In 2018 Rhode Island again proved to be one of the safest places to live in the United States. According to the 2016 FBI crime reports (the most recent data available), Rhode Island experienced fewer violent crimes and property crimes than most states in the country. Even some of its bigger cities, like the state capital, Providence, are experiencing lower crime rates than in years past.  

Topping our list this year is the picturesque coastal town of South Kingstown, which moved up from last year’s seventh place. Known for its beautiful beaches, South Kingstown had fewer than one violent crime per 1,000 people and about eight property crimes per 1,000 people. That makes its violent crime rate nearly 91% lower than the national average.

Other towns that moved up on our list in 2018 are Smithfield, Warwick, Westerly, North Kingstown, Lincoln, Cumberland, and North Providence. All of these cities boast violent crime rates that are 70% to 90% lower than the national average. The city of Bristol, which was sixth on our list last year, moved up to fourth this year with a property crime rate that’s 76% lower than the national average.

How did Rhode Island increase its overall safety? One reason could be that Ocean State residents take responsibility for keeping everyone safe. When a bicyclist was killed in a car accident in Bristol this past summer, residents didn’t wait for the city to make the intersection safer—they took action themselves, putting up stop signs and clearing brush to increase visibility on the bike path. It’s that can-do community spirit that helps make all of the cities on our list safe places to live.

For even more information and resources on staying safe, see our Rhode Island Safety Directory, where you’ll find information on emergency preparedness, crime prevention, and more.

The 10 Safest Cities in Rhode Island

1. South Kingstown
Population: 30,872
Violent crimes per 1,000: 0.42
Property crimes per 1,000: 8.07
Total crime: 5.22% violent, 94.78% property

2. Smithfield
Population: 21,660
Violent crimes per 1,000: 0.55
Property crimes per 1,000: 9.51
Total crime: 5.83% violent, 94.17% property

3. Warwick
Population: 81,481
Violent crimes per 1,000: 0.75
Property crimes per 1,000: 19.94
Total crime: 3.75% violent, 96.25% property

4. Bristol
Population: 22,229
Violent crimes per 1,000: 0.81
Property crimes per 1,000: 6.75
Total crime: 12.00% violent, 88.00% property

5. Westerly
Population: 22,675
Violent crimes per 1,000: 0.84
Property crimes per 1,000: 18.13
Total crime: 4.62% violent, 95.38% property

6. North Kingstown
Population: 26,120
Violent crimes per 1,000: 0.84
Property crimes per 1,000: 10.26
Total crime: 8.21% violent, 91.79% property

7. Lincoln
Population: 21,770
Violent crimes per 1,000: 0.92
Property crimes per 1,000: 19.75
Total crime: 4.65% violent, 95.35% property

8. Cumberland
Population: 34,708
Violent crimes per 1,000: 1.01
Property crimes per 1,000: 9.59
Total crime: 10.51% violent, 89.49% property

9. Portsmouth
Population: 17,362
Violent crimes per 1,000: 1.04
Property crimes per 1,000: 6.11
Total crime: 16.98% violent, 83.02% property

10. North Providence
Population: 32,540
Violent crimes per 1,000: 1.32
Property crimes per 1,000: 12.23
Total crime: 10.80% violent, 89.20% property

How We Chose the Safest Cities in Rhode Island

To identify the ten safest cities in Rhode Island, we reviewed the 2016 FBI crime report statistics and population data. Cities that fell below identified population thresholds or that failed to submit a complete crime report to the FBI were excluded from the ranking system.

Our evaluation is based on the number of reported violent crimes (aggravated assault, murder, rape,

and robbery) in each city. If there was a tie, we also factored in the number of property crimes (burglary, arson, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft). To level the playing field, we calculated the rate of crimes per 1,000 people in each city. This makes it easier to directly compare the likelihood of these crimes occurring in cities with vastly different populations.

Learn more about how we rank our Safest Cities Reports.

How to Make a Safe Home Anywhere

Wherever you live, feeling safe in your home can bring greater peace of mind and happiness. Whether your city made our list or not, we recommend adding extra security to your home with monitored security services provided by the nation’s leading home security providers.

To learn more about the home security options available to you, check out SafeWise’s picks for  Best Home Security Systems of 2018.

If you would like to contact a SafeWise Safest Cities Analyst, please email

Written by Laura E. Hilton

Laura is a writer, teacher, and mother based out of Utah. She is passionate about making and maintaining strong, safe, healthy communities. To learn more, visit her website at Learn more

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