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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 
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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


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