The Top 10 Safest Cities in Virginia in 2020

In general, Virginia is a great state to live in and is ranked the 9th safest state by the US News & World Report.

If you’re a current resident of Virginia or are considering moving there in the near future, you’re probably interested in which cities are the safest. The 10 safest cities in VA are:

  1. Lexington
  2. Purcellville
  3. Bridgewater
  4. Blacksburg
  5. Vienna
  6. Herndon
  7. Buena Vista
  8. Poquoson
  9. Falls Church
  10. Manassas Park

The cities above were selected as the safest cities in VA for having a population of at least 6,000 people and a crime rate below 4% (total number of crime offenses divided by the city’s population).

While there’s a tendency to believe that only super small cities (population below 5,000) would have low crime rates, there are multiple cities on this list with low crime rates despite having a population of over 16,000.

Below, we’ll look at which offense types make up the overall crime rate and then dive into the details of the specific crime rate and major offenses for each city.

Note: We used statistics published by the FBI’s most current Crime Statistics Map from 2018 for this post.

Types of Offenses

In order to determine how safe a city is overall, it's important to look at all types of crime. So before we dive into the details of each city, let’s take a look at how the FBI categorizes different crimes to give you a better idea of what each city’s crime rate is referencing.

Type of OffenseDetail

Animal Cruelty

N/A

Arson

N/A

Assault Offenses

Including:

  • Aggravated assault
  • Simple assault
  • Intimidation

Bribery

N/A

Burglary/Breaking & Entering

N/A

Counterfeiting/Forgery

N/A

Destruction/Damage/Vandalism of Property

N/A

Drug/Narcotic Offenses

Includes:

  • Drug/narcotic offenses
  • Drug/narcotic violations
  • Drug equipment violations

Embezzlement:

N/A

Extortion/Blackmail

N/A

Fraud Offenses

Includes:

  • False pretenses/swindle/confidence game
  • Credit card/automated teller machine fraud
  • Impersonation
  • Welfare fraud
  • Wire fraud
  • Identity theft
  • Hacking/computer invasion

Gambling Offenses

Includes:

  • Betting/wagering
  • Operating/promoting/assisting gambling
  • Gambling equipment violations
  • Sports tampering

Homicide Offenses

Includes:

  • Murder and nonnegligent manslaughter

Human Trafficking Offenses

Includes:

  • Commercial sex acts
  • Involuntary servitude

Kidnapping/Abduction

N/A

Larceny/Theft Offenses

Includes:

  • Pocket picking
  • Purse snatching
  • Shoplifting
  • Theft from building
  • Theft from coin-operated machine/device
  • Theft from motor vehicle
  • Theft of motor vehicle parts or accessories
  • All other larcenies

Motor Vehicle Theft

N/A

Pornography/Obscene Material

N/A

Prostitution Offenses

Includes:

  • Prostitution
  • Assisting or promoting prostitution
  • Purchasing prostitution

Robbery

N/A

Sex Offenses

Includes:

  • Rape
  • Sodomy
  • Sexual assault with an object
  • Fondling
  • Incest
  • Statutory rape

Stolen Property Offenses

N/A

Weapon Law Violations

N/A

#1: Lexington, VA

Lexington VA

Downtown in Lexington, VA. Credit: American Studies at the University of Groningen

While Lexington is home to multiple Civil War sites, there is no correlation between its violent past and its present. After all, Lexington is the safest place to live in Virginia.

Let’s break down the crime rate for this charming city:

  • Total # Offenses: 128
  • Current Population: 7,098
  • Crime Rate: 1.80%

The top three offenses in Lexington are:

  • Drug/Narcotic Offenses
  • Larceny/Theft Offenses
  • Assault Offenses

#2: Purcellville, VA

Purceville VA

Crooked Run Orchard in Purcellville, VA. Credit: Diane Helentjaris

Purcellville has the second-lowest crime rate in Virginia and is a city steeped in rich heritage. You can stroll through the Historic Old Town area and roller skate at the Bush Tabernacle Skating Rink without worrying about crime.

If you’re considering moving to Purcellville, the crime rate is 1.86% …

  • Total # Offenses: 188
  • Population: 10,090
  • Crime Rate: 1.86%

When the second safest city in Virginia does have crime, it tends to be:

  • Larceny/Theft Offenses
  • Destruction/Damage/Vandalism of Property
  • Assault Offenses

#3: Bridgewater, VA

Bridgewater VA

Winery in Bridgewater, VA. Credit: Joel Holland

Bridgewater is known for three things: being the third safest city in Virginia, having a Charter Day event every February 7th and celebrating Summer’s End each Labor Day with a 5k race and mini-golf. All these events go off without a hitch due to the low crime rate.

To also celebrate Bridgewater’s low crime rate, let’s look at the statistics:

  • Total # Offenses: 117
  • Population: 6,125
  • Crime Rate: 1.91%

And the city’s top three offenses are:

  • Drug/Narcotic Offenses
  • Larceny/Theft Offenses
  • Assault Offenses

#4: Blacksburg, VA

Blacksburg VA

Summer rain in Blacksburg, VA. Credit: Caleb White

Blacksburg’s claim to fame is being the 4th safest city in Virginia and having Virginia Tech at the epicenter of the city. One of the greatest achievements and attractions in Blacksburg is the Moss Arts Center at Virginia Tech.

Blacksburg's other great achievement is a low crime rate of 2.76% for a city of its size:

  • Total # Offenses: 1,237
  • Population: 44,853
  • Crime Rate: 2.76%

Note: The second most dangerous city in Virginia, Danville, has a similar population at 40,781 but with a 12% crime rate:

The most common crimes you’ll see in Blacksburg are:

  • Larceny/Theft Offenses
  • Destruction/Damage/Vandalism of Property
  • Drug/Narcotic Offenses

#5: Vienna, VA

Vienna VA

Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna, VA. Credit: Biswapati Acharya

Vienna is a lovely, safe city that has many local businesses. Like Blacksburg, Vienna also has a popular performing arts center called Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts. The locals and visitors feel safe strolling through the Meadowlark Botanical Gardens or checking out a play at Wolf Trap.

Also like Blacksburg, Vienna has a similar crime rate of 2.79%.

  • Total # Offenses: 465
  • Population: 16,660
  • Crime Rate: 2.79%

The main crime types you’ll see in Vienna are:

  • Larceny/Theft Offenses
  • Destruction/Damage/Vandalism of Property
  • Assault Offenses

#6: Herndon, VA

Herndon VA

National Air & Space Museum in Herndon, VA. Credit: Jason Forrest

Herndon has a lot of unique features: it’s the 6th safest city in Virginia, it has a National Air and Space Museum and a Frying Pan Farm Park.

All those features combined make Herndon a great place to live — especially its 3.23% crime rate.

  • Total # Offenses: 797
  • Population: 24,697
  • Crime Rate: 3.23%

With a crime rate of 3.23%, the most common crimes you’ll see in Herndon are:

  • Larceny/Theft Offenses
  • Assault Offenses
  • Drug/Narcotic Offenses

#7: Buena Vista, VA

Buena Vista VA

Teakettle building in Buena Vista, VA. Credit: Taber Andrew Bain

Buena Vista has multiple historical things: a track record of being a safe city, an old hotel that was converted into a Main Hall at Southern Virginia University and an old courthouse that became the local public library. It’s a city that values education and learning.

For some more learning, here are Buena Vista’s crime statistics:

  • Total # Offenses: 212
  • Population: 6,272
  • Crime Rate: 3.38%

Here are Buena Vista’s three main offenses:

  • Drug/Narcotic Offenses
  • Larceny/Theft Offenses
  • Assault Offenses

#8: Poquoson, VA

Poquoson VA

Plum Tree Island in Poquoson, VA. Credit: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Norfolk District

Poquoson is a great place to live since it’s a safe city and has fun attractions like the Poquoson Seafood Festival and the Poquoson Museum.

If you want to live in Poquoson, it’s a good idea to review crime statistics.

  • Total # Offenses: 409
  • Population: 12,011
  • Crime Rate: 3.41%

And the big offense types …

  • Assault Offenses
  • Larceny/Theft Offenses
  • Drug/Narcotic Offenses

#9: Falls Church, VA

Falls Church VA

Lederer's Sound Service in Falls Church, VA. Credit: Daniel Lobo

Falls Church is a safe community that loves Memorial Day parades, Farmers Markets (which has been reviewed as one of the best farmers markets in Virginia) and concerts at the historical State Theatre.

You’ll also love the crime rate of 3.56%.

  • Total # Offenses: 530
  • Population: 14,884
  • Crime Rate: 3.56%

The serious contributors to the crime rate are:

  • Larceny/Theft Offenses
  • Assault Offenses
  • Drug/Narcotic Offenses

#10: Manassas, VA

Manassas VA

Manassas National Battlefield Park in Manassas, VA. Credit: Ron Cogswell

Manassas is a suburb in Virginia that is a great, safe place to settle down with a family. It boasts a 3.59% crime rate, government jobs and good schools.

Manassas has a low amount of offenses compared to its population:

  • Total # Offenses: 606
  • Population: 16,882
  • Crime Rate: 3.59%

So, what types of crimes would you see in Manassas?

  • Drug/Narcotic Offenses
  • Assault Offenses
  • Larceny/Theft Offenses

Moving to one of these cities? Secure your home with Richmond Alarm

It’s safe to say that these 10 cities have rare exceptions of crime. The most compelling evidence being that the combined number of offenses for the safest cities is still less than half (i.e. 4,689) of the most dangerous city in Virginia’s 11,000 offenses.

However, when there is a crime, it tends to be larceny/theft based. In fact, 1,102 offenses (i.e. 23.5%) out of the 4,689 total for all 10 cities are larceny/theft based.

Graphic breaking down all 10 cities’ crime statistics

If you’re considering a move to one of these cities, help reduce the risk of potential theft or property destruction with a home security system. At Richmond Alarm, we’ve spent 70+ years giving Virginia homeowners peace of mind with customized home security systems.

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