Safest Cities in Delaware

Despite being the second smallest state, most people are surprised to find out that Delaware is the sixth most densely populated one in the U.S. It sits on the Eastern seaboard, with 28 miles of coastline (381 if you count the Delaware River). Because of its proximity to the ocean, it has the lowest mean elevation of any other state, reaching a maximum of 450 feet above sea level. It was one of the original 13 colonies and the first to ratify the Constitution of the United States earning it the title, “The First State.” Due to its small size, it only has three counties, New Castle, Kent, and Sussex - but no shortage of attractions. Beaches upon beaches line the coast and vacationers from the surrounding areas flock here in the summer. The World Championship Punkin Chunkin competition is held in a different location every year and has been going strong since 1986. There’s also a Chocolate Festival, the Clifford Brown Jazz Festival, and many others.

0.28% of U.S. population
7.15 violent crime rate per 1,000 people
38.6 property crime rate per 1,000 people

Safety has always been an important factor when searching for a new place to call home, but a wavering political system combined with an increase in violent crime has made safety the number one priority for many Americans. Because navigating through crime statistics can be a difficult and time-consuming process, we’ve done it for you.

1.  ELSMERE

This quaint little town of nearly 6,000 occupies a single square mile. They have a very personalized school system, with a 14:1 student to teacher ratio, and it shows in their grades. Every year they host an Easter egg hunt, a Halloween Spooktacular, movies in the park, and even an annual dog fair. These charming community events make Elsmere a “Wonderful place to live!” Elsmere is one of the safest in Delaware with only 14 reported violent crimes. As for property crime, there were 106 incidences, less than half of the state’s average.

6,158 Population
14 Violent Crimes
106 Property Crimes

2. NEWARK

Ten miles west of Elsemere, closer to the border of Maryland, is the bustling city of Newark. This densely populated city is only 8.8 square miles and home to over 33,000 people. Here you’ll find single-family homes tucked inside beautiful, wooded neighborhoods. Three signers of the Declaration of Independence were raised in Newark and, in the 60’s, Bob Marley, Jamaican reggae star, was an assembly line worker at a local car plant. Another intriguing person that came from Newark is Harry Wesley Coover, Jr., inventor of Super Glue and the holder of 460 other patents. Newark’s vibrant social scene promotes togetherness with city summer camps, The Taste of Newark, and the 5k Five & Wine. State parks and nature preserves around the city offer trails for hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking. There’s plenty to do and worrying about safety isn’t necessarily one of them.

33,392 Population
88 Violent Crimes
628 Property Crimes

3. MIDDLETOWN

Middletown is a quickly growing community, adding more land and more affluent housing developments which subsequently attracts new residents. It’s very clear that this city has a great sense of humor and a vibrant spirit. Every year, the Olde-Tyme Peach Festival draws tens of thousands of visitors which closes down Main Street. It’s also host to the M.O.T Big Ball Marathon in which runners complete for 24 hours straight to raise money for charity. Also noteworthy, The Dead Poets Society, one of Robin Williams’ iconic movies, was filmed here, as was an episode of The West Wing.

20,153 Population
72 Violent Crimes
513 Property Crimes

4. SMYRNA

In the last 15 years, Smyrna has seen a population boom of over 200% but still remains one of the safest cities in the state. Syrna was originally named Duck Creek Cross Roads, a major port between Wilmington and Lewes. When the shipping industry took a dive in the 1800’s it switched its focus to agriculture and changed its name to Smyrna. It has a large collection of nationally recognized Historic Places which you’ll find along Main Street - brick buildings, bell towers, and other incredible architectural details. Balancing the old with the new, you’ll find modern cul-de-sacs with neighborhoods that foster a rich sense of community. Balancing the new with nature, the city has various nature preserves, parks, beaches, and, of course, a thriving farmers market.

11,447 Population
53 Violent Crimes
302 Property Crimes

5. NEW CASTLE

History buffs, make sure you put this on your list of places to live or visit. Originally settled by the Dutch West India Company in the 1600’s, New Castle began as a trade port along the Delaware river. Its history is visible throughout the city. Large colonial homes and stunning brick buildings make up their Historic District. Battery Park offers a beach and a beautiful view of the Delaware River.

5,392 Population
20 Violent Crimes
203 Property Crimes

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The Top 10 Safest Cities in Delaware, 2017

1. Elsmere

2. Newark

3. Middletown

4. Smyrna

5. New Castle

6. Dover

7. Georgetown

8. Seaford

9. Milford

10. Wilmington

METHODOLOGY

To identify the safest cities in Delaware, we reviewed the most recent FBI Uniform Crime Report statistics along with our own population data and internal research. We eliminated any cities that failed to submit a complete crime report to the FBI and removed cities with populations under 5,000.


The remaining cities were ranked based on the number of reported violent crimes (aggravated assault, murder, rape, and robbery) and property crimes (burglary, arson, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft) per 100,000 people. These variables were then weighted, with violent crimes accounting for 70% of the total (due to their severity) and property crimes accounting for 30%. Finally, we moved the decimal point over a few spots to show rates per 1,000 people.

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