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 2020. 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 2020, 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.
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.
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
The 10 Most Dangerous Places To Live In Rhode Island For 2020
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 2nd highest rate of violent crime, and places 1st for its rate of property crime.
Residents of Providence had a 1 in 31.7 chance of being the victim of theft or arson in 2018. They also had a 1 in 219 chance of being the victim of violence.
And the bad news: Both categories of crime have not improved at all in recent years.
Bordering Providence to the south and Massachusetts to the north and east, Pawtucket is the 2nd 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 38.2 chance of being the victim of a property crime, and a 1 in 223 chance of being the victim of violence in 2018.
Located in northern Rhode Island at the border of Massachusetts, Woonsocket ranks in the top 3rd worst rates of violent and property crime in the state.
Residents of Woonsocket faced a 1 in 169 chance of being the victim of violence, a rate which steadily increased from 2017-2018.
Property crime did drop by a modest amount during this interval though.
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 41.4 chance of being the victim of theft or arson in 2018.
That’s about a 10% drop from 2017, 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 232 chance of being the victim of a violent crime in 2018.
The 2nd 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 2017-2018, residents only faced a 1 in 686 chance of being the victim of violence in 2018, 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: 16 (Up 9)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 104 (13th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,093 (5th most dangerous)
More on North Smithfield:
North Smithfield has the smallest population of any city on our list of the most dangerous in Rhode Island.
The North Smithfield saw a total of 261 property crimes in 2018, which calculates out to a 1 in 47.8 chance of being a victim of theft.
North Smithfield ranked 13th for violent crime.
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 173 (7th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,096 (15th 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 91.2 chance of being the victim of theft or arson, it’s probably an acceptable trade off for a 7th violent crime rank.
Rank Last Year: 8 (Down 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 136 (9th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,173 (14th most dangerous)
More on Johnston:
Johnston is the 9th most violent of the most dangerous cities in Rhode Island, but it’s 14th in terms of property crime.
That is partially due to a hike in property crime from 2017-2018, which left residents with a 1 in 85.2 chance of being the victim of theft or arson in 2018.
Violent crime also went up during this period, so Johnston’s trend means it might stay in the top 10 for a few years.
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 228 (6th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,075 (17th most dangerous)
More on West Warwick:
West Warwick is just behind regular Warwick in terms of its overall crime, but is much more violent than its eastern namesake.
Between 2017-2018, violent crime fell, leaving residents a 1 in 437 chance of being the victim of violence in 2018.
Property crime also dropped during these years, meaning West Warwick may be off this list in another year if the trend keeps up.
How Is Your Town In ?
How we determined the most dangerous cities in Rhode Island for 2020?
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 2018 data, specifically the 2018 Crime In The United States Report. We will update the results when data becomes available in September 2020.
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.
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 2020.
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:
- Bristol (Pop. 22,131)
- Portsmouth (Pop. 17,474)
- Glocester (Pop. 10,158)
For more Rhode Island reading, check out: