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An Overview of the Crime Rate in Portland

An Overview of the Crime Rate in Portland

Big cities are notorious as prime venues for criminal activity. However, Portland doesn’t do too badly here compared to similar cities worldwide.

You see, even though Portland is one of the most populous cities on the West Coast and has been dubbed by the media as a “war zone”, its crime rate doesn’t actually support that label.

In fact, if this is bothering you enough to give you second thoughts about moving into the city, stick around. We’ll answer this question today: “Does Portland have a high crime rate?”

Is Portland a safe city?

Portland is generally a safe city if you’re worried about violent crime. This is according to 2020 crime rates calculated by U.S. News with data from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports.

The U.S. News pegs Portland’s violent crime at 302.5 (per 100,000 people), which is lower than average. However, its property crime rate is higher than average at 2,623.4. 

Despite that, Portland’s low violent crime rate makes it safer compared to similar cities across the US. It hardly has the same high violent crime rates as Colorado Springs, New York, or Fort Worth.

Is Portland a safe city

Like most other cities, Portland has also seen an increase in certain types of crime rates through 2021, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation

So, Portland still sees its fair share of crime on a regular basis – a bit like a minor but endemic pest infestation.

Portland Crime Rate vs Comparable Cities’ Crime Rates

The table below shows Bestplaces’ report on the 2022 crime rates of Colorado Springs and New York in comparison to Portland. The site’s crime rates were based on FBI data.

Crime is ranked on a scale of 1 (low crime) to 100 (high crime).

Violent CrimeProperty Crime
Portland, OR21.772.3
Colorado Springs, CO23.652
New York, NY28.224.9

We can gather from the statistics shown that Portland does have issues with property crime which includes the offenses of burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson. 

This trend isn’t new either. 

According to the 2019 list of US cities by crime rate, Portland was only 62nd for violent crime. This meant it fell far below Detroit, Memphis, Chicago, LA, Washington D.C., and Philadelphia.

However, it did place 7th for property crime, below only Albuquerque, Spokane, Memphis, San Francisco, St. Louis, and Oakland.

The bright side to this is that Portland residents rarely have to worry about serious injury or loss of life due to crime. 

The object of property crime is the acquisition of money and property. Thus, the victims are not generally threatened with or subjected to any physical or violent force.

Most Dangerous Neighborhoods in Portland

There are only a few areas in Portland that you should be aware of if you’re worried about safety. These places are actually far from the areas that tourists are likely to visit, so you won’t need to worry about them on a major scale.

To help you steer clear of the more perilous locations, here’s a list of the most dangerous places in Portland. 

The list includes the number of crimes committed in the area between the period October 2020 to October 2021 based on a report by the Police Bureau of Portland.

NeighborhoodNumber of Reported Offenses

Portland’s Crime Rates By the Numbers

Portland’s Crime Rates By the Numbers

To give you the specifics of the crime rate in Portland, we have here the data we gathered from Portland Police’s website for January 2021 to October 2021. The figures you’ll find might be enough to install new locks in your home but not have you sleep with one eye open, as you’ll see.

The reported cases are as follows:

  • A total of 69 reported cases for homicides
  • 476 sexual offenses
  • 950 robbery cases
  • and 3,889 burglaries

On the other hand, to give a very much broader perspective, the following are the 2020 crime statistics in Portland based on the report of the Portland Police.

RateReported Cases
Violent Crime531.03 per 100,000 people. (133% greater than the national average which is 398.5 per 100,000 residents)3,465
Property Crime4,814.69 per 100,000 people. (246% greater than the national average is 1958.2 per 100,000 residents)31,416
Murder Stats8.12 per 100,000 residents. (1.25x greater than the national average which is 6.5 per 100,000 people)53 homicides (the most homicides reported in Portland in 27 years)

Safety Tips in Portland

Safety Tips in Portland

Now we’ll go over some simple tips for avoiding dangerous areas and staying safe while visiting Portland:

  • Before the visit, study the city’s layout to determine which areas you should avoid. We already gave you some of the pointers above, so please carry important information as you go.
  • Criminals prey on people who appear vulnerable or exploitable, so dress like you’re from the area.
  • Try to stay in populated areas since crime is less likely to happen with more eyes around you. We suggest you consider this especially if it’s nighttime.
  • Never let go of your belongings, especially when in an unknown place – it just takes a thief a half-second to take them. 
  • Try to actively observe what is happening around you and keep an eye out for anything that seems shady. You can’t have your vision give up on you while outside. 
  • Finally, use common sense and believe in your gut. Don’t engage with strangers if you feel like something ain’t right.

So, is Portland Oregon really that safe? It seems like it. 

If it is the crime you are concerned about, as the statistics show, they are still low for a city of this size, especially in terms of violent crime. If you plan to visit, take this information from us as your guide.

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