10 Safest Places To Live in Delaware

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Packed within 2488 sq. mt., Delaware- the Small Wonder has a lot to offer those looking for an attractive yet pocket-friendly place to call home.

Along with a relatively low cost of living, zero sales tax, good schools, and friendly communities, Delaware also boasts a strong job market in manufacturing, finance, and healthcare industries – making it a lucrative option for anyone who wants to settle in this state. However, like any other place, The First State has challenges, i.e., the crime rate.

While some areas of Delaware are considered safe, others (especially the urban centers) are infamous for violent crime and property theft. If you’re considering a move to Delaware, it’s important to carefully select the location you will call home. Don’t know where to start? Here are the safest places to live to in Delaware to get you started!

1. Is Delaware safe?

Property and violent crime rate in Delaware

Well the answer to it is quite subjective and widely depends on the location. While some areas of the state have relatively low crime rates, others have reported very high violent and property crimes.

According to the latest State of Safety Survey, Delawareans are more concerned about violent crime, property crime, and package theft than the average American. Up to 38% of residents are worried about gun violence in the state, and no less than 74% of Delaware residents believe crime is rising.

If you look at the numbers, the violent crime rate in Delaware is 4.3 (per thousand people), which means that at least 4 out of 1000 people have experienced some form of violent crime in the state. This number is competitive with the national average of 4.0; the good news is that it is limited to only a few areas in the state.

Also note that while property crime is considered a consistent threat in the state, it is almost equivalent to the national average of 22.5 (per thousand people).

Violent and property crime rates in Delaware have decreased over the years. But what may make you uneasy is that they remain higher than the national averages.

1.2 Violent Crime in Delaware

The western part of the state is generally considered safe from violent crimes. The odds of becoming a victim of a violent crime is 1 in 350 in Western Delaware compared to the numbers of the northern neighborhoods, where the odds of falling prey to violent masses are 1 in 159.

1.3 Property Crime in Delaware

The northeast part of Delaware is the safest if you consider property crime. Your chances of being a victim of property crime may be as high as 1 in 35 in the southeast neighborhoods. It is as low as 1 in 63 in the northeast part of the state.

2. Where’s the Safest place to Live in Delaware?  

Here are the top 11 safest cities in Delaware based on their ranking: 

Rank in 2023 Safest Cities Population 2022 VC per 1,000 2022 PC per 1,000
1 Clayton 3,577 0.8 5.3
2 Lewes 3,378 0.6 10.7
3 Milton 3,066 2.0 9.1
4 Middletown 23,385 2.1 19.0
5 Newark 33,752 2.4 18.8
6 Smyrna 12,011 4.1 20.1
7 Elsmere 5,851 5.0 18.8
8 Harrington 3,646 6.9 25.2
9 Georgetown 7,698 7.0 35.1
10 Millsboro 4,613 7.6 40.5
11 Dover 38,428 8.6 40.3
Safest Cities to Live in Delaware

VC = Violent Crime; PC = Property Crime

  • Rankings are based on the analysis of 17 cities in Delaware.
  • Clayton, Lewes, and Newark experienced a decrease in violent and property crime rates.
  • Clayton, Lewes, and Milton reported less than 10 aggravated assaults. 
  • Clayton ranked at the top for the second consecutive year.
  • Except for Harrington, each other city saw a decrease in property crime rate year over year.
  • Zero motor vehicle thefts were reported in Lewes and Milton in 2022.
  • Harrington (6.9) and Georgetown (7.0) saw high violent crime rates compared to other states in the U.S.
  • Georgetown’s violent crime rate increased from 5.7 to 7.0 year over year.
  • Harrington saw a decrease in the violent crime rate for the third consecutive year. 

2.1. Clayton 

Clayton is a small city in Kent County and is considered one of the safest places to live in Delaware, with common assault, larceny, and burglary.

It has no murder or vehicle thefts making it the safest place to raise a family. Living in Clayton offers residents a mixed suburban-rural feel, and most own their homes here. It has excellent schools and a strong community.

In terms of crime, Clayton has a violent crime rate of 0.8 and a property crime rate of 5.3 in 2022, and these rates have generally been falling over the years, as seen in the table below.

The crime rate in Clayton 2022 2021 2020
Violent Crime Rate 0.8 2.0 4.9
Property Crime Rate 5.3 10.2 8.8

2.2. Lewes

Residents love to live in Lewes for two significant reasons. One is its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, and the second is its parks. It is a beautiful place for people who enjoy the outdoor lifestyle and is also known for its safety. Lewes has a 0.6 violent crime rate in 2022 and a 10.7 property crime rate. Crime rates have been falling over the last few years.

Crime Rate in Lewes 2022 2021 2020
Violent Crime Rate 0.6 1.2 2.2
Property Crime Rate 10.7 13.7 20.7

2.3. Milton

Milton has been named the safest community in America by SafeWise. It is considered one of the safest places to live in Delaware because of its zero violent crimes as recorded by the Federal Bureau of Investigation found in 2019. Thus, it is known as the least violent state, with a 2.0 violent crime rate in 2022 and a 9.1 property crime rate lower than the previous year.

Crime Rate in Milton 2022 2021 2020
Violent Crime Rate 2.0 1.3 0.0
Property Crime Rate 9.1 13.3 15.8

2.4. Middletown

Even the tourists visiting Middletown consider it one of the best places, and there are plenty of restaurants, stores, entertainment venues, and good commutability in the town. The beautiful downtown has a busy business district and sprawling farmland and still reports a low crime rate. Middletown has a violent crime rate of 2.1 and a 19.0 property crime rate in 2022.

Crime Rate in Middletown 2022 2021 2020
Violent Crime Rate 2.1 2.1 2.9
Property Crime Rate 19.0 20.4 19.6

2.5. Newark

Newark is the sixth oldest city in Delaware, with around 34,000 residents, and plenty of things are available for people who want to enjoy themselves. This college town has many state parks and a main street shopping center and is also home to the University of Delaware. Regarding safety, Newark residents reported a 2.4 violent crime rate and 18.8 property crime rate in 2022, which has been decreasing over the last few years. 

Crime Rate in Newark 2022 2021 2020
Violent Crime Rate 2.4 2.5 2.9
Property Crime Rate 18.8 20.8 19.5

2.6. Smyrna

Smyrna is a town in Kent and New Castle counties with approx. 12,000 residents. It has a diverse community and is considered an affordable place to live. Its safety levels are among the best for people who want to live in the town. The violent crime rate in the town is 4.1, and the property crime rate is 20.1, as reported in 2022.

Crime Rate in Smyrna 2022 2021 2020
Violent Crime Rate 4.1 2.7 4.2
Property Crime Rate 20.1 20.9 22.7

2.7. Elsmere

Elsmere is one of the safest towns in New Castle and is located just outside Wilmington, with around 6,000 residents living in the city. It has multiple neighborhood parks and houses, highly rated public schools, and many employment opportunities. In addition, Elsmere has low crime rates when considering assault, burglary, and larceny. Elsmere has a violent crime rate of 5.0 and a property crime rate of 18.8 in 2022.

Crime Rate in Elsmere 2022 2021 2020
Violent Crime Rate 5.0 1.8 4.1
Property Crime Rate 18.8 22.3 15.7

2.8 Harrington

Harrington is a city in Kent County with a population of around four thousand people. It is an area with plenty of things to do – a diverse community, above-average public schools, plenty of activities to enjoy, and a reasonable cost of living. The residents of Harrington reported a 6.9 violent crime rate and a 25.2 property crime rate in 2022.

Crime Rate in Harrington 2022 2021 2020
Violent Crime Rate 6.9 9.6 11.2
Property Crime Rate 25.2 21.1 28.7

2.9 Georgetown

Georgetown is a town in Delaware and is the county seat of Sussex. The town has seen a 39%  increase in population in the last decade and has a diverse community, above-average schools, and family-oriented activities. Georgetown is one of the safest places to live. It has a violent crime rate of 7.0, an increase from last year, and a property crime rate of 35.1 (decreased from the previous year’s figure of  41.3) in 2022.

Crime Rate in Georgetown 2022 2021 2020
Violent Crime Rate 7.0 5.7 5.3
Property Crime Rate 35.1 41.3 51.0

2.10 Millsboro

Millsboro is a town in Sussex County. It is ranked in the top position for the number of residential building permits out of all the 25 cities in the county. This implies that the population will increase in the town. It is the safest place to live in Delaware. The town reported a violent crime rate of 7.6 and a property crime rate of 40.5 in 2022. 

Crime Rate in Millsboro 2022 2021 2020
Violent Crime Rate 7.0 5.7 5.3
Property Crime Rate 35.1 41.3 51.0

2.11 Dover

Dover is the capital of Delaware and is in Kent County. It has many historic buildings and plenty of attractions to enjoy. T

here is always something happening in downtown Dover that draws in plenty of Delawareans for fun nights. It has been named the drunkest city in Delaware. The city has a vibrant nightlife, many outdoor activities, excellent commutation, a diverse community, and above-average schools.

Though it is a capital city, it has low crime rates compared to most major cities in the United States, making it one of the safest places to live in Delaware. The capital has a violent crime rate of 8.6 and a property crime rate of 40.3 reported in 2022.

Crime Rate in Dover 2022 2021 2020
Violent Crime Rate 7.0 5.7 5.3
Property Crime Rate 35.1 41.3 51.0

Source: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

3. Safest places to Live in Delaware based on weather 

Weather Risk in Delaware

Danger Low risk
Heat Rehoboth
Storm Lewes
Drought Georgetown
Fire Wilmington
Flood Wilmington
  • Wilmington, one of Delaware’s largest cities, has the highest overall climate risk. Rehoboth Beach is the city with the lowest overall climate risk.
  • Rehoboth Beach has the lowest risk of heat-related deaths, whereas Newark has the highest risk.
  • Lewes has the lowest storm risk, whereas Georgetown has the highest risk.
  • Middletown has the greatest danger of drought, while Georgetown has the lowest.
  • Rehoboth Beach has the highest fire risk, while Wilmington has the lowest.
  • Rehoboth Beach and Wilmington are at different danger levels for flooding.
Climate Risks for Delaware Cities:

Image Source: 13

4. Best Health Facilities in Delaware

As far as safety is concerned, healthcare facilities also play a significant role. Delaware outperforms other states nationwide when it comes to healthcare facilities, and its hospitals rank nationally every year as some of the best in the country.

According to U.S. News & World Report, Delaware ranks 1st for hospital quality, 6th for healthcare quality, and 15th among the best states for healthcare. If you plan to live in Delaware, you may want to know the best hospitals.

Here is the list of hospitals with best-in-class facilities and quality healthcare.

City Hospital Name No of Beds Address
Wilmington Wilmington VA Medical Center 999 1601 Kirkwood Highway
Newark Care-Christiana Hospital 913 4755 Ogle town, Stanton Rd
Wilmington Care-Wilmington Hospital 241 501 W 14th ST
Dover Bay Health Kent General Hospital 236 640 S State ST
New Castle Delaware Psychiatric Center 224 1901 N Dupont Highway
Wilmington St. Francis Hospital 224 701 N Clayton St
Lewes Beebe Medical Center 210 424 Savannah Rd
Wilmington Alfred I. Dupont Hospital for Children 200  1600 Rockland Rd
Seaford Nanticoke Memorial Hospital 139 801 Middleford
Milford Bay Health Milford Memorial Hospital 127 21 W Clarke Ave
Newark Rockford Center 92 100 Rockford Dr
New Castle Meadow Wood Behavioral Health System 53 575 S Dupont
Dover Dover Behavioral Health System 52 725 Horse pond Rd
Wilmington Select Specialty Hospital of Wilmington 35 701 N Clayton St
Middletown Health South Rehabilitation Hospital of Middletown 34 250 Hampen Rd
Source: 14, 15

5. County and city With the Least Road Accidents in Delaware

 County and city With the Least Road Accidents in Delaware

Road safety is another factor that determines a city’s livability. Before COVID-19, fatal car accidents were one of the leading causes of death. Every year, several people die tragically in road accidents in Delaware. 

City Number of accidents per 10,000 residents
Felton, Delaware 0.8
Seaford, Delaware 1.0
Milford, Delaware 1.1

According to the Annual Traffic Report, 2023, New Castle County seems to be the worst place to live in Delaware, while Kent seems the safest with the least number of fatal crashes and fatalities. In addition, Wilmington has the maximum number of road crashes in Delaware.

Delaware is the second smallest state in the United States, and its population is growing yearly. With a growing population, crime rates are high in some places but, thankfully, on the decline in many cases. Though more than half of Delawareans feel safe living in the state, it is important to know the safest places to live in Delaware before moving here. If you fail to do the proper research, you might pay a heavy price while moving to Delaware. Stay safe

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