The SafeWise Team is pleased to release the eighth annual Safest Cities report.
Rhode Island’s 10 Safest Cities of 2022
Here are the 10 Safest Cities in Rhode Island for 2022
See if your city made the full list.
Rhode Islanders are more concerned about their safety than the average American, although the state boasts lower-than-average crime rates. Even better, the state’s safest cities have crime rates well below the national average for violent crime (75% lower) and property crime (56% lower).
In this report
2022 Rhode Island crime rates
Rhode Island's violent crime rate rose slightly for the first time since 2019, going up to 2.3 incidents per 1,000 people from 2.2. In contrast, property crime in The Ocean State dropped sharply compared to the last two years, moving down from 15.4 incidents per 1,000 people to 12.5.
In the New England region, Rhode Island has the second-highest violent crime rate, just behind Massachusetts (3.1). It also has the second-highest property crime rate. Still, it's well below Connecticut (15.7).
Like the rest of New England, Rhode Island’s crime rates are lower than the national average. Among all 50 states, Rhode Island ranks seventh-lowest for violent crime and sixth-lowest for property crime.
Level of concern and experience with crime in Rhode Island
Overall concern about crime and safety rose by three percentage points this year, an increase that’s in line with Rhode Island’s rising violent crime rate. Reports of experience with violent crime also jumped year over year.
Along with fewer property crime incidents reported to law enforcement, State of Safety survey respondents shared fewer personal experiences of property crime. And although concerns have risen, use of property protection methods remain less prevalent in Rhode Island than in the rest of the US.
Image: SafeWise. Past 12 months=12 months prior to survey.
Crime concerns in Rhode Island
We asked Rhode Island residents which crimes they worry may happen to them. See if Rhode Islanders are concerned about the same crime issues as the rest of the country.
View the complete 2022 State of Safety report.
Violent crime in Rhode Island: Fear vs. reality
Although Rhode Island’s violent crime rate went up slightly compared to last year, it's still one of the lowest in the country. Reports of violent crime experiences rose this year, and Rhode Islanders are slightly more worried about violent crime than the rest of the country.
- Just because Rhode Islanders are worried about crime and safety, it doesn’t mean they feel unsafe in The Ocean State—60% said their state is a safe place to live, compared to 55% nationwide.
- Rhode Island sees a smaller percentage of murders, robberies, and assaults in its violent crime numbers, but its reports of rape make up 17% of all violent crime compared to 10% nationwide. Rape accounts for 26% of violent crime in the 10 safest cities.
- The raw number of violent crimes reported in the safest cities increased by more than 100 since last year. Still, these cities average less than 1 crime per 1,000 people.
- 38% of Rhode Island survey participants say they use some form of personal protection like pepper spray or a stun gun (US 34%).
- 45% say their personal safety has been affected by the pandemic (US 44%) and 73% of Rhode Islanders are highly concerned about the pandemic every day. That makes Rhode Island the sixth-most-concerned state when it comes to COVID-19.
Attitudes about gun violence in Rhode Island
- 58% of Rhode Islanders told us their top safety concern is gun violence—that’s 5 percentage points higher than the national average.
- In 2021, there were 2 mass shooting incidents in Rhode Island, up from 0 in 2020.
- Rhode Island has higher confidence in law enforcement than much of America, with 63% supporting law enforcement’s approach to public safety, versus 56% across the country.
Property crime in Rhode Island: Fear vs. reality
In line with falling incidences of property crime, Rhode Islanders told us that they’re 17% more concerned about property crimes than the national average.
- Statewide, the property crime rate declined 19%, but the total number of incidents reported by the safest cities increased since last year.
- Burglary accounts for just 13% of property crimes in The Ocean State (and just 11% in the safest cities), which is well below the national rate of 16%.
- 57% of survey respondents in Rhode Island are proactive about home security (US 60%) with 30% of those using security cameras to protect their property.
- 32% say the security of their property has been affected by the pandemic (US 29%).
A closer look at the safest cities in Rhode Island
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.
- 19 cities in Rhode Island met our criteria to be considered for ranking this year.
- Bristol and South Kingstown held on to the top 2 spots for the third consecutive year.
- Warwick (population 80,605) and Cranston (population 81,313) are the only cities on our list with populations above 36,000.
- The violent crime rate in the safest cities is 1.0 incidents per 1,000 people—57% lower than the state rate (2.3).
- 8 cities reported 0 murders, and 2 cities (Bristol and Westerly) had 0 reports of robbery.
- 90% of the safest cities reported 66 or fewer violent crime incidents.
- The property crime rate in the safest cities is 8.7 incidents per 1,000 people—30% lower than the state rate (12.5).
- Bristol had the lowest violent crime rate (0.2) and the lowest property crime rate (3.2) in Rhode Island. It was the only city to report fewer than 100 property crimes this year.
- 7 cities (70%) reported fewer than 10 property crimes per 1,000 people.
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
Didn't find your city in the top 10?
We calculated crime rates for every city in the state that met our population threshold, based on the state’s median population as calculated using FBI data. To request a report of the remaining cities in your state, sign up for our email newsletter (we make it easy in a quick form below!) or email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: Safest Cities Full Report.
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 2020.
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.