The SafeWise Team is pleased to release the seventh annual Safest Cities report.
Washington’s 20 Safest Cities of 2021
Here are the 10 safest cities in Washington for 2021
2. Bainbridge Island
4. Lake Forest Park
5. Mercer Island
7. Maple Valley
8. East Wenatchee
10. West Richland
See if your city made the full list.
Washington worries less about crime and safety on a daily basis than most of America, which is no surprise when you see how low crime rates are in the state’s 20 safest cities.
In this report
2021 Washington crime rates
Washington does a better job limiting violent crime than it does with property crime, but both decreased year over year. After a slight rise in the violent crime rate in 2020, The Evergreen State fell from 3.1 violent crime incidents per 1,000 people to 2.9 this year—a decrease of 6%.
Washington reports the second-lowest violent crime rate in the Pacific region, tied with Hawaii at 2.9 incidents per 1,000, and trailing Oregon at 2.8. Washington reports nearly five fewer violent crimes per capita than Alaska, where 8.7 violent crimes occur per 1,000 people.
The incidence of property crime in Washington is 27% higher than the national property crime rate of 21.1 incidents per 1,000. Washington’s property crime rate is also higher than the regional rate of 24.3, but year over year, property crime fell 9% in The Evergreen State.
Level of concern and experience with crime in Washington
Daily concern about crime and safety plummeted 13% year over year, but reports of personal experience with crime were a mixed bag.
Violent crime experiences rose from 9% to 10% this year—climbing for the third consecutive year. Washington respondents also reported less concern about violent crime happening to them—35% versus 41% nationwide.
Property crime experiences were cut in half year over year, dropping to 15% from 30% last year. Fewer respondents reported a personal experience with gun violence this year, falling from 9% to 7%. Interestingly, Washington is more worried about a gun violence incident happening than throughout the rest of the country (40% versus 38% nationwide).
Package theft is the crime Washingtonians are most concerned will happen to them, but they’re still less worried than other Americans (43% versus 45% nationwide). Despite lower-than-average concern about porch pirates, Washington reported more package thefts than the rest of the country (24% versus 20% nationwide).
Despite consistently low levels of concern, only 39% of Washingtonians told us they feel safe in their state, compared to 55% nationally. Washington residents have the second-lowest confidence in their state’s safety, tying with Nevada at 39%, and just above Louisiana and New Mexico at 34% each.
Crime concerns in Washington
We asked Washington residents which crimes they worry may happen to them. See if Washingtonians are concerned about the same crime issues as the rest of the country.
View the complete 2021 State of Safety report.
Violent crime in Washington: Fear vs. reality
Washington residents have around 15% less worry about violent crime than other Americans. The state also boasts a violent crime rate that’s consistently below the national average.
- Aggravated assault is the most prevalent violent crime, accounting for 61% of reported crimes, versus 68% nationally.
- Washington sees fewer murders statewide than most of the country, but murder accounts for a larger percentage of violent crimes in the safest cities (2% versus 1% nationwide).
- 53% named gun violence their top safety concern, matching the national average.
- 40% are most worried about a gun violence incident happening to them (US 38%).
- Washington saw 5 mass shooting incidents in 2020, up 1 from 2019, but officer-involved shootings decreased from 65 in 2019 to 55 in 2020.
- 36% of survey respondents worry about police violence every day (US 40%), and 40% voice confidence in law enforcement’s approach to crime (US 56%).
- 36% of respondents said they use some form of personal protection like a stun gun or pepper spray (US 34%).
- 39% say their personal safety has been affected by the pandemic (US 44%).
Property crime in Washington: Fear vs. reality
Despite a property crime rate that’s 27% higher than the national average, Washington residents are less concerned about property crime happening to them (40% versus the national average of 42%).
- Burglaries make up 17% of all reported property crimes statewide, 1 percentage point higher than the US average. In the safest cities, burglaries account for 15% of all property crime.
- Larceny-theft is the most prevalent property crime in the state, making up 71% of all property crimes. Nationwide larceny-theft accounts for 73% of all property crime, and it makes up 77% in Washington’s safest cities.
- 65% of survey respondents use some form of property protection (US 62%) with 33% of those using a dog or other guard animal.
- 29% say the security of their property has been affected by the pandemic, matching the national average.
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 debuts as the safest city in Washington this year, an impressive feat for a city of more than 66,000. It’s also the largest city on the list.
- In addition to Sammamish, Maple Valley, Kenmore, Newcastle, and Woodinville are all new to our rankings this year.
- 55% of the safest cities have a median household income over $100,000.
- 9 cities fell in rank year over year and 5 improved. East Wenatchee made the biggest jump from 18 last year to 8 this year.
- 75% of the cities (15) reported 0 murders.
- No city reported more than 44 total violent crimes, with Lake Forest Park reporting just 3.
- The average violent crime rate among the safest cities is 0.7 incidents per 1,000 people—76% below the statewide rate.
- The average property crime rate among the safest cities is 12.6 incidents per 1,000—53% lower than the statewide rate.
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.
Didn't find your city in the top 20?
We calculated crime rates for every city in the state that met our population threshold, based on the state’s median population. 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 2019.
VC per 1,000
PC per 1,000
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
FBI: Uniform Crime Reporting Program, “2019 Crime in the United States,” Accessed March 15, 2021.
US Census Bureau, "Data Explorer," Accessed November 18, 2020.
Best Places, “Find a Place Search Tool,” Accessed January 6, 2021.
SafeWise, “2021 State of Safety survey,” Accessed March 15, 2021.
Gun Violence Archive, “Past Summary Ledgers,” Accessed January 6, 2021.
Gun Violence Archive, “General Methodology,” Accessed March 15, 2021.
Melody Hicks, Ben Stickle, Joshua Harms, American Journal of Criminal Justice, “Assessing the Fear of Package Theft,” January 04, 2021. Accessed March 15, 2021.
For definitions and more on data sources, see our methodology page.
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