Is East Boston A Safe Place To Live? (Find Out Now!)

Ryan Womeldorf
by Ryan Womeldorf

Boston is one of the largest cities in the United States. It is home to some of the most famous landmarks in the country, which is not surprising given that it was part of the original 13 British colonies that would eventually become the United States.

There are many areas in and around Boston that newcomers explore to live, East Boston being one of them. One of the main questions when moving to a large city like Boston is whether or not it is safe. Though East Boston comes in below the national average in property and total crime, it is above the national average for violent crimes. It also tends to be above the Massachusetts average for violent, property, and total crime.

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Is East Boston Safe?

There are three main categories worth considering when it comes to the safety of a particular area. Those categories are violent crimes, property crimes, and total crime. Looking at crimes per square mile can be particularly helpful especially given the size disparity between cities.

We will take a look at the rates of each category not only compared to the national average, but that of the state of Massachusetts. But first, let’s look at Boston in general.

Boston Crime Statistics

Before we can look at East Boston, it is only fair that we look at Boston as a whole. As is the case with most major metropolitan areas, the crime rates tend to be up from the national average in nearly every category. Boston is no different.

Boston’s rate of violent crimes per 100,000 people is almost 40% higher than the national average. Property crimes are actually just below the average, but the total number of crimes exceeds that national average.

Larger cities tend to attract a more diverse population, which can lead to an increased crime rate. Those numbers are also heavily impacted by specific neighborhoods or areas within Boston.

Massachusetts Crime

One last thing before we get into the crime of East Boston. Comparatively speaking, Massachusetts is one of the safest states out there…sort of.

Massachusetts is considered the safest state in the country in terms of property crime. According to U.S. News, it ranks as the #1 state in the nation for low property crime. Given a population of nearly 7 million, that is an impressive feat.

But it’s not all sunshine. Massachusetts is also the 24th ranked state in the country for violent crimes. That’s not to say it is one of the worst, it is actually right in the middle of the pack. But being more likely to be the victim of a violent crime versus a property crime is not exactly heart-warming.

Property Crime in East Boston

Property crime tends to include things like vandalism, burglary, theft, and vehicle theft. There are other, smaller crimes that fall into that category, but those are the main four aspects behind property crime statistics.

Compared to the national average (per 100,000 people), East Boston comes in at nearly half the rate with about 1,210 property crimes. When matched up to the national average of 2,110, that is a major difference for the better.

That said, the state averages skew somewhat even with East Boston coming in just above the state average. Considering the fact that Massachusetts is the safest state in the country for property crime, that is not a big deal.

Violent Crime in East Boston

Those concerned about their safety versus the safety of their property may find East Boston less attractive for this category. Though East Boston (415 per 100,000) is well below Boston (622), it is both above the national and state averages.

The national average is 379 violent crimes per 100,000 while the state is below that at 328 per 100,000. East Boston, however, has an estimated 415 violent crimes per 100,000. That is not only well above the state average, but the national average.

While it does not necessarily mean that East Boston is wholly unsafe, it does mean one thing. While citizens are very unlikely to face property crime compared to other states, violent crime is actually more frequent.

Total Crime in East Boston

This statistic is a little hard to truly gauge because of the disparity between property and violent crimes in Massachusetts as a whole. East Boston comes in well below (1,625 per 100,000) the national average (2,489 per 100,000) for total crime.

Once again, it comes in above the Massachusetts average but that isn’t a surprise. At least it is not Boston, which bests even the national average by a couple hundred per 100,000.

What are the Benefits of Living in East Boston?

Crime rates are what they are but an entire city they do not make. East Boston has a plethora of perks that make living there attractive despite the aforementioned crime rates. But just what can you expect to gain from living in East Boston?

Historical Landmarks

The state of Massachusetts is rife with history. Given its status in the original 13 colonies of the United States, that should come as no surprise. East Boston in particular has several historical landmarks worth visiting.

There is the Boston Public Library, one of the most beautiful public libraries in the country. T overlooks Bremen Street Park for an even more scenic view. There is also Temple Ohabei Shalom Cemetery, the first Jewish cemetery in Massachusetts or the Madonna Queen of the Universe Shrine in Orient Heights. Not to mention the proximity to Boston and all the sites to be seen there.

Food Scene

Boston is known for a lot of things. Their food scene is chief among them and you can experience all that there is while living in East Boston. Pizza is one of the staples of the city, but make sure that you are prepared to wait, especially on weekends.

East Boston also boasts some of the best Central and South American cuisine in the entire city. Options from Peru, Columbia, and other areas in that region are on full display in East Boston, providing cultural and culinary diversity.

A Hot Real Estate Market

The crime statistics have not impacted the housing market. Given the desirability of Boston, it makes sense that East Boston would also become a target for homebuyers looking to move. The market has been hot for a long time now and shows no signs of cooling down.

That means no ”deals” to be had, so sellers have to know going in that they are going to be paying for top dollar in a home. As recently as a few years ago, developers were producing more and more of the cookie-cutter condo units that you may see on television. You may have been able to land one for a decent price then, but it is a crapshoot now.

Prices in the $600,000-$700,000 range are definitely common. Developments like Slip 65, which is right on the waterfront, can see condo prices well over a million. That said, it is possible to find some newly furnished units that fall in the $450,000-$500,000 range as well.

An Underrated Outdoor Scene

When we think of Boston, we tend to think of soaring buildings, heavy traffic, and millions coming and going seemingly all at once. East Boston has some of that, but you would be surprised to see just how much beautiful outdoor space there is, too.

Piers Park is just one of many beautiful, green spaces that you can find in East Boston’s neighborhoods. You can check out the peaceful wildlife over at Belle Isle Marsh or even grab a nice lot of sand down at Shay’s Beach.

Those who enjoy the outdoor scene will definitely love what East Boston has to offer. It is a nice break from the sprawling metropolitan area that Boston proper is comprised of. When you feel like getting away from the hustle and bustle of the city, there is plenty of outdoor space that can provide a peaceful, beautiful view to enjoy instead.

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So, Is East Boston a Safe Place to Live?

This is not an easy question to answer. When it comes to the state of Massachusetts, you can’t find a safer one for property crimes. But where violent crimes are concerned, it is the middle of the pack nationally.

Boston as a whole, on the other hand, is quite a bit more dangerous than the national average. With 655 violent crimes per 100,000 citizens, it is less safe than nearly 83% of cities in the United States. Though East Boston comes in below those averages, its violent crime rate is above the national average.

Though it is not quite as dangerous as Boston proper, East Boston certainly presents a conundrum. Property crimes are below the national average in one of the safest states in the country in that category. But violent crimes are much more prevalent, especially as you begin to venture into Boston proper.

On the whole, East Boston is probably not the safest place to live. The risk of violent crime being higher would make anyone nervous and that is what you would get in East Boston.

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Ryan Womeldorf
Ryan Womeldorf

Ryan Womeldorf has more than a decade of experience writing. He loves to blog about construction, plumbing, and other home topics. Ryan also loves hockey and a lifelong Buffalo sports fan.

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