Rhode Island’s 10 Safest Cities of 2023

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The SafeWise team is pleased to release the ninth annual Safest Cities report.

Here are the 10 Safest Cities in Rhode Island for 2023

See if your city made the full list.

According to our 2023 State of Safety report, Rhode Islanders are more concerned about their safety than the average American, although the state boasts some of the lowest crime rates. Even better, the state’s safest cities have crime rates well below the national average for violent crime (80% lower) and property crime (61% lower).

In this report

2023 Rhode Island crime rates

Following an increase last year, Rhode Island's violent crime rate dropped this year from 2.3 incidents per 1,000 people to 2.0. Property crime in The Ocean State saw a small increase since last year, but the overall rate stayed at 12.5 incidents per 1,000 residents.

In the New England region, Rhode Island has the second-highest violent crime rate behind Massachusetts (3.0). It also has the third-highest property crime rate below Connecticut (15.1) and Vermont (13.4).

Like the rest of New England, Rhode Island’s crime rates are lower than the national average. Among the 41 states that met reporting requirements this year, Rhode Island ranks fifth-lowest for violent crime and sixth-lowest for property crime.

Crime rates are lower in Rhode Island than the national average

Image: SafeWise

Violent crime in Rhode Island: Fear vs. reality

Rhode Island’s violent crime rate is 13% lower than the previous survey year and remains still one of the lowest in the country. Reports of violent crime experiences rose this survey year, and Rhode Islanders are more worried about violent crime than the rest of the country.

  • 42% of survey participants in The Ocean State said their state is a safe place to live (US 50%), a drop of 22 percentage points since our last survey.
  • Rhode Island sees a smaller percentage of murders, robberies, and assaults in its violent crime numbers, but its reports of rape make up 21% of all violent crime compared to 11% nationwide. Rape accounts for 32% of violent crime in the 10 safest cities.
  • The raw number of violent crimes reported in the safest cities decreased by 89 since last year. Still, these cities average less than 1 crime per 1,000 people.

Attitudes about personal safety in Rhode Island

  • 30% of Rhode Island survey participants say they use some form of personal protection like pepper spray or a stun gun (US 39%).
  • The most common types of personal protection used by Rhode Island respondents this survey year were pocket knives and pepper spray, which tied at 37%. This is lower than the national averages for pocket knives (US 43%) and pepper spray (US 42%).
  • 28% of respondents said they added or increase security measures in the 12 months prior to the survey compared to the US average of 35%.
  • 55% say their personal safety has been affected by the pandemic (US 44%) and 70% of Rhode Islanders are highly concerned about the pandemic every day. That makes Rhode Island the second-most-concerned state when it comes to COVID-19.

Attitudes about gun violence in Rhode Island

  • 52% of Rhode Islanders told us they worry about gun violence—that’s 5 percentage points higher than the national average.
  • More Rhode Island residents reported personal experience with gun violence in the 12 months prior to the survey (7%) than in the previous survey year (4%). This is lower than the 12% US average.
  • In 2022, there were no mass shooting incidents in Rhode Island, down from 2 in 2021.
  • Rhode Island is one of 11 states without any police officer shooting deaths and injuries in 2022, according to the Gun Violence Archive. It tied with Delaware for the lowest number of deaths and injuries among suspects.
  • There were 2 self-defense shooting incidents in Rhode Island in 2022—the same as the year before.
Rhode Islanders are most concerned about package theft.

Image: SafeWise

Property crime in Rhode Island: Fear vs. reality

In line with the slight rise of property crime incidences, Rhode Islanders told us that they’re 8% more concerned about property crimes than the national average. Although 71% of Americans say crime is increasing, only 64% of Rhode Islanders agreed.

  • Statewide, the property crime rate increased by less than 1% and the total number of incidents reported by the safest cities decreased by over 500 since last year.
  • Burglary accounts for just 11% of property crimes in The Ocean State (and just 10% in the safest cities), which is well below the national rate of 14%.
  • All 10 of the safest cities reported lower property crime rates than state and national levels.

Attitudes about property security in Rhode Island

  • 72% of survey respondents in Rhode Island are proactive about property protection (US 76%).
  • The top forms of property protection in Rhode Island were security cameras (39%) and dogs (32%).
  • 33% of Rhode Islanders say their property security has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic (US 28%).

Attitudes about package theft in Rhode Island

  • 35% of survey respondents in Rhode Island reported experiencing package theft in the 12 months prior to the survey, which is just above the US average of 34%.
  • 63% of participants expressed a high level of concern about package theft, which is 1.2 times the US average of 53%.
  • The preferred methods of package protection in Rhode Island are video doorbells (26%), leaving it in a safe spot (24%), and verified delivery (23%).
    • This is lower than the respective national averages for video doorbells (US 28%), safe spots (US 25%), and verified delivery (US 27%).

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A closer look at the safest cities in Rhode Island

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 cities met our criteria to be considered for ranking.
  • Bristol and South Kingstown held on to the top 2 spots for the fourth consecutive year.
  • Warwick (population 83,968) and East Providence (population 49,064) are the only cities on our list with populations above 37,000.
  • East Providence is the only new city in the top 10 this year.

Violent crime in Rhode Island's safest cities

  • The violent crime rate in the safest cities is 0.8 incidents per 1,000 people—60% lower than the state rate (2.0). Smithfield and North Kingstown had the lowest violent crime rates (0.4).
  • 9 cities reported 0 murders, and 3 cities (Bristol, South Kingstown, and North Kingstown) had 0 reports of robbery.
  • 80% of the safest cities reported 41 or fewer violent crime incidents.

Property crime in Rhode Island's safest cities

  • The property crime rate in the safest cities is 7.6 incidents per 1,000 people—39% lower than the state rate (12.5).
  • Bristol had the lowest property crime rate (2.6) in Rhode Island. As with last year, it was the only city to report fewer than 100 property crimes.
  • 9 cities (90%) reported fewer than 9 property crimes per 1,000 people.
Bristol is the safest city in Rhode Island

Image: SafeWise

The 10 safest cities in Rhode Island

#1
Bristol
(
-0-
)
  • bullet
    Population
    22,550
  • bullet
    Median Income
    $80,727
  • bullet
    VC Rate 2023, 2022, 2021
    0.5, 0.2, 0.7
  • bullet
    PC Rate 2023, 2022, 2021
    2.6, 3.2, 4.7
  • bullet
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
South Kingstown, Rhode Island
#2
South Kingstown
(
-0-
)
  • bullet
    Population
    31,537
  • bullet
    Median Income
    $102,242
  • bullet
    VC Rate 2023, 2022, 2021
    0.5, 0.5, 0.6
  • bullet
    PC Rate 2023, 2022, 2021
    4.0, 4.5, 7.0
  • bullet
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
North Kingstown, Rhode Island
#3
North Kingstown
(
+4
bullet
)
  • bullet
    Population
    27,192
  • bullet
    Median Income
    $104,026
  • bullet
    VC Rate 2023, 2022, 2021
    0.4, 1.0, 0.9
  • bullet
    PC Rate 2023, 2022, 2021
    5.7, 8.4, 8.1
  • bullet
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
Cumberland, Rhode Island
#4
Cumberland
(
-1
bullet
)
  • bullet
    Population
    36,648
  • bullet
    Median Income
    $104,613
  • bullet
    VC Rate 2023, 2022, 2021
    0.8, 0.8, 0.7
  • bullet
    PC Rate 2023, 2022, 2021
    4.6, 6.1, 7.2
  • bullet
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
Smithfield, Rhole Island
#5
Smithfield
(
-1
bullet
)
  • bullet
    Population
    22,676
  • bullet
    Median Income
    $87,819
  • bullet
    VC Rate 2023, 2022, 2021
    0.4, 1.0, 0.3
  • bullet
    PC Rate 2023, 2022, 2021
    7.2, 6.5, 8.9
  • bullet
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
Westerly, Rhode Island
#6
Westerly
(
+4
bullet
)
  • bullet
    Population
    23,088
  • bullet
    Median Income
    $79,565
  • bullet
    VC Rate 2023, 2022, 2021
    0.6, 0.8, 0.7
  • bullet
    PC Rate 2023, 2022, 2021
    7.4, 13.1, 10.8
  • bullet
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
North Providence, Rhode Island
#7
North Providence
(
-1
bullet
)
  • bullet
    Population
    33,712
  • bullet
    Median Income
    $68,821
  • bullet
    VC Rate 2023, 2022, 2021
    0.9, 1.6, 1.3
  • bullet
    PC Rate 2023, 2022, 2021
    8.6, 5.9, 6.4
  • bullet
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
#8
Coventry
(
-3
bullet
)
  • bullet
    Population
    36,216
  • bullet
    Median Income
    $88,779
  • bullet
    VC Rate 2023, 2022, 2021
    1.1, 1.2, 0.9
  • bullet
    PC Rate 2023, 2022, 2021
    8.1, 7.3, 11.1
  • bullet
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
East Providence, Rhode Island
#9
East Providence
(
+4
bullet
)
  • bullet
    Population
    49,064
  • bullet
    Median Income
    $65,016
  • bullet
    VC Rate 2023, 2022, 2021
    1.3, 2.4, 1.3
  • bullet
    PC Rate 2023, 2022, 2021
    7.2, 7.3, 10.5
  • bullet
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
Warwick, Rhode Island
#10
Warwick
(
-2
bullet
)
  • bullet
    Population
    83,968
  • bullet
    Median Income
    $77,110
  • bullet
    VC Rate 2023, 2022, 2021
    0.8, 0.8, 0.9
  • bullet
    PC Rate 2023, 2022, 2021
    12.1, 12.3, 15.3
  • bullet
    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

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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 info@safewise.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.

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


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 [2019]." 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.
John Carlsen
Written by
John Carlsen
John is a technology journalist specializing in smart home devices, security cameras, and home security systems. He has over a decade of experience researching, testing, and reviewing the latest tech—he was the Smart Home Editor for Top Ten Reviews and wrote for ASecureLife before joining SafeWise as a Staff Writer in 2020. John holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications, Journalism emphasis from Utah Valley University. In his spare time, he enjoys hiking, photography, cooking, and starting countless DIY projects he has yet to complete.

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