Safest Neighborhoods in Boston | Boom (2023)

If you’re looking for the best apartment rentals websites in Boston, you’re probably considering the usual factors: building amenities, nearby establishments, and the monthly rent. In fact, you might even be looking into the cheapest neighborhoods in Boston! However, there is another essential factor you might be overlooking: the safety and security of a Boston neighborhood.

Just like any other major city in the USA, there are areas in Boston that are safer than others. In general, these areas have low rates of violent and property crime, as well as overall total crime. These areas are hugely popular with young families and retirees, as well as singles who don’t want to worry about living alone.

Here are our picks for the five safest neighborhoods in Boston, and what you can expect in these neighborhoods.

How to Determine If a Neighborhood is Safe

For first-time renters in Boston, it is only natural that you are not familiar with the different neighborhoods in the city. However, it is essential for your peace of mind and security to know more about the area. You won’t be able to enjoy all the great things that Boston has to offer if you’re worried about your safety!

Here are four ways to determine if a potential neighborhood in Boston is safe:

Check crime mapping services

Crime mapping services are great online resources because they are free and easy to use. They work by collating police and crime reports, so you can quickly check all recent reports in a certain location. Two of the most popular services are SpotCrime and NeighborhoodScout. AreaVibes is also a great resource for comparing crime rates between similar cities in a state.

(Video) Safe, Affordable Neighborhoods in Boston

To know more about a particular Boston neighborhood, you simply enter the address of the potential apartment you want to rent in their database. You’ll get a detailed list of all the crimes committed in the area, including the date and type of the crime. You can use these tools to compare the crime incidence rates and find the safest neighborhoods that fall into your search parameters.

Check the number of available rentals in the area

Using apartment rental websites, you can check the number of available rentals in a neighborhood. The number of vacant units could be an indicator of its safety rating; when families feel safe, they do not want to leave. They are comfortable laying down roots and raising families, resulting in a low turnover rate of apartments.

Another useful indicator to check is the length of time that residents stay in a certain neighborhood. If the locals are long-term residents, it could be a good sign that they feel safe and secure in that neighborhood.

Pay a personal visit before you move in

If you can, visit a potential apartment and neighborhood in person. You’ll get a feel for what it is like to live in that neighborhood. You might even consider visiting in the day and during the night to see if it feels the same.

The overall state of the area will tell you a lot about the environment -- look for things like well-light and clean streets, as well as well-maintained apartments. Generally, safe neighborhoods have homes that are well-kept because the residents take pride in their homes. While one or two unsightly apartments are not unusual, a large number should be a red flag.

Talk with the locals

When you visit a Boston neighborhood, take the time to chat with the residents. A quick conversation can get you more in-depth information than any online search. After all, they’ll have first-hand experience in how safe it is to live in that neighborhood! Introduce yourself as someone who is looking to rent an apartment, and ask about their experience living in the area. In most cases, the locals would be happy to give you an inside look at how it is to live there.

(Video) Where to Live in 5 of Boston's Best Neighborhoods

Another way to get inside information is by using Facebook housing groups. If you can’t pay a personal visit, you can use these groups to connect with locals and voice any concerns you might have. In some cases, you might even get detailed information that you won’t hear in person!

5 Safest Neighborhoods in Boston

  • Allston-Brighton
  • East Boston
  • Hyde Park
  • Jamaica Plain
  • South Boston

In this list, we compiled the five safest neighborhoods in Boston based on the overall crime rate, specifically non-violent crimes.


The Allston-Brighton area is one of the largest neighborhoods in Boston, as it is made up of two interlocked regions. With 317 violent crimes per 100k residents, this neighborhood is one of the safest areas in Massachusetts. In fact, according to AreaVibes, Allston-Brighton is safer than 82% of the cities in the state, with violent crimes being 16% lower than the national average.

This neighborhood is a firmly middle-class area, with a mix of residential and commercial pockets. Some of the notable businesses that have made Allston-Brighton home include the WBGH Education Foundation and the sports giant New Balance. On the residential side, Allston-Brighton is highly popular with students, young professionals, and singles. You’ll find a largely Bohemian and trendy vibe here.

East Boston

Historically, East Boston was considered a haven for immigrants as it had a large population of Italian, Russian Jews, and Irish communities who settled down in this neighborhood. Recently, the Latino community has also noticeably increased as well, resulting in one of the most culturally diverse areas in Boston. Crime rates in East Boston have steadily gone down through the years, and it is considered to be safer than 69% of other neighborhoods in Massachusetts.

Its proximity to Logan International Airport as well as affordable apartment rates makes this neighborhood popular with students and young professionals. There are also great green spaces for residents to enjoy, such as Constitution Beach, Piers Park, and Belle Isle Marsh.

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Hyde Park

Hyde Park is a relatively small neighborhood located in the southernmost area of Boston. With a population of only around 35,000 people, living here will feel like you’re smack dab in the middle of a suburb. It’s not accidental either; the motto is “A small town in the city”, and the residents take pride in their tightly knit community. With only 1 violent crime and 11 property crimes per 1000 residents, Hyde Park is considered to be safer than 78% of cities in Massachusetts.

Since it is mostly a residential area, most of the businesses in this neighborhood are owned by locals. Chain stores and commercial coffee shops are the exception; it’s not uncommon for business owners to know their customers by name! Aside from their strong community spirit, the locals are also fiercely proud of their green spaces like Stony Brook Park and Neponset River Reservation. If you’ve got a dog, make sure to bring them to Dedham Dog Park, one of the best dog parks in Boston.

Jamaica Plain

If you’re looking for a Boston neighborhood that’s culturally diverse, look no further than Jamaica Plain. This area has a huge Latin and African-American community, as well as an Asian community that is slowly laying down roots over the years. Jamaica Plain is also very LGBTQ+ friendly, with Centre Street catering to this demographic. The crime rates in Jamaica Plain rank in the 55th percentile for safety, which means that it is safer than 55% of U.S. cities.

Jamaica Plain is a foodie’s paradise. You’ll find culinary influences from all over the world, and you’ll never run out of a new restaurant, coffee shop, or bar to try. However, if you’re looking for a tried-and-true local destination, The Galway House offers American-Italian fusion fare with a selection of microbrews.

South Boston

South Boston is a densely populated neighborhood, attracting young families, singles, and professionals because of its low crime rates and vibrant dining scene. However, the downside to living in South Boston is the relatively expensive rent for large apartments; a 2-bedroom apartment costs around $2,744 per month on average. If you’re looking for an affordable Boston apartment, there are great apartment rental websites where you can find a unit that fits your budget.

Every year, South Boston becomes a buzzing neighborhood during the St. Patrick’s Day Parade! Once the hubbub dies down, residents can go back to the quiet and charming life that is synonymous with this area. The waterfront is home to great Irish pubs such as Shenanigans Bar and J.J. Foley’s Cafe.

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Least Safe Neighborhoods in Boston

We have also compiled a list of the least safe neighborhoods in Boston based on crime statistics and reviews. Please note that we are not discouraging renters from finding apartments in these areas, we are simply advising them to exercise a little bit of extra caution.

The information was gathered from USA Electronic System for Travel Authorization Online, as well as

Fenway Park

Fenway Park is great to visit during the day, especially if you are a Red Sox fan. However, the surrounding area might not be as safe at night. The nearby bars can get crowded and rowdy during home games while the local homeless population frequent the public neighborhood gardens. While the crime rates are 24% lower than the national average, you will have a 1 in 53 chance of becoming a victim of crime.


Compared to other nearby neighborhoods such as Roslindale and Dorchester, Mattapan has a lower rate of gentrification and a higher crime rate incidence. According to AreaVibes, there is a 1 in 30 chance that you will be a victim of crime in this neighborhood. The crime rates are 37% higher than the national average.

Choosing Your Neighborhood in Boston

Finding the safest neighborhood for you in Boston might seem hard, but with a little bit of research and some precautions, there is no reason for you not to find an apartment where you will be safe. Overall, Boston is a great city with so much to offer, from diverse neighborhoods to amazing restaurants, and some of the country’s best schools such as Cambridge and Harvard!

Paying a personal visit to a potential neighborhood is one of the best ways to gauge how it would be like to live there. You should look for some common features that are present among the safest neighborhoods in Boston, such as welcoming neighbors, maintained homes, and a general feeling of safety when in public areas. You should also look for signs that the local government invests in public infrastructures such as well-kept green spaces, well-lit streets, and clean public areas.

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What town in Massachusetts has the lowest crime rate? ›

Wayland is new to the list and the SafeWise's new number 1 in Massachusetts. None of the safest cities reported murders, and nine reported 0 robberies. Property crime rates dropped from 11.8 per 1,000 to 10.5.

Is Boston safe place to live? ›

Boston is safe. US News recently rated Boston as the 13th safest place to live in America, based upon crime statistics and residents' own reports. Essentially, living in Boston is safer thank most cities of its size or larger.

Is it safe to walk in Boston at night? ›

Yes, Boston is safe at night. Stick to the central, better areas, and you'll be fine.

Where is safe in Boston? ›

North End is considered the safest neighborhood in Boston. Many tourists crowd here each year when they visit Boston. It has the lowest crime rates, with few violent crimes reported.

Where do rich people live near Boston? ›

Below we highlight the most expensive neighborhoods in Boston for 2021.
  • Beacon Hill. Beacon Hill is one of Boston's original neighborhoods, and prospective homeowners can expect historic real estate dating back to the city's colonial roots. ...
  • Seaport District. ...
  • Back Bay. ...
  • Fenway / Kenmore. ...
  • South End. ...
  • North End. ...
  • West End.
7 Jan 2022

What salary do you need to live comfortably in Boston? ›

Typical Expenses
0 Children2 Children
Required annual income after taxes$38,027$98,113
Annual taxes$8,891$22,939
Required annual income before taxes$46,918$121,052
7 more rows

What is the poor part of Boston? ›

Non-Gentrified Low-Income Tracts

The 318 non-gentrified tracts are mainly located in large parts of Boston's Dorchester, Mattapan, and Hyde Park neighborhoods; in most or all of Brockton, Chelsea, Lawrence, Lowell, Lynn, Revere, and Rochester; and in parts of Framingham and Marlborough.

What is the friendliest town in Massachusetts? ›

Considered the friendliest town in Massachusetts, Provincetown is perfect for those who need a pick-me-up. Named one of the friendliest towns in America by Expedia, Provincetown is such an open-minded and friendly place where everyone is meant to feel welcome.

What is the safest place to raise a family in Massachusetts? ›

Wayland. According to the town and school data website Niche, Wayland is ranked number one among the best places to raise a family in MA. This ranking was based on public schools, crime rates, cost of living, and family-friendly amenities from data from the U.S. Census, FBI, BLS, CDC, and other official sources.

Is Boston or NY safer? ›

Crime Rates

According to an index created by Best Places, Boston scored 37.3 out of 100 for violent crime and 35.8 for property crime. New York, in comparison, scored 28.2 for violent crime and 24.9 for property crime. The national average is 22.7 for violent crime and 35.4 for property crime.

Is Boston safer than Chicago? ›

While neither city is ranked among the safest cities in their own states, Boston neighborhoods have a much lower crime rate than Chicago. Boston has noticeably lower rates in everything from violent crime to property crimes such as burglary and motor vehicle theft.

Is Boston safer than Philadelphia? ›

Lower crime in Boston Versus Philly

Boston is one of the safest cities in the United States with 2,580 total crimes per 100,000 people. By comparison, Philadelphia ranks as one of the least safe cities in America with 4,006 crimes per 100,000 people.

Is Copley Square safe at night? ›

The Back Bay/Copley Square area is a safe area with lots of dining and shopping options with easy access to both the Green and Orange MBTA lines. Some hotels in that area are the Westin Copley Place, Marriott Copley Place, Sheraton to name 3.

Is Chinatown Boston safe at night? ›

During normal dining hours, say as late as 9:00 or so, Chinatown is quite safe. I suspect it's reasonably safe even later than that. You will see drunken street people, but steer clear of them and you will be fine. Chinatown is fine.

Is Fenway safe at night? ›

The area is generally quite safe, anytime. I was surprised to learn that Boston is, overall, only about average as far as safety when considering large cities in the U.S. Is there another Fenway Park out there somewhere?

What part of Boston is rich? ›

The area of North End is considered part of the rich side of Boston and is located directly to the north of Downtown. Among the city's smallest communities, North End only takes up about 0.36 square miles.

How safe is South Boston? ›

NeighborhoodScout's analysis also reveals that South Boston's rate for property crime is 30 per one thousand population. This makes South Boston a place where there is an above average chance of becoming a victim of a property crime, when compared to all other communities in America of all population sizes.

Is Roxbury a safe neighborhood? ›

Roxbury. There are 63,672 people in this neighborhood. West Roxbury's crime rate is significantly lower than it was in the late 1990s. Nonetheless, the area has a high crime rate, ranking it as one of the most hazardous in Boston.

Who is the richest family in Boston? ›

BOSTON – Patriots owner Robert Kraft and Fidelity president Abigail Johnson are among seven Massachusetts billionaires featured on the Forbes 400 Richest People in America list for 2022. Johnson has the highest net worth among Massachusetts residents at $20.5 billion, No.

Where do most Italians live in Boston? ›

Boston, Massachusetts. Boston's Italian neighborhood is called the North End. It has a strong Italian flair and numerous Italian restaurants. The North End is also Boston's oldest neighborhood and it still possesses an old-world charm kept alive by its mostly Italian-American population.

Where do rich single men go in Boston? ›

Bars That Are Cool For Finding Rich Men in Boston, MA
  • All "bars that are cool for finding rich men" Results in Boston, MA. Showing 1-60 of 322.
  • Carrie Nation Cocktail Club. 0.9 mi. 364 reviews. ...
  • W Lounge. 0.4 mi. ...
  • Saltie Girl. 0.4 mi. ...
  • Lookout Rooftop Bar. 1.2 mi. ...
  • Yvonne's. 0.7 mi. ...
  • The Supper Club At Capo. 1.5 mi. ...
  • Ramsay's Kitchen. 0.5 mi.

What is middle class in Boston? ›

Boston's middle class is broadly defined as households with annual incomes between $50,000 and $125,000.

What is a good hourly wage in Boston? ›

Hour Salary in Boston, MA
Annual SalaryHourly Wage
Top Earners$83,676$40
75th Percentile$51,492$25
25th Percentile$31,646$15

Is 50K enough to live in Boston? ›

If you stick to your plan of getting a roommate and living in a nearby suburb (with decent public transportation; not all off Boston's suburbs are convenient for commuters), don't eat out every night, and stick to a budget, you should be fine at $50K.

What is the prettiest street in Boston? ›

Boston's Beacon Hill is one of the 'most beautiful streets in the world,' according to Architectural Digest. Published: Oct. 18, 2022, 7:48 a.m.

What is the prettiest town in Massachusetts? ›

10 Most Beautiful Small Towns in Massachusetts
  • Rockport.
  • Westford.
  • Newburyport.
  • Rowe.
  • Oak Bluff.
  • Concord.
  • Provincetown.
  • Great Barrington.

What is the smartest town in Massachusetts? ›

Perhaps surprisingly, however, the top ranked city in Massachusetts, Lexington, does not have any colleges or universities located within its borders. The proximity of the city to top universities, along with the cities high performing schools, can perhaps explain its position as the smartest city in Massachusetts.

What are the hoods of Boston? ›

Regardless of the change there are still numerous hoods within the communities of the South End, Roxbury, Dorchester, and Mattapan.

What is the richest city in Boston? ›

Lexington is one of the wealthiest towns in Massachusetts. Located in Middlesex county, Lexington has a population of 34,454. Home to some of the most affluent residents of Massachusetts, Lexington has a median household income of $186,201.
6. Lexington, MA.
Median Household Income$186,201
Median Home Value$889,700
1 more row
3 Oct 2022

What is the cheapest part of Boston to live? ›

What are the Most Affordable Neighborhoods in Boston?
  • Allston-Brighton.
  • Dorchester.
  • East Boston.
  • Roslindale.
  • Hyde Park.
23 Jun 2022

What is the poorest community in Massachusetts? ›

Hampden County, which ranks as the poorest county in the state, has a median household income of just $55,429, which is about $7,400 below the national median.
This Is the Poorest County in Massachusetts.
Largest Place in CountySpringfield
Median Household Income$55,429
State Median Household Income$81,215
Poverty Rate16.4%
State Poverty Rate10.3%
41 more columns

What city is most similar to Boston? ›

  • Boston. Similarity. 187. Distance (mi.)
  • Philadelphia. ...
  • Bridgeport, Conn. ...
  • Chicago. 726.
  • San Francisco. 2,560.
  • Los Angeles. 2,448.
  • Washington. 215.
  • Hartford.
3 Apr 2018

Where is the cheapest and safest place to live in Massachusetts? ›

Most Affordable Places to Live in Massachusetts
  • Adams.
  • Easthampton.
  • New Bedford.
  • Spencer.
  • Westfield.
3 Aug 2022

Where do rich live Massachusetts? ›

While much of the state's most expensive properties are set in Boston, many of the most affluent of Massachusetts' residents live outside the city in smaller towns like Dover, Sherborn and Carlisle. One such town, Weston, is the wealthiest.

What is the nicest town to live in in Massachusetts? ›

15 Best Places to Live in Massachusetts
  • Leverett, Massachusetts. ...
  • Cambridge, Massachusetts. ...
  • Newton, Massachusetts. ...
  • Provincetown, Massachusetts. ...
  • Sudbury, Massachusetts. ...
  • Concord, Massachusetts. ...
  • Beverly, Massachusetts. ...
  • Longmeadow, Massachusetts. Source: Dougtone / Flickr Longmeadow.

Is Boston a good place to raise kids? ›

It's a great neighborhood for families, as it offers some of the best Boston museums, kid-friendly parks, and top-notch schools like The Warren-Prescott School and Charlestown High School.

Is Boston or Washington DC safer? ›

Boston is a safer city than Washington, in general. Downtown Washington, where the main hotels are located, is fairly safe, but it is not so safe for a woman to walk alone in many parts of Washington at night.

Is it cheaper to live in Boston or NYC? ›

The cost of living in New York, NY is 19.5% higher than in Boston, MA. You would have to earn a salary of $71,695 to maintain your current standard of living. Employers in New York, NY typically pay 6.8% more than employeers in Boston, MA.

Are people friendly in Massachusetts? ›

A new list from travel website Big 7 ranks the Commonwealth 47th on its list of friendliest states. "MA locals aren't exactly rude, per se, but the overall indifference towards strangers can take its toll," the website says.

Who has worse winters Chicago or Boston? ›

Chicago is FAR colder than Boston in the winter. The average lows are already about 10 degrees lower, but don't let that fool you. Those are just averages. Chicago gets FAR more arctic blasts where the temperature is below 0 or in the single digits with insane wind chills.

Is Boston Safe for solo female Travellers? ›

Boston is a wonderful, welcoming city for solo travelers. Here is a guide to help you find the best places to stay as well as what to do and eat.

Is living in Boston worth it? ›

Boston is a great place to live, work, study, and raise a family. There is a vast array of arts, culture, and shopping destinations. There's also a wide variety of restaurants, outdoor activities, and historical sites to see.

Should I live in Boston or Philly? ›

In terms of affordability, Philadelphia has the upper hand. Boston's cost of living is 32.9% higher than in Philadelphia, and you would need to be earning a considerably higher salary in order to maintain a good standard of living.

What is bigger Philly or Boston? ›

Philadelphia is larger than Boston in both in population and geographics.

What is Boston's crime rate? ›

Boston Annual Crimes
Number of Crimes4,37813,493
Crime Rate (per 1,000 residents)6.4819.97

What is the wealthiest suburb of Boston? ›

The Massachusetts suburb of Weston continues to draw more and more of American's wealthiest families ... [+] Located just 15 miles west of downtown Boston, Weston is not only one of the richest towns in Massachusetts but also in the nation, with a median household income of $206,250.

What part of Boston is Little Italy? ›

Located in the North End of Boston, Little Italy, is an intricate maze of small streets with some of the city's oldest buildings.

What is a livable salary in Boston? ›

Living Wage Calculation for Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA
0 Children0 Children
Living Wage$22.56$15.41
Poverty Wage$6.19$4.19
Minimum Wage$14.25$14.25

What salary is good in Boston? ›

A good salary in Boston, MA is anything over $53,000. That's because the median income in Boston is $53,000, which means if you earn more than that you're earning more than 50% of the people living in Boston. The average salary in Boston is $63,751.

Where do rich people stay in Boston? ›

Below we highlight the most expensive neighborhoods in Boston for 2021.
  • Beacon Hill. Beacon Hill is one of Boston's original neighborhoods, and prospective homeowners can expect historic real estate dating back to the city's colonial roots. ...
  • Seaport District. ...
  • Back Bay. ...
  • Fenway / Kenmore. ...
  • South End. ...
  • North End. ...
  • West End.
7 Jan 2022

Is Boston mostly Irish or Italian? ›

Is Boston more Irish or Italian? The simple answer is yes, Boston is more Irish than Italian. Italian immigrants make up about 3% of Boston's population, with 15% reporting Italian descent. Meanwhile, those of Irish descent make up about 20% of the city's population.

What is the Irish part of Boston? ›

Early Irish immigrants settled in Boston's North End and Fort Hill (the presentday financial district) neighborhoods. With the creation of new land in the West End and South Cove in the mid-nineteenth century, the Irish became the first of many immigrant groups to settle in these areas.


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