggest city, Providence. As with the other communities surrounding that population center, it has to deal with some of the crime that often radiates out of big urban areas. The result? West Warwick ranks as the number 10 most dangerous place in the state.

West Warwick counted 54 violent crimes during the year. Given that the city has a population of just 28,847, that equates to a per-capita rate of 187/100k people. This puts the city as the sixth most violent community in the state.

For property crimes, things look a little better. The city suffered 238 such events in a year. Comparing this to the West Warwick’s population, the per-capita pace comes in at 18th highest for the state.

Graphing The Most Dangerous And Safest Places In Rhode Island

Most Dangerous Cities In Rhode Island Graph

Click To Enlarge

How we determined the most dangerous cities in Rhode Island for 2021?

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 2019 data, specifically the 2019 Crime In The United States Report. We will update the results when data becomes available in September 2021.

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 Rhode Island 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. Any ties went to the smaller city. You can download the data here.

Read on for a detailed look at the 10 most dangerous cities in Rhode Island.

Locking It All Up In Rhode Island

So what is the most dangerous city in Rhode Island? After analyzing 35 cities in Rhode Island, Providence takes the top spot as the most dangerous city in Rhode Island based on the most recently reported FBI data — 2019.

The latest FBI crime data shows that Providence ranks as the most dangerous city in Rhode Island for 2021.

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.

Why did we produce this list? Well, one goal is to definitely help people navigate these dangerous cities when trying to make an informed decision on what city they should call home. And, secondly, because everyone wants to know the dirt. You know, the type of stuff that will get you on Westerly’s WPRI at six.

What’s the most dangerous place in Rhode Island? Rhode Islands’ most dangerous place is Providence according to the most recent FBI data.

And if you want to see the other places in Rhode Island that you should avoid, take a look at our list below; if you don’t find everything you’re looking for there, head to the bottom.

Learn more about the safest places in Rhode Island.

If you’re looking for something more national, check out the most dangerous cities in America or the most dangerous states in America.

Here are the safest cities in Rhode Island:

  1. West Greenwich (Pop. 6,375)
  2. Smithfield (Pop. 21,790)
  3. East Greenwich (Pop. 13,119)
  4. Portsmouth (Pop. 17,330)
  5. Hopkinton (Pop. 8,110)
  6. Burrillville (Pop. 16,859)
  7. Richmond (Pop. 7,701)
  8. Scituate (Pop. 10,707)
  9. Barrington (Pop. 16,090)
  10. Glocester (Pop. 10,281)

For more Rhode Island reading, check out:

The Most Dangerous Cities In Rhode Island

Rank City Population Violent Crimes Per Capita Property Crimes Per Capita
1 Providence 179,762 496 3,011
2 Woonsocket 41,709 568 2,073
3 Pawtucket 72,030 406 2,276
4 Newport 24,584 276 2,184
5 Central Falls 19,423 422 1,487
6 Warren 10,419 172 1,276
7 Lincoln 21,891 114 1,735
8 Cranston 81,471 155 1,362
9 Warwick 80,749 94 1,534
10 West Warwick 28,847 187 825
11 Johnston 29,424 108 1,107
12 East Providence 47,590 130 1,046
13 Coventry 34,751 89 1,110
14 Tiverton 15,745 69 1,143
15 North Providence 32,655 134 636
16 North Smithfield 12,568 47 2,164
17 North Kingstown 26,286 87 814
18 Narragansett 15,411 90 668
19 Westerly 22,475 66 1,081
20 Middletown 15,934 69 947
21 Cumberland 35,206 71 715
22 Charlestown 7,819 76 613
23 South Kingstown 30,656 61 698
24 Bristol 22,070 72 466
25 Jamestown 5,508 72 435
26 West Greenwich 6,375 62 580
27 Smithfield 21,790 27 894
28 East Greenwich 13,119 38 693
29 Portsmouth 17,330 63 438
30 Hopkinton 8,110 49 480
31 Burrillville 16,859 53 468
32 Richmond 7,701 38 480
33 Scituate 10,707 56 354
34 Barrington 16,090 24 553
35 Glocester 10,281 38 252

How Is Your Town In ?

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.