Overflowing with music, food, art, and all things technology, Seattle, Washington is unlike any other city in the state. It is full of fun, possibility, and happy residents from all over the globe. There are a number of great reasons to relocate to Seattle. The booming job market, top-notch schools, and boundless opportunities for outdoor adventures are just the tip of the iceberg in this Pacific Northwest gem.
The city of Seattle is repeatedly among lists of the top ten greatest places to live in the United States. Not only is this major city surrounded by lush evergreen forests and picturesque mountain peaks, but Seattle is also notorious for being very eco-conscious. As an added bonus, most Seattle residents earn incomes that are above the national average. Although you likely know Seattle as being a rainy city, it actually experiences less yearly rainfall than the likes of Atlanta, New York, and Houston.
Seattle is one of the nation’s most modern cities and while it can be rather pricey, most travelers and residents consider it to be a safe place. Just like any populous city in the United States, as long as one remains aware of their surroundings and avoids the particularly dangerous areas, it’s easy to be safe in Seattle.
With over 100 distinct districts, there is definitely a place for everyone to call home in Seattle. If you’re planning on making the big move to the Emerald City, you should be aware of its safest neighborhoods.
Table of Contents
- What Are The Safest Neighborhoods in Seattle?
- 1. Hawthorne Hills
- 2. Blue Ridge
- 3. North Beach
- 4. Bryant
- 5. Matthews Beach
- 6. View Ridge
- 7. Wedgwood
- 8. Broadmoor
- 9. Arbor Heights
- 10. Laurelhurst
- Safest Neighborhoods in Seattle for 2020
- Related Questions
- Is Seattle dangerous?
- What are the most dangerous neighborhoods in Seattle?
- Wrapping It Up
What Are The Safest Neighborhoods in Seattle?
Out of the 72 cities in Washington, Seattle ranked 46th on a list of the most dangerous. Whether you are a resident of Seattle or visiting the city, you are unlikely to become a victim of crime. Even if you are, it’s most likely to be property crime, as Seattle has one of the highest property crime rates among major United States cities.
While the violent crime rate is high for the city of Seattle, most of the unsafe areas are concentrated within the downtown core. Seattle’s safest neighborhoods exist outside of the downtown area and are generally primarily residential or residential with some commercial aspects.
If you are looking to relocate to the Seattle area or are a current resident seeking to switch neighborhoods, safety is likely at the top of your list of priorities. Finding safe neighborhoods within the city limits means examining physical crime data from the FBI. More specifically, the population, violent crime rate, property crime rate, and total crime rate in a given area.
While you can certainly research feedback given by actual residents of the various neighborhoods, this isn’t always the most foolproof examination. A data-based analysis helps to draw an unbiased conclusion about the safest areas in the city of Seattle. After observing all the necessary FBI raw data, we ranked the communities with the lowest overall crime rate. What resulted is our list of the top ten safest neighborhoods in Seattle:
- Hawthorne Hills
- Blue Ridge
- North Beach
- Matthews Beach
- View Ridge
- Arbor Heights
Let’s explore each neighborhood in detail, along with its crime statistics, livability, and characteristics so you can make an informed decision about which community to call home.
1. Hawthorne Hills
- Violent Crimes Per 100K: 23
- Property Crime Per 100K: 1,273
- Population: 1,721
On Seattle’s atlas, Hawthorne Hills is split between Bryant and Windermere but is typically recognized as its own distinct neighborhood. This community is named after Hawthorne Kingsbury Dent, a prominent Seattle insurance executive who, in the 1900s, owned much of the land that is now Hawthorne Hills. It has the second-highest median household income of any Seattle community and the lowest crime rate of all 101 Seattle neighborhoods, ranking number one on our list of the safest neighborhoods in the city.
This tiny, affluent community sits on a hilltop northeast of the bustling University of Washington campus. Though, the neighborhood itself is remarkably quiet and peaceful. With a few businesses along the southern border, the majority of the community is virtually traffic-free. Residents of Hawthorne Hills enjoy views of Lake Washington, Cascade Mountains, and the Seattle skyline. The neighborhood is also in close proximity to one of the biggest parks in the city, Warren G. Magnuson Park.
Just seven miles from downtown Seattle and 20 minutes by car, Hawthorne Hills is a great place for commuters looking to escape the madness of the city. Hawthorne Hills is the number one safest neighborhood in Seattle with a violent crime rate per 100K people of 23 and property crime sitting at 1,273 for 2020.
2. Blue Ridge
- Violent Crimes Per 100K: 84
- Property Crime Per 100K: 1,723
- Population: 1,877
The Blue Ridge neighborhood is located eight miles northwest of the city and is bounded to the west by Puget Sound. Its’ location offers panoramic views of the sound and the Olympic Peninsula. The Blue Ridge Homeowners Association places strict restrictions on architecture in the community.
Blue Ridge was a previously forested area used for logging that grew to what it is now after being purchased by William Boeing in 1925. Boeing’s goal was to create several planned communities with his purchase and the land later became known as Blue Ridge and Innis Arden.
The neighborhood does not contain a central business district and is primarily a single-family residential area. Residents of Blue Ridge enjoy a community center, tennis courts, pools, playfields, and access to a private beach. The nearby Golden Gardens Parks and Carkeek offer additional beach access, play areas, and trails for hiking, jogging, or walking.
Blue Ridge is the second safest neighborhood in Seattle. The violent crime rate per 100K people comes in at 84 and property crime is 1,723 for 2020.
3. North Beach
- Violent Crimes Per 100K: 162
- Property Crime Per 100K: 1,677
- Population: 2,193
Neighboring the Blue Ridge community, North Beach is a slightly less formal neighborhood of Seattle. It is largely a quiet, cozy residential area whose north side overlooks the Puget Sound. The west end of North Beach is the wooded slopes of Golden Gardens Park, leading down to the marinas of Shilshole and beaches of Meadow Point.
The drive from the center of North Beach to 15th Avenue and Crown Hill is relatively quick and offers plenty of retail and dining options. Because of this, the area is the ideal choice for middle-class families who desire privacy and a yard but don’t want to be too isolated from various suburban amenities.
Residents of North Beach also get to enjoy private beaches and many local parks for outdoor recreation. With an exceptionally low overall crime rate, North Beach takes the third slot on our list of the safest neighborhoods in Seattle. The violent crimes per 100K people come in at 162 and property crime is 1,677 for 2020.
- Violent Crimes Per 100K: 278
- Property Crime Per 100K: 1,613
- Population: 5,241
Located northeast of Seattle, Bryant is a residential neighborhood with a population of roughly 5,000 residents. The community is often referred to as Ravenna-Bryant, due to its close proximity to Ravenna Park. Though primarily residential, this small, quiet neighborhood has some shops and restaurants along its main street.
It is approximately six miles from downtown Seattle, offering a great home base for those who commute into the city. Additionally, Bryant is a great place for families, as it is close to the water and there are tons of nearby parks and fantastic dining options.
The neighborhood is home to Nathan Eckstein Middle School, whose music and jazz programs are the best in the region. A popular attraction in Bryant is the yearly Fourth of July block party and parade. Bryant earns the fourth rank on our list of the safest neighborhoods in Seattle. The violent crime per 100K people is 278 and property crime sits at 1,613 for 2020.
5. Matthews Beach
- Violent Crimes Per 100K: 99
- Property Crime Per 100K: 1,868
- Population: 5,195
Most known for a beach of the same name, Matthews Beach is a neighborhood located in northeast Seattle. This community, along with Meadowbrook, makes up the southern neighborhoods that are annexed by the Lake City township. It is about two miles northeast of the University of Washington and roughly eight miles in the same direction of downtown Seattle.
This residential area is home to one of North Seattle’s most popular lakeside gathering places, and some of the most upscale homes. Residents of Matthews Beach enjoy not only the beach, but the nearby Burke-Gilman trail system runs right through the park and is very popular for admiring all the gorgeous lakefront homes.
Matthews Beach is the fifth safest neighborhood in Seattle. In fact, it is 80% safer than all the other cities in Washington State. The violent crime rate per 100K people comes in 99 and property crime is 1,868 for 2020.
6. View Ridge
- Violent Crimes Per 100K: 150
- Property Crime Per 100K: 1,880
- Population: 4,205
Located in the northeast section of Seattle, View Ridge enjoys exceptional views of both Lake Washing and the Cascade Mountains due to its hilltop position. It is a peaceful, residential community with a primarily suburban feel. The large, expensive homes of View Ridge sit on tree-lined streets and affordable apartments can be found on the eastern side of the neighborhood.
View Ridge is also home to a large Jewish population. The northern section is largely occupied by the Sand Point Country Club for residents who enjoy athletics. Though the area does not have many businesses, the neighboring Wedgwood has plenty, and it’s a quick trip to both the University Village shopping center and the University of Washington’s campus.
View Ridge is ranked sixth on our list of the safest neighborhoods in Seattle. The violent crimes per 100K people come in at 150 and property crime is 1,880 for 2020.
- Violent Crimes Per 100K: 176
- Property Crime Per 100K: 1,866
- Population: 10,290
Wedgwood is located northeast of Seattle and is primarily a middle-class residential community with a modest commercial section. It is only two miles from the University of Washington and just six miles northeast of the city center.
The misspelling of “Wedgewood” is not uncommon and also completely intentional. In fact, the neighborhood was named after Wedgwood, the English bone china-maker, whose china was a favorite of the original developer’s wife. Albert (“Al”) Balch was also the founder of the neighboring View Ridge community. Wedgwood is a quiet place with an active community and well-maintained properties. It has your standard assortment of bars, restaurants, coffee shops, dry cleaners, and the like.
Given its many schools and one of its leading preparatory schools, Wedgwood is a great place for families to call home. It takes the seventh slot on our list of the safest neighborhoods in Seattle. The violent crime rate per 100K people is 176 and property crime sits at 1,866 for 2020.
- Violent Crimes Per 100K: 26
- Property Crime Per 100K: 2,059
- Population: 1,508
Broadmoor is an exclusive gated residential community in the Madison Park area of Seattle that consists of 85 acres and, most notably, a 115-acre golf course. It is most known for the picturesque homes and quiet green streets. If you enjoy a game of golf, you’ll like the close proximity to the sophisticated Broadmoor Golf Club.
Residents of Broadmoor also enjoy miles of trails for jogging or walking in the nearby Washington Park, in addition to a spectacular botanical garden. While you won’t find much nightlife in this area, restaurants and boutiques are located in the adjacent Madison Park neighborhood.
By our calculations, Broadmoor is the eighth safest neighborhood in Seattle. The violent crimes per 100K people come in at a mere 26, while property crime is a staggering 2,059 for 2020.
9. Arbor Heights
- Violent Crimes Per 100K: 84
- Property Crime Per 100K: 2,016
- Population: 5,176
Located in West Seattle, Arbor Heights consists of the area south of SW Roxbury Street, north and east of Puget Sound, but excludes the downhill section on this region’s west side. The neighborhood is the southernmost section of West Seattle. While there are no secondary schools in Arbor Heights, it does contain a large elementary school.
With a population of just over 5,000 residents, this area is almost exclusively zoned off as residential, with the nearest commercial zones existing north of the Roxhill neighborhood. Residents enjoy a private club pool, tennis courts, and other amenities at the Arbor Heights Swim and Tennis Club.
Arbor Heights is the ninth safest neighborhood in Seattle, with a total crime rate that is 19% lower than the national average. Violent crimes per 100K in the area is 84 and property crime sits at 2,016 for 2020.
- Violent Crimes Per 100K: 180
- Property Crime Per 100K: 1,469
- Population: 4,159
Rounding out our list of the top ten safest neighborhoods in Seattle is the fancy and meticulously maintained Laurelhurst. Advertised as one of the best locations in a city full of terrific neighborhoods, Laurelhurst offers spectacular views for owners of its pricey homes. It sits atop the shores of Lake Washington to the east and Union Bay on the south.
This quiet residential community has great schools, orderly properties, and a wide variety of businesses and restaurants for enjoyment. Depending on where you live in the neighborhood, you may be eligible to join the private Laurelhurst Beach Club. For those who do not qualify, there is still Laurelhurst Playfield which features tennis courts, a community center, and plenty of athletic fields.
Laurelhurst is the tenth safest neighborhood among over 100 communities in Seattle. Though it’s at the bottom of our list, it still has crime rates well below national averages. Violent crimes per 100K people come in at 180 and property crime per capita is 1,469 for 2020.
Safest Neighborhoods in Seattle for 2020
|Rank||Neighborhood||Population||Violent Crime (per 100K)||Property Crime (per 100K)|
Is Seattle dangerous?
While most areas of Seattle, especially the tourist-heavy locations, are generally safe for walking around during the daytime, any unfamiliar areas should be avoided after dark. This is particularly true in South Seattle, which tends to have higher rates of crime than the rest of the city. While Seattle has crime rates that are higher than national averages, you are more likely to experience property crime than violent crime. Property crime is defined by the FBI as arson, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and burglary, with motor-vehicle theft being the most common type in Seattle. However, property crime is still pretty rare for both residents and tourists.
What are the most dangerous neighborhoods in Seattle?
Knowing the dangerous neighborhoods in Seattle is just as important as being aware of the safest communities. That way, you know which places to avoid whether you are a resident or tourist visiting the city. The following is a list of the top ten most dangerous neighborhoods in Seattle based on overall crime rates.
- Sand Point
- First Hill
- South Lake Union
- Haller Lake
- Lower Queen Anne
- Capitol Hill
- Central District
Each of the above communities have crime that is significantly above both the Seattle average and the national average, and therefore should be strongly avoided.
Wrapping It Up
Though crime rates in Seattle are high, this is common among nearly every major city in America. As long as you are familiar with the safest neighborhoods to stick to and the unsafe areas to avoid, you will enjoy your stay in the Emerald City.