The SafeWise team is pleased to release the fourth annual State of Safety report.
The State of Safety in Alabama 2022
Alabamans worry more about every type of crime than the rest of the country, with 56% expressing high concern about crime and safety on a daily basis. Alabama’s level of daily concern is nine points higher than the national average of 47%, but do the state’s crime rates justify that level of worry?
In this report
2022 Alabama crime rates
Alabama’s violent and property crime rates are higher than the national average, but both have decreased year over year. The violent crime rate dipped by nearly 10% from 5.1 incidents per 1,000 in 2020 to 4.5 this year. That still leaves Alabama higher than the national average of 4.0 violent crimes per 1,000 people.
The state’s property crime rate dropped 18% year over year, from 26.2 incidents per 1,000 to 21.4. On top of reporting fewer crimes per capita, Alabama had more cities submit crime data to the FBI in the most recent collection year, signaling that crime may be less prevalent statewide than previous numbers indicated.
Higher overall crime rates may be the reason 82% of Alabamans think crime is on the rise (more than in any other state), and only 4% think it’s declining. Nationwide, 66% of people think crime is rising despite a steady decline in national crime rates over the past decade.
Level of concern and experience with crime in Alabama
Even though Alabama has higher crime rates, the state’s overall level of concern dropped from 59% in our 2020 report to 56% in our most recent survey. That drop in daily concern reflects the state’s downward trend in regard to crime rates. But experience with crime (which is not always reported to law enforcement) rose in every category except property crime.
Violent crime is the most worrisome to Alabamans, and 2 out of 10 survey respondents told us they had a violent crime experience in the 12 months prior to being surveyed—slightly higher than our previous survey. Property crime experience dropped 26% year over year, but reports of gun violence experience more than tripled—from 6% last year to 19%.
Image: SafeWise. Past 12 months=12 months prior to survey.
Crime concerns in Alabama
We asked Alabama residents which crimes they worry may happen to them. See if Alabamans are concerned about the same crime issues as the rest of the country.
View the complete 2022 State of Safety report.
Violent crime in Alabama: Fear vs. reality
Alabama sees more violent crime than most of the country, and it’s one of just nine states that’s more worried about violent crime than any other crime issue. But, proportionately, Alabama sees fewer reported rapes and robberies than the rest of the US.
- Every day, 55% of Alabamans worry about a violent crime happening to them—that’s 14 percentage points higher than the national average.
- 19% of survey respondents reported having a personal experience with violent crime in the past 12 months—90% higher than the national average of 10%.
- Alabama sees the same percentage of murders as the rest of the country, with murder accounting for 2% of all violent crime.
- Fewer rapes are reported in Alabama than the rest of the country, with rape making of 7% of all reported violent crime in Alabama, compared to 10% nationwide. And the proportion of rapes reported fell by 1 percentage point year over year.
- Robberies make up 12% of all violent crime in Alabama—7 points lower than the proportion nationwide, and 4 points lower than reported last year.
- Aggravated assault is the only violent crime that increased year over year in Alabama, accounting for 79% of all violent crime, which is 9 points higher than the proportion across the country.
- Nearly 5 in 10 Alabama survey respondents use some form of personal protection like pepper spray. Nationwide, only 3 in 10 use some kind of personal protection.
- Concealed carry firearms are the form of personal protection used most often in Alabama.
Attitudes about gun violence in Alabama
- 61% named gun violence their top safety concern (US 53%).
- 50% are most worried about a gun violence incident happening to them (US 38%), and 19% reported an experience with gun violence in the 12 months prior to being surveyed.
- Survey respondents’ gun violence experiences jumped 13 percentage points year over year, and Alabama’s experience is 138% higher than the national average of 8%.
- Mass shooting incidents jumped 118% year over year in Alabama, from 11 incidents in 2020 to 24 in 2021. Across the US, mass shooting incidents increased 13% over the same timeframe.
Property crime in Alabama: Fear vs. reality
Alabama sees more property crime than most states, but its property crime rate is trending downward. Survey respondents’ reported experience with property crime also dropped year over year.
- 1 in 4 survey respondents reported having a personal experience with property crime in the past 12 months. That’s higher than the national average but 18% lower than last year.
- 24% of Alabamans fell prey to porch pirates in the 12 months prior to being surveyed, which is 4 percentage points higher than the national average.
- Larceny-theft is the most common property crime in Alabama, making up 71% of all property crime—matching the US proportion of larceny-thefts.
- Burglary makes up 19% of all property crime in Alabama, compared to 16% nationwide. The number of burglaries reported in Alabama dropped by 1 percentage point year over year.
- 76% of survey respondents use some form of property protection (US 60%), with firearms and guard dogs used most often.
- Of those that use property protection, 45% use firearms and 41% use guard dogs. Nationally, 26% of Americans use one of those two methods to secure their property.
- 27% say the security of their property has been affected by the pandemic (US 29%).
The safest cities in Alabama
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.
We couldn’t rank the safest cities in Alabama this year due to limited information reported to the FBI. Only eight cities provided data to the FBI for 2020 (the most recent year for which data is available). Crime rates for those cities are detailed below.
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.
Find security and safety resources in your area
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: Crime Data Explorer, Accessed March 8, 2022.
US Census Bureau, "Data Explorer," Accessed January 24, 2022.
Best Places, “Find a Place Search Tool,” Accessed January 24, 2022.
SafeWise, “2021 State of Safety survey,” Accessed March 8, 2022.
Gun Violence Archive, “Past Summary Ledgers,” Accessed January 24, 2022.
Gun Violence Archive, “General Methodology,” Accessed March 8, 2022.
Melody Hicks, Ben Stickle, Joshua Harms, American Journal of Criminal Justice, “Assessing the Fear of Package Theft,” January 04, 2021. Accessed March 8, 2022.
For definitions and more on data sources, see our methodology page.