What parts of New York are dangerous? It’s a common question, mostly asked in correlation with New York City. This text will answer it in a slightly different form, by involving the entirety of the Empire State.
But first, some basic information about the state: The state of New York has 19.54 million residents, 40% of whom live in New York City and Long Island. The state was named by the arriving English, after the Duke of York. The capital of the state is not NYC, but rather Albany, a city so unsafe that you won’t see it in this text.
Let’s jump into our list of the safest cities in New York, now that the basics are out of the way. We put this together in order to help you make the right decision when moving to the state. Next to each city entry, we’ve listed the number of property and violent crimes per 100,000 inhabitants, which were used as the basis for these rankings.
This list will also teach you more about home security in New York City and other places in the state by giving you an idea of which cities it may be worth considering the purchase of a security system in if you’re moving there. With the crimes rates, you’ll also find information about the population, home prices, and available amenities pertaining to every city listed, as well as more in-depth crime info.
What Are the Safest Places in New York?
(Property: 456; Violent: 31)
Not to be mistaken with the much larger town of Rye, the city of Rye was first incorporated as a village in 1904, and then as a city in 1942. It’s a place where one of the founding fathers, John Jay, was born and later buried.
Here’s what visitors and potential residents can expect in the city in New York that holds the lowest crime rate: those visiting Rye should never miss Playland Park. Located just 27 miles from downtown Manhattan, this is the place where most people from the city bring their kids. Rye is also interesting to history buffs, and it holds dozens of events to celebrate its heritage every year.
Those moving to Rye can expect no difficulties with their job search, as the city has an unemployment rate of just 3.1%. The public schools invest 78.5% more money per student than an average school in the US does.
Rye was one of the safest cities in America last year: 73 property crimes (58 thefts, 5 burglaries, 10 vehicle thefts) were reported, together with 5 violent crimes (3 assaults, 1 robbery, 1 rape).
There are some negatives to living here, most notably the cost of living and real estate prices. Rye has a cost of living that is 264.3% higher than the US average.
(Property: 511; Violent: 26)
Port Washington used to be one of the major sand-mining towns in the US. Most of New York’s skyscrapers were built using local sand, until 1998 when the sand mines were redeveloped, so Port Washington became one of the cities near New York City where the rich come to play golf and enjoy yachting.
There are 15,847 people living in the city. The median income is $108,000, the median age is 43.6 years, and an average home can be bought for $885,000.
Golf courses, marinas, and museums are just some of the entertainment options available in Port Washington. Those visiting from the city can find a place to relax and enjoy their day while being just miles away from their home and the rush of New York. One of the best places to live in New York State, Port Washington has an unemployment rate of 3.6%, and it invests even more into public education than the previous city on the list (108.7% above average).
Crime statistics from 2018 show that Port Washington is extremely safe: 99 property (82 thefts, 13 burglaries, 4 vehicle thefts) and 5 violent crimes (3 assaults, 2 robberies) were reported.
Once again, the cost of living is what prevents more people from moving here; Port Washington is 139.1% more expensive to live in than an average American city.
(Property: 551; Violent: 29)
Glen Cove is a city that drives the Long Island crime rate figures down and is known for being one of the major landing points for immigrants; first from Ireland and Italy, and more recently from Central and South America.
27,400 inhabitants, a median income of $65,000, and a median age of 38.9 years are the numbers that characterize Glen Cove. The real estate prices here are the lowest on the list so far, with an average of $562,000 per house.
Museums, a nature preserve, and plenty of other amenities are available to visitors and residents. Even though it’s not the most entertaining, Glen Cove is one of the most sought-after cities in New York State. The proximity to Queens and the city and the unemployment rate of 3.4% make this city so desirable.
Glen Cove’s crime rates might be another reason behind its popularity. In 2018, 151 property crimes (137 thefts, 12 burglaries, 2 vehicle thefts) were reported, along with 8 violent crimes (5 assaults, 2 robberies, 1 rape).
In case you haven’t figured it out yet, the state of New York is expensive to live in. Glen Cove shares this characteristic, with the cost of living being 81.6% above the national average.
(Property: 589; Violent: 62)
Located just south of Long Island, Long Beach is one of the best places to live in New York. Since its urban renewal in the 1990s, Long Beach became one of the most desirable bedroom communities in the US. People living here can get to their jobs in New York City quickly while living in a quiet and safe beach town.
Long Beach has a population of 33,657, a median income of $83,000, and a median age of 43 years. Buying a house here costs $583,000 on average.
There’s not much to do in the city, except enjoy the beaches and a few parks. Its greatest perk is the proximity to NYC. In addition, new residents are drawn by the unemployment rate of 3.4%, the public education investments that are 225% higher than the US average, and the fact that it’s one of the safest cities in New York.
Last year’s report shows that 199 property (180 thefts, 11 burglaries, 8 vehicle thefts) and 21 violent crimes (12 assaults, 9 robberies) were committed in Long Beach. As expected, the cost of living is fairly high, sitting at 84.9% above the US average. This still makes Long Beach one of the best and cheapest choices in the area.
(Property: 492; Violent: 116)
Irvington is one of the most affluent places on the Hudson River. Located less than 20 miles from Times Square, it has become one of the top bedroom communities in New York. It is also one of the best small towns in New York to live in, even though it’s technically a village.
It has a population of 6,558. The median income in Irvington is $137,000, the median age is 46.9 years, and the average house is valued at $967,000.
This charming place offers bike tours through its historic sites, scenic areas, and elaborate mansions as an escape from the jungle of the nearby city. Those moving here are encouraged by the low unemployment rate (4.1%) and the public school funding, which is 130% higher than the national average.
When it comes to crime in Irvington, we have to work with estimates as villages in the state of New York don’t provide detailed data. Even the estimates show it to be one of the most desirable places to live in New York, with around 493 property crimes per 100,000 people. Violent crime estimates per 100,000 inhabitants sit at 116. Both of these numbers are more than 200% below the state average.
Irvington is not even close to being considered a reasonably priced place. With an average home value just shy of a million, and a cost of living that’s 148.1% higher than the US average, not many can afford moving here.
(Property: 492; Violent: 116)
Roslyn Heights brings us back to Long Island. This is neither a city nor a village, but rather a hamlet, and it happens to be one of the best places to live in New York State.
It has a population of 6,802. The median income is $108,000, the median age is 40.1 years, and an average home listed for sale in Roslyn Heights is valued at $880,000.
It has a Botanic Garden and an art museum, as well as multiple other amenities that will make any stay here pleasurable, whether it’s a short visit or a permanent move. Public schools invest 146% more money per student than an average American school, which is one of the main reasons families choose Roslyn Heights. In addition, the unemployment rate of 3.7% is attractive (the national average is 5.2%), not to mention how safe it is.
Roslyn Heights is one of the safest towns in New York, with estimated property crime numbers sitting at 492 per 100,000 people, and violent crime at 116 per 100,000.
Being so close to NYC and not having to worry about crime comes at a price—the cost of living in Roslyn Heights is 135.7% higher than the average city in the US.
(Property: 531; Violent: 125)
Located less than 20 miles from Manhattan, Manhasset is one of the most prominent New York towns. In 2005, it held the first spot on the Wall Street Journal’s list of the best places to raise a family in the New York metropolitan area.
Manhasset has a population of 7,922, a median income of $97,000, and a median age of 44 years. Buying a house here will burn a hole through your pocket, with the average value being $1,522,000.
Americana Manhasset is one of the most popular luxury shopping centers on the East Coast, and it’s located in this town. Leeds Pond Preserve is there for those who enjoy spending time in nature. Living so close to the big city while avoiding the infamously low New York City safety ranking is one of the main advantages of Manhasset. The town has an unemployment rate of 3.7%, and it is located in one of the best school districts in the country.
When it comes to crime in Manhasset, the numbers are shared with the Town of North Hempstead that governs it. Estimates show that Manhasset on its own had 531 property and 125 violent crimes per 100,000 residents last year.
The housing prices and a high cost of living are the main downsides of living in Manhasset. The cost of living here is 252.6% above the US average.
(Property: 577; Violent: 136)
Is New York safe? Tarrytown is another village that assures us of a positive answer. Tarrytown has 11,534 residents. Their median income is $92,000, the median age is 41.1 years, and an average home has a value of $625,000.
The most interesting thing for tourists here is Sleepy Hollow, the neighboring village described in Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Spots such as The Old Dutch Church are visited by fans from around the world. The Rockefeller State Park Preserve is there for all your recreation needs and activities.
Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown also jointly operate the public schools in the area, and they receive 87% more funding than an average school in the US. The unemployment rate in Tarrytown is 4.1%, and the crime rates it experiences make it an unskippable part of every list of the safest cities in New York. Estimates tell us that Tarrytown experienced 577 property and 136 violent crimes per 100,000 residents last year.
Living in Tarrytown might be a dream come true for many, but not everyone can afford it; the cost of living is 83.7% higher than the US average.
Garden City Park
(Property: 602; Violent: 142)
Another hamlet in the Town of North Hempstead, Garden City Park significantly contributes to the overall safety numbers of the entire state of New York. Even though it’s located near them, Garden City Park is far from the Queens and New York City crime rate.
8,332 people live there. The median income is $95,000, the median age is 44.3 years, and an average home is priced at $690,000.
Garden City Park doesn’t have many amenities, and its biggest advantage is the proximity to NYC. Visitors will find it a more affordable option, with less than a 30-minute train ride separating them from Manhattan. Living here means that you’re in one of the best school districts in the country and one of the places with the lowest unemployment rate (3.7%). Low crime rates are another great perk.
Sitting on the outskirts of one of the safest neighborhoods in NYC, Garden City Parks is estimated to have had 602 property crimes, as well as 142 violent ones, per 100,000 people.
The main negative of living in Garden City Park is the cost of living, which is 103.1% higher than the US average. The lack of entertainment options comes as a close second.
(Property: 742; Violent: 141)
Peekskill was one of the early American industrial centers. Crayola’s manufacturer, the Binney & Smith Company, was started here back in 1864. Today, Peekskill is one of the safest cities in New York State and one of the state’s most appealing cities.
The city has 24,111 residents, a median income of $52,000, and a median age of 38.5 years. Peekskill has the most affordable housing on this list so far, with an average home value of $308,000.
Bear Mountain State Park, Blue Mountain Reservation, and a part of the Appalachian Trail are all located near Peekskill, making this city the perfect vacation spot for nature enthusiasts. One of the best-funded public education systems in the country, an unemployment rate of 4.1%, and a particularly low New York State crime rate are what get people to stay.
Peekskill had 179 property crimes (156 thefts, 17 burglaries, 6 vehicle thefts) in 2018, together with 34 violent ones (19 assaults, 12 robberies, 3 rapes).
Even though it’s far below most of the other cities on this list, the cost of living in Peekskill is still 28.1% higher than the US average. There’s also not much to do in the city, so those who have hobbies other than hiking, biking, and enjoying nature will have to travel 45 miles to NYC for entertainment.
Most Popular Cities in New York Ranked by Safety
(Property: 1,004; Violent: 402)
A Westchester County town and the fourth most populous place in the state of New York, Yonkers sits just outside of the Bronx. The city is famous due to the controversy behind the low-income housing built there during the 1990s.
Yonkers has a population of 201,000, a median income of $61,000, and a median age of 38.1 years. Real estate data shows that an average house in the city costs $495,000.
Untermyer Park and Gardens, the Hudson River Museum, and a few other attractions bring tourists to Yonkers. Its position just outside NYC makes it mostly a bedroom community for those working in the city.
Yonkers, NY, crime rate statistics for 2018 point to 2,023 property crimes (1,481 thefts, 360 burglaries, 182 vehicle thefts) and 810 violent crimes (495 assaults, 271 robberies, 36 rapes, 8 murders).
The days of affordable housing in Yonkers are gone, as evidenced by the average house price. But those who decide to find work in Yonkers are more likely to succeed than people looking for work in an average American city, as the unemployment rate is 4.8%. Public education funding is also superior compared to the US average. However, the cost of living is 62.9% higher than average, representing another issue with living here.
(Property: 2,909; Violent: 181)
Ithaca is one of the safest cities in New York State and one of the most popular college towns in the world, as the famous Cornell University is located in the city.
The city has a population of 30,720. The median income is just over $30,000, while the median age is dragged down to 21.9 years by the college students. If you’re on the market for a house in Ithaca, you should set $236,000 aside.
There’s a waterfall waiting in the city, and it is one of the most amazing sights. Collegetown is the center of entertainment in the area. Those who decide to stay in Ithaca after college are met with the unemployment rate of 4.2% and a reasonable cost of living (7.3% higher than average).
Ithaca, NY, crime rate figures for the year behind us show the following numbers: 898 property crimes (805 thefts, 75 burglaries, 18 vehicle thefts) and 56 violent crimes (28 assaults, 21 robberies, 6 rapes, 1 murder) were reported during the year.
Isolation and harsh winters are what most Ithaca residents complain about. The property crime, which is above the national and state averages, is also a slight cause for concern when moving here.
(Property: 1,449; Violent: 539)
New York City, the most populous city in the US, is surprisingly not at the bottom of this list. So is New York a safe city? Read on to find out.
The city has a population of 8,560,072. The median income is $52,000, the median age is 35.7 years, and the average home price is $694,000.
The Statue of Liberty, Central Park, the Empire State Building, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Broadway, and New York City’s other famous attractions draw millions of tourists every year. Living in NYC is a dream for many, and those who achieve it and move here can expect an unemployment rate of 4.1%, public schools with excellent funding, and low property crime.
The New York City crime rate figures show that there were 124,815 property crimes (107,976 thefts, 11,104 burglaries, 5,735 vehicle thefts) and 46,433 crimes classified as violent (29,771 assaults, 13,995 robberies, 2,375 rapes, 292 murders) last year. Staten Island and parts of Queens and Brooklyn were the safest and best places to live in the city, according to last year’s numbers.
We all know New York is one of the most expensive cities in the world to live in. Apartments in up and coming neighborhoods easily sell for millions of dollars, and the cost of living is 109.3% above the national average. Violent crime represents another one of NYC’s drawbacks.
(Property: 1,999; Violent: 706)
Another one of the New York State cities listed here that’s part of the NYC metro area is Poughkeepsie. The area in which the city is situated was purchased from Native Americans in 1686, and the city was officially incorporated in 1854.
Poughkeepsie is home to 30,505 people. The median income is $39,000, the median age is 35.5 years, and an average house price sits at $220,000.
If you aren’t a nature lover, this is one of the worst cities in New York for you. Surrounded by trails and parks, nature is this city’s greatest asset, together with its relative proximity to NYC. The unemployment rate in Poughkeepsie is 4.9%, the public schools receive more than sufficient funding, and the cost of living is 11.3% higher than the US average, which, compared to most of the state of New York, is reasonable.
Crime statistics show that Poughkeepsie had 603 property (267 thefts, 111 burglaries, 25 vehicle thefts) and 213 violent crimes (128 assaults, 55 robberies, 28 rapes, 2 murders) last year.
The main thing that keeps more people from moving here is the Poughkeepsie, NY, crime rate, which is significantly above average, especially for violent crime.
(Property: 2,660; Violent: 1,236)
Located 60 miles north of NYC is Newburgh, a city that was once the headquarters of the Continental Army. More recently, the city had a similar misfortune to Flint, Michigan, needing to request help for its contaminated water supply in 2016.
The population of Newburgh counts 28,444 people. The median income in the city is $33,000, the median age is 28.1 years, and an average house can be acquired for around $212,000.
A museum of modern art, a hiking/climbing trail, and the famous Orange County Choppers are all found in Newburgh and commonly visited by tourists and residents. Those who like isolation will love this place, as it isn’t a metro area to any of the major cities in New York. The cost of living is at a reasonable 16.7% above the national average. The public schools in Newburgh are on par with the rest of the state of New York, which means they’re funded more than adequately.
2018 crime data shows that there were 747 property crimes (546 thefts, 160 burglaries, 41 vehicle thefts) and 347 violent crimes (217 assaults, 101 robberies, 23 rapes, 6 murders) in Newburgh during the year.
The negatives of living in this city include an unemployment rate of 5.4%, as well as the Newburgh, NY, crime rate, which is above the state and national average. The isolation of the city can be taken as both a positive and a negative, depending on personal preference.
(Property: 3,367; Violent: 705)
Syracuse is often described as the economic and educational heart of the region, with the biggest airport in the area located within the city. According to Forbes, it was the fourth best place in the US to raise a family in 2010.
The city has a population of 144,405, a median income of $31,000, and a median age of 29.7 years. It also has the cheapest houses on the list, with an average value of $85,000.
Here’s why it remains one of the best places to live in upstate New York: you can find everything you need for a comfortable visit or a pleasant life in Syracuse. From the local zoo and museums of art and technology to the lakes and parks you can relax in. In addition to all the necessary amenities, Syracuse’s cost of living is 17.5% lower than the US average, while it has one of the best public school systems in the country—a feature it shares with most of the state of New York.
4,817 property crimes (3,301 thefts, 1,145 burglaries, 371 vehicle thefts) and 1,009 violent ones (607 assaults, 284 robberies, 98 rapes, 20 murders) were included in the crime rate statistics in Syracuse, NY, for 2018. Clearly, the city has an issue with both violent and property crime. Moreover, the unemployment rate is above the national average, at 5.5%, with basically no job growth in the last year.
(Property: 3,179; Violent: 892)
Schenectady got its hard to pronounce name from a Mohawk word that means “beyond the pines.” This is the place where some of the most influential companies of the 20th century, such as General Electric and the American Locomotive Company, were started. Schenectady is one of the more appealing answers to What towns are in upstate New York?
The city has 65,705 permanent residents. Their median income is $38,916, and the median age is 34.1 years. The average property in Schenectady is valued at $123,000.
When it comes to tourist attractions in the city, Rivers Casino, the Museum of Innovation and Science, and Via Aquarium are the places everyone visits. What attracts new residents to the city is the mixture of an attractive setting, a low cost of living (12.2% below the national average), and good public schools. The unemployment rate of 4.9% might contribute to this, too.
The Schenectady, NY, crime rate data shows that there were 2,057 property (1,534 thefts, 348 burglaries, 175 thefts) and 577 violent crimes (376 assaults, 141 robberies, 58 rapes, 2 murders) in the city last year.
This is the perfect city for those who don’t mind living with Schenectady’s higher crime rate. With violent crime 150% higher than the state’s average, it’s not exactly the safest city in America.
(Property: 3,804; Violent: 897)
Rochester is where companies such as Kodak, Western Union, and Xerox were started, and it had the second-largest economy in the state of New York up until 2010. It’s also the third most populous city in the state and one of the worst cities in New York when property crime is considered.
Rochester’s population is 209,463. The median income is $30,784, the median age is 31.2 years, and the average house value is low, at $73,000.
Rochester has a zoo, a water park, and plenty of other entertainment options that make the city suitable for families. Houses are cheap, the cost of living is 17.5% lower than the US average, and public schools invest 113.53% more money per student.
7,934 property crimes (5,981 thefts, 1,337 burglaries, 616 vehicle thefts) and 1,872 crimes that were recognized as violent (997 assaults, 707 robberies, 141 rapes, 27 murders) make up the Rochester, NY, crime rate figures.
Finding work in Rochester might be a tricky task, as the unemployment rate is 6.2%. The property and violent crime rates are 151% higher than the New York average, making it seem like an unsafe place. Those who find these numbers tolerable might find the perfect home in Rochester, NY.
(Property: 3,836; Violent: 1,019)
Buffalo is one of the most popular cities in upstate New York and the second largest city in the state. It’s commonly called the City of Light, and the reason behind it is the fact that it was one of the earliest adopters of electric power.
The city has 259,574 inhabitants. The median income is $31,668, the median age is 33.1 years, and an average home in Buffalo sells for $82,000.
Located just 16 miles from Niagara Falls, Buffalo is a major tourist destination. Other amenities in the city include the Buffalo Zoo, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, the Buffalo Museum of Science, and everything else you’d expect a city of this size to have. To those who decide to make it their home, Buffalo offers low real estate prices, a low cost of living (18% below average), and excellent public education.
However, it happens to be one of the most dangerous cities in New York: 9,827 property crimes (6,638 thefts, 2,356 burglaries, 833 vehicle thefts) and 2,611 violent crimes (1,572 assaults, 857 robberies, 142 rapes, 40 murders) were reported last year, earning it a spot near the bottom of this list. To add to the high crime rates, Buffalo also has an unemployment rate of 5.8%.
(Property: 4,368; Violent: 797)
The last spot on this list of the safest cities in New York according to 2018 data is taken by Binghamton, the county seat of Broome County. This was one of the most prosperous cities in the US, earning itself the nickname, the Valley of Opportunity. Cigars, shoes, and computers were produced in the city, while today the main driving forces of the economy are the healthcare and education industries.
Binghamton has 45,964 residents. The median income in the city is $30,828, the median age is 36.6 years, and an average house costs $82,000.
People come to this city to visit the Roberson Museum and Science Center, the Discovery Center, which focuses on getting children interested in science, and the Museum of History & Art. Binghamton University is one of the city’s largest employers and the reason why interest in the city is exponentially increasing every year. The cost of living (13.3% below average) and the public schools, which are better than most of the country, also attract a lot of new residents.
The Binghamton, NY, crime rate is what keeps people on their toes: last year, 1,983 property crimes (1,557 thefts, 370 burglaries, 56 vehicle thefts) and 362 violent crimes (226 assaults, 90 robberies, 42 rapes, 4 murders) were reported.
The crime rate is a major concern for those considering a move to Binghamton. They should also keep in mind that the unemployment rate in the city is 5.5% and that it had negative job growth last year.
Those moving to or thinking about visiting New York tend to equate the state with the city. We rarely consider how the state of New York is much larger than NYC and that there are other better, safer cities and towns to consider.
This list of the safest cities in New York stands to show how many options there are in the state. Now it’s up to you to decide which one of the places listed suits you and your family best.