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Safety in Washington, D.C.

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The Washington Metropolitan Area is an amazing place to live. Its vibrant and diverse community provides all the conveniences you need for a thriving lifestyle. The city offers world-class shopping spots, endearing culture, and many other interesting things to discover.

As one of the biggest and most populous cities in the U.S., Washington, D.C. draws people of all ages and is one of the most significant metropolitan areas.

Another benefit of Washington, D.C.is its ever-growing job market, but what are some of the problems that many capitals residents face every day? Is this bustling city truly a safe place to live? Read on to learn more about the safety aspects of living in the nation’s capital.

Table of Contents

Is it safe to live in Washington, D.C.?

If you are considering relocating or visiting Washington, D.C., and have some worries about the overall safety of this exciting city, Zip Moving & Storage has got you covered. According to many statistics, Washington, D.C., is not the safest place to live. However, police departments all over the city are working tirelessly to change that. 

Some areas are more dangerous than others, but you can find many great and popular neighborhoods that are perfectly safe. Keep in mind, that D.C.’s violence rate is lower than Memphis’s, which is still considered the most dangerous U.S. city.

Washington, D.C. is a world-class international metropolis and the political center of America. It’s no wonder it attracts many tourists and new residents yearly. Whether you are a tourist or a new resident, you should be careful on the D.Cs streets, especially during the first couple of months. 

Pickpockets are quite common in public transport or crowded places. Avoiding dangerous neighborhoods and being especially cautious around the metro stations is a good idea to ensure your safety.

The crime rate in the capital city

Like many big metropolitan cities, the capital city of the United States has to deal with various crimes in certain areas. The crime rate depends on various factors. However, the total crime rate in Washington, D.C., trends higher than the national average.

Though crime rates dropped significantly to their lowest levels in the last couple of years, crime remains one of the biggest problems in D.C. 

Unfortunately, 2021 in the whole D.C. region was one of the most violent years to date, and police departments around the city are working harder than ever to lower the crime rates in 2022. According to statistics, 3 in 10 district residents don’t feel safe from crime in their neighborhoods. 

Interestingly, around 39% of survey participants claimed that police are very visible and responsive, and more than 60% claimed that the high crime rate doesn’t impact their everyday lives. 

It’s also important to highlight that some D.C. residents think the crime-ridden city’s story is over-hyped. 

Number of Crimes

Violent: 7,127

Crime Rate
(per 1,000 residents)

Violent: 10.34

Most dangerous parts of Washington, D.C.

Some areas of D.C. are still struggling with high crime rates, but it’s not unusual for big metropolitan cities. According to recent research, there is a 1 in 19 chance of becoming a victim of a crime while living in this capital city. We recommend using crime maps to discover the safest and the most dangerous parts of Washington, D.C. Here are some of the most hazardous areas of Washington, D.C.

Deanwood, Washington, D.C.

Deanwood Washington DC.jpg

Deanwood neighborhood at the intersection of Sheriff Rd. and 46th St. in August 2018. Image by Eric T Gunther

Deanwood is one of the oldest areas in the nation’s capital, and although it gives a small-town feeling, this neighborhood is considered to be one of the most dangerous areas with an incredibly high crime rate. 

Deanwood has a rich history; many homes were built in the early 1900s, but a lot has changed in this historical neighborhood. Though one of the oldest areas, Deanwood lacks most urban areas’ basic needs. 

According to the Washington Post, the median rent for a one-bedroom apartment is around $1,324, making Deanwood one of the more affordable neighborhoods in the area. Still, violent crimes are greater than the national average.

Anacostia, Washington, D.C.

The intersection of High St. & Maple View Place SE

The intersection of High St. & Maple View Place SE. Image by Eric T. Gunther

Many popular magazines and news portals emphasize that Anacostia is an area with high crime ratest. Unfortunately, here, violent attacks are pretty common. 

Anacostia’s streets are not safe, and their public transportation is no exception. Many residents expressed how concerned they are because of illegal behavior in their neighborhood, but that is not their only worry. The high homicide rate and decreased prescence of the Metropolitan Police Department play a big part in rising crime rates in this Washington, D.C. neighborhood.

Brentwood, Washington, D.C.

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13th Pl. and Bryant St. NE, Brentwood, in February 2019. Image by Eric T. Gunther

Brentwood is located in the District of Columbia County. Violent crimes have been regularly reported in this neighborhood, making it one of the most dangerous places to live in the U.S. Even with police patrols, Brentwood still has one of the highest crime rates in Washington, D.C.

Some problems are connected to burglary, theft, and drug dealing. Overall, this is a neighborhood to take care in, especially in the evenings and during the night. It’s also important to guard your wallets and pockets in public transport.

The most safe areas in Washington, D.C.

Let’s not forget that Washington, D.C. is home to many diverse communities and lovely neighborhoods that offer their residents spacious parks, excellent restaurants, an expanding job market, and reputable schools. Some of these neighborhoods include:

Foxhall Village

Homes on 44th St NW

Houses on 44th St NW in 2022. Image by engineerchange

This neighborhood is famous for its low crime rates and endless rows of charming and authentic Tudor – style homes. Foxhall Village is one of the oldest and largest developments in Capitol Hill, making it one of the most beautiful places to visit and live in. Homes in this popular area mimic traditional English houses. 

Foxhall Village is proud of its lively and thriving community that grows stronger every day. New residents are always warmly welcomed. Living in Foxhall Village has many benefits. Some of them include: a great job market, low crime rate, close and well-connected community, friendly neighbors, and great schools.

Georgetown

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Houses on 44th St NW in 2022. Image by engineerchange

The list of best D.C. neighborhoods couldn’t be complete without mentioning the iconic Georgetown. This famous district has a lot to offer to its residents. Cobblestone streets and stunning architecture are one of Georgetown’s main symbols. But that is not all! Georgetown is home to some of the most favored restaurants, shops, and hotels.

Art galleries and independent small businesses can be found on almost every corner, making Georgetown a fantastic place for many families and young professionals. Most residents own their homes, and, here, crime rates are low.

Georgetown is one of the safest D.C. neighborhoods and is an ideal place to start a family or a new career. This area is full of historic places, and you can even schedule a tour with a guide to learn more about Georgetown and its surroundings. Here are some of our favorite places in Georgetown:

  • Georgetown’s waterfront
  • Local antique shops
  • Great restaurants 
  • Chesapeake and Ohio Canal
  • Gardens at Dumbarton Oaks

Capitol Hill

Houses on G Street, SE

Houses on G Street, SE. Image by Smallbones

Washington, D.C., is a cradle of democracy, freedom, and diversity. Some of the government’s most important and influential buildings are located on Capitol Hill, a historic place bubbling with activities and events. Capitol Hill is also the center of the U.S. government, making it one of the most valuable districts in the country.

Today, this wonderful neighborhood perches two city quadrants, Southeast and Northeast. Capitol Hill is the largest historic district, and some of its most famous landmarks include:

  • the Senate and House office buildings
  • the Supreme Court building
  • the Library of Congress
  • the Washington Navy Yard
  • the Marine Barracks

Foggy Bottom

Southwest corner - Washington Circle.JPG

Washington Circle lies at the convergence of Pennsylvania, New Hampshire Avenues, K and 23rd Streets. Image by AgnosticPreachersKid

This fabulous neighborhood offers its residents a unique mix of an urban and rural lifestyle. Foggy Bottom is an ideal blend of practicality and playfulness. The area is also home to some of the most important government buildings. 

Foggy Bottom is famous for its unusual and creative name. The mist that rises off the Potomac river makes Foggy Bottom often cloudy! Still, this neighborhood remains one of the wealthiest and most popular areas of Washington, D.C. Foggy Bottom is easy to get around, so we advise you to take long walks and enjoy some fantastic scenery.

Great schools, restaurants, and job opportunities are what attracts so many people to this area, making it one of the most prestigious neighborhoods in D.C. If you plan to move to Foggy Bottom and have kids, you probably want to find out the best schools in the area. We have selected some of them for you:

  • The School without Walls High School
  • Woodrow Wilson High School
  • Benjamin Banneker Academic High School
  • Duke Ellington School of the Arts

U Street Corridor

Retail on east side of 14th Street between S and T streets

Retail on east side of 14th Street between S and T streets. Image by Keizers

This city section is famous for its vibrant community, exciting nightlife, and rich culture. The district is popular among all generations, and it can be a true paradise, especially for all the food lovers out there. 

Low crime rates and an expanding job market make the U Street Corridor one of the best and safest D.C. neighborhoods. 

Today, U Street Corridor continues to be one of the most popular and beloved D.C neighborhoods, making it an excellent place to raise a young family. U Street Corridor can also be ideal for couples looking for prominent restaurants and romantic spots. Here are some fun activities to explore in U Street Corridor:

  • Learn more about African American culture
  • Discover wonderful local art
  • Visit jazz clubs


Eat in the most popular restaurants:
Ted’s Bulletin, Ben’s Chili Bowl, Restaurant Marvin

Is it expensive to live in D.C.?

Washington, D.C. is a city full of life and culture! This thriving and ever-growing city has so much to offer, politics, art, music, history, you name it! Moving to a new place can be nerve-wracking and stressful, but think about the endless possibilities of each new move. 

The city’s high-paying fields are law, politics, and economics. Many people planning to move ask the same question: How expensive is it to live in the capital city of the U.S.? 

The answer to that question is not easy. It depends on many different factors. Your job, lifestyle, salary, and where you are moving from. 

Still, living in D.C. can be pricey. According to the newest data, living in D.C. is 59% more expensive than the national average. According to Consumer Expenditures for the Washington Metropolitan Area, many households spend around  $95,441 on average. 

The Washington area paid around $5,785 on food at home. Fuel, water, gas, and electricity bills tend to add up. Utility costs around $158 monthly. We understand that these numbers sound high, but living in Washington D.C. can be affordable if you plan your expenses well.

However, living in D.C. offers you many great job opportunities. Jobs in marketing, engineering, and technology can bring you incredibly high incomes in Washington, D.C. Mathematicians, doctors, economists, and physicists are also among the best-paid professions.

Though the cost of living is high, having so many wonderful job opportunities can make things much easier. To live comfortably in this capital city, you will probably need an annual income of around $100,000. It can sound like a lot of money ( which it is) but with the high cost of living come pretty good salaries as well.

Affordable Washington, D.C. movers

Zip Moving & Storage offers comprehensive moving services in the DMV area. We know that moving requires careful organization, flawless planning, and lots of patience. Our moving company understands how difficult it can be to find trustworthy and skilled professionals. That’s why we invested in our team. 

Our D.C. expert movers will do all the backbreaking work for you. In our capacity as a professional moving company, we have moved many new residents to Washington, D.C., and you can be the next one! Relocating can be a joyful and positive experience with Zip Moving & Storage! 

Zip’s skilled movers and packers will relocate your house or office to Washington, D.C. With our help and assistance, you can easily become a new resident of Washington, D.C. Contact us and secure an easy and safe relocation.

The bottom line…

Moving to Washington, D.C., is a big decision with many challenges. As with any big and life-changing decision, you should be especially careful and plan everything in advance. Hopefully, this article provided you with some useful information.

We wanted to show this bustling city’s good and bad sides. There are elements of Washington, D.C. that are considered dangerous, and there are elements of D.C. that are safe and wonderful both for tourists and residents.

Of course, the reality is never black or white. Living in such a big city comes with a unique set of challenges. It is up to you to decide whether living there works for you or not.

Relocating there may seem almost incomprehensible to some outsiders. The reality is that Washington, D.C., can truly be a great place to live. Like many major cities, D.C. has many problems; big crowds, crime rates, and high cost of living are just some of them. Still, at the same time, D.C. is a warm and welcoming city full of life, culture, and new possibilities.