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.
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.
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
- 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 Housely.com.
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.
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.Is Fenway a safe neighborhood? ›
The Fenway neighborhood is very lively and an overall safe area. It is in the heart of Boston and has easy access to famous museums and of course Fenway Park.What is the safest town in Boston? ›
- East Boston.
- Hyde Park.
- 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.
Downtown is generally considered a very safe neighborhood in Boston! There are still areas you should avoid, such as Park St and Downtown Crossing. At night, these attract vagrants and addicts. Anywhere else, however, is safe enough to walk around at night.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.
Quite safe, don't see any problem with you walking around the area at night.Is it safe to walk to Fenway Park at night? ›
How far is the walk and is it a safe night time walk? It's about 20 minutes and, yes, the area is safe.Is Boston Chinatown 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.
What town in Massachusetts has the lowest crime rate? ›
The safest city in Massachusetts is Wayland. Bosting a small population of around 13,000 residents, this city has the lowest property crime rate in the state at 0, and a violent crime rate of only 0.1 per 1,000 residents for 2021!Is Boston a safe place to raise a family? ›
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 Boston safer than other cities? ›
Boston sees 655 violent crimes per 100,000, making the city less safe than 83 percent of US cities. The violent crime rate in Boston is nearly double the national violent crime rate. People in Boston have a 1 out of 153 chance of becoming a victim of crime, compared to a 1 in 296 in the state of Massachusetts.Where do the upper class live in Boston? ›
Not only is Charlestown ranked among the wealthiest Boston neighborhoods, but it is also considered one of the best places for families to live in the city. Charlestown can be found directly north of Downtown Boston across the Charles River.
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.
|1 ADULT||2 ADULTS (BOTH WORKING)|
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Winter is the worst time of year to visit Boston, hands down. Unless you're a fan of sleet, slush, and two-foot-high snowbanks, you'll want to avoid traveling to Beantown from December through February.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 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.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 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.Is living in Boston a good idea? ›
What's it like to live in Boston, MA? Boston often feels like a small town with all the perks of city life. It is historic but ever-evolving. The metro area features a diverse culinary scene, access to cultural institutions, and proximity to world-class schools, employers and health care.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? ›
|Number of Crimes||4,378||13,493|
|Crime Rate (per 1,000 residents)||6.48||19.97|
Focusing your search for places to stay in Boston on Downtown is a smart choice if you're most interested in visiting historical sites. Back Bay is a top choice if you're more focused on shopping and visiting museums. You may find that South Boston is one of the areas in Boston that is a little bit out of the way.What is the best month to go to Boston? ›
The best time to visit Boston is from June to October. Mild autumn weather makes touring around on foot a joy. And even though summer brings in swarms of tourists and expensive hotel rates, the sidewalk cafes, baseball games and outdoor concerts make it worth a trip.Is the theater district in Boston Safe? ›
Re: Theater District - Safe for walking at night? Boston is generally considered a very safe city. After the concert, there are several possbile routes. My suggested one is take a left onto Stuart Street, right on Charles, a left on Boylston and a right on Arlington.Is Boston Harbor safe at night? ›
Yes, North End Back Bay, Beacon Hill, etc. are all fine even at night. I would err on the side of caution and not walk through the Common and Public Garden at night.What is not allowed in Fenway Park? ›
Bag policy Fenway Park – prohibited items
Noise making devices. Signs or flagpoles or any props that could be dangerous and injure other fans. Cans. Bottles (except sealed water bottles of 16 oz or less)
Is White Sox park safe? ›
I attended a White Sox game on July 4, 2022 and felt completely safe. I took the CTA red line. The one block walk to the park and back after the game was fine. You can purchase an adult beverage immediately after exiting the train station from 'vendors' along the sidewalk!Is Times Square safe at night? ›
Times Square is a lively and fairly busy area both day and night. It is also a magnet for pickpockets and other petty thieves who blend into the crowded streets. Always be aware of your surroundings and keep your valuables tucked away and out of reach.Is Central Square safe at night? ›
Central Square is safe to walk through, and to/from, even at night.Is Logan a safe neighborhood? ›
For this reason, police, fire, and medical emergencies should always be called in to 911. The Logan neighborhood is relatively safe, but crimes do occur and the crime rate is higher than that of campus. Caution should always be exercised when walking through the neighborhood, particularly after dark.What is the richest street in Boston? ›
- United States.
- Massachusetts (MA)
- Boston - Things to Do.
- Newbury Street.
Boston's Beacon Hill is one of the 'most beautiful streets in the world,' according to Architectural Digest - masslive.com.What is the nicest town to live in in Massachusetts? ›
- Leverett, Massachusetts. ...
- Cambridge, Massachusetts. ...
- Newton, Massachusetts. ...
- Provincetown, Massachusetts. ...
- Sudbury, Massachusetts. ...
- Concord, Massachusetts. ...
- Beverly, Massachusetts. ...
- Longmeadow, Massachusetts. Source: Dougtone / Flickr Longmeadow.
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|Required annual income after taxes||$38,027||$98,113|
|Required annual income before taxes||$46,918||$121,052|
- Central/Downtown Boston is where much of the Boston crime occurs. ...
- Roxbury has 104% more crime than Boston overall with a high violent crime rate of 1,271/100k people. ...
- Dorchester with up to 36% more crime than the Boston average depending on whether you're in South or North Dorchester.
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.
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 street in Boston are Little Italy? ›
The main streets of this vibrant historic neighborhood are Hanover and Salem Streets. They are lined with great restaurants, cafes, and shops selling a wide range of delicious edible goods. It would not be a complete Boston trip without stopping at one of the more than 100 fine Italian restaurants in North End.Where do rich people live Massachusetts? ›
1. Dover, MA.
|Median Household Income||$250,000+|
|Median Home Value||$1,008,600|
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.What is middle class in Boston? ›
Boston's middle class is broadly defined as households with annual incomes between $50,000 and $125,000.Is moving to Boston worth it? ›
Not only is Boston rated as one of the best places to live in Massachusetts, but Boston is an excellent option for young professionals and families as long as they can afford it. If you are moving to Massachusetts and want to make Boston your new home, you have come to the right place.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.