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Safest Cities in Virginia

  • Population
    8,501,286
  • Avg Annual Rent
    $15,368
  • Avg Household Income
    $75,041
  • Cost of Living
    21.60%
  • Violent Crime Rate
    10.9
  • Property Crime Rate
    218.7
  • Primary Care Ranking
    24
  • Mental Health Provider
    40

Virginia is full of historically significant sites, dating all the way back to the arrival of some of the first Europeans in North America. The English first settled on the continent at Jamestown, and four of the first five presidents were born in Virginia. Decades later, over half of the 4,000 battles of the Civil War took place in Virginia. And the state remains just as significant to modern history because the Pentagon is located within its borders. Virginia is also known for its shipbuilding, tobacco and seafood industries, for the gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains to the west, and for the wild ponies living on the Chincoteague and Assateague Islands. 

Some of the most notable cities in the state include Richmond (Virginia’s capital) and Virginia Beach (Virginia’s largest city). But notable does not necessarily mean safe. Discover which cities and towns are the safest in Virginia.

How We Determined the Safest Cities in Virginia

We narrowed down the safest cities in each state based on two primary categories. First, we evaluated public safety factors including violent, property and hate crimes in each area to help determine the safest areas to live. We then evaluated financial and socioeconomic factors including household income, average rent and health insurance. In addition, we evaluated each state for natural disaster safety and public health safety. You can find a detailed breakdown of our methodology and links to sources here.

Here are the public safety factors we counted for each city:

*Public safety data is based on a population of 10,000 (for example, a “2” means two incidents for every 10,000 people).

  • Property crime – Number of property crimes reported in the city (FBI Crime Report)
  • Violent crime – Number of violent crimes reported in the city (FBI Crime Report)
  • Aggravated assaults – Number of aggravated assaults reported in the city (FBI Crime Report)
  • Hate crime – Number of hate crimes reported in the city (FBI Hate Crime Report)
  • Officer-related incidents – Number of officer-involved shootings reported in the city (Gun Violence Archive)
  • Mass shootings – Incidents in which four or more people are shot/killed in the city (Gun Violence Archive)

Here are the financial safety factors we counted for each city:

  • Annual rent – Annualized median rent
  • Unemployment rate – The average rate of unemployed residents in each city
  • Cost of living – The average annual rent and household income per city
  • Poverty rate – Percentage of families that reported experiencing poverty in the last 12 months
  • Uninsured employed – Percentage of employed residents that reported not having health insurance
  • Uninsured unemployed – Percentage of unemployed residents that reported not having health insurance

14 Safest Cities in Virginia

  • No. 1 Falls Church

    First on the list of safest cities in Virginia is Falls Church, a small city close to Washington D.C. Nicknamed the “Little City,” Falls Church measures just 2.2 square miles and has a population of just under 15,000 people. Popular things to do include attending the Falls Church Farmers Market or Cherry Hill Park where visitors can see a Civil War farmhouse or enjoy one of the park’s special events

    85out of 100

    Public Safety

    74out of 100

    Financial Safety

    Public Safety

    Total Violent CrimeAggravated AssaultProperty CrimeHate CrimeOfficer IncidentMass Shootings
    2.68745 (3rd)5.374899 (4th)118.2478 (3rd)0.671862 (12th)0.671862 (12th)0 (1st)

    Financial Safety

    Annual RentHousehold IncomeUnemployment RatePovertyUninsured EmployedUninsured Unemployed
    22320 (3rd)124796 (2nd)0.039 (11th)0.015 (13th)0.013 (8th)0.039 (12th)
  • No. 2 Middleburg

    Middleburg is a small city with a population of just 879 people. The city is known as the “Horse and Hunt Capital” due to its popularity with horse riding and hunting enthusiasts. Middleburg has low average rental costs, but the average household income is also one of the lowest on our list. Despite Middleburg’s high placement on our list, it’s worth noting that the city has high levels of hate crime. 

    94out of 100

    Public Safety

    60out of 100

    Financial Safety

    Public Safety

    Total Violent CrimeAggravated AssaultProperty CrimeHate CrimeOfficer IncidentMass Shootings
    0 (1st)0 (1st)102.3891 (2nd)11.37656 (14th)11.37656 (14th)0 (1st)

    Financial Safety

    Annual RentHousehold IncomeUnemployment RatePovertyUninsured EmployedUninsured Unemployed
    11064 (12th)49500 (11th)0.031 (14th)0.041 (11th)0.119 (1st)0 (13th)
  • No. 3 Vienna

    Located in Fairfax County, Vienna is a small town just 20 miles from Washington D.C. The town sits near the Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, which is the only national park dedicated to the performing arts.  While it has fairly high average rental costs, it also has the highest average household income on our list.  Overall, Vienna is a safe city with very low crime rates.

    93out of 100

    Public Safety

    54out of 100

    Financial Safety

    Public Safety

    Total Violent CrimeAggravated AssaultProperty CrimeHate CrimeOfficer IncidentMass Shootings
    2.40096 (2nd)2.40096 (2nd)89.43577 (1st)0.60024 (10th)0.60024 (10th)0 (1st)

    Financial Safety

    Annual RentHousehold IncomeUnemployment RatePovertyUninsured EmployedUninsured Unemployed
    24540 (1st)155490 (1st)0.033 (12th)0.01 (14th)0.02 (5th)0 (13th)
  • No. 4 Fairfax

    Fairfax is a 6-square-mile city in Northern Virginia, known for its Civil War history and cultural events such as Fall for the Book and Spotlight on the Arts. Popular sites to visit include the Fairfax Museum and Visitor Center or the Civil War Interpretive Center at Historic Blenheim. Fairfax is a fairly expensive city due to the high rental prices, but it also has one of the highest household income averages on this list. 

    79out of 100

    Public Safety

    66out of 100

    Financial Safety

    Public Safety

    Total Violent CrimeAggravated AssaultProperty CrimeHate CrimeOfficer IncidentMass Shootings
    7.419927 (6th)2.473309 (3rd)166.9483 (5th)0.412218 (9th)0.412218 (9th)0 (1st)

    Financial Safety

    Annual RentHousehold IncomeUnemployment RatePovertyUninsured EmployedUninsured Unemployed
    22788 (2nd)111574 (3rd)0.04 (10th)0.028 (12th)0.021 (4th)0.329 (6th)
  • No. 5 Alexandria

    The city of Alexandria lies along the Potomac River, overlooking Washington, D.C., and the state of Maryland. The city is home to plenty of classic 18th- and 19th-century architecture and is known for being the hometown of George Washington. Popular attractions include the Torpedo Factory Art Center, Birchmere Music Hall and the George Washington Masonic National Memorial. Alexandria boasts low unemployment rates and a high household income average.

    71out of 100

    Public Safety

    61out of 100

    Financial Safety

    Public Safety

    Total Violent CrimeAggravated AssaultProperty CrimeHate CrimeOfficer IncidentMass Shootings
    6.519546 (5th)9.471794 (7th)152.6558 (4th)0.12301 (6th)0.12301 (6th)0.553546 (12th)

    Financial Safety

    Annual RentHousehold IncomeUnemployment RatePovertyUninsured EmployedUninsured Unemployed
    20424 (4th)96733 (4th)0.033 (12th)0.1 (7th)0.011 (10th)0.377 (5th)
  • No. 6 Virginia Beach

    Virginia Beach is a coastal town located on the southeastern tip of Virginia. The city has plenty of lakes, waterways and beaches, which makes it popular with tourists. Some of the most popular attractions include the Boardwalk, Atlantic Fun Park, Virginia Aquarium or the First Landing State Park. Virginia Beach has the highest population on this list, with more than 451,000 people living here. 

    74out of 100

    Public Safety

    41out of 100

    Financial Safety

    Public Safety

    Total Violent CrimeAggravated AssaultProperty CrimeHate CrimeOfficer IncidentMass Shootings
    5.8093 (4th)5.897991 (5th)172.3278 (6th)0.044346 (3rd)0.044346 (3rd)0.598668 (13th)

    Financial Safety

    Annual RentHousehold IncomeUnemployment RatePovertyUninsured EmployedUninsured Unemployed
    16068 (5th)74186 (6th)0.049 (8th)0.058 (10th)0.006 (14th)0.313 (8th)
  • No. 7 Chesapeake

    Chesapeake is located in southeastern Virginia near the head of the Elizabeth River. The city is known for its waterways, including the 22-mile Dismal Swamp Canal which is “the oldest continuously operating waterway in the U.S.” Activities in Chesapeake include enjoying the natural beauty of the Chesapeake Arboretum or visiting Battlefield Park, a monument to the Battle of Great Bridge. However, Chesapeake has a large population of 242,310 people and fairly high levels of violent and property crime. 

    55out of 100

    Public Safety

    60out of 100

    Financial Safety

    Public Safety

    Total Violent CrimeAggravated AssaultProperty CrimeHate CrimeOfficer IncidentMass Shootings
    10.27609 (7th)30.1267 (12th)214.2297 (8th)0.082539 (4th)0.082539 (4th)0.412694 (10th)

    Financial Safety

    Annual RentHousehold IncomeUnemployment RatePovertyUninsured EmployedUninsured Unemployed
    14820 (6th)75790 (5th)0.051 (7th)0.08 (9th)0.008 (13th)0.295 (10th)
  • No. 8 Suffolk

    Suffolk is located in southeastern Virginia at the head of the Nansemond River. Popular places to visit in the city include The Great Dismal Swamp, a vast natural spot with plenty of wildlife and natural beauty. Fishing and boating are popular activities in Suffolk due to its 8,000 acres of lakes and rivers. 

    56out of 100

    Public Safety

    55out of 100

    Financial Safety

    Public Safety

    Total Violent CrimeAggravated AssaultProperty CrimeHate CrimeOfficer IncidentMass Shootings
    11.12127 (8th)16.51673 (8th)257.661 (10th)0.110112 (5th)0.110112 (5th)0.550558 (11th)

    Financial Safety

    Annual RentHousehold IncomeUnemployment RatePovertyUninsured EmployedUninsured Unemployed
    13620 (7th)70664 (7th)0.062 (6th)0.094 (8th)0.012 (9th)0.306 (9th)
  • No. 9 Front Royal

    Front Royal sits on the South Fork Shenandoah River in northern Virginia. Known as the gateway to the Shenandoah National Park and the Blue Ridge Mountains, the city is great for fans of the outdoors. Popular things to do in Front Royal include hiking on the Appalachian Trail, visiting the Skyline Caverns or heading to the Front Royal Visitors Center to learn more about the area.

    62out of 100

    Public Safety

    44out of 100

    Financial Safety

    Public Safety

    Total Violent CrimeAggravated AssaultProperty CrimeHate CrimeOfficer IncidentMass Shootings
    14.32665 (10th)7.163324 (6th)181.6879 (7th)0.651211 (11th)0.651211 (11th)0 (1st)

    Financial Safety

    Annual RentHousehold IncomeUnemployment RatePovertyUninsured EmployedUninsured Unemployed
    11100 (11th)52717 (9th)0.075 (3rd)0.134 (4th)0.045 (2nd)0.484 (1st)
  • No. 10 Charlottesville

    Charlottesville sits on the Rivanna River in central Virginia. The city has plenty to see and do, including visiting Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s mountaintop home which overlooks the city. Other attractions include the Virginia Discovery Museum, McIntire Park and the University of Virginia’s Rotunda. Charlottesville also has a popular arts & culture scene and hosts regular festivals and music events at venues such as the John Paul Jones Arena or Sprint Pavilion. 

    45out of 100

    Public Safety

    51out of 100

    Financial Safety

    Public Safety

    Total Violent CrimeAggravated AssaultProperty CrimeHate CrimeOfficer IncidentMass Shootings
    13.79026 (9th)22.02326 (9th)238.9626 (9th)1.029124 (13th)1.029124 (13th)0 (1st)

    Financial Safety

    Annual RentHousehold IncomeUnemployment RatePovertyUninsured EmployedUninsured Unemployed
    13416 (8th)58933 (8th)0.041 (9th)0.133 (5th)0.019 (6th)0.258 (11th)
  • No. 11 Norfolk

    Norfolk is a popular place to live, given that it has the second-highest population on this list. The city is known for being the home of the world’s largest naval base and the North American base of NATO. Unfortunately, Norfolk’s large population, experiences higher levels of property and violent crime than many other cities on this list. 

    43out of 100

    Public Safety

    39out of 100

    Financial Safety

    Public Safety

    Total Violent CrimeAggravated AssaultProperty CrimeHate CrimeOfficer IncidentMass Shootings
    19.39864 (13th)27.01077 (11th)346.3517 (13th)0 (1st)0 (1st)0 (1st)

    Financial Safety

    Annual RentHousehold IncomeUnemployment RatePovertyUninsured EmployedUninsured Unemployed
    12372 (9th)49146 (12th)0.082 (2nd)0.161 (3rd)0.01 (12th)0.382 (3rd)
  • No. 12 Roanoke

    Roanoke sits in the Blue Ridge Mountains in southwest Virginia. Surrounded by natural beauty and scenic trails, Roanoke is popular with tourists wanting a mountainside getaway. The city also has popular attractions such as the Mill Mountain Zoo, Virginia Museum of Transportation and the Taubman Museum of Art. However, Roanoke has the highest rate of property crime on this list, as well as high poverty and unemployment rates. The city benefits from low annual rental costs but it also has one of the lowest household income averages.

    38out of 100

    Public Safety

    41out of 100

    Financial Safety

    Public Safety

    Total Violent CrimeAggravated AssaultProperty CrimeHate CrimeOfficer IncidentMass Shootings
    16.29316 (11th)26.38892 (10th)443.2139 (14th)0 (1st)0 (1st)0 (1st)

    Financial Safety

    Annual RentHousehold IncomeUnemployment RatePovertyUninsured EmployedUninsured Unemployed
    9588 (14th)43028 (13th)0.068 (4th)0.178 (2nd)0.014 (7th)0.481 (2nd)
  • No. 13 Newport News

    Newport News is a port city that lies at the mouth of the James River in southeastern Virginia. Close to plenty of tourist sites and the beaches of Virginia Beach, Newport News is a popular destination to visit in Virginia. With plenty of historical and cultural attractions, such as the Historic Hilton Village, there are lots of things to see and do. But Newport News falls below our other cities due to fairly high rates of property crime and assault. 

    34out of 100

    Public Safety

    44out of 100

    Financial Safety

    Public Safety

    Total Violent CrimeAggravated AssaultProperty CrimeHate CrimeOfficer IncidentMass Shootings
    16.78472 (12th)35.9193 (13th)288.0258 (11th)0.279745 (7th)0.279745 (7th)0 (1st)

    Financial Safety

    Annual RentHousehold IncomeUnemployment RatePovertyUninsured EmployedUninsured Unemployed
    12096 (10th)51884 (10th)0.067 (5th)0.132 (6th)0.011 (10th)0.328 (7th)
  • No. 14 Petersburg

    Sitting on the Appomattox River, Petersburg is a city with plenty of historical and cultural sites to visit. Residents and visitors can head over to the Battersea Foundation for community events, learn more about history at the Historic Petersburg Foundation or check out the Petersburg Area Art League. While the city boasts low crime rates, Petersburg has the lowest household income average on this list as well as the highest high poverty and unemployment rates. 

    29out of 100

    Public Safety

    27out of 100

    Financial Safety

    Public Safety

    Total Violent CrimeAggravated AssaultProperty CrimeHate CrimeOfficer IncidentMass Shootings
    25.34212 (14th)45.61581 (14th)290.1673 (12th)0.316776 (8th)0.316776 (8th)1.267106 (14th)

    Financial Safety

    Annual RentHousehold IncomeUnemployment RatePovertyUninsured EmployedUninsured Unemployed
    10944 (13th)36135 (14th)0.113 (1st)0.227 (1st)0.028 (3rd)0.381 (4th)

Virginia State Safety

Natural Disaster Safety

Virginia was ranked the 35th state most at risk of natural disaster damage, according to Insurance Journal. The most expensive natural disaster to hit the state was Hurricane Camille in 1969. Data from USA.com indicates that only nine hurricanes have affected Virginia since the 1950s. Strong thunderstorm winds, hail and flooding remain the most common extreme weather events in the state. Tropical storms, blizzards, high surf, landslides and earthquakes are rare but do occur. 

35out of 50

Natural Disaster

Health Safety

The 2019 report by America’s Health Rankings determined that Virginia is the 15th-healthiest state in the nation. Low violent crime, good air quality, a low percentage of children living in poverty and a high rate of immunization among children were the most significant determinants of health propelling Virginia up in the rankings. However, the report showed a need for more mental health providers and primary care physicians in the state. Cancer and heart disease are the leading causes of death in Virginia, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

20out of 50

Health Safety

Top 14 Safest Cities in Virginia

Falls Church14,884311
Middleburg879152
Vienna16,660273
Fairfax24,259424
Alexandria162,588635
Virginia Beach451,0015126
Chesapeake242,310947
Suffolk90,817868
Front Royal15,356799
Charlottesville48,58510810
Norfolk244,347111311
Roanoke100,042121112
Newport News178,734131013
Petersburg31,568141414