If you’re looking to live the big city life but also want a healthy dose of friendly neighborhood vibes, Queens may be the borough for you. Queens, one of New York City’s five boroughs, is often described as holding its own universe in a single borough. Located in eastern NYC, this enclave is home to peaceful suburban streets, beachfront properties, tree-lined urban blocks as wide as freeways, and energetic shopping locales.
No matter what type of community you want to call home, you’re bound to find it moving to Queens. Aside from diverse living environments, Queens also offers exceptional cultural and ethnic diversity. Residents of this eclectic borough hail from every corner of the world, and all are welcome and recognized as true New Yorkers. As the largest of New York City’s five boroughs, Queens has a population of more than two million residents, half of whom are immigrants. This area’s diversity translates to an unparalleled shopping and food scene, unlike anywhere else in the nation.
If you’re thinking about relocating to this unique and family-friendly borough, you have many choices in neighborhoods to settle down. In fact, Queens contains 91 distinct neighborhoods, the most of any borough in New York City. Everyone has their own list of requirements when it comes to looking for their new home. Maybe you desire an area with great nightlife or plenty of family-friendly community activities? Regardless, one factor is generally always at the top of most people’s lists: safety.
Just like anywhere else in the world and in New York City, Queens does contain some areas of high crime. However, it is considered to be the safest borough in the city, after Staten Island. There are plenty of safe neighborhoods to choose from in this unique Eastern NYC enclave.
Table of Contents
- What Are The Safest Neighborhoods in Queens?
- 1. Auburndale
- 2. Middle Village
- 3. Forest Hills
- 4. Laurelton
- 5. Kew Gardens
- 6. Woodside
- 7. Queens Village
- 8. Woodhaven-Richmond Hill
- 9. Springfield Gardens
- 10. Sunnyside
- Safest Neighborhoods in Queens for 2020
- Related Questions
What Are The Safest Neighborhoods in Queens?
With a place a large and as populous as Queens, you are bound to find that some areas are rough. As with most other packed cities in the nation, the high crime rates exist in concentrated pockets and are usually “among enemies,” as opposed to occurring between strangers.
On the other hand, you’ll also discover neighborhoods in Queens that are elegant, safe, community-driven, and desirable to live in. Since Queens has been dubbed the second-safest borough in NYC, it can be a great place to work, live, and visit. If safety is one of your biggest concerns when moving to a new place, you’re in luck with Queens.
We’ve compiled a list of some of the safest neighborhoods in this eastern NYC enclave. Although you can certainly seek advice from locals, the best way to assemble an unbiased ranking is by looking at the statistics. Therefore, we analyzed the violent crime, property crime, and total crime rates throughout Queens’ diverse neighborhoods. Those that had the lowest total number of crimes per 100K people made our list of the safest neighborhoods in Queens:
- Middle Village
- Forest Hills
- Kew Gardens
- Queens Village
- Woodhaven-Richmond Hill
- Springfield Gardens
Let’s explore these unique communities in detail, along with their characteristics, crime rates, and livability.
- Violent Crimes Per 100K: 140
- Property Crime Per 100K: 799
- Population: 38,856
Located in the northern section of Queens, Auburndale is an upper-middle-class neighborhood that comes in first on our list of the borough’s safest neighborhoods. It is situated just east of Queens’ Murray Hill, and southwest of Bayside, and was founded at the turn of the 20th century.
This community is most known for its Tudor-style homes but is also home to an abundance of Dutch colonials and Cape Cod houses. Auburndale features tree-lined streets and lush green lawns for residents to enjoy. This suburban residential neighborhood is protected by the Auburndale Improvement Associated, which seeks to preserve the quaint nature of Auburndale.
Crime rates in Auburndale at 54% lower than the New York average and 64% lower than the national average. With such low crime, Auburndale earns the top spot on our list of the safest neighborhoods in Queens. Violent crime per 100K people sits at 140, while property crime per capita is 799 for 2020.
2. Middle Village
- Violent Crimes Per 100K: 183
- Property Crime Per 100K: 839
- Population: 37,029
Middle Village is located in the central portion of Queens and is a primarily residential neighborhood. Just a quick 30-minute commute to Manhattan, Middle Village offers a peaceful suburban-like and family-friendly vibe. It is often described by locals as being both “green and quiet,” with its quietness likely to do with being surrounded on three sides by cemeteries.
This neighborhood covers two-square miles and gets its name for its location as the midway point between Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Queens, and Jamaica. Middle Village is a largely unknown section of the city that is home to many second- and third-generation residents. Housing in the area is mostly single-family homes, with a number of one- and two-story attached houses, and a few small condo buildings circa the 1980s.
While there isn’t a whole lot to do in the community aside from enjoying a respite from city madness, residents frequent Juniper Valley Park and Middle Village Playground for plenty of outdoor recreational activities. Just like most of the neighborhoods in Queens, Middle Village offers a diverse food scene including an old school Italian eatery, German-style deli, Peruvian restaurant, and more.
With total crime that is well below both the city and national averages, Middle Village earns the second spot on our list of the safest neighborhoods in Queens. Violent crimes per 100K people come in at 183 and property crime is 839 for 2020.
3. Forest Hills
- Violent Crimes Per 100K: 161
- Property Crime Per 100K: 895
- Population: 110,212
Also located in the central portion of New York City’s Queens borough, Forest Hills offers city living in a suburban setting. Many prospective homeowners are drawn to this area of the city for its excellent transportation, relatively reasonable real estate prices, proximity to parks, and shopping. The housing options in Forest Hills range from modest co-ops in prewar constructions, to stunning Tudor mansions in the affluent Forest Hills Gardens area.
Of the neighborhood’s several subsections, Forest Hills Gardens is the most distinctive, with its old-fashioned lamp posts, Tudor and colonial homes, and pocket parks. Austin Street, Forest Hills’ main commercial thoroughfare, contains many chain retailers, quaint shops, and dining options. People flock to this street from all across the borough because of its charm.
Locals love Forest Hills for its green streets, beautiful architecture, and serene suburban feel. Based on our calculations, Forest Hills is the third safest neighborhood in Queens. The violent crime rate per 100K people comes in at 161 and property crime per capita is 895 for 2020.
- Violent Crimes Per 100K: 331
- Property Crime Per 100K: 759
- Population: 45,771
Located in the southeast corner of Queens, Laurelton is a primarily residential neighborhood. This community was modeled after a traditional English neighborhood with stately Tudor-style houses, both detached and attached. Laurelton is home to a few co-ops in former garden apartment complexes but because of no high rises, the area has maintained its small-town feel.
While many residents of Laurelton can own vehicles with its homes that sport driveways, public transportation in the community is very convenient. It is a relatively short walk, drive, or bus ride to the Long Island Rail Road, which serves the community with Laurelton Station. A trip from here to Penn Station is only 35 minutes, without any transfers.
With crime rates that are 47% lower than the city average and 58% lower than national averages, Laurelton earns the fourth slot on our list of the safest neighborhoods in Queens. The violent crimes per 100K people are 331 and property crime sits at 759 for 2020.
5. Kew Gardens
- Violent Crimes Per 100K: 267
- Property Crime Per 100K: 871
- Population: 90,685
Kew Gardens is situated in central Queens and is considered one of the most desired residential neighborhoods in the central NYC area. The neighborhood is uniquely structured and is one of seven garden communities built in the late 1800s to roughly 1950. Kew Gardens features large family-style homes, making this area a great investment opportunity for those looking to buy in Queens.
Although there are some apartment complexes, this affluent suburban-style neighborhood is most known for its stunning upper-middle-class properties and upscale condominiums. Real estate is generally in high demand in Kew Gardens due to the architectural beauty and incredible lifestyle offered to locals. Residents enjoy a more relaxed way of life in this Queens neighborhood.
The nearby, well-preserved Forest Park is the third largest park in Queens and provides trails for year-round walking, jogging, and even horseback riding. Kew Gardens is also home to a number of retail centers with desirable shopping and dining opportunities.
Based on our calculations, Kew Gardens is the fifth safest neighborhood in Queens. Violent crime per 100K people sits at 267 and property crime per capita is 871 for 2020.
- Violent Crimes Per 100K: 359
- Property Crime Per 100K: 805
- Population: 52,454
An equally residential and commercial neighborhood, Woodside is located in the western section of Queens. It is often described as one of New York City’s “best-kept secrets.” Like much of Queens, Woodside is home to immigrants from all over the world. Its diversity is displayed in the unique shops, diverse food scene, and annual St. Patrick’s Day parade.
Woodside was once known as “Irishtown” and the Irish influence is still evident in the many Irish pubs located in the neighborhood. Nowadays, the community has its own Little Manila and is home to many people who can trace their origins back to countries throughout Asia and Latin America. Woodside is also considered a transit hub and offers easy access to commuting into Manhattan.
Crime in Woodside is 55% below the national average and 43% lower than the city average. This community earns the sixth slot on our list of the safest neighborhoods in Queens. The Violent crime rate per 100K people comes in at 359, while property crime is 805 for 2020.
7. Queens Village
- Violent Crimes Per 100K: 417
- Property Crime Per 100K: 935
- Population: 58,979
Located in the eastern part of Queens, the Queens Village neighborhood is primarily residential middle-class. Over the past 30 years, Queens Village has undergone major ethnic changes. What was once a predominately Italian and Irish population, is now one that includes many Asians, Hispanics, blacks, and South Americans. This diversity has strengthened community ties in Queens Village.
While the area does feature scattered apartment homes and some garden apartment complexes, the dominating housing is single-family colonials. Residents enjoy large picturesque homes and quiet tree-lined streets in Queens Village.
Although there is some auto theft due to the proximity to highways, locals consider Queens Village to be a safe neighborhood. Based on statistics, this community takes the seventh spot on our list of the safest neighborhoods in Queens. The violent crime rate in Queens Village is 417 and property crime comes in at 935 for 2020.
8. Woodhaven-Richmond Hill
- Violent Crimes Per 100K: 431
- Property Crime Per 100K: 988
- Population: 121,346
Although the Woodhaven-Richmond Hill area is comprised of two distinct neighborhoods, their crime rates are paired together. Many reports have found this area to be the safest in Queens, however, our analysis places it eighth in the ranking. Woodhaven is located in central Queens and Richmond Hills can be found in the borough’s southwestern section.
Woodhaven is known for having one of the greatest tree populations in the borough due to its close proximity to the trails of Forest Park. The same park also borders Richmond Hills on its northern edge. Both Woodhaven and Richmond Hills are a mix of urban and suburban land use, though they still retain a small-town feel.
Although crime in the Woodhaven-Richmond Hill area is only 3% lower than the New York average, it is 45% lower than the national average. Woodhaven-Richmond Hill is, therefore, considered the eighth safest neighborhood in Queens. Violent crime per 100K people comes in at 431 and property crime is 988 for 2020.
9. Springfield Gardens
- Violent Crimes Per 100K: 588
- Property Crime Per 100K: 1,006
- Population: 40,129
Located 14 miles from Manhattan, Springfield Gardens is a midsize middle-class Queens neighborhood. This diamond-shaped community, which spans roughly three-square miles, is bisected by many busy boulevards. Nestled in between are quieter streets, lined with sidewalks, trees, and the occasional lawn. Springfield Gardens is often described as more suburban than the expected NYC neighborhood.
Its population of roughly 40,000 is about 90% black, with many being from the Caribbean. Although twenty years ago, violent crime in Springfield Gardens was much more severe, it has somewhat mellowed. Despite the neighborhood’s violent crime rate that still sits above the national average, Springfield Gardens still earns a spot on our list.
Based on our calculations, Springfield Gardens is considered the ninth safest neighborhood in Queens. The violent crime rate per 100K people comes in at 588 and property crime is 1,006 for 2020.
- Violent Crimes Per 100K: 377
- Property Crime Per 100K: 1,432
- Population: 60,580
Closing out our list is the Sunnyside neighborhood located in the western portion of Queens. It is a low-rise community that is diverse and offers an intimate feel. Sunnyside’s convenience and relatively low housing prices and rents are drawing more and more newcomers each year. A large section of Sunnyside is Sunnyside Gardens, a master-planned community that was originally built in the 1920s for working-class people and is now a designated historic district.
Sunnyside is considered one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the borough, with immigrants hailing from Bangladesh, China, Mexica, Korea, Ecuador, and Colombia. Parking in Sunnyside isn’t the greatest but the convenient public transportation makes up for it.
Residents enjoy a very neighborly vibe, sense of community, and connection. Similar to most of the neighborhoods in Queens, Sunnyside has an exceptionally diverse food scene. However, the nightlife is virtually nonexistent in this residential neighborhood.
Sunnyside takes the tenth spot on our list of the safest neighborhoods in Queens. The violent crime rate per 100K people comes in at 377 and property crime per capita is 1,432 for 2020.
Safest Neighborhoods in Queens for 2020
|Rank||Neighborhood||Population||Violent Crime (per 100K)||Property Crime (per 100K)|
Is Queens safe?
With respect to population, Queens is a massive neighborhood. In fact, it would be considered the fourth most populous city in the nation if it were considered independent. With that being said, such a large community is bound to have sections that are rougher than others. However, this is not to say that Queens as a whole is unsafe.
Statistically speaking, Queens is far safer than the majority of the Bronx, and much of Brooklyn. Of the five boroughs in New York City, Queens is the second-safest, after Staten Island.
What is the most dangerous part of Queens?
Like all of New York City, and each of its four other boroughs, there are dangerous sections in Queens. According to locals to the area, the most dangerous parts tend to be Ozone Park, Ridgewood, Jamaica, Long Island City, Corona, and Bellerose. Regardless, there can be small pockets within neighborhoods that are considered “rough.”
In order to stay safe in New York City, Queens included, you should avoid going out alone at night and always stay vigilant. Be aware of those areas to avoid and consider sticking to the safest neighborhoods to ensure the utmost safety in Queens, New York City.