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Safest Neighborhoods in Denver | 🔐 What Are the Safest Areas in Denver to Live?

Considering moving to Denver, Colorado? Crime rates and safety may be a big concern for many reasons. You may be moving with children, planning to live alone, or simply feel more comfortable in a neighborhood with a low rate of property crime. Like other metro areas, Denver does have a problem with crime, but it’s concentrated in just a small number of neighborhoods. Even these neighborhoods, however, are popular with a lot of charm, cultural attractions, and natural beauty. There aren’t really many “bad” areas of Denver!

To help you choose a community you can feel comfortable calling home, here’s a look at the safest neighborhoods in Denver and the bad areas of Denver to avoid.

Crime Stats in Denver

As you consider living in Denver, crime may be a major concern. Is Denver safe? Denver is often ranked as one of the safest cities in the United States for its size. That doesn’t mean there isn’t crime in the city, however.

Between January and September 2020, there were 4,578 violent crimes in Denver (up 13.6% from 2019) and 24,000 property crimes (up 17.5%), according to the Denver Police Department.

The Denver crime rate is 4,492 crimes per 100k people, about 80% above the national average.

While this may seem bad, keep in mind almost 50% of violent crime in Denver occurs in just a handful of areas covered below. By avoiding mostly downtown areas and a few other neighborhoods in a cluster, you can dramatically reduce your risk of being the victim of crime in Denver.

Safest Neighborhoods in Denver

What are the safest neighborhoods in Denver? The vast majority of Denver neighborhoods have low crime, excellent amenities, and plenty to see and do. Crime is largely concentrated in just a handful of communities. Here are the safest areas of Denver to explore.

LoDo – Vibrant Downtown Denver Neighborhood with Safety & Amenities

  • Population: 8,500
  • Crime: 60% lower than the Denver average with 1,797 total crimes per 100k people
  • Median home price: $627,000
  • Great for: Millennials and young professionals

LoDo isn’t just one of the safest Denver neighborhoods; it’s one of the most exciting. LoDo is Denver’s oldest neighborhood and known for its galleries, boutiques, restaurants, and lounges. This trendy restaurant, with its illuminated Larimer Square with Victorian buildings and nearby Union Station, has been revitalized in recent years. Residents love the easy access to public transportation, exciting nightlife, and upscale condo living. You can easily enjoy living in LoDo, Denver without a car thanks to public transit and a very walkable community.

Just be aware that LoDo is the third most expensive Denver neighborhood for renters with average rent of $2,229. Even studio apartments in this fun neighborhood range from $1,300 to $1,600. However, you’ll enjoy great amenities at apartments like Alara Union Station with a resort-style swimming pool, a poolside entertainment lounge, an on-site social hub, and a grocery store with a private entrance.

Green Valley Ranch – Large Master Planned, Safe Neighborhood in Northeast Denver

  • Population: 40,000
  • Crime: 58% less crime than Denver
  • Median home price: $403,500
  • Great for: Families

GVR was once a ranch and farm community but it was developed starting in the 1980s by the Alpert Corporation as a major master planned community. It became the first master planned community in the Denver Aerotropolis and it’s now known for its low crime rate, excellent public and charter schools, and a strong sense of community.

What is there to do in Green Valley Ranch? You’ll enjoy community events like free concerts and outdoor movies plus top-notch amenities like a recreation center and golf course. The Town Center Park boasts a skate park, pond, and open green space. One of the most recent additions to the community is the Gaylord Rockies Resort. You’ll even be served by two light rail stops for easy access to downtown.

Southeastern Denver – Home to Major Attractions & Exciting, Safe Neighborhoods in Denver

  • Population: 52,000
  • Crime: 34% less crime than the Denver average
  • Median home price: $345,000
  • Great for: Families, millennials, LGBT, and retirees

Denver is often divided into four quadrants. The Southeast quadrant is home to many of the safest places to live in Denver with something for everyone.
One of the top picks is Cherry Creek, home to 12,600 people. Cherry Creek is one of the most affluent and safest Denver neighborhoods with the highest rent. You’ll pay $2,454 per month in rent to live in Cherry Creek – far above the average of $1,981. You’ll enjoy two shopping centers, tons of art galleries, and the Cherry Creek Trail.

Another top choice is Cheesman Park. Home to the Denver Botanical Garden’s, it’s also one of the most LGBT-friendly neighborhoods in Denver.

University – Safe Denver Neighborhood Popular with Millennials & Families

  • Population: 17,000
  • Crime: 29% lower than Denver; 3,182 crimes per 100k people
  • Median home price: $542,000
  • Great for: Students, families, millennials, downtown commuters

The University neighborhood home to the University of Denver, is centered around South University Boulevard. Residents enjoy bars, shops, and restaurants that cater to over 12,000 students with a light rail station serving the neighborhood. It offers a unique energy and attracts lots of families who want a short commute to downtown Denver. You’ll find a great mix of housing options including apartments, townhomes, condos, duplexes, and single-family homes (mostly in the south).

 

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Washington Park – Affluent & Safe Denver Neighborhood with a Large Park and Lake

  • Population: 14,800
  • Crime: 20% less crime than the Denver average
  • Median home price: $980,000
  • Great for: Families and retirees

Washington Park is a mostly residential neighborhood in Denver centered on its namesake, the large Washington Park with formal gardens, jogging paths, and sports facilities. There’s even a boathouse overlooking Smith Lake used by kayakers and fishermen. The shopping district in Washington Park is Old South Gaylord Street, packed with small eateries, galleries, and boutiques. Washington Park is one of the most desirable safe neighborhoods in Denver – and one of the most expensive!

 

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High Crime Areas of Denver

The core neighborhoods of Denver account for 25% of all violent crime. When the 10 city core neighborhoods in Denver are combined with neighborhoods bordering Federal Blvd, they account for 48% of all crime in Denver but only one out of four total neighborhoods.

One of the most dangerous areas in Denver is Five Points, a large core neighborhood sometimes called RiNo for the River North Arts District that is contributing to its massive growth. Home to over 22,000 people, it’s one of Denver’s oldest neighborhoods. Once known as the Harlem of the West with a famous music scene in the ‘60s, Five Points is a diverse community that has undergone rapid gentrification.

In 2020, Five Points had more violent crime than any other neighborhood in Denver. In September alone, Five Points had as much violent crimes as the 25 least violent communities put together.

As a general rule, the downtown streets with the most violent crime in Denver include Colfax Avenue (between York St & Speer Blvd), the 16th Street Mall area, Lawrence St (between Speer Blvd & 20th St), and the Five Points area. Neighborhoods along Federal Blvd west of I-25 also have a high share of violent crime.

The graph below shows Denver violent crime by neighborhood in September 2020. You can see how Federal Blvd and city core neighborhoods account for most Denver crime.

Along with Five Points, other bad areas of Denver to avoid include:

  • Montbello (pop: 37,000): 6% of all violent crime in Denver, second to Five Points
  • Central Business District (pop. 7,000) had 170 violent crimes and 720 property crimes between January and September 2020 alone. It’s still an exciting place to live in Denver with culture, shopping, and dining.
  • Capitol Hill (pop 12,000) is a densely populated neighborhood known for its chic bohemian lifestyle and hip hangouts. It also has one of the highest violent crime rates in Denver.
  • Civic Center (pop. 2,300) is part of the Golden Triangle known for museums and galleries. Between January and September 2020, there were 139 violent crimes and 233 property crimes.
  • Union Station (pop. 6,000) is one of the most vibrant and in-demand places to live in downtown Denver but crime remains a problem.

The Denver Crime Map run by the Denver Police Department is a helpful tool for choosing safe neighborhoods in Denver to live.

Safest Denver Neighborhoods FAQ

Is downtown Denver safe?

Most violent crime in Denver occurs in downtown neighborhoods. Some city core communities are dangerous, but most areas of downtown are safe at night and for residents.

Is it safe to live in Denver, Colorado?

Denver has several city core and surrounding neighborhoods with high violent crime rates. However, Denver is a safe city overall with most neighborhoods boasting a very low crime rate.

What parts of Denver should I avoid?

Just 10 city core neighborhoods and neighborhoods along Federal Blvd west of I-25 account for almost half of all Denver crime. This includes Five Points, Montbello, CBD, Capitol Hill, and Civic Center.

Map of Safest Neighborhoods in Denver

Have you settled on a safe Denver neighborhood to call home? When you’re ready to relocate to the Mile High City, Wasatch Moving Company is here to help! Give us a call at 720-798-2878 for a free moving estimate from our friendly Denver movers and count on superior customer care and affordable rates.

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