The SafeWise Team is pleased to release the ninth annual Safest Cities report.
Delaware’s 10 Safest Cities of 2023
Here are the 10 Safest Cities in Delaware for 2023
See if your city made the full list.
Delaware's violent crime and property crime rates decreased slightly year over year but remain higher than the national averages. Compared to the average American, Delaware residents are more likely to think crime is increasing and less likely to feel safe in their state.
In this report
2023 Delaware crime rates
Delaware’s property crime rate of 19.4 is just slightly higher than the national average of 19.3 and the nineteenth-highest in the nation. Likewise, Delaware's violent crime rate of 4.2 is higher than the national average of 4.0 and the fifteenth-highest in the nation.
Level of concern and experience with crime in Delaware
According to our latest State of Safety survey, 44% of Delawareans feel safe in their state, which is lower than the national average of 50% and represents a 21% decrease year over year.
Delaware residents indicated increased levels of concern about crime overall and increased experiences with crime compared to the 12 months prior to the survey. The most significant increase relates to property crime: Delawareans reported a 158% increase in property crime experiences compared to last year's survey.
Level of concern and experience with natural disasters in Delaware
For our 2023 State of Safety survey, we asked participants about their natural disaster concerns, preparations, and experiences. Most Delaware residents worried about strong or high winds (64%).
Around 9% of Delawareans reported having to evacuate for a natural disaster in the 12 months prior to the survey, which is 2 percentage points lower than the national average.
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 2023 State of Safety report.
Violent crime in Delaware: Fear vs. reality
Delaware saw a nearly 3% decrease in violent crime year over year. Its violent crime rate of 4.2 is the third 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 more violent crime year over year. Around 49% of Delaware respondents claimed to have experienced violent crime in the 12 months prior to the survey which is five percentage points higher than the previous year’s survey results.
- Delaware respondents reported a 138% increase in violent crime experiences and a 114% increase in gun violence experiences.
- Rape accounts for 7% of all violent crime in Delaware, which is one of the lowest percentages in the nation. The national average is 11%.
- Aggravated assault accounts for 77% of all violent crime in Delaware (US 72%).
- Delaware reported zero officer deaths or injuries in the 2022 reporting year.
- Of the 41% of Delaware residents who use some form of personal protection, most (46%) prefer pepper spray.
Attitudes about gun violence in Delaware
- 50% of Delaware residents are concerned about gun violence (47% US).
- 15% experienced gun violence in the 12 months prior to the survey (12% US).
- Delawareans' gun violence experiences increased 114% year over year.
- 2 mass shooting events occurred in Delaware during the 2022 reporting year, representing a 71% decrease year over year.
- Of the Delawareans who use some form of personal protection, 29% use a concealed firearm (41% US).
Property crime in Delaware: Fear vs. reality
Delaware’s property crime rate is higher than the national average of 19.3. With that said, The First State saw a 1% decrease in property crime year over year.
In contrast, our State of Safety survey results show a 158% increase in property crime experiences and a 71% increase in package theft experiences.
- Larceny-theft represents 79% of all property crime in Delaware, which is the fifth highest in the nation and above the national average of 72%.
- Motor vehicle theft accounts for 9% of all property crime in Delaware, which is lower than the national average of 14%.
- Of the Delawareans who use property protection, most prefer security cameras (41%) or security systems (40%).
- Of the Delaware residents who use some form of package theft prevention, most prefer doorbell cameras (35%)
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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.
- 18 Delaware cities met the criteria to be considered for ranking.
- Clayton held onto the top spot for the third year in a row.
- Each of Delaware’s 10 safest cities saw an increase in violent crime year over year.
- Only 5 of Delaware's safest cities experienced a decreased property crime rate: Middletown, Newark, Elsmere, New Castle, and Harrington.
- 5 cities—Milton, Lewes, Middletown, Selbyville, and Harrington—reported 0 murders.
- Clayton, Lewes, and Harrington reported 0 robberies.
- Clayton is Delaware's only safest city to report 0 motor vehicle thefts.
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.
Find security and safety resources in your area
Didn't find your city?
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 email email@example.com with the subject line: Safest Cities Full Report.
NOTE: If your city is missing from our full report, it means that it was below the population threshold or didn’t submit a complete crime report to the FBI in 2021.
Related articles on SafeWise
Endnotes and sources
FBI Crime Data Explorer, "Documents & Downloads." Accessed February 6, 2023.
- 2021 and 2020 Crime in the United States Annual Reports
- Offenses Known to Law Enforcement
- 2021 NIBRS Estimation Tables
FBI Uniform Crime Reporting Program, "Offenses Known to Law Enforcement ." Accessed February 6, 2023.
Bureau of Justice Statistics, "National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS)." Accessed February 6, 2023.
US Census Bureau, "2021: ACS 5-Year Estimates Subject Tables." Accessed February 6, 2023.
US Census Bureau, "2021: ACS 5-Year Estimates Detailed Tables." Accessed February 6, 2023.
SafeWise, "2022 State of Safety survey." Accessed February 6, 2023.
Gun Violence Archive, "General Methodology." Accessed February 6, 2023.
Gun Violence Archive, "Past Summary Ledgers." Accessed January 3, 2023.
Gun Violence Archive, "Congress."
- 2022 totals: Accessed January 3, 2023.
- 2021 and 2020 totals: Accessed December 19, 2022.