What’s the Safest Neighborhood in Chicago?

Chicago’s rough streets get all the press. Where do you find the least crime in the city? It’s not in the richest part of town—just the place the most police live.

A man saws lumber in Edison Park, the neighborhood with the lowest crime rate in Chicago in 2012.   Photo: Shauna Bittle/Chicago Tribune 
Small neighborhoods map
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Thanks to continued concern about street violence in Chicago, high-crime neighborhoods have been under an intense media microscope. But which parts of town have the least crime?

To find out, I analyzed 2012 city data on all 77 community areas, looking for those with the lowest rates of homicide, assault, battery, sexual assault, arson, and burglary.

While the five safest neighborhoods (highlighted in green at right) have relatively high median household incomes—$90,356 in Forest Glen, for example, versus the citywide median of $47,408—they’re hardly where the city’s priciest real estate is clustered. No lakefront nabe makes the list.

What these five places do have in common: Lots of cops (and other civil servants, including firefighters) live there. The Sun-Times reported that, in 2005, the last year City Hall released the ZIP codes of city workers, 71 percent of police officers lived on the Northwest and Southwest Sides. The ZIP code that includes Mount Greenwood, for instance, was home to 1,418 sworn officers.

For context, the list below ranks the five most crime-prone neighborhoods in the city along with the five quietest. The result: You’re 15 times as likely to be the victim of a crime in Fuller Park as in Edison Park.


Crime rate* per 100,000
1 Edison Park 921
2 Forest Glen 994
3 Mount Greenwood 1,016
4 Norwood Park 1,188
5 Dunning 1,502

Most Dangerous

Rank Neighborhood Crime rate* per 100,000
1 Fuller Park 13,456
2 Washington Heights 12,870
3 Englewood 12,713
4 Riverdale 12,512
5 West Garfield Park 12,272



12 months ago
Posted by More guns = less crime

The areas with the most legal guns have the lowest crime rates. Go figure.

12 months ago
Posted by realistic

Civilians with guns is entirely different from civil servants with guns. Chicago safety can't simply be condensed into "more guns = less crime."

12 months ago
Posted by RandolfHertz

Correlation does not equal causation.

Other conclusions to be drawn.

More black people = more crime
More home owners = less crime
More school closings = more crime
Less supermarkets = more crime

Or as moronically insinuated above:

more legal guns = less crime

12 months ago
Posted by Chisel

What common denominator occurs in the top five safest?
Of the crimes that do occur, what neighborhoods are the perpetrators from?

11 months ago
Posted by ericdb68

Perhaps Randolfhertz could enlighten us on the definitve answer to ending crime in Chicago?

3 months ago
Posted by celticjunker1

I am stupified on a daily basis, the way politicians are able able to throw up smoke and mirrors on the "gun debate" which should really be the "abhorent lack of money being spent on mental illness". Guns don't kill people, people who should be receiving treatment for mental illness but aren't getting the treatment or the funding, kill people.

3 months ago
Posted by mariedigi

O'Hare neighborhood is surrounded by Edison Park/Dunning. It should be a top 5

3 months ago
Posted by spudart

#3 safest is listed as Mount Greenwood. But according to the map, Beverly is also part of #3. Shouldn't it be listed as Mount Greenwood/Beverly?

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