Virginia’s Safest Cities of 2024

John Carlsen
Mar 18, 2024
Icon Time To Read4 min read
SafeWise is pleased to release the 10th annual Safest Cities report.

Here are the 10 Safest Cities in Virginia for 2024

See crime rates for the safest cities.

According to our most recent State of Safety report, Virginians are more worried about crime and safety than most Americans, despite having crime rates that are well below national averages. And Virginia’s safest cities have even lower crime rates than the rest of the state—violent crime is cut in half in these 20 low-crime cities.

But residents may be in tune to rising per capita crime rates across the state. Both violent crime and property crime saw increases year over year.

In this report

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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 2022.

2024 Virginia crime rates

Virginia's crime rates are lower than the nationwide rates for property and violent crime.

Image: SafeWise

Virginia's violent crime rate saw an increase for the second consecutive year, moving up from 2.3 incidents per 1,000 people to 2.8. The property crime rate also saw an increase, it rose from 14.8 incidents per 1,000 people to 17.5.

Despite year over year increases, Virginia's violent crime rate is 64% lower than the nationwide rate of 4.0 incidents per 1,000. The state's property crime rate is 15% lower than the nationwide rate of 20.7. Among the 41 states that met reporting requirements this year, The Old Dominion State has the ninth-lowest violent crime rate and the seventeenth-lowest property crime rate.

Property crime in Virginia: Fear vs. reality

Property crime in Virginia rose for the second consecutive year and so did concern from survey respondents. Around 53% told us they worry about it happening to them (US 52%)—a 20% increase in concern year over year. Likewise, reports of personal experience with property crime jumped year over year—Virginians reported 67% more property crime experiences than last year.

  • 1 in 4 respondents (25%) said they had a personal experience with property crime in the 12 months prior to the survey—a ten point jump from last year, but still 9% lower than the nationwide average of 27%.
  • Despite an increase of nearly 3 incidents per 1,000 people, Virginia's property crime rate of 17.5 incidents per 1,000 is still 15% lower than the nationwide rate of 20.7.
  • Burglaries are much less common in Virginia, making up just 7% of all property crime, compared to 13% nationwide.
  • 75% of survey respondents use some kind of security measure on their Virginia property, with security cameras being the most common (44%).
  • 34% of Virginians said they added or increased security measures in the 12 months prior to the survey (US 35%).

What security measures do Virginians use most?

Security measures used most in Virginia: security cameras, guard dogs, security systems.

Image: SafeWise

Attitudes about package theft in Virginia

  • 33% of survey respondents in Virginia reported experiencing package theft in the 12 months prior to the survey (US 35%).
  • 52% of participants expressed a high level of concern about package theft (US 53%).
  • 33% of Virginia respondents don't do anything to protect their packages from porch pirates.
  • The preferred methods of package protection in Virginia are video doorbells (35%) and verified delivery (26%). 

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What crimes are Virginia residents most concerned about?

Bar chart showing percentages of how concerned state residents are about crime compared to the national averages for violent crime, property crime, package theft and gun violence.

Image: SafeWise

Violent crime in Virginia: Fear vs. reality

Virginia saw an uptick in its per capita violent crime rate year over year, and personal experiences of violent crime also rose. But Virginia still boasts one of the lowest violent crime rates in the nation—coming in with the ninth-lowest statewide rate (2.8 incidents per 1,000 people). Still, survey respondents were 20% more worried about violent crime than the average American.

  • 49% of Virginians feel safe in their state, putting Virginia above the national average of 45%, but showing a 13% decline in confidence year over year.
  • Virginia has 1.2 fewer crime incidents per 1,000 people than the national average.
  • Murder accounts for 3% of all violent crime in Virginia, compared to 2% nationwide. Among the safest cities, murder also made up 3% of reported violent crimes.
  • Robbery is 71% more common in Virginia, making up 28% of all violent crime, compared to 16% nationwide.
  • Experiences with violent crime rose from 9% to 15% year over year, matching the national average.
  • 27% of survey participants use some kind of personal protection like a stun gun or pepper spray, compared to 36% nationally.
  • The most popular types of personal protection used by Virginia respondents this survey year were pepper spray (48%) and concealed firearms (44%). 

Attitudes about gun violence in Virginia

  • Over 6 in 10 respondents (62%) said gun violence is the safety concern they worry about most on a daily basis (US 51%).
  • Gun violence is the top crime and safety concern in Virginia, and it's the ninth-most concerned state in the US.
  • The number of respondents with a personal gun violence experience (13%) climbed 117% year over year, after seeing a big drop in our previous survey (US 12%).
  • Virginia saw 7 mass shooting incidents in 2023, a 65% decrease from 20 incidents in 2022.

A closer look at the safest cities in Virginia

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.

  • 60 cities met criteria to be considered for ranking.
  • Purcellville rose 1 place to take the top spot this year.
  • Bridgewater fell to the umber 4 spot after 2 years at number 1—it still boasts the lowest total number of crimes reported with 5 violent crimes and 42 property crimes.
  • Covington made the biggest improvement in ranking this year, moving up 16 spots to land at number 15.
  • Other cities that made impressive moves include Staunton and Front Royal which climbed 14 and 13 spots, respecrively.
  • While it barely missed our list last year after dropping 4 spots to number 21, Virginia Beach (population 457,556) is back at number 11 with impressively low crime rates for such a large city.
  • The violent crime rate in the safest cities is 1.0 incidents per 1,000 people—64% lower than the state rate (2.8).
  • The property crime rate in the safest cities is 14.6 incidents per 1,000, which is 15% below the state rate (17.5).

The 20 safest cities in Virginia

Silhouette of Virginia with pis marking where the safest cities are located

Image: SafeWise

Purcellville, Virginia
#1
Purcellville
(
+1
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    9,103
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2024, 2023, 2022
    0.4, 0.4, 0.4
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2024, 2023, 2022
    6.2, 4.2, 4.3
  • Info
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
Blacksburg, Virginia
#2
Blacksburg
(
+3
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    45,749
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2024, 2023, 2022
    0.5, 0.8, 0.7
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2024, 2023, 2022
    5.9, 6.2, 7.0
  • Info
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
Lexington, Virginia
#3
Lexington
(
-0-
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    7,628
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2024, 2023, 2022
    0.8, 0.4, 1.2
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2024, 2023, 2022
    6.8, 7.5, 6.1
  • Info
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
Bridgewater, Virginia
#4
Bridgewater
(
-3
Down
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    6,215
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2024, 2023, 2022
    0.8, 0.2, 0.2
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2024, 2023, 2022
    6.8, 2.6, 3.2
  • Info
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
Vienna, Virginia
#5
Vienna
(
-1
Down
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    16,194
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2024, 2023, 2022
    0.6, 0.6, 0.6
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2024, 2023, 2022
    10.4, 7.1, 12.9
  • Info
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
#6
Poquoson
(
-0-
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    12,738
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2024, 2023, 2022
    1.6, 1.4, 2.3
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2024, 2023, 2022
    4.9, 3.9, 7.6
  • Info
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
Strasburg, Virginia
#7
Strasburg
(
+3
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    7,270
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2024, 2023, 2022
    1.4, 1.2, 1.9
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2024, 2023, 2022
    7.7, 8.7, 9.5
  • Info
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
Buena Vista, Virginia
#8
Buena Vista
(
+1
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    6,605
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2024, 2023, 2022
    1.5, 1.6, 0.5
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2024, 2023, 2022
    7.4, 6.6, 2.5
  • Info
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
#9
Warrenton
(
+2
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    10,218
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2024, 2023, 2022
    1.5, 1.1, 1.1
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2024, 2023, 2022
    10.4, 10.1, 13.4
  • Info
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
Falls Church, Virginia
#10
Falls Church
(
+2
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    14,384
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2024, 2023, 2022
    0.5, 1.0, 1.3
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2024, 2023, 2022
    17.5, 12.5, 14.8
  • Info
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
Virginia Beach, Virginia
#11
Virginia Beach
(
+10
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    457,556
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2024, 2023, 2022
    0.9, 1.1, 1.0
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2024, 2023, 2022
    16.3, 15.7, 15.1
  • Info
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
Front Royal, Virginia
#12
Front Royal
(
+13
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    15,201
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2024, 2023, 2022
    1.3, 1.7, 2.5
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2024, 2023, 2022
    15.3, 16.3, 20.0
  • Info
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
Salem, Virginia
#13
Salem
(
+11
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    25,460
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2024, 2023, 2022
    0.9, 0.9, 0.5
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2024, 2023, 2022
    18.6, 18.8, 19.0
  • Info
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
#14
Smithfield
(
+1
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    8,827
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2024, 2023, 2022
    2.3, 1.2, 1.6
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2024, 2023, 2022
    11.4, 13.5, 11.7
  • Info
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
Covington, Virginia
#15
Covington
(
+16
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    5,733
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2024, 2023, 2022
    2.6, 3.2, 1.6
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2024, 2023, 2022
    9.8, 13.7, 17.1
  • Info
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
#16
Woodstock
(
+10
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    5,929
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2024, 2023, 2022
    2.0, 1.7, 1.9
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2024, 2023, 2022
    14.2, 17.7, 23.9
  • Info
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
Abingdon, Virginia
#17
Abingdon
(
-1
Down
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    8,265
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2024, 2023, 2022
    1.8, 0.9, 1.0
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2024, 2023, 2022
    15.4, 15.5, 13.3
  • Info
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
Staunton, Virginia
#18
Staunton
(
+14
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    25,611
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2024, 2023, 2022
    1.4, 2.2, 1.8
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2024, 2023, 2022
    18.6, 19.7, 21.9
  • Info
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
Williamsburg, Virginia
#19
Williamsburg
(
+10
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    15,790
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2024, 2023, 2022
    2.0, 3.1, 1.4
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2024, 2023, 2022
    15.6, 12.8, 12.1
  • Info
    VC=Violent crime, PC=Property crime
#20
Radford
(
-0-
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    16,978
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2024, 2023, 2022
    3.0, 2.4, 2.4
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2024, 2023, 2022
    11.1, 8.5, 10.6
  • Info
    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

Over 6 in 10 Americans surveyed don't have a home security system, despite over 50% of all burglaries being residential. Unfortunately, a majority of people who have a security system added it after they had a break-in. One of the best ways to stop a burglary before it happens—and get immediate help if a break-in is detected—is to add a monitored home security system.

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Find the safest cities in each state

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Endnotes and sources

Find all endnotes and sources in our full methodology.

FBI Crime Data Explorer, "Documents & Downloads." Accessed March 18, 2024.

  • 2022 and 2021 Crime in the United States Annual Reports
    • Offenses Known to Law Enforcement
  • 2022 NIBRS Estimation Tables

Bureau of Justice Statistics, "National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS)." Accessed March 18, 2024.

Gun Violence Archive, "Mass Shootings." Accessed March 18, 2023.

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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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