The 10 Safest Cities In Virginia For 2023

The safest cities in Virginia are Blacksburg and Purcellville for 2023.

Virginia, while known for its significant historical landmarks, the Blue Ridge Mountains, and the Chesapeake Bay, also prides itself on providing a safe environment for its residents. This analysis reveals the ten safest places to live in Virginia, combining a sense of security with the diverse backdrop that the Old Dominion State offers.

Our analysis positions Virginia as the 7th safest state in America. But within Virginia's boundaries, the question stands - which location offers its residents the highest level of safety?

To find the answer, we turned to the latest FBI Crime data, analyzing both property and violent crimes per capita across Virginia's cities and towns.

In exploring the safest places in Virginia, we find ourselves mainly in the suburbs of bigger cities like Alexandria, Virginia Beach, and Washington, DC. So, let's see where the safest cities in Virginia are to call home.

Table Of Contents: Top Ten | Methodology | Table | References

Here are the 10 safest cities to live in Virginia for 2023:

  1. Blacksburg (Homes For Sale)
  2. Purcellville (Homes For Sale)
  3. Bridgewater (Homes For Sale)
  4. Lexington (Homes For Sale)
  5. Vienna (Homes For Sale)
  6. Poquoson (Homes For Sale)
  7. Buena Vista (Homes For Sale)
  8. Strasburg (Homes For Sale)
  9. Warrenton (Homes For Sale)
  10. Virginia Beach (Homes For Sale)

What's the safest place to live in Virginia? According to the most recent FBI data, Blacksburg ranked as the safest city in Virginia for 2023 based on property and violent crimes per capita.

Read on to check out how we crunched the numbers and to see where your city stacked up:

For more reading on safe places to live in and around Virginia, check out:

The 10 Safest Cities In Virginia For 2023

Blacksburg, VA
Source: Wikipedia User Smash the Iron Cage | CC BY-SA 4.0

Population: 45,749
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 43 (safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 581 (second safest)
Murders: 1
Murders Per 100k: 2
More on Blacksburg: Data | Crime | Real Estate

Overall SnackAbility

The safest city in Virginia is Blacksburg.

An improvement in both violent and property crime rates gave the city of some 45,000+ the edge over its competitors this year. So it wasn't like other places got less safe -- Blacksburg just got more safe.

Blacksburg is dominated economically and demographically by the presence of Virginia Tech. It's located in the western part of the state.

Purcellville, VA
Source: Wikipedia User Scott Harris | CC BY-SA 4.0

Population: 9,103
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 65 (fourth safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 615 (third safest)
Murders: 0
Murders Per 100k: 0
More on Purcellville: Data | Crime | Real Estate

Overall SnackAbility

Next on our tour of the safest places to call home in Virginia takes us to Purcellville.

The property crime rate here is the third safest in the state.

Why is the property crime so low? Probably because everyone here enjoys fermented grapes or hops. According to TripAdvisor the best things to do in town include visiting the Catoctin Creek Distillery and several other vineyards. It's hard to be jealous when your always a little buzzed.

Purcellville is another burb of DC.

Bridgewater, VA
Source: Wikipedia User Strawser | CC BY-SA 3.0

Population: 6,215
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 80 (fifth safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 675 (fifth safest)
Murders: 0
Murders Per 100k: 0
More on Bridgewater: Data | Crime | Real Estate

Overall SnackAbility

Welcome to Bridgewater, the third safest place to live in Virginia for 2023 according to the most recent FBI data.

Located in Rockingham County in Northern Virginia, the town maintained its spot on the list -- it has the fifth safest violent and fifth safest property crime rate of every place we measured.

Bridgewater is so safe that your grandma could leave her social security number on the driveway of her house and a good samaritan would just erase it for her and set up an automatic credit monitoring for her.

Lexington, VA
Source: Wikipedia User Tim Menzies from Morgantown, West Virginia | CC BY-SA 2.0

Population: 7,628
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 104 (seventh safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 655 (fourth safest)
Murders: 0
Murders Per 100k: 0
More on Lexington: Data | Crime | Real Estate

Overall SnackAbility

Coming in as the safest place in Virginia is Lexington. That's a big improvement for Lexington over the past several years.

Apparently Stonewall Jackson is kind of a big deal around town as it seems like everything from cemeteries to municipal buildings are named after the guy. A quick Google search reveals that Stonewall Jackson was a confederate general, so.., that's a little disconcerting. Someone might want to tell them they live in the country that won the war.

Anyway, Strasburg broke into the top ten for the second time this year after finishing just off in the number eleven spot a couple of years ago.

Vienna, VA
Source: Wikipedia User Idawriter | CC BY-SA 3.0

Population: 16,194
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 55 (second safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,031 (tenth safest)
Murders: 0
Murders Per 100k: 0
More on Vienna: Data | Crime | Real Estate

Overall SnackAbility

Welcome to Austria. I mean Fairfax County, Virginia, home to Vienna, one of the safest cities in the state.

But while this might not be the capital of Austria, Vienna, VA still has to going on. Its violent crime rate would make you proud to bring it home to meet your parents. Add to that a vibrant community and a superbly educated populace and you have one of the best places to live in America -- Vienna scored a 10/10 on our SnackAbility score.

Vienna is located in Northern Virginia and is a suburb of DC.

Poquoson, VA
Source: Wikipedia User Chrisfortier at English Wikipedia | GFDL

Population: 12,738
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 164 (15th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 478 (safest)
Murders: 0
Murders Per 100k: 0
More on Poquoson: Data | Crime | Real Estate

Overall SnackAbility

We recently named Poquoson the fifth best place to live in Virginia based on a number of factors. Poquoson's low crime rate played a big role in the city's spot on that list, with residents experiencing three times less property crime than that national average. While Poquoson's relatively poor ranking in violent crime hurts the city's position on this list, it still only averages one violent crime every three weeks -- not too shabby for a city of Poquoson's size. Poquoson does have a kind of violent past; Plum Tree National Wildlife Refuge used to be used as a bombing range. Don't worry, it's totally safe to visit these days!

Poquoson is located on the Virginia Peninsula, on the southwest corner of Chesapeake Bay.

Buena Vista, VA
Source: Public domain

Population: 6,605
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 151 (12th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 757 (sixth safest)
Murders: 0
Murders Per 100k: 0
More on Buena Vista: Data | Crime | Real Estate

Overall SnackAbility

Located in the Blue Ridge Mountain region, Buena Vista ranks as the seventh safest city in Virginia.

Buena Vista had about five times less violent crime than the national average, with only five instances of violence in 2022. As long as you don't run into any real panthers at Panther Falls, you should have a peaceful visit to an amazing swimming hole. Buena Vista also had the sixth safest rate of property crime in Virginia, so it's not the worst place to live if you're always forgetting to lock your doors.

Strasburg, VA
Source: Wikipedia User Doug Kerr | CC BY-SA 2.0

Population: 7,270
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 165 (16th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 770 (eighth safest)
Murders: 0
Murders Per 100k: 0
More on Strasburg: Data | Crime | Real Estate

Overall SnackAbility

What sounds more safe than this Wikipedia description of Strasburg.

"Strasburg is a town in Shenandoah County, Virginia, United States, which was founded in 1761 by Peter Stover. It is the largest town by population in the county and is known for its pottery, antiques, and Civil War history."

When the most exciting things to do in towns include pottery and antiques. That and property crime rates that are lower than the majority of America.

So safe in concept and in practice.

Warrenton, VA
Source: Wikipedia User Carter Nevill | CC BY-SA 4.0

Population: 10,218
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 156 (14th safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,076 (11th safest)
Murders: 0
Murders Per 100k: 0
More on Warrenton: Data | Crime | Real Estate

Overall SnackAbility

Warrenton holds the title of the ninth safest city to live in Virginia. The population of Warrenton is 10,218, and it boasts low crime rates, with a violent crime rate of 156/100k people. These figures demonstrate the effectiveness of local law enforcement.

As the seat of Fauquier County, Warrenton ranks as the #11 safest for property crime with a property crime rate of 1,076/100k people. With no murder cases reported and other serious crimes like robbery and aggravated assault rare, Warrenton cemented itself as one of Virginia's safest areas.

Virginia Beach, VA
Source: Wikipedia User Jason Pratt (FishSpeaker) | CC BY 2.0

Population: 457,556
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 87 (sixth safest)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,610 (21st safest)
Murders: 21
Murders Per 100k: 4
More on Virginia Beach: Data | Crime | Real Estate

Overall SnackAbility

Virginia Beach, an independent city at the southeastern tip of Virginia, is a tourist destination with a sizeable population of 457,556. It is ranked as the tenth safest city in the state, attributed to effective policing and community initiatives.

The city maintains a low 87/100k people and 1,610/100k people violent and property crime rates, securing a position of sixth safest for violent crime.

Methodology: How we calculated the safest cities in Virginia for 2023

Safest Cities in Virginia Graph

While there are surveys and public polls on what cities in Virginia are the safest, we wanted to rely on something other than speculation and opinion. Instead, we looked at the hard numbers from the FBI's most recent crime report in Virginia.

Specifically, we used Saturday Night Science to analyze the FBI's Uniform Crime Report, which summarizes the number of property and violent crimes in each city annually. We used two criteria:

  • Violent crimes per capita (murders, assaults, rapes, armed robberies)
  • Property crimes per capita (thefts, burglaries, motor vehicle thefts)

For example, there were 286 crimes committed in Blacksburg, with a reported population of 45,749. That means the number of crimes per capita is 0.0063, which translates into a 1 in 159 chance of being the victim of a crime.

We only looked at Virginia cities that have populations of more than 5,000. This filter left us with 63 of the biggest cities in Virginia to rank.

We ranked each city for each criterion from 1 to 63 where 1 in any particular category is the safest.

Next, we averaged each place's two criteria to create a Safety Index. We crowned the place with the lowest overall Safety Score, "The Safest Place In Virginia," with any ties going to the bigger city.

The safest city in Virginia, based on our criteria, is Blacksburg. The most dangerous city in Virginia? Portsmouth, where residents had a 1 in 17 chance of being the victim of a crime.

This article has been update for 2023. This report marks our tenth time ranking the safest places to live in Virginia. All the data comes from the FBI's Crime In The USA 2022 report.

Worst Cities In Virginia For 2017

Summary: The Safest Cities In The Old Dominion

Looking at the data, you can tell that Blacksburg is as safe as they come in Virginia, according to science and data.

But as most Virginia residents would agree, almost every place here has its safe and not safe parts. So just make sure you're informed ahead of time.

Here's a look at the most dangerous cities in Virginia according to the data:

  1. Portsmouth
  2. Norfolk
  3. Roanoke
For more reading, check out:

Where Are The 10 Safest Cities In Virginia For 2023?

Rank City Population Violent Crimes Per 100k Property Crimes Per 100k Murders Per 100k Murders
1 Blacksburg, VA 45,749 43 581 2 1
2 Purcellville, VA 9,103 65 615 0 0
3 Bridgewater, VA 6,215 80 675 0 0
4 Lexington, VA 7,628 104 655 0 0
5 Vienna, VA 16,194 55 1,031 0 0
6 Poquoson, VA 12,738 164 478 0 0
7 Buena Vista, VA 6,605 151 757 0 0
8 Strasburg, VA 7,270 165 770 0 0
9 Warrenton, VA 10,218 156 1,076 0 0
10 Virginia Beach, VA 457,556 87 1,610 4 21
11 Manassas Park, VA 18,385 201 766 0 0
12 Falls Church, VA 14,384 55 1,731 0 0
13 Salem, VA 25,460 125 1,732 0 0
14 Abingdon, VA 8,265 193 1,536 0 0
15 Smithfield, VA 8,827 226 1,087 0 0
16 Big Stone Gap, VA 5,155 155 1,784 0 0
17 Staunton, VA 25,611 140 1,866 3 1
18 Front Royal, VA 15,201 210 1,513 0 0
19 Williamsburg, VA 15,790 208 1,538 0 0
20 Culpeper, VA 20,836 206 1,626 4 1
21 Woodstock, VA 5,929 252 1,399 0 0
22 Covington, VA 5,733 279 959 0 0
23 Fairfax City, VA 24,509 110 2,309 4 1
24 Alexandria, VA 150,957 186 1,951 3 6
25 Leesburg, VA 49,395 299 1,411 4 2
26 Radford, VA 16,978 318 1,089 0 0
27 Herndon, VA 24,070 253 1,707 4 1
28 Vinton, VA 7,996 200 1,975 0 0
29 Dumfries, VA 5,659 265 1,643 53 3
30 Harrisonburg, VA 51,363 251 1,808 1 1
31 Waynesboro, VA 22,903 227 1,873 0 0
32 Christiansburg, VA 21,746 183 2,363 0 0
33 Richlands, VA 5,158 387 1,298 19 1
34 Wytheville, VA 8,199 121 3,695 0 0
35 Orange, VA 5,254 456 1,560 0 0
36 Manassas, VA 42,836 294 2,213 0 0
37 Bedford, VA 6,681 224 3,008 0 0
38 Marion, VA 5,711 315 2,293 0 0
39 Winchester, VA 28,363 267 2,774 3 1
40 Hampton, VA 138,843 270 2,906 15 21
41 Suffolk, VA 98,065 476 1,791 12 12
42 Martinsville, VA 13,660 380 2,115 0 0
43 South Boston, VA 7,884 329 2,333 38 3
44 Chesapeake, VA 253,745 417 2,010 9 25
45 Lynchburg, VA 79,421 357 2,461 10 8
46 Hopewell, VA 23,395 538 1,961 38 9
47 Galax, VA 6,652 255 3,818 0 0
48 Colonial Heights, VA 18,419 304 3,420 5 1
49 Bristol, VA 16,909 372 2,696 11 2
50 Danville, VA 42,111 325 3,193 18 8
51 Ashland, VA 7,661 574 2,192 0 0
52 Pulaski, VA 8,944 335 3,466 0 0
53 Richmond, VA 227,323 359 3,432 25 59
54 Newport News, VA 183,903 609 2,301 16 31
55 Farmville, VA 7,216 457 2,937 13 1
56 Franklin, VA 8,292 518 3,123 36 3
57 Petersburg, VA 33,546 813 2,554 62 21
58 Emporia, VA 5,637 443 3,530 53 3
59 Fredericksburg, VA 28,844 412 3,973 0 0
60 Charlottesville, VA 45,089 541 3,411 4 2
61 Roanoke, VA 98,204 604 4,289 18 18
62 Norfolk, VA 233,419 702 4,871 26 63
63 Portsmouth, VA 98,003 875 4,881 47 47

Breaking Down Crime In The Safest And Most Dangerous Cities In Virginia

Safest Cities in Virginia Breakdown

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn.

Safest Cities By State

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