Delaware’s 10 Safest Cities of 2022

Safest Cities in Delaware 2022 logo

The SafeWise Team is pleased to release the eighth annual Safest Cities report.

Here are the 10 Safest Cities in Delaware for 2022

See if your city made the full list.

Delaware experienced a 3% increase in violent crime since the previous reporting year, but its property crime decreased by about 12%. Both of these statistics are better than the national averages (5% increase and 7% decrease, respectively).

In this report

2022 Delaware crime rates

Delaware’s property crime rate matches the national average of 19.6, but the state’s 4.3 violent crime rate is slightly higher than the national average of 4.0. Violent and property crime rates in Delaware are higher on average than those reported in the South Atlantic region.

Bar chart of violent and property crime rates per 1,000 people where the national average is 4.0 violent crimes per 1,000 people and 19.6 property crimes per 1,000 people.

Image: SafeWise

Level of concern and experience with crime in Delaware

According to our latest State of Safety survey, 55% of Delawareans feel safe in their state, which matches the national average. The percentage of Delaware residents who feel concerned about gun violence also matches the national average (38%). But Delawareans are more concerned about violent crime, property crime, and package theft than the average American.

Compared to their neighbors in the South Atlantic region, fewer Delawareans worry about their safety and security on a daily basis (50% in Delaware versus 53% on average in the South Atlantic region).

74% of Delaware residents believe crime is on the rise, which is eight percentage points higher than the national average.

Pictogram showing the percentage of state residents that are concerned about their safety on a daily basis, as well as which type of crime they are concerned about the most, and which crimes they have experienced within the past 12 months. Crimes include violent crime, property crime, package theft and gun violence.

Image: SafeWise. Past 12 months=12 months prior to survey.

Crime concerns in Delaware

We asked Delaware residents which crimes they worry may happen to them. See if Delawareans are concerned about the same crime issues as the rest of the country.

Bar chart showing percentages of how concerned state residents are about crime compared to the national averages for violent crime, property crime, package theft and gun violence.

Image: SafeWise

View the complete 2022 State of Safety report.

Violent crime in Delaware: Fear vs. reality

Delaware saw a 3% increase in violent crime year over year. Its violent crime rate of 4.3 is the second highest in the South Atlantic region but only slightly higher than the national average of 4.0. 

However, in our State of Safety survey, Delaware residents reported experiencing less violent crime year over year. 10% of Delaware respondents claimed to have experienced violent crime in the previous 12 months, which is five percentage points lower than the previous year’s survey results.

On the other hand, Delaware respondents reported an increase in gun violence experiences. 11% claimed to have experienced gun violence in the 12 months prior to the survey, up from 2% the previous year. 

  • Rape accounts for 6% of all violent crime in Delaware, which is the lowest percentage in the nation. The national average is 10%. 
  • Aggravated assault accounts for 76% of all violent crime in Delaware (US 70%).
  • 25 people were injured and 4 were killed in 7 mass shooting events in Delaware in 2021. 
  • 35% of people in Delaware use some form of personal protection (US 34%). 
  • Of the Delaware residents who use some form of personal protection, most (17%) prefer pocket knives.
  • 55% say their personal safety has been affected by the pandemic (US 44%).
Line graph of violent and property crime rates over the past three years in the state compared to national crime rates per 1,000 residents for violent crime, property crime, package theft and gun violence.

Image: SafeWise

Property crime in Delaware: Fear vs. reality

Delaware’s property crime rate matches the national average of 19.6, and The First State saw a 12% decrease in property crime year over year. 

This aligns with our State of Safety survey results, in which 16% of Delaware respondents had experienced a property crime in the 12 months prior to the survey. That’s down from 22% in the previous year’s survey, and it’s two percentage points lower than the national average. 

  • Larceny-theft represents 78% of all property crime in Delaware, which is the sixth highest in the nation and above the national average of 71%. 
  • Motor vehicle theft accounts for 9% of all property crime in Delaware, which is the sixth lowest in the nation and lower than the national average of 13%.
  • 74% of Delaware residents use some form of property protection (US 60%).
  • Of the Delawareans who use property protection, most (36%) prefer security cameras.
  • 32% of Delaware residents say the security of their property has been affected by the pandemic (US 29%).

A closer look at the safest cities in Delaware

For the purposes of this report, the terms “dangerous” and “safest” refer explicitly to crime rates as calculated from FBI crime data—no other characterization of any community is implied or intended.

  • 17 Delaware cities met the criteria to be considered for ranking.
  • Clayton held onto the top spot for the second year in a row.
  • Each of Delaware’s 10 safest cities—with the exception of Harrington—saw a decrease in property crime year over year.
  • 4 of Delaware’s 10 safest cities experienced decreases in both violent crime and property crime: Clayton, Lewes, Newark, and New Castle
  • Although the percentage of aggravated assault in Delaware is higher than the national average, 4 of this year’s safest cities reported fewer than 10 incidents of aggravated assault: Clayton, Lewes, Milton, and New Castle. 
  • Lewes and Milton reported 0 motor vehicle thefts for this reporting year.
  • Harrington (6.9) and Georgetown (7.0) saw relatively high violent crime rates compared to other safest cities throughout the US. 
  • Georgetown’s violent crime rate increased from 5.7 to 7.0 year over year, but Harrington’s violent crime rate decreased for the third consecutive year.
Map of state with markers and labels highlighting the cities with the lowest crime rates.

Image: SafeWise

The 10 safest cities in Delaware

Clayton, Delaware
#1
Clayton
(
-0-
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    3,577
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $82,500
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    0.8, 2.0, 4.9
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    5.3, 10.2, 8.8
  • Info
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
Lewes, Delaware
#2
Lewes
(
+1
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    3,378
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $88,984
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    0.6, 1.2, 2.2
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    10.7, 13.7, 20.7
  • Info
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
Milton, Delaware
#3
Milton
(
-1
Down
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    3,066
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $57,754
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    2.0, 1.3, 0.0
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    9.1, 13.3, 15.8
  • Info
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
Middletown, Delaware
#4
Middletown
(
-0-
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    23,385
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $90,134
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    2.1, 2.1, 2.9
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    19.0, 20.4, 19.6
  • Info
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
Newark, Delaware
#5
Newark
(
+1
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    33,752
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $58,434
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    2.4, 2.5, 2.9
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    18.8, 20.8, 19.5
  • Info
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
Smyrna, Delaware
#6
Smyrna
(
+1
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    12,011
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $67,277
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    4.1, 2.7, 4.2
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    20.1, 20.9, 22.7
  • Info
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
Elsmere, Delaware
#7
Elsmere
(
-2
Down
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    5,851
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $61,275
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    5.0, 1.8, 4.1
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    18.8, 22.3, 15.7
  • Info
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
New Castle, Delaware
#8
New Castle
(
-0-
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    5,420
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $68,211
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    2.4, 3.8, 3.2
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    33.8, 40.5, 41.9
  • Info
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
Harrington, Delaware
#9
Harrington
(
+1
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    3,646
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $50,160
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    6.9, 9.6, 11.2
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    25.2, 21.1, 28.7
  • Info
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
#10
Georgetown
(
+1
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    7,698
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $48,468
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    7.0, 5.7, 5.3
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2022, 2021, 2020
    35.1, 41.3, 51.0
  • Info
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime

How we determined the safest cities

Learn how we identified the safest cities on our methodology page.

How to make a safe home anywhere

Whether your city made our list or not, we encourage everyone to be proactive about home security. One of the best ways to stop a burglary before it happens is to add a home security system.

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Get a home security system

Find out which companies we recommend for every budget and lifestyle in our roundup of the Best Home Security Systems—and learn the basics with our guide on Everything You Need to Know About Home Security

Find security and safety resources in your area

Didn't find your city in the top 10?

We calculated crime rates for every city in the state that met our population threshold, based on the state’s median population as calculated using FBI data. To request a report of the remaining cities in your state, sign up for our email newsletter (we make it easy in a quick form below!) or email info@safewise.com with the subject line: Safest Cities Full Report.

NOTE: If you don’t see your city on the list, it means that it was below the population threshold or didn’t submit a complete crime report to the FBI in 2020.

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Find the safest cities in each state

Click on the state image or dropdown menu below to check out the safest cities for each state.

Related articles on SafeWise


Sources

FBI: Crime Data Explorer, Accessed March 8, 2022.

US Census Bureau, "Data Explorer," Accessed January 24, 2022.

Best Places, “Find a Place Search Tool,” Accessed January 24, 2022.

SafeWise, “2021 State of Safety survey,” Accessed March 8, 2022.

Gun Violence Archive, “Past Summary Ledgers,” Accessed January 24, 2022.

Gun Violence Archive, “General Methodology,” Accessed March 8, 2022.

Melody Hicks, Ben Stickle, Joshua Harms, American Journal of Criminal Justice, “Assessing the Fear of Package Theft,” January 04, 2021. Accessed March 8, 2022.

For definitions and more on data sources, see our methodology page.

Cathy Habas
Written by
Cathy Habas
With over seven years of experience as a content writer, Cathy has a knack for untangling complex information. Her natural curiosity and ability to empathize help Cathy offer insightful, friendly advice. She believes in empowering readers who may not feel confident about a purchase, project, or topic. Cathy earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Indiana University Southeast and began her professional writing career immediately after graduation. She has contributed to sites like Safety.com, Reviews.com, Hunker, and Thumbtack. Cathy’s pride and joy is her Appaloosa “Chacos.” She also likes to crochet while watching stand-up comedy specials on Netflix.

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