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 peopleWashington/100k peopleDistrict of Columbia/100k peopleNational/100k people
Total crime28,411n/a (estimate)4,2294,3742,324
Violent crime5,003n/a (estimate)745812370
Vehicle theft3,793n/a564.6577.3282.7
Property crime23,408n/a (estimate)3,4843,5621,954

An Overview of Crime Rates in Washington, DC

The Washington crime rates are 82% 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 5003 violent crimes in Washington (745 per 100,000 people), which is 101.4% higher than the national average and there were a total of 23408 property crimes (3484 per 100,000 residents) which is 78.3% higher than average.

With a crime rate of 4229 per 100,000 residents, Washington has a crime rate that is 81.96% 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 Washington 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.

Washington has gained notoriety as one of the most dangerous cities in the United States, given its alarming violent crime rate of 745 crimes per 100,000 people. In fact, Washington falls within the lowest 10% among cities reporting violent crimes last year, resulting in a concerning 1 in 135 likelihood of experiencing a violent crime. It's important to note that safety levels may vary across different areas within the city, and this statistic doesn't necessarily reflect the entire city's situation regarding violent crime.

While murder rates in the United States have shown a consistent decline since 1990, recent years have witnessed an increase. Unfortunately, Washington ranks among the cities with the highest murder rates in the nation, when compared to all reporting cities in the U.S. In Washington, there were a total of 197 murders, translating to 29 murders per 100,000 residents. This alarming statistic underscores the need for heightened attention to community safety and crime prevention efforts in the area.

Vehicle thefts across all of America are on the rise and Washington has one of the highest vehicle theft rates in the country. In the most recent crime report, Washington reported 3793 vehicle thefts, which equates to 565 stolen vehicles per 100,000 people. This falls in the bottom 10% of all cities, meaning that 90% of cities have better vehicle theft rates. The chance of having your vehicle stolen in Washington is 1 in 178.

What Do the Locals Say About Crime in Washington?

What do the local residents think about crime in Washington? Well, based on a recent survey of 295 people (conducted by AreaVibes), 23% of Washington residents said that there was virtually no crime and that they felt safe walking at night. Another 77% of respondents said that there was too much crime in the area and they did not feel safe walking alone at night.

Is Washington a Safe Place to Live?

To get a feel for the safety of living in Washington, it's essential to analyze both the overall crime rate and the daily incident count. Washington presents a total crime rate that is 82% higher than the national average per 100,000 residents. Consequently, Washington experiences an average of 77.84 daily crimes, comprising 13.71 violent incidents and 64.13 property-related offenses. This evaluation offers a comprehensive understanding of the safety landscape, aiding individuals in making informed decisions when considering relocation.

Has Crime in Washington Increased Since Last Year?

Year-over-year crime rates in Washington has decreased by 9.2% in the last reported crime report. Comparing crime rates from one year to another offers some insight into whether or not Washington is becoming a safer or more dangerous place to live. Crime rates are categorized by violent and property crime. Year-over-year violent crime has decreased by 26.7%, while property crime has decreased by 4.3%. This analysis equips individuals with crucial information for making informed decisions about living in Washington.

Washington Neighborhood Crime Rates

The Washington region comprises an array of over 34 distinct neighborhoods, each characterized by its unique crime rate influenced by factors including location and socioeconomic conditions. Typically, neighborhoods situated near the city center or downtown core exhibit higher crime rates owing to their higher population density. Conversely, neighborhoods on the city's outskirts tend to boast lower population density, along with reduced unemployment and poverty rates, contributing to a safer environment. Among the secure neighborhoods in Washington are exemplars such as Barnaby Woods, Glover Park and Au-Tenleytown, whereas Deanwood, Brentwood and Anacostia grapple with an above-average reported crime rate. This underscores the necessity for thorough evaluation across multiple neighborhoods, given their notable variations in crime rates.

Potential Causes for Crime in Washington

Washington has a poverty rate that stands at 15.5, in contrast to the national average of 15.1. Historically, a direct correlation has been observed between poverty rates and crime stats. Higher poverty rates have led to higher crime rates, while lower poverty rates have led to a reduction in Washington crime rates. Income disparities and heightened poverty levels can serve as catalysts for elevated or reduced criminal activity, as individuals may or may not turn to illicit means to fulfill their basic needs. This could be one of many factors that may influence crime.

The educational level achieved in any given city can influence crime rates significantly. Greater educational achievement is frequently associated with decreased crime rates, as it offers individuals improved job prospects and alternatives to engaging in crime related activities. Conversely, lower educational attainment rates tend to coincide with elevated crime rates. In Washington, 87.4% of residents have successfully graduated from high school, in contrast to the national average where 83% have achieved high school graduation.

The median home price in Washington is $618,100, compared to the national average of $184,700. High housing costs can lead to financial stress for residents. When individuals struggle to make ends meet due to expensive housing, they may be more inclined to engage in criminal activities to address their financial difficulties, such as theft or fraud. Communities with stable housing environments tend to foster stronger social bonds and community engagement. This can lead to increased vigilance and cooperation among residents, which can deter criminal behavior.

Washington crime map

The Washington crime map provides a detailed overview of all crimes in Washington 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 Washington crime heat map offers insight into the total crimes on a block group level. Please note that the red areas on the Washington 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

      • Washington crime rates are 82% higher than the national average
      • Violent crimes in Washington are 101% higher than the national average
      • In Washington you have a 1 in 24 chance of becoming a victim of crime
      • Washington is safer than 7% of the cities in the United States
      • Year over year crime in Washington has decreased by 4%

      Washington, DC Crime Quiz


        Safest Places to Live in and Around Washington

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        Daily Crime In Washington (per 100,000 people)

        The chart above shows the number of daily crimes in Washington, DC per 100,000 people. In Washington, the number of daily crimes is projected to be 1.03 times less than the District of Columbia average and 1.82 times more than the national average. The average number of daily violent crimes in Washington is 1.09 times less than the District of Columbia average and 2.01 times more than the daily national average. With regards to property crimes, Washington has a daily crime rate that is 1.02 times less than the District of Columbia average and 1.78 times more than the overall daily national average.

        How Safe is Washington (higher is better)

        What are the odds that you'll be safer in Washington, District of Columbia compared to other areas of District of Columbia, as well as the rest of America? When it comes down to it, is Washington safe? In the graphs above, it shows that Washington is safer than 0% of District of Columbia cities, and 7% compared to all other cities across America. These statistics are calculated by taking a closer look at each city's crime rate in District of Columbia, as well as the rest of the US. It is then determined which cities see less crime than Washington. At this time, Washington sees a above average rate of crime in comparison to other United States cities.

        Chance of Being A Victim of Crime in Washington

        The chance of being a victim of violent crime in Washington is 1 in 135
        The chance of being a victim of property crime in Washington is 1 in 29
        The chance of being a victim of crime in Washington is 1 in 24
        Interested in knowing the odds that you will be a crime victim in Washington? In Washington, you have a 1 in 135 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 29. These crimes include theft, vehicle theft, and burglary. Your overall chance of being a victim of crime in Washington, DC is 1 in 24.

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

        Determining whether Washington is becoming less or more safe for its residents (per 100,000) is most easily done by comparing year-over-year crime rates. Washington violent crime rates have decreased by 22%. At the same time, property crime has increased by 2% year over year. Total crimes for Washington has decreased by 4% in the same time frame.

        Washington police department

        Item Washington District of Columbia National
        Law enforcement employees (officers & civilians)4,3324,332558,732
        Police officers & civilians /1000 residents6.96.93.3
        There are a total of 4,332 Washington police officers. This results in 6.9 police officers per 1,000 residents which is equal to the District of Columbia average and 110.7% greater than the National average.

        Sex offenders in District of Columbia

        State Total offenders District of Columbia /100K National /100K
        District of Columbia1,081204266
        There are a total of 1,081 sex offenders in District of Columbia. This yields a total of 204 sex offenders in District of Columbia per 100,000 residents which is 23% less than the national average.

        Nearby Cities With Low Crime Rates

        City Population Violent crime/100k people Property crime/100k people Total crime/100k people
        Somerset, MD95256229285
        Cabin John, MD2,27656229285
        Garrett Park, MD84056229285
        Chevy Chase Village, MD1,87162256319
        Kensington, MD2,21262256319
        Chevy Chase town, MD2,94862256319
        Derwood, MD1,64465265330
        Washington, DC701,9747453,4844,229

        Cities with similar population

        City Population Violent crime/100k people Property crime/100k people Total crime/100k people
        Boston, MA689,3266191,8022,421
        Denver, CO715,8781,0706,4287,498
        El Paso, TX679,8793131,3791,692
        Detroit, MI672,3512,0284,4786,506
        Nashville, TN667,0701,1023,8254,927
        Washington, DC701,9747453,4844,229
        Source: The Washington, DC 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.