The 17 Safest Neighborhoods In Washington D.C. (2022's Ultimate List)

Jessica Stone
by Jessica Stone

Often referred to by locals as simply “the District,” in this city the cost of living is high, employment opportunities are plentiful, and much of the culture centers around what you do for work. Although, somehow D.C. manages to mix a small-town atmosphere with a cosmopolitan ambiance.

The safest neighborhoods in Washington D.C. include:

  • Glover Park
  • AU-Tenleytown
  • Barnaby Woods
  • The Palisades
  • Cleveland Park
  • Berkley
  • Foxhall Village
  • Chevy Chase
  • Woodley Park
  • Mount Pleasant
  • Hawthorne
  • Van Ness
  • Woodland Normanstone
  • Adams Morgan
  • Brookland
  • Foggy Bottom
  • Logan Circle

Let’s dive into this a bit further and learn about what each neighborhood has to offer so you can better understand why it’s rated as safe.

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What Are The Safest Neighborhoods In D.C.?

Like virtually any other populous city in the nation, Washington D.C. is no stranger to high crime rates. In fact, our nation’s capital was named the 16th most dangerous city out of 50 of the biggest cities in the country. Back in 1991, the city was nicknamed the “murder capital,” with a substantial-high number of annual homicides.

Since then, these numbers have dropped considerably and while statistics remain above average, crime in D.C. is confined to dangerous areas and aren’t generally “stranger” crimes. This means that most crime occurs to people that are known to the assailant, as opposed to both being total strangers.

The key to staying safe in D.C. is being vigilant, knowing the areas to avoid, and understanding which neighborhoods are the safest.

Determining The Safest Areas Of D.C.

In order to determine the safest areas of the city, we analyzed FBI crime data. After examining each community’s violent crime, property crime, and total crime rates, we assembled our list of the safest neighborhoods in Washington D.C.

  • Glover Park
  • AU-Tenleytown
  • Barnaby Woods
  • The Palisades
  • Cleveland Park
  • Berkley
  • Foxhall Village
  • Chevy Chase
  • Woodley Park
  • Mount Pleasant
  • Hawthorne
  • Van Ness
  • Woodland Normanstone
  • Adams Morgan
  • Brookland
  • Foggy Bottom
  • Logan Circle

Let’s explore each of these communities in detail, along with their characteristics, crime rates, and livability.

1. Glover Park

  • Violent Crimes Per 100K: 93
  • Property Crime Per 100K: 1,140
  • Population: 12,937

Bounded by Glover Archbold Park to the west and south, Wisconsin Avenue in the east, and Fulton Street to the north, Glover Park is a largely residential neighborhood. This area is popular among families with children and teenagers, as it is home to many sought-after features that young parents look for. Glover Park is a close-knit community with peaceful streets that are lined with quaint row homes, and a commercial area with a growing foodie scene.

This neighborhood’s claim to fame includes several embassies, including the legendary Embassy of Russia, and the Visa Office of the Chinese Embassy. Residents enjoy a playground, dog park, softball diamond, and an annual festival at the nearby Guy Mason Park.

Housing in Glover Park is a blend of porch-front rowhouses circling the 1920s and 1930s and apartment complexes. The community’s elementary school is also one of the highest-rated schools in the district.

With the lowest crime rate of all the communities in the city, Glover Park is considered the safest neighborhood in D.C. The violent crimes per 100K people come in at 93 and property crime is 1,140 for 2020.

2. AU-Tenleytown

  • Violent Crimes Per 100K: 105
  • Property Crime Per 100K: 1,162
  • Population: 18,855

The AU-Tenleytown neighborhood consists of Tenleytown and the adjacent American University Park. It shares its name with the Tenleytown-AU metro station which serves both areas. AU-Tenleytown is the site of Fort Reno, a crucial lookout point during the Civil War, and the oldest home in the city. “The Rest” is believed to have been built around 1700 and was home to Charles Jones and his family.

Nowadays, the neighborhood is home to the highest point in the District, Fort Reno Park. Due to the high elevation, AU-Tenleytown also contains almost all of the city’s radio towers and masts. Traditionally, homes in this area have been less expensive than other surrounding communities. Most of the residents of AU-Tenleytown are couples who earn two incomes, but the neighborhood is considered to be very kid-friendly.

Public schools in AU-Tenleytown are some of the best in the city and there are a number of high-quality public services for children and families. With a relatively low total crime rate AU-Tenleytown earns the second spot on our list of the safest neighborhoods in D.C. The violent crimes per 100K people come in at 105 and property crime is 1,162 for 2020.

3. Barnaby Woods

  • Violent Crimes Per 100K: 23
  • Property Crime Per 100K: 1,342
  • Population: 9,436

Barnaby Woods is a relatively small neighborhood located in the northwestern section of Washington, D.C. Though it is solely residential, many consider it to be a part of Chevy Chase, which is filled with acclaimed shopping, entertainment, and dining opportunities. Locals love Barnaby Woods for its serene, tree-lined streets and suburban living despite being located within the city limits.

Many of the properties in Barnaby Woods are Colonials that were built during the 1930s. Residents of this area enjoy the peaceful surroundings including the neighboring Rock Creek Park and nature center, planetarium, and its hiking, jogging, and horse-back riding trails.

Barnaby Park has a total crime rate that is 74% lower than the D.C. average and 47% lower than the national average. This community comes in third on our list of the safest neighborhoods in Washington, D.C. The violent crime rate per 100K people sits at a mere 23, while property crime is 1,342 for 2020.

4. The Palisades

  • Violent Crimes Per 100K: 122
  • Property Crime Per 100K: 1,761
  • Population: 3,598

With a population of roughly 3,598 residents, The Palisades is another small community that is situated along the Potomac River. Many describe this area as Washington, D.C.’s best-kept secret, as it is surprisingly lesser-known and is one of the city’s most picture-perfect neighborhoods. Its’ laundry list of spectacular homes, shops, eateries, and the annual 4th of July parade make this area a very charming place to call home.

The Palisades was developed in 1893 by the Palisades Improvement Company and is a mix of townhouses, detached homes, and apartment buildings. Just like nearly the entire city of D.C., this area is rich with history. Residents enjoy easy access to the Capital Crescent Trail and C&O Canal for skaters, cyclists, kayakers, and joggers. Other notable landmarks in The Palisades include The Lab School of Washington, the German Embassy, the old Conduit Road Schoolhouse on MacArthur Boulevard, Sibley Hospital, and more.

Based on our calculations, The Palisades is considered the fourth safest neighborhood in Washington, D.C. Violent crimes per 100K people comes in at 122 and property crime is 1,761 for 2020.

5. Cleveland Park

  • Violent Crimes Per 100K: 163
  • Property Crime Per 100K: 2,204
  • Population: 11,732

With its charming tree-lined streets, quaint commercial area, and unique Queen Anne homes, Cleveland Park offers small-town charm paired with easy access to all the amenities of the big city. It is named after Grover Cleveland, who once owned property in the area. This neighborhood is known for its plentiful late 19th-century homes and historic Art Deco Uptown Theater.

Cleveland Park is also home to the William L. Slayton House and the Park and Shop, one of the earliest strip malls constructed in 1930. The neighborhood offers little congestion beyond the main commercial area, but a surprising abundance of nightlife options. Residents of Cleveland Park enjoy a strong sense of community, civic pride, and a slow but stimulating pace.

Additionally, just steps away from all the modern convenience, you’ll find Rock Creek Park for a bike ride, jog, or stroll after work or on weekends. Cleveland Park ranks fifth on our list of the safest neighborhoods in Washington, D.C. The violent crime rate per 100K people is 163, while property crime sits at 2,204 for 2020.

6. Berkley

  • Violent Crimes Per 100K: 377
  • Property Crime Per 100K: 1,708
  • Population: 2,252

Located in northwest Washington, D.C., Berkley is surrounded on three sides by parkland, while the fourth side is the adjacent Foxhall and Palisades neighborhoods. Berkley is primarily residential but is also home to George Washington University’s Mt. Vernon campus and the Embassy of Germany.

Housing in this area is almost entirely detached homes whose prices reach into the millions. The affluent community is highly sought-after due to its easy access to neighboring shops and restaurants, as well as the city amenities. Residents of Berkley enjoy a close proximity to Georgetown and Downtown, an abundance of community events, great public schools, friendly neighbors, and plenty of opportunities for outdoor adventures.

Washington D.C.’s Berkley neighborhood is the sixth safest neighborhood in the city. Violent crimes per 100K people are 377 and property crime per capita comes in at 1,708 for 2020.

7. Foxhall Village

  • Violent Crimes Per 100K: 377
  • Property Crime Per 100K: 1,708
  • Population: 912

Foxhall Village is a tiny community of just 350 homes and 912 residents that is located in northwestern Washington, D.C. This upscale neighborhood is largely hidden away, almost entirely residential, and offers plenty of appeal for potential future residents. It resembles an English village and is said to have taken inspiration from the town of Bath.

Many residents describe life in Foxhall Village as “living in a remote village.” This area is home to many families, along with students, particularly graduate students of law and medical schools, and individuals from various foreign countries.

With crime rates that are 60% lower than D.C. averages and 19% lower than national averages, Foxhall Village earns the seventh spot on our list of the safest neighborhoods in Washington, D.C. The violent crimes per 100K people come in at 377 and property crime per capita is 1,708 for 2020.

8. Chevy Chase

  • Violent Crimes Per 100K: 172
  • Property Crime Per 100K: 2,278
  • Population: 18,506

Not to be confused with the other, arguably more famous, Chevy Chase, Washington D.C.’s Chevy Chase neighborhood is a place of gorgeous homes, meticulously-maintained lawns, a strong sense of community, and a convenient commercial stretch.

Chevy Chase is predominantly single-family homes that are surrounding by gorgeous mature trees. This friendly community is a perfect respite from the traffic, tourism, and congestion that is much of the D.C. area.

With all that in mind, Chevy Chase is also considered the eighth safest neighborhood in Washington, D.C. Its total crime rate is 5% below the national average, and a staggering 53% below the city’s average. Violent crimes per 100K people come in at 172 and property crime is 2,278 for 2020.

9. Woodley Park

  • Violent Crimes Per 100K: 186
  • Property Crime Per 100K: 2,410
  • Population: 7,667

Woodley Park is considered one of the most scenic and pleasant neighborhoods in D.C. It is situated in the northwestern part of the city and is a throwback to the early 20th-century with its row houses. The neighborhood also offers tree-lined streets, lush green lawns, and seclusion from the bustle of downtown.

The area has plenty to keep locals occupied with the top attraction being the Smithsonian National Zoo, which offers free admission year-round. Woodley Park is also home to Rock Creek Park, a natural escape from big city life, and offers access to miles of walking and biking trails. The food scene in this neighborhood is vibrant and you’ll find everything from Lebanese to Japanese, to Cajun cuisine.

As an added benefit, Woodley Park ranks ninth on our list of the safest neighborhoods in Washington, D.C. While its total crime is 1% above the national average it is 50% lower than the city average. Violent crime rates in Woodley Park come in at 186 and property crime is 2,410 for 2020.

10. Hawthorne

  • Violent Crimes Per 100K: 27
  • Property Crime Per 100K: 1,000
  • Population: 9,400

In the Northwest part of Washington, D.C., a quiet area bordering Montgomery County is made up of gorgeous Ranch-style homes. The name of the neighborhood comes from the abundance of Hawthorn trees that once grew in the region.

The abundance of green grasses and trees in Hawthorne is well-known. Ranch-style and split-level homes are very popular in Hawthorne. The range of home styles seen throughout the development, however, is what sets it apart.

Four thefts from inside autos and two stolen automobiles were the only crimes reported in this neighborhood in 2019. Residents in Hawthorne seem comfortable opening their windows late at night.

11. Van Ness

  • Violent Crimes Per 100K: 104
  • Property Crime Per 100K: 418
  • Population: 4,730

Forest Hills, or Van Ness, is a wealthy area in Northwest Washington, DC. On the red line, this small, thinly populated community of under 2,000 inhabitants has Rock Creek Park as its backyard.

Van Ness has a significantly higher number of rentals than comparable neighborhoods, giving renters a lot more space for their money.

Connecticut Avenue, Van Ness’ major street, has undergone significant redevelopment in recent years, bringing new food and shopping options to the premium neighborhood.

12. Woodland Normanstone

  • Violent Crimes Per 100K: 194
  • Property Crime Per 100K: 1,887
  • Population: 7,443

Woodland Normanstone is a tiny, wealthy neighborhood bordering Woodley Park and Massachusetts Heights. This one-of-a-kind DC neighborhood has no commercial enterprises and is said to be home to numerous Trump supporters and high-ranking politicians.

The gorgeous homes in this tucked-away include a wide range of architectural styles, from Georgian and Colonial to more contemporary buildings on large lots. When it comes to crime, Woodland Normanstone is rather safe. Residents in this neighborhood have a strong sense of belonging.

13. Adams Morgan

  • Violent Crimes Per 100K: 512
  • Property Crime Per 100K: 2,000
  • Population: 17,154

Adams Morgan is one of the greatest areas to live in Washington, DC for individuals who wish to be close to the city’s cultural heart, thanks to its public art, colorful architecture, and eateries along 18th St.

The area not only borders Embassy Row, but it’s also close to DuPont Circle and Downtown Washington, DC, where residents may visit some of the country’s top museums, theater performances, and historic sites.

Adams Morgan is popular among young professionals who commute to work, but it also attracts a large number of families, thanks to its low crime rate and well-rated schools such as Briya Public Charter School and Marie Reed Elementary School.

14. Logan Circle

  • Violent Crimes Per 100K: 464
  • Property Crime Per 100K: 2,788
  • Population: 13,768

Logan Circle, located just north of Downtown DC, is a hip neighborhood featuring a variety of pubs, museums, and local boutiques.

Logan Circle, which is built around its eponymous roundabout, is full of architectural beauty and historical value, especially when it comes to its Victorian and Richardsonian structures.

Because of its proximity to both Howard University and The George Washington University, the neighborhood is a popular hangout for DC area college students.

15. Mount Pleasant

  • Violent Crimes Per 100K: 216
  • Property Crime Per 100K: 2,486
  • Population: 12,696

Closing out our list is the lively neighborhood of Mount Pleasant, located in the Northwest quadrant of Washington, D.C. This area offers an active, vibrant community with a peaceful suburban feel. Mount Pleasant also has a rich historical connection to D.C., and over the years has transformed into a cultivated, diverse, and community-driven neighborhood.

With its stunning historic rowhouses, eclectic main street, tree-lined avenues, and its own park, Mount Pleasant provides the quintessential small-town ambiance while being situated inside of a big city.

Mount Pleasant takes the tenth spot on our list of the safest neighborhoods in Washington, D.C. Although its total crime rate is 5% above the national average, it’s 48% below the city average, still earning a spot on this list. Violent crimes per 100K people come in at 216 and property crime per capita is 2,486 for 2020.

What Are The Most Dangerous Neighborhoods in D.C.?

Just like most other cities across the country, the key to staying safe is knowing which areas are the safest and also which areas should be avoided.

Using our same method for determining the safest neighborhoods in Washington, D.C., we determined that the top ten most dangerous neighborhoods are as follows:

  • Deanwood
  • Brentwood
  • Anacostia
  • U Street Corridor
  • Stadium-Armory
  • Shaw
  • South West
  • Ledroit Park
  • Petworth
  • Capitol Hill

All of these communities have crime rates that are significantly higher than both the national average and the city average. Therefore, you should steer clear of these neighborhoods when you’re looking for a place to settle in Washington, D.C.

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Wrapping It Up

If you’re planning a relocation to Washington D.C., safety is likely at the top of your list of priorities. While crime rates remain high in the city, you are not without options for safe neighborhoods to settle down in.

As long as you do your research, stick to our list of the safest communities, and know which areas to avoid, you and your family will be able to safely enjoy life in our nation’s capital.

Jessica Stone
Jessica Stone

Jessica considers herself a home improvement and design enthusiast. She grew up surrounded by constant home improvement projects and owes most of what she knows to helping her dad renovate her childhood home. Being a Los Angeles resident, Jessica spends a lot of her time looking for her next DIY project and sharing her love for home design.

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