The SafeWise Team is pleased to release the seventh annual Safest Cities report.
Delaware’s 10 Safest Cities of 2021
Here are the 10 Safest Cities in Delaware for 2021
8. New Castle
See if your city made the full list.
This year, we saw Delaware more concerned with safety than any other year. And yet, our respondents have had less experience with crime than previous years (with the exception of gun violence). Violent and property crime are slightly above the national average in The First State. But violent crime stayed the same since 2020 and property crime has dropped slightly.
2021 Delaware crime rates
Delaware has the lowest population in the South Atlantic region with only 973,000 people. So while The Blue Hen state had fewer instances of property and violent crime, its crime rates per 1,000 residents made it the third highest in violent crime and fourth in property crime in the region.
Level of concern and experience with crime in Delaware
Of the Delaware residents we surveyed, 50% said they were concerned on a daily basis about their safety, an 8% rise from last year.
Property crime is the biggest concern keeping Delawareans awake at night, yet we saw a 6% decrease in those who experienced it firsthand in the last year. The story is the same for those who have experienced violent crime, where we saw a 5% decrease.
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.
View the complete 2021 State of Safety report.
Violent crime in Delaware: Fear vs. reality
Delaware saw the same amount of violent crime per capita as last year. It’s a trend that matches the Atlantic region as a whole too. And while Delaware’s safest cities had fewer violent crimes than the rest of the state, even the top cities saw their share of murder, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault.
- Violent crime in the safest cities accounted for 6.1% of violent crime in the state.
- Aggravated assault was the most common violent crime in Delaware.
- Milton and Lewes each had only 4 violent crimes in the last year.
- Newark had the most violent crime incidents in the last year, but Harrington had more per capita with an alarmingly high crime rate of 9.8 per 1,000 people (US average is 3.7).
- Even though its population is below 4,000, Harrington reported two-thirds of the murders among Delaware’s safest cities.
- Although Delaware has fewer gun violence incidents than other states, 59% of survey respondents said it’s a top safety concern.
- Delaware had three mass gun violence incidents and nine officer-involved shootings in the last year.
- 35% of Delaware residents use some form of personal protection like pepper spray or stun guns.
- 55% of Delaware residents say their personal safety has been affected by the pandemic.
Property crime in Delaware: Fear vs. reality
In Delaware and across the Atlantic region, property crime has been steadily decreasing since 2019. But even with this slight drop, the safest cities still see their fair share of property crime. Like with violent crime, Delaware’s safest cities see more property crime than the safest cities of other states.
- New Castle (40.5) and Camden (49.3) saw property crime rates double that of the national average.
- Larceny-theft accounted for 82.4% of the property crimes in the safest cities and 79.2% of property crimes throughout the state.
- Motor vehicle theft in Delaware is lower than many other states, accounting for 4.4% of the property crimes in the safest cities and 7.3% in the state.
- Eight of the safest cities had property crime rates under the national average.
- 74% of Delawareans protect their property in some way with 36% of them using security cameras.
- 32% of Delaware residents say the safety of their property has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
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.
- Half of the safest cities in Delaware have populations under 5,000 people.
- Milton and Clayton swapped places this year, crowning Clayton as our new safest city in Delaware.
- The rankings didn’t change much from last year overall. Cities either moved up or down one. Three cities (Lewes, Newark, and Smyrna) held their spots from last year.
- Milton and Lewes had the fewest violent crimes on our list. Clayton, our number 1 pick had the lowest amount of property crimes (35).
- Newark and Harrington were the only safest cities with murders in the last year.
- None of the safest cities had a case of arson in the last year.
How we determined the safest cities
Learn how we identified the safest cities on our methodology page.
How to make a safe home anywhere
Didn't find your city in the top Delware?
We calculated crime rates for every city in the state that met our population threshold, based on the state’s median population. See how the remaining cities ranked in the list below.
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 2019.
VC per 1,000
PC per 1,000
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
FBI: Uniform Crime Reporting Program, “2019 Crime in the United States,” Accessed March 15, 2021.
US Census Bureau, "Data Explorer," Accessed November 18, 2020.
Best Places, “Find a Place Search Tool,” Accessed January 6, 2021.
SafeWise, “2021 State of Safety survey,” Accessed March 15, 2021.
Gun Violence Archive, “Past Summary Ledgers,” Accessed January 6, 2021.
Gun Violence Archive, “General Methodology,” Accessed March 15, 2021.
Melody Hicks, Ben Stickle, Joshua Harms, American Journal of Criminal Justice, “Assessing the Fear of Package Theft,” January 04, 2021. Accessed March 15, 2021.
For definitions and more on data sources, see our methodology page.