With its high-density population, cultural differences, and wage gaps ranging from homeless people to billionaires, New York City is home to swaths of people from all walks of life. And the media has been quick to pick up news of violence or crimes in NYC, especially throughout 2020, 2021, and 2022. So many people do expect that there will be more crime in NYC than in many other parts of the country. But what many people don’t know is how much crime has decreased in NYC over the last few decades.
There are quite a few neighborhoods in different areas of NYC that are not only safe by the standards of NYC but also by the national average as a whole. So let’s take a look at the seven safest neighborhoods in NYC.
- Battery Park City
- Kips Bay
- Brooklyn Heights
- Greenwich Village
- Murray Hill
The safest neighborhood in New York City is Tribeca. Located in southern Manhattan along the banks of the Hudson River, Tribeca sits in one of the most prominent parts of Manhattan for the rich and famous. One of the most prominent parts of Manhattan for the rich and famous, Tribeca is one of the safest neighborhoods in all of New York. Over the past two decades, this area’s focus on crime reduction has helped make it one of the most expensive neighborhoods in NYC. Tribeca is also one of the most popular neighborhoods for celebrities who live in New York City.
If you were to look for the safest neighborhoods in NYC twenty years ago or so, you likely would not have come up with Tribeca as one of the answers. But since then, there’s been a big focus on crime reduction, and it’s dropped by nearly 60% as of 2022 compared to 2000. So as time goes on, Tribeca is becoming a much safer place to live in NYC.
The second safest place to live in New York is Batter Park City. Nestled on the southern tip of Manhattan, Battery Park City is a mostly residential neighborhood. This 92-acre area has a central focus on the massive green space that shares the same name — Battery Park — located to the south of the city. Battery Park City is bounded by the West Side Highway on its east, the Hudson River on its west, and the Hudson River Shoreline on its north and south.
Data released from the FBI shows that Battery Park City has just over half the national crime rate, with only an estimated 1,373 crimes per 100,000 people. The vast majority of the crimes are property crimes, and only 12.4% of them are considered to be violent crimes.
Kips Bay is also one of the safest NYC neighborhoods. Kips Bay is located in midtown Manhattan, on the island’s east side. Kips Bay is bounded by the East River to the east, Third Avenue to its west, East 34th Street to its north, and East 27th Street on its south. Kips Bay used to be much larger when it was first settled in the 17th century but has reduced in size over the years as other neighborhoods have developed.
Like many other neighborhoods on this list, Kips Bay has had a massive focus on crime reduction over the last 30 years. With crime dropped by over 80% in this neighborhood, it’s become one of the safest places to live in NYC. As of 2021, there were only 180 people incarcerated per 100,000.
Brooklyn Heights is also one of the safest neighborhoods in NYC. Brooklyn Heights is a mainly residential neighborhood that’s been around since 1834. Sometimes also called Brooklyn Village, this neighborhood is noted for its low-rise architecture and historical buildings.
Like in many other parts of the city, there has been a focus on lowering crime rates over the last half-century, and Brooklyn Heights has had an incredible 84% reduction in crime rate since the early 1990s, making Brooklyn Heights one of the safest neighborhoods in Brooklyn. As of 2021, roughly 375 people per 100,000 are incarcerated.
Another one of the safest neighborhoods in New York City is Greenwich Village. It's also one of the most well-known NYC neighborhoods for its appearance in movies and its many celebrity residents. Located on the west side of Manhattan, Greenwich Village is on the border of the Hudson River and is home to many celebrities due to its location and reputation, and being safe.
With one of the lowest incarceration rates in all of NYC, only 100 people are incarcerated per 100,000. But although incarcerations and violent crimes are down drastically, property crime can sometimes still be an issue in Greenwich Village, which may be due to the lavish living of some of its wealthiest residents.
Yet another Manhattan neighborhood, Murray Hill, is located on the island’s east side. Nestled between the east river and Midtown Manhattan, Murray Hill is regarded as one of the most quaint neighborhoods in all of Manhattan. Throughout the 20th century, Murray Hill went from being a mercantile neighborhood to a much more upscale one, leading to a reduction in crime over the past century.
Between 1990 and 2018, crime in Murray Hill dropped a staggering 80.7%, and very few violent crimes occur here anymore. In fact, in 2018 there were zero reported murders throughout the year, and only 1,021 combined crimes were reported of all kinds.
Nolita is another one of the safest places to live in NYC. The neighborhood gets its name from its geographical location relative to another Manhattan borough, Little Italy. Situated just north of Little Italy and Chinatown, Nolita used to be seen as part of Little Italy but has lost its Italian charm over the years and become its own distinct neighborhood nearby.
The neighborhood of Nolita has transformed and become home to more wealthy, high-scale residents over the last 30 years. This could be part of why the crime rate has dropped so significantly in that time. While Nolita has more crimes on average than some of the other places on this list, it’s still one of the safest neighborhoods in NYC.