The SafeWise team is pleased to release the ninth annual Safest Cities report.
Washington’s 20 Safest Cities of 2023
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Here are the 10 Safest Cities in Washington for 2023
See if your city made the full list.
According to our 2023 State of Safety report, Washington worries more about crime and safety on a daily basis than most of America, which reflects rising crime rates. However, the crime rates in the state’s 20 safest cities are lower than the state and national rates.
In this report
2023 Washington crime rates
Washington's violent crime rate rose from 2.9 incidents per 1,000 people to 3.4. The overall property crime rate in Washington increased by almost 15% since last year, growing from 27.3 incidents per 1,000 people to 31.3.
Within the Pacific region, Washington has the lowest violent crime rate ahead of Oregon (3.6). Property crime is the opposite, with Washington posting the highest rate in the region, just ahead of Oregon (28.2). Two of the five states in this region didn't meet state reporting requirements this year: California and Hawaii.
On the national level, Washington's violent crime rate is 14% lower than the national rate (US 4.0) while its property crime rate is 62% higher (US 19.3). Among the 41 states that met reporting requirements this year, The Evergreen State has the twentieth-lowest violent crime rate and the second-highest property crime rate.
Violent crime in Washington: Fear vs. reality
Washington residents have around 19% more worry about violent crime than other Americans. The state also boasts a violent crime rate that’s consistently below the national average. Violent crime experiences rose from 8% to 21% this year—climbing for the third consecutive year.
- 42% of Washingtonians told us they feel safe in their state, compared to 50% nationally.
- Aggravated assault is the most prevalent violent crime, accounting for 66% of reported crimes, versus 72% nationally.
- Rape is 1.4 times more common in Washington's safest cities (27%) than in the rest of the country (US 11%).
- Washington sees fewer murders statewide than most of the country, but murder accounts for a slightly smaller percentage of violent crimes in the safest cities (1% versus 2% nationwide).
- Robbery makes up a larger portion of violent crimes in Washington than nationwide (22% state versus 15% national).
- All of Washington's safest cities listed violent crime rates of 1.3 incidents per 1,000 people or lower.
- None of the safest cities reported more than 81 violent crime incidents.
Attitudes about personal safety in Washington
- 48% of survey participants use some kind of personal protection like a stun gun or pepper spray, compared to 39% nationally.
- The most popular type of personal protection used by Washington respondents this survey year was pepper spray (44%)—higher than the national average (US 42%).
- 49% say their personal safety has been affected by the pandemic (US 44%).
Attitudes about gun violence in Washington
- 56% said gun violence is the safety concern they worry about most on a daily basis (US 47%).
- The number of respondents with a personal gun violence experience (21%) nearly tripled since the previous survey year (US 12%).
- Washington saw 11 mass shooting incidents in 2022, a 57% increase over the 7 incidents in 2021.
- For every police officer killed or injured by a gun in Washington in 2022, 4 suspects experienced the same.
- There were 29 self-defense shooting incidents in Washington in 2022—the same as the previous year.
Property crime in Washington: Fear vs. reality
In tandem with a property crime rate that’s 62% higher than the national average, Washington residents are more concerned about property crime happening to them (64% versus the national average of 50%). Only Georgia reported higher concern. Washington is the top state in the country for worry about package theft.
- Washington is 1 of 16 states that reported higher property crime rates year over year.
- Burglaries make up 17% of all reported property crimes statewide, 3 percentage points higher than the US average. In the safest cities, burglaries account for 14% of all property crime.
- Larceny-theft is the most prevalent property crime in the state, making up 69% of all property crimes. Nationwide, larceny-theft accounts for 72% of all property crime, and it makes up 77% in Washington’s safest cities.
- 14 of the safest cities kept property crime rates below state, regional, and national levels.
Attitudes about property security in Washington
- 78% of survey respondents use some form of property protection (US 76%), with 41% of those using a security camera.
- 36% of Washingtonians said they added or increased security measures in the 12 months prior to the survey (US 35%).
- 34% say the security of their property has been affected by the pandemic (US 28%).
Attitudes about package theft in Washington
- 43% of survey respondents in Washington reported experiencing package theft in the 12 months prior to the survey (US 34%).
- 70% of participants expressed a high level of concern about package theft (US 53%)—more than any other state.
- The preferred methods of package protection in Washington are leaving it in a safe spot (31%) and verified delivery (29%)—higher than the national averages for each method.
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A closer look at the safest cities in Washington
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.
- 75 cities met criteria to be considered for ranking.
- Sammamish is the top city for the third year in a row.
- Lake Stevens made the biggest improvement in ranking this year, moving up 14 spots to land at number 5.
- 4 cities are new to our top 20 this year: Ridgefield (9), Lynden (14), Kirkland (17), and Mill Creek (18).
- Kirkland (population 97,027) and Sammamish (population 66,855) are the largest cities on the list and the only cities with populations above 36,000 residents.
Violent crime in Washington's safest cities
- The violent crime rate in the safest cities is just 0.8 incidents per 1,000 people—78% lower than the state rate (3.4).
- There were 2 reported murders in the safest cities this year compared to 384 statewide.
- Lake Forest Park (4) has the lowest violent crime rate in the state—it reported 2 total violent crimes for a rate of 0.1 incidents per 1,000 people.
Property crime in Washington's safest cities
- The property crime rate in the safest cities is 15.1 incidents per 1,000 people, which is less than half the state rate (31.3).
- Lake Stevens (5) has the lowest property crime rate in the state at 6.6 despite being the third-largest city on our list.
- Lake Forest Park saw the largest property crime rate drop compared to last year, it reported about half as many property crimes year over year.
- 8 of the safest cities reported fewer than 250 total property crimes this year.
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.