Safest Cities Rhode Island - header

Rhode Island – This is the smallest state in the US, and also the one with the longest official title being “The state of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations”. It was the first colony to formally renounce allegiance to the British crown at the outset of the revolutionary period. It has a population of just over 1 million, but it ranks 2nd in population density.

Historically, Rhode Island was a prosperous state based initially on fishing. It became the first state in the US to industrialize and gained prominence in textiles, but many of these jobs moved to the southern states during the Great Depression. Today, health services and tourism are Rhode Island’s main revenue generators. Industry is also important, however – notably submarine construction. Household average incomes at $64,000 are around 5% higher than the US average overall. Per capita income at $35,000, which is roughly 10% higher.

1.53 Average violent crime per 1,000
13.19 Average property crime per 1,000

Compared to US national averages, Rhode Island has low crimes statistics. Specifically:

  • It’s the 2nd safest state for property crime (where 1st = lowest crime)
  • The violent crime rate is also slightly below the US average (ratio 0.44) with 1.53 crimes per 1,000 when measured against the national average of 3.47 - making it also the 2nd safest state for violent crime
  • The state’s property crime levels are well below the national average at 13.19 per 1,000 compared to the national average of 40.43 – giving a ratio of 0.33.

The top 5 statistically safest areas in Rhode Island are:

  1. ​Glocester
  2. Scituate
  3. Narragansett
  4. Bristol
  5. Portsmouth

Safest Cities in Rhode Island, 2019

RankCityViolent CrimesProperty CrimesViolent Crime RateProperty Crime Rate
6South Kingstown141970.4546.391
7East Greenwich61360.45710.351
10North Providence432991.3179.160
16North Kingstown182730.69010.472
18East Providence695781.45312.168
19West Warwick663192.29211.080
24North Smithfield82040.64316.389
27Central Falls973915.00320.166


To identify the safest cities in Rhode Island, we reviewed the most recent FBI Uniform Crime Report statistics. A total of 7,639 cities were factored into this ranking with populations ranging from 7,639 to 4,007,147. However, we eliminated any cities that failed to submit a complete crime report to the FBI and removed cities with populations under 10,000.

Overall, data from 8,793 law enforcement agencies that represented more 193 million of the US population helped us draw interesting insights between the size of the police force and incidence of crime.

There are two broad classifications of crimes: violent crimes and non-violent crimes. According to the FBI, “Violent crime is composed of four offenses: murder and non-negligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. Violent crimes are defined in the UCR Program as those offenses that involve force or threat of force. Property crime includes the offenses of burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson. The object of the theft-type offenses is the taking of money or property, but there is no force or threat of force against the victims. ”

We computed the total number of crimes reported by each city by adding violent crimes and property crimes. We then rated them using the population of the city and created a crime rate as the number of crimes per 1,000 population. Then we transformed the total crime rate variable so that the skewness was reduced and we normalized it so the final number became a score between 0 and 1.

Next, we computed a new variable called Police Adequacy (TotalCrimes / Number of police employees). We consider that the smaller the police adequacy statistic is, the safer the city is. We transformed and normalized this police adequacy variable also, resulting in a score between 0 and 1. Finally, we combined the two scores to create a safety score for each city.

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