Denver, Colorado, aka the Mile High City, is the gateway to the Rocky Mountains. Also, the state capital, Denver, is a modern city rising out of Old West roots. Its cultural offerings, stunning natural beauty and weather, and proximity to awesome ski resorts make Denver a great place to visit. But how safe is it to live there?
Denver’s population tops 700,000. With that many people in an area, there’s sure to be various neighborhoods, each with its own vibe and reputation. Sometimes it can be hard to know which areas are dangerous and which are not. To help you avoid moving into an unsafe neighborhood, we’ve compiled a list of the five most dangerous places to live in Denver, as well as some safe alternatives.
This old and diverse district was a tour stop for many great jazz musicians, giving it the name “Harlem of the West.” Soul food, craft beer, live music, and barbeque are the big attractions these days.
The area has experienced a comeback with lively nightlife and young professionals moving into the neighborhood. Home prices continue to rise, but so does the crime rate. The violent crime rate in Five Points is 672% more than the national average. Areavibes gives Fives Points an F for crime and safety.
The Capitol Hill area of Denver offers attractions such as the Colorado State Capitol, Civic Center Park, and the Molly Brown House Museum. Bounded by Cheesman Park to the east and U.S. Highway 70 to the west, Capitol Hill is home to rambling old mansions and an eclectic, bohemian vibe.
On the darker side, though, crime in Capitol Hill is 128% more than the Denver average. The Community Crime Map shows a swath of violent and property crimes throughout the area. Most residents rent in this dense urban area.
According to the Denver Post, at 17.9%, Capitol Hill ranks as the 6th worst Denver neighborhood in terms of violent crime rate.
City Park West is bounded on the east by Denver City Park and is primarily made up of single-family residences with a few apartment buildings scattered throughout. About 70% of residents rent the homes they live in. AreaVibe gives City Park West a livability score of 54%, which is considered very poor.
This neighborhood’s crime rate is 131% more than Denver as a whole.
Filling about 50 square blocks between N. Downing and York Streets, Northern Denver has a population of about 25,500 living in this densely urban area. It rates a 59% livability score according to AreaVibe, largely due to its crime rate.
Real estate prices are 23% lower than Denver’s average, but at the same time, Northern Denver’s crime rate is 23% higher than the rest of Denver. Looking at the Community Crime Map for a one-month period, it seems that car theft and assault are fairly common.
Tucked into a small triangle with I-25 and the South Platte River to the west, Speer Boulevard to the east, and U.S. Highway 70 to the south, Auraria is home to the Pepsi Center Arena and Elitch Gardens. Walking trails and green space along the river draw folks to the neighborhood.
But, nearly 80% of the homes in Auraria are rentals and the rate of crime—11% higher than Denver’s average—makes Auraria a less than safe place to live. Niche data shows that assaults in Auraria average 1333.3 per 100,000 residents, compared to the national average of 282.7.
Denver’s Crime Grade report card is a disturbing D for overall crime and a worrisome C- for violent crime. Denver averages a crime every 3 minutes. Based on this barely passing grade, 82% of other U.S. metros are safer than Denver. Denver’s east side has the reputation of being particularly dangerous, with your chances of being a victim of a crime there as high as 1 in 7.
Although this statistic may seem bleak, know that there are still plenty of safe communities in this city to make your new home, including:
Most folks in Wellshire own their own home with a median price of $693,951. What little crime there is mostly property crime. The violent crime rate is astonishingly low at 0.59% per 1000 residents.
Hilltop is another super-safe area with a violent crime rate of just 0.76% per 1000 residents. Like Wellshire, this neighborhood is located southeast of downtown Denver.
Located east of I-25 and home to the Denver Country Club, this neighborhood comprises single-family homes along quiet streets. According to the Denver Post, the violent crime count for 2021 stands at 3 total. Nearby Cherry Creek offers plenty of fine dining and shopping.
Niche gives the Washington Park West area a B- for overall crime. Most criminal activity here is property crime such as burglary, but that isn’t a frequent occurrence. Washington Park offers a lovely green space that neighbors can feel safe to enjoy.
Feeling and being safe in our homes is something we all want for ourselves and our families. Being able to walk the streets of any neighborhood without fearing for our safety shouldn’t be unusual. But, like all large cities, Denver has its share of less than desirable areas.
Hopefully, this list of neighborhoods to avoid, as well as some safe alternatives, will help you choose the safest place to live in Denver.