Is Manhattan Safe To Visit? Everything You Need To Know (Stats, Maps And Tips)


is Manhattan safe

Manhattan is a intense ball of energy spread across 22 square miles. There is a seemingly endless amount of things to do, see, hear, eat and experience.

If you are thinking about visiting Manhattan and have some qualms about the safety of the area, we got you covered!

We are going to deep dive into the statistics, look at some maps and talk to the residents of the city to give you a better understanding of how safe the city really is.

(Related: Check out our full write up about the safety of New York City)

Is Manhattan Safe?

Looking at the crime statistics, Manhattan is a pretty safe place to visit. In 2020, Manhattan had a violent crime rate of 417.94 incidents per 100,000 residents, which is almost on par with the national average. Out of the 100 most populous cities in the United States, Manhattan’s violent crime rate ranks 72nd. Austin, San Jose, El Paso and San Diego all have similar violent crime rates as Manhattan.

Manhattan’s Crime Rate Map

Manhattan is patrolled by 22 precincts of the New York City Police Department. Here’s a table showing you the precincts and their crime rates.

Precinct Area Crime Rate Per 1000 residents
1st Precinct World Trade Center, SOHO, Tribeca, and Wall Street. 17.9517
5th Precinct Chinatown, Little Italy, and the Bowery. 14.9764
6th Precinct Greenwich Village and the West Village. 22.9325
7th Precinct Lower East Side 16.7319
9th Precinct East Village 15.7241
10th Precinct Chelsea, Clinton/Hell’s Kitchen South and the Hudson Yards 19.8286
13th Precinct South Midtown, Manhattan 18.7954
Midtown South Precinct South Midtown, Manhattan 96.3634
Midtown North Precinct North Midtown, Manhattan 31.4615
17th Precinct East Midtown, Manhattan 12.0694
19th Precinct Upper East Side 10.6454
20th Precinct Upper West Side 8.156
Central Park Precinct Central Park n/a
23rd Precinct East Harlem 14.7457
24th Precinct Upper West Side 8.6605
25th Precinct North East-Harlem 25.2505
26th Precinct Upper West Side 12.5434
28th Precinct Central Harlem 19.7182
30th Precinct West Harlem 12.7709
32nd Precinct Northeastern Harlem 15.5056
33rd Precinct Washington Heights 12.4613
34th Precinct Washington Heights and Inwood, 11.2947

The Most Dangerous Neighborhoods In Manhattan is East Harlem – Check out our full write-up about the safety of Harlem.

most dangerous neighborhood in Manhattan

Manhattan’s Population

The population for the Manhattan in 2020 is 1,694,251

Manhattan Crime Stats

Here’s a breakdown of all the crimes in Manhattan for 2020. We also included the crimes stats 1990 and 2001 to give you some perspective on how crime has evolved in Manhattan over the years:

1990

2001

2020

2020 vs 1990

Murder

503

102

84

-83.30%

Rape

689

319

274

-60.23%

Robbery

26,907

6,044

3,033

-88.73%

Felony Assault

10,089

4,625

3,690

-63.43%

Burglary

30,357

6,538

4,605

-84.83%

Grand Larceny

58,610

22,103

11,861

-79.76%

Grand Larceny Auto

21,474

3,454

1,361

-93.66%

TOTAL

148,629

43,185

24,908

-83.24%

Looking at the chart, you can see that crime in Manhattan has significantly decreased over a 30 year time period. Total crime has decreased a monumental 83% from 1990!

*All data is from the NYPD CompStat

Manhattan Crime Rate

In 2020 Manhattan reported 7,081 violent crimes and had a violent crime rate of 417.94 per 100,000 people. The national average for violent crime is 366.7 per 100,000 residents. Manhattan’s violent crime rate is about 14% more than the national average.

**Violent crimes include; homicides, rape, robbery and aggravated assaults and the violent crime rate is calculated by dividing the number of reported crimes by the total population; the result is multiplied by 100,000.

Manhattan Murder Stats

In 2020 Manhattan reported 84 homicides, which gives it a murder rate of 4.95 per 100,000 residents. The national murder rate is 5 per 100,000 people. Manhattan’s murder rate is slightly less than the national average.

Manhattan vs The Other Boroughs

Looking at the table you can see that Manhattan had the second highest violent crime rate of all the boroughs.

City

Population

Number of violent crimes in 2020

Rate per 100,000 people

The Bronx

1,472,654

9,766

663.15

Manhattan

1,694,251

7,081

417.94

Brooklyn

2,736,074

10,619

388.11

Queens

2,405,464

7,170

298.07

Staten Island

495,747

913

184.16

Manhattan vs The Most Dangerous Cities In The United States

Here’s a list of the top 10 most dangerous cities in the United States ranked by violent crime rate. It can give you some perspective on Manhattan’s violent crime rate, which is 417.94 per 100,000 people.

Manhattan’s violent crime rate is 5.7 times LESS than Memphis, the most dangerous city on the list.

City Population Number of violent crimes in 2020 Rate per 100,000 people
Memphis 633,104 15,310 2,418.24
Detroit 639,111 14,370 2,248.44
Baltimore 2,707,064 9,273 2,027.01
St. Louis 301,578 6,017 1,995.17
Little Rock 202,591 3,657 1,805.11
South Bend 103,453 1,765 1,706.09
Cleveland 372,624 6,281 1,685.61
Milwaukee 577,222 9,407 1,629.70
Kansas City 508,090 7,919 1,558.58
Lansing 112,644 1,699 1,508.29
Springfield 169,176 2,545 1,504.35

*All data is from the 2019 FBI Crime Stats Report**

What do residents of Manhattan say about its safety

  1. " Manhattan is the safest it’s ever been. If you think and act like a total clown you will have problems."
  2. "New York is the safest big city in the country. Just apply some common sense and you will be fine."
  3. "This isn’t the 80s anymore, Manhattan it’s safe. Stop listening to the fear mongering news."
  4. "Crime is higher than it was pre-covid, but overall the city is still pretty damn safe."
  5. "Don’t be fooled by the headlines that says ‘Crime in New York is the highest it’s ever been in a decade!" It fails to mention that in the last decade we’ve had the lowest rate of crime ever. The stats can be misleading too. If crime is already low, an increase of 1 murder to 2 is is a 100% increase. A city with a high crime rate may go from 100 to 101, a much smaller percent increase but worse."
  6. "Any area that a tourist would be interested in going, you will be perfectly safe. The dangerous areas of the city are places tourist wouldn’t want to go anyways."
  7. "I would say anything south of 96th street is safe. Don’t venture into East Harlem and you should be fine."
  8. "Most of Manhattan is very safe and you’d have to go out of your way to end up in a bad neighborhood."
  9. "Be careful of express trains. The D & A trains will skip from 59th Street to 125th. A neighborhood, that you probably don’t want to be in."
  10. "During the Covid lockdowns, the city was empty, shops were closed and it did feel sketchier but things are starting to return to normal."
  11. "The word “Safe” is subjective, but I think most people would consider most of Manhattan to be pretty safe."
  12. "This is one of the safest large cities on the planet. Avoid going deep into the triple digits and parks at night. Know where the projects are and dont go there."
  13. "Crime has gone down consistently for decades in the city. Its one of the safest cities out there."
  14. "Contrary to what right-wing media is telling you, the city has not descended into chaos. It’s still the safest major city in the country."
  15. "Manhattan of 1979 or 1991 was dangerous and crime-ridden. Manhattan of 2021 is a relatively safe place. There are neighborhoods that should be avoided, but these are places you don’t end up by accident."

Is Manhattan safe at night?

Manhattan is safe at night, as there is a lot of police presence. Avoid going into Central Park. Avoid going along the dark edges of the waterfront and avoid going into dark and desolate areas. Use your streets smart that would apply to any other large city

Is it safe to visit alone?

Manhattan is a safe place to visit alone. You can mitigate your chances of becoming a victim if you learn the layout of the city, avoid the bad areas and follow the safety tips posted below.

Driving tour of Manhattan:

Tips To Stay Safe In Manhattan

  • Don’t walk through Central Park at night. The vast majority of of crime and violence in the park occur at night.
  • Don’t use the subway late at night. There’s a lot less people around and it can get sketchy down there. Get a taxi or an Lyft.
  • Don’t travel with all your most expensive gear. Don’t flash cash. Don’t flash jewelry, watches and other nonsense that might make you a target.
  • There’s mentally ill, homeless people on the streets. The ones that are asleep on the sidewalk are fine, just keep walking. Keep your distance from the ones yelling and carrying a weapon.
  • Don’t engage people trying to give you stuff. More than likely they are trying to scam you.
  • The more people are around, the less of a target you are. Stay away from desolate areas and don’t walk through alleys at night.
  • You will come across crazy people from time to time on the streets. Ignore them and don’t make eye contact.
  • Trust your gut feeling. If someplace doesn’t seem safe to you, look for the exits.
  • Never stop walking. If someone says “hey”, just keep walking. As soon as you stop, you are giving someone the opportunity to solicit your for money, sign up for something or scam you. Speed = safety.
  • Don’t accept anything free from anyone. Some people will try to give you free mixtapes, or “Buddhist karma”, or tell you that you broke their glasses, just ignore and keep on walking.
  • Don’t stand too close to edge of the train platform. People are getting pushed into the tracks by crazy people.
  • If you have a bad feeling or think you’re being followed, go into a busy public place or a shop.
  • Keep your eyes to yourself. Don’t stare at people, but also be aware of your surroundings.
  • Don’t ever take a drink that you haven’t seen poured. Make sure you take the drink directly from the bartender.
  • Walk with confidence. Walk deliberately.
  • Don’t walk alone in unfamiliar places at night.
  • Learn the layout of the city and figure out which areas you should avoid.

Final Thoughts

Manhattan is a safe place to visit. It’s crime stats are low, its murder rate is low and many residents agree that Manhattan is a very safe place to visit. Most of Manhattan you can walk around and have no problems. The problem area is East Harlem. While you shouldn’t have any problems in East Harlem during the daytime, we suggest you stay out of the area at night. Stay off the edges of the waterfront and don’t go into the parks at night. And avoid using the subway late at night. Happy travels!

Other Cities You Might Be Interested In:

Albuquerque, Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Baltimore, Barstow, Brooklyn, Bronx, Compton, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Corpus Christi, El Paso, Fort Worth, Gary, Harlem, Houston, Indianapolis, Inglewood, Las Vegas, Long Beach, Memphis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Oakland, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Reno, Sacramento, San Antonio, San Bernardino, San Jose, Seattle, Slab City, St. Louis, Stockton

Mariska Lee

Mariska is a recovering attorney who gave up her professional job to discover new perspectives of life while traveling in a 2009 Ford Transit. She has been living the van life for 3 years and has not looked back since.

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