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Rhode Island’s 10 Safest Cities of 2020

Written by | Updated July 1, 2020
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The SafeWise Team is pleased to release the sixth annual Safest Cities report.

Here are the 10 Safest Cities in Rhode Island for 2020. 

  1. Bristol
  2. South Kingstown
  3. North Kingstown
  4. Cumberland
  5. Smithfield
  6. North Providence
  7. East Providence
  8. Westerly
  9. Coventry
  10. Johnston

Get more details about our list

Rhode Island crime stats infographic

If you live in Rhode Island, you might experience higher concern about your safety than the rest of the country. But crime rates in Rhode Island are lower than most of the nation—especially in the state’s 10 safest cities. 

See the complete list of Rhode Island’s 10 safest cities of 2020. 

Half of the Rhode Islanders we talked to in our 2020 State of Safety survey said that they feel high concern about their safety every day. That’s four percentage points higher than the national average of 46%.

Rhode Island crime stats infographic

Crime rates in the Ocean State are lower than national averages. The violent crime rate is 2.2 incidents per 1,000 people, compared to 3.7 nationwide. Rhode Island’s property crime rate is 16.6, which is nearly six incidents below the national rate of 22.0 per 1,000.

Rhode Island has the third-highest number of people who report being affected by a mass shooting.

Experience with crime is also lower than most of the country, except in regard to mass shootings. Rhode Island has the third-highest number of people who’ve ever been affected by a mass shooting—13% versus 7% nationwide. 

Mass shootings are devastating events that leave lasting scars, but they are outlier occurrences that don’t necessarily reflect the general safety of a community or city.

Violent Crime in Rhode Island: Fear vs. Reality

Being the victim of a mass shooting is the primary violent crime fear in Rhode Island. It’s also the crime that most Rhode Islanders feel is the most likely to actually happen. 

  • 50% named mass shootings the most concerning violent crime, compared to 38% across the US.
  • 27% also felt that the most likely violent crime that could occur is a mass shooting, versus 23% nationwide.  
  • There hasn’t been a mass shooting in Rhode Island since 2015.
  • Between 2014 and 2019, there were 2 mass shootings in Rhode Island, resulting in zero deaths and nine injured. Across the US there were 2,087 mass shooting incidents between 2014 and 2019.
  • Aggravated assault was the most prominent violent crime in the Ocean State, with 150 incidents reported by the safest cities—that works out to 58% of all violent crime in the safest cities. Statewide, assault accounts for 59% of all violent crime.
Rhode Island crime stats infographic
Rhode Island crime stats infographic

Property Crime in Rhode Island: Fear vs. Reality

A break-in when there’s no one at home is the top property crime concern in Rhode Island. Yet people think it’s more likely that their digital property (files, photos, etc.) could be stolen. 

  • 65% said a break-in while the residents are out is the property crime that causes the highest concern, compared to 62% nationally. 
  • Burglary accounted for only 15% of all property crime reported by the safest cities and 16% of all property crime in Rhode Island.
  • 36% feel that the most likely property crime that could happen to them is the theft of digital property. That lines up with the rest of America—36% is the national average. 
  • Last year, digital security was the biggest safety concern in Rhode Island.
  • Larceny-theft is the most common property crime in Rhode Island, comprising 75% of the state’s property crimes and 77% of the property crimes reported by the safest cities.
  • 30% of Rhode Island’s respondents use a security system to protect their home. That’s six points higher than the national average of 24%. 
  • A dog or other guard animal is the top security measure used in Rhode Island, with 35% reporting that they use one for property protection, versus 33% nationwide. 
  • 24% use no form of protection or security on their property, compared to 29% across the country. 
Rhode Island crime stats infographic
Rhode Island crime stats infographic

A Closer Look at Rhode Island’s Safest Cities of 2020

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

  • Rhode Island has a new number one this year, Bristol, which reported 10 violent crimes and 89 property crimes.
  • Half of the cities improved their rank year over year, and East Providence had the biggest jump, moving five spots to climb from 12 to 7.
  • 4 cities dropped in rank this year, including last year’s number one, Cumberland.
  • South Kingstown held strong at number two for the second consecutive year.
  • Every city on the list beat both state (2.2) and national (3.7) violent crime rates, and every city kept violent crime to fewer than 1.5 incidents per 1,000.
  • Bristol and North Kingstown tied for the fewest number of violent crimes reported (10).
  • No more than 50 violent crimes were reported for any one of the safest cities.
  • All cities did better than the state’s property crime rate of 16.6, and beat the national rate of 22.0. No city reported more than 13 incidents per 1,000.
  • Bristol had the lowest property crime rate at 4.0, and it’s the only city to report fewer than 100 total property crimes. 
  • Smithfield had the second-fewest number of property crimes reported—189 for a property crime rate of 8.7.
Rhode Island crime stats infographic
Rhode Island crime stats infographic
Rhode Island safest cities heat map showing population and crime score

The 10 Safest Cities in Rhode Island

VC = Violent Crime
PC = Property Crime




Bristol, Rhode Island
Population 22,131
Median Income $60,988
VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 0.5, 0.7, 0.8
PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 4.0, 4.4, 6.7


South Kingstown


South Kingstown, Rhode Island
Population 30,816
Median Income $72,021
VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 0.5, 0.5, 0.4
PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 6.6, 6.4, 8.1


North Kingstown


North Kingstown, Rhode Island
Population 26,101
Median Income $80,506
VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 0.4, 0.7, 0.8
PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 8.9, 10.5, 10.3




Cumberland, Rhode Island
Population 35,018
Median Income $74,499
VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 0.7, 0.4, 1.0
PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 8.7, 7.7, 9.6




Smithfield, Rhode Island
Population 21,746
Median Income $71,305
VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 1.0, 0.5, 0.6
PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 8.7, 10.9, 9.5


North Providence


North Providence, Rhode Island
Population 32,475
Median Income $53,470
VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 1.2, 1.3, 1.3
PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 9.7, 9.2, 12.2


East Providence


East Providence, Rhode Island
Population 47,526
Median Income $54,707
VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 1.1, 1.5, 1.5
PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 10.8, 12.2, 11.6




Westerly, Rhode Island
Population 22,537
Median Income $60,192
VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 0.8, 0.8, 0.8
PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 12.8, 17.0, 18.1




Coventry, Rhode Island
Population 34,814
Median Income $69,050
VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 1.0, 1.0, Not available
PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 13.0, 14.5, Not available




Population 29,317
Median Income $57,457
VC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 1.4, 1.5, 1.5
PC Rate 2020, 2019, 2018 11.7, 12.3, 15.4

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 recommend adding extra security to your home with monitored security services provided by the nation’s leading home security providers.

To learn more about your home security options, check out SafeWise’s picks for Best Home Security Systems.

Didn’t Find Your City in the Top 10?

We calculated crime rates for every city in the state that met our population threshold, which is based on the median population of the state. 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 2018.

2020 RankingCityPopulationViolent Crime (per 1,000)Property Crime (per 1,000)
14West Warwick28,4642.310.8
15Central Falls19,2934.315.2

Find the Safest Cities in Each State

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


FBI Uniform Crime Reporting, “2018 Crime in the United States
SafeWise, “2020 State of Safety
US Census Bureau, “American Fact Finder
BestPlaces, “Find a Place Search Tool
Gun Violence Archive (GVA), “Mass Shootings Reports

Mass Shooting Definition

SafeWise uses the GVA definition of a mass shooting: “If four or more people are shot or killed in a single incident, not involving the shooter, that incident is categorized as a mass shooting based purely on that numerical threshold.”

Written by Rebecca Edwards

Rebecca is the lead safety reporter and in-house expert for SafeWise.com. She has been a journalist and blogger for over 25 years, with a focus on home and community safety for the past six. Rebecca spends dozens of hours every month testing and evaluating security products and strategies. Her safety expertise is sought after by publications, broadcast journalists, non-profit organizations, podcasts, and more. You can find her work and contributions in places like TechCrunch, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, HGTV, MSN, and an ever-growing library of radio and TV clips. Learn more

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