Total crime NAT. AVG.
Violent crime NAT. AVG.
Property crime NAT. AVG.
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Date & Last Updated: This data reflects the 2022 calendar year and was released from the FBI in September, 2023; this is the most current data available.
StatisticReportedincidents/100k peopleCharleston/100k peopleWest Virginia/100k peopleNational/100k people
Total crime2,245n/a (estimate)4,7411,5082,324
Violent crime302n/a (estimate)638278370
Vehicle theft145n/a306.288.7282.7
Property crime1,943n/a (estimate)4,1031,2301,954

An Overview of Crime Rates in Charleston, WV

The Charleston crime rates are 104% higher than the national average. There are two main categories of crime - violent crime and property crime. Violent crime consists of murder, rape, robbery and assault, while property crimes include burglary, theft and vehicle theft. There were a total of 302 violent crimes in Charleston (638 per 100,000 people), which is 72.5% higher than the national average and there were a total of 1943 property crimes (4103 per 100,000 residents) which is 110% higher than average.

With a crime rate of 4741 per 100,000 residents, Charleston has a crime rate that is 104% higher than the national average. This results in one of the highest total crime rates in the entire country. This does not necessarily mean that the entire city is unsafe. As with any area, there are some pockets in Charleston that are much safer than others. A little research will go a long way in determining which areas could potentially offer a safer living environment.

While murder rates in the United States have shown a consistent decline since 1990, recent years have witnessed an increase. Unfortunately, Charleston ranks among the cities with the highest murder rates in the nation, when compared to all reporting cities in the U.S. In Charleston, there were a total of 10 murders, translating to 21 murders per 100,000 residents. This alarming statistic underscores the need for heightened attention to community safety and crime prevention efforts in the area.

With a property crime rate of 4103 crimes per 100,000 people, Charleston unfortunately has the distinction of being among the bottom 10% of all U.S. cities reporting crime. The likelihood of falling victim to property crime in Charleston is alarmingly high, estimated at 1 in 25, significantly surpassing the national average. This data emphasizes the city's pressing need for concerted efforts to address and reduce property crime, ensuring a safer environment for its residents.

What Do the Locals Say About Crime in Charleston?

What do the local residents think about crime in Charleston? Well, based on a recent survey of 88 people (conducted by AreaVibes), 16% of Charleston residents said that there was virtually no crime and that they felt safe walking at night. Another 84% of respondents said that there was too much crime in the area and they did not feel safe walking alone at night.

Is Charleston a Safe Place to Live?

Before you decide to relocate, it’s always good to ask yourself “Is Charleston a safe place to live?” Although the answer might not be that simple, as some areas are safer than others, getting a good feel for the overall rate of crime can definitely be helpful. Overall, the Charleston crime rate is 104% higher than the national average. If we break that down daily, that translates into 6.15 crimes per day - 0.83 violent crimes and 5.32 property crimes.

Has Crime in Charleston Increased Since Last Year?

Year-over-year crime data allows residents and potential residents to assess the crime in Charleston. A decrease in crime rates may indicate improving safety, while an increase could raise concerns. The year-over-year crime rate in Charleston has increased by 18.5%. Violent crimes have increased by 5.2%, while property crimes have increased by 20.8%. By comparing crime rates from one year to the next, authorities and communities can identify trends and patterns in criminal activity. This helps in understanding whether crime is increasing, decreasing, or remaining stable over time.

Potential Causes for Crime in Charleston

Charleston has a poverty rate of 19.8, while the national average is 15.1. In the past, there has been a direct correlation between high or low poverty rates and high or low crime stats. Elevated poverty levels and income disparities can contribute to heightened criminal activity, as individuals may resort to unlawful means to address their fundamental necessities. While lower poverty levels have led to a reduction in typical crime levels compared to other areas.

High cost of living can lead to economic stress for individuals and families, particularly those with limited financial resources. When people struggle to make ends meet due to high housing costs, healthcare expenses, or other basic necessities, they may be more inclined to engage in criminal activities, such as theft or fraud, as a means of financial survival. On the flipside, cities that have a lower cost of living, could see a reduced crime rate. In Charleston, the cost of living is 5.22% lower than the national average.

In Charleston, the average rental rates are $751 per month, compared to the national average of $949. Rapid increases in rental costs can lead to neighborhood instability as residents are forced to move frequently in search of more affordable housing. This transience can weaken community bonds and hinder the establishment of social support networks, which can indirectly contribute to crime. While affordable rent and areas with higher income per capita, allow for long term renters and community bonds to the formed, therefore reducing crime rates on the long term.

Charleston crime map

The Charleston crime map provides a detailed overview of all crimes in Charleston as reported by the local law enforcement agencies. Based on the color coded legend above, the crime map outlines the areas with lower crime compared to the areas with higher crime. The Charleston crime heat map offers insight into the total crimes on a block group level. Please note that the red areas on the Charleston crime map does not always indicate that it is a dangerous area for its residents. Areas on the heat map could be inflated if they are located in high traffic areas like airports, sports centers or large parks. Other areas on the heat map could see increased crime rates if they are located in major tourist areas like the downtown core.
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Crime Quick Facts

  • Charleston crime rates are 104% higher than the national average
  • Violent crimes in Charleston are 72% higher than the national average
  • In Charleston you have a 1 in 22 chance of becoming a victim of crime
  • Charleston is safer than 8% of the cities in the United States
  • Year over year crime in Charleston has increased by 14%

Charleston, WV Crime Quiz


    Safest Places to Live in and Around Charleston

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        Daily Crime In Charleston (per 100,000 people)

        The number of daily crimes per 100,000 residents in Charleston, West Virginia is displayed in the graph above. As you can see, the daily crimes for Charleston are 3.14 times more than the West Virginia average and 2.04 times more than the national level. Daily violent crimes in Charleston are 2.30 times more than than West Virginia and 1.72 times more than the national mean. While daily property crimes in Charleston are 3.34 times more than than West Virginia and 2.10 times more than the national average.

        How Safe is Charleston (higher is better)

        Compared to the other cities in West Virginia and all other cities across the US, is Charleston safe? From the gauges displayed above, you will notice that Charleston is safer than 13% of other cities in the state of West Virginia. In addition, Charleston is safer than 8% of cities in the entire United States. To achieve these results, all West Virginia and United States cities were analyzed to determine how many locations had a lower crime rate than Charleston. By studying this data, it was possible to determine that Charleston is above average in safety when compared with other United States cities.

        Chance of Being A Victim of Crime in Charleston

        The chance of being a victim of violent crime in Charleston is 1 in 157
        The chance of being a victim of property crime in Charleston is 1 in 25
        The chance of being a victim of crime in Charleston is 1 in 22
        Interested in knowing the odds that you will be a crime victim in Charleston? In Charleston, you have a 1 in 157 chance of falling victim to a violent crime, such as rape, robbery, assault, or even murder. In terms of property crime, your chances of being a victim are 1 in 25. These crimes include theft, vehicle theft, and burglary. Your overall chance of being a victim of crime in Charleston, WV is 1 in 22.

        Year Over Year Crime In Charleston (per 100,000 people)

        An ideal indicator of whether Charleston is becoming a safer or more dangerous place to live can be done by analyzing the year over year crime rates per 100,000 people. Year over year violent crime in Charleston has increased by 1% and the rate of property crime in Charleston has increased by 16%. The total crime rate in Charleston has increased by 14% year to year.

        Charleston police department

        Item Charleston West Virginia National
        Law enforcement employees (officers & civilians)1851,642558,732
        Police officers & civilians /1000 residents3.63.03.3
        There are a total of 185 Charleston police officers. This results in 3.6 police officers per 1,000 residents which is 19.3% greater than the West Virginia average and 11.2% greater than the National average.

        Sex offenders in West Virginia

        State Total offenders West Virginia /100K National /100K
        West Virginia4,917266266
        There are a total of 4,917 sex offenders in West Virginia. This yields a total of 266 sex offenders in West Virginia per 100,000 residents which is equal the national average.

        Nearby Cities With Low Crime Rates

        City Population Violent crime/100k people Property crime/100k people Total crime/100k people
        Winfield, WV3,13345199244
        Pinch, WV3,53850220270
        Tornado, WV97683366449
        Poca, WV95385376461
        Alum Creek, WV1,57990400490
        Coal Fork, WV1,54791404496
        Belle, WV1,37097427524
        Charleston, WV47,2736384,1034,741

        Cities with similar population

        City Population Violent crime/100k people Property crime/100k people Total crime/100k people
        Glenview, IL47,2181191,3141,433
        Charlottesville, VA47,2175413,4113,952
        Beavercreek, OH47,343941,5891,683
        Marana, AZ47,164862,2302,316
        Roseville, MI47,1605333,6394,172
        Charleston, WV47,2736384,1034,741
        Source: The Charleston, WV crime data displayed above is derived from the FBI's uniform crime reports for the year of 2022. The crime report encompasses more than 18,000 city and state law enforcement agencies reporting data on property and violent crimes. The uniform crime reports program represents approximately 309 million American residents, which results in 98% coverage of metropolitan statistical areas.