With a population of roughly 2.6 million as of 2020, Brooklyn is the most populous borough in New York City. Given its name after the Dutch village Breukelen, Brooklyn borders the borough of Queens along the western end of Long Island. The borough has a reputation for being creative and artsy, and also for being a bit rough in some areas.
Over the last several decades, Brooklyn has changed, many neighborhoods have gentrified, and the crime rates have dropped noticeably throughout the borough. Known for its amazing cultural scene, vibrant history, and tree-lined streets of Brownstone, Brooklyn can be a wonderful place to live.
However, just like anywhere else in the world, there are a few areas of Brooklyn that you’ll want to avoid, especially if you’ve never been. While there are still some areas of Brooklyn that contain pockets of high crime, the overall crime in the borough is nowhere near it used to be. In fact, there are some considerably safe neighborhoods for both tourists to visit and residents to settle down.
If you’re considering moving to the area, especially if you’re looking to start a family, it’s essential that you understand which are the safest Brooklyn neighborhoods. Brooklyn is rather large and while there are safe neighborhoods, there are some with high crime. As always, when you’re planning on relocating, the safety of yourself and your family should be at the top of your list of priorities.
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What Are The Safest Neighborhoods in Brooklyn?
Although the crime rate in Brooklyn is significantly higher than the national average, when compared to other communities of a similar population, Brooklyn’s crime rate is lower than average. The higher than the national average crime rate is not to say that there aren’t neighborhoods within Brooklyn that are safe. In fact, most of the violent crime in Brooklyn occurs in small concentrated pockets, as opposed to across the whole borough.
For both buyers and renters, finding a safe neighborhood for you and your family to call home is absolutely vital. While you can seek advice from current Brooklyn residents as to which neighborhoods are the safest, the best way to draw a conclusion is by examining published data.
In order to come up with our list of the safest neighborhoods in Brooklyn, we examined and compared estimated property crime, violent crime, and population across the borough. The neighborhoods with the lowest overall crime made our list of the ten safest neighborhoods in New York City’s Brooklyn borough.
- Borough Park
- Sheepshead Bay
- Park Slope
- Bay Ridge
- Sunset Park
- Carroll Gardens
- Violent Crimes Per 100k: 49
- Property Crime Per 100k: 202
- Population: 1,176
Kensington is one of the most diverse neighborhoods in New York City and also tops our list for the safest in Brooklyn. It has long-landed at the top of numerous published safety reports for the borough. With only a population of 1,176, Kensington is a relatively small village that was incorporated by in 1921 by a unanimous vote of its residents.
The village is located in the central portion of Brooklyn, near Prospect Park South and Flatbush. It is primarily residential with quiet streets featuring stunning old Victorian homes. In between, you’ll find schools, a number of parks, and a variety of businesses that are slowly evolving. The architecture and slower pace of Kensington offers quite the contrast to many other areas in New York City.
With both property crime and violent crime factored in, Kensington is the safest neighborhood in Brooklyn. The violent crime per 100K people is 49, while the property crime per capita sits at 202.
2. Borough Park
- Violent Crimes Per 100k: 200
- Property Crime Per 100k: 682
- Population: 155,256
Also spelled ‘Boro Park,’ this neighborhood is located in the southwestern part of Brooklyn. Borough Park contains the largest population of Orthodox Jewish people outside of Israel, with one of the largest concentrations of Jews in the United States. Covering 225 blocks, Borough Park is mostly residential, densely populated, with a few parks.
In the early nineteenth century, this area was the site of commercial nurseries. In fact, Borough Park is known as “the baby boom capital” of New York City, because of its high birth rate and the fact that more babies are delivered at the local hospital, Maimonides Medical Center, than any other in the city.
On Saturdays in Borough Park, you’ll find that all of the stores are closed in observance of the Sabbath. The same holds true for Jewish holidays as well. On the contrary, Sundays are essentially regular weekdays, as schools, libraries, most banks, and post offices are open.
Borough Park is the second safest neighborhood in Brooklyn with the violent crime per 100K people sitting at 200 and the property crime is 682.
- Violent Crimes Per 100k: 252
- Property Crime Per 100k: 766
- Population: 115,043
The Bensonhurst neighborhood is situated in the southwestern section of Brooklyn. This area contains many major ethnic enclaves. It has a reputation for being a Little Italy of Brooklyn because of its large Italian-American population. Bensonhurst also includes the largest population of people born in Hong Kong and China of any other neighborhood in New York City and now houses Brooklyn’s second Chinatown.
It is one of the most integrated neighborhoods of New York City, with over half of its population being born outside of the United States. Often deemed the working-class portion of Brooklyn, Bensonhurst still gives off that old Brooklyn ambiance. You likely won’t find any fancy high-rise condos or hordes of hipsters in this area (yet, anyway).
Bensonhurst ranks number three on our list of the safest neighborhoods in Brooklyn. It has a violent crime rate per 100K people of 252 and the property crime rate is 766.
4. Sheepshead Bay
- Violent Crimes Per 100k: 263
- Property Crime Per 100k: 977
- Population: 255,533
Located in southern Brooklyn, Sheepshead Bay is named after a bay that divides mainland Brooklyn from the eastern section of Coney Island. It is a relatively peaceful neighborhood, with plenty of grocery stores, fantastic restaurants, and lots of shopping. Sheepshead Bay contains Emmons Avenue, a waterfront with ships and piers that offer daily cruises or fishing trips.
This neighborhood is a perfect blend of classic New York City and a conventional American neighborhood. Sheepshead Bay is known by locals as the capital of roast beef in the city, and there is some dispute as to whether Roll-N-Roaster or Brennan & Carr have the best beef.
Sheepshead Bay takes the fourth slot on our list of the safest neighborhoods in Brooklyn. The violent crime per 100K residents is 263 and the property crime per capita sits at 977.
- Violent Crimes Per 100k: 304
- Property Crime Per 100k: 973
- Population: 206,460
Initially an independent town, Flatlands become a part of the City of Brooklyn in 1896. It is located in the southeast section of Brooklyn and is one of the safest neighborhoods in the borough. In the last decade, this neighborhood has experienced sweeping demographic changes. An area that was once predominately Jewish, is now home to many Haitians and immigrants from other Caribbean countries.
The residents of Flatlands are mostly families that desire a rural-like area but are also attracted to the city life. Moving to Flatlands comes with cheaper prices on homes and apartments, along with the character of row homes with porches, gardens, and friendly neighbors.
According to our calculations, Flatlands is the fifth safest neighborhood in Brooklyn. Its’ violent crime rate per 100K people is 304 and the property crime for the area is 973.
6. Park Slope
- Violent Crimes Per 100k: 207
- Property Crime Per 100k: 1,205
- Population: 77,662
Originally settled as Dutch farmland in the 17th century, Park Slope is now a community that is flooded with regional and national history. This neighborhood is located in northwestern Brooklyn and has been on the rise since the mid-1900s. Its’ lasting architecture and greenspace appeal are the perfect combination of natural beauty and modern living.
When compared to other areas of Brooklyn, Park Slope feels more established and suburban. Residents enjoy tree-lined sidewalks, well-maintained stoop-front gardens, and all share a general love for greenery and outdoor gathering spots. Its close proximity to Brooklyn Conservatory, The Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn Academy of Music, and more create a population of academics, educators, and enduring learners.
Park Slope ranks number six on our list of the safest neighborhoods in Brooklyn. The violent crime rate per 100K people in the area is 207, while property crime per capita is 1,205.
7. Bay Ridge
- Violent Crimes Per 100k: 276
- Property Crime Per 100k: 1,214
- Population: 77,029
Located in the southwest region of Brooklyn, Bay Ridge is a diverse, manicured waterfront neighborhood with a quiet, suburban feel. What was once the site of much action during the American Revolution, War of 1812, and the Civil War is now a community filled with families who have called this area home for generations.
Because of the relatively long commute into Manhattan, Bay Ridge hasn’t seen quite the gentrification that other parts of Brooklyn have. This has resulted in a comparatively lower cost of living, a slower pace, and prosperous family-owned businesses. Living in Bay Ridge you’ll get to enjoy the friendly calm and big sky of a deep-rooted ocean-side community.
Bay Ridge is considered the seventh safest neighborhood in New York City’s Brooklyn borough. The violent crime rate per 100K people sits at 276 and the property crime is 1,214.
8. Sunset Park
- Violent Crimes Per 100k: 480
- Property Crime Per 100k: 1,090
- Population: 106,699
Situated in the southwestern part of Brooklyn, Sunset Park is essentially a city within a city. It features a waterfront industrial area, its own Chinatown, and low residential streets with classic New York charm. This area was originally Native American farmland that was sold to the Dutch in the 1600s. The working waterfront drew major appeal in the late 19th and early 20th centuries when row houses were constructed and an elevated highway intersected the neighborhood.
Eventually, an era of decline in the area occurred as shipping became less essential. Nowadays, the rising rents in Brooklyn along with new parks and office spaces have put Sunset Park on the map. This neighborhood offers a great sense of community with many families who have been in the area for generations. Residents enjoy evenings in the namesake park and traveling by ferry to neighboring areas.
Sunset Park ranks eighth on our list of the safest neighborhoods in Brooklyn. Its’ violent crime sits at 480 and the property crime per 100K people is 1,090 for the area.
- Violent Crimes Per 100k: 417
- Property Crime Per 100k: 1,232
- Population: 147,157
Located in the southeastern section of Brooklyn, Canarsie is one of the most peaceful and safest neighborhoods in the borough. Violent crime and property crime in the area is much lower when compared to the national average. Canarsie was named after the Canarsee tribe, an Algonquin people whose main villages and last settlement were once located in the area.
Nowadays, the community offers a residential feel with a few green spaces, hiking paths, beautiful views, and the nearby Canarsie pier which is perfect for fishing. It is considered a working- to middle-class neighborhood and is predominantly Afro-Caribbean.
Based on our calculations, Canarsie is the ninth safest neighborhood in Brooklyn. The violent crime per 100K people comes in at 417, while the property crime in the area is 1,232.
10. Carroll Gardens
- Violent Crimes Per 100k: 270
- Property Crime Per 100k: 1,687
- Population: 25,576
Rounding out our list of the safest neighborhoods in New York City’s Brooklyn borough is Carroll Gardens. This neighborhood is located in the northwestern section of Brooklyn and extends over 40 city blocks. It was named after Charles Carroll, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. Carroll Gardens’ cultural history consists of much of western Europe, including Irish, Norwegian, French, and Italian immigrants.
This area offers diverse shopping and dining options, scenic strolls, gathering spots, parks, and many cultural opportunities. As opposed to the types of shops you’d find in downtown Manhattan, Carroll Gardens features artisanal food shops and inviting boutiques. The only downside to this community is the lack of late-night party scene and complicated commute into Manhattan.
Carroll Gardens is the tenth safest neighborhood in Brooklyn with a violent crime rate per 100K people of 270 and property crime sitting at 1,687.
Safest Neighborhoods in Brooklyn for 2020
|Rank||Neighborhood||Population||Violent Crime (per 100K)||Property Crime (per 100K)|