Rhode Island added about 44,000 residents between the 2010 and 2020 Census periods for a growth rate of just over four percent. That’s quite a bit lower than the average increase compared to all states, but it signals an increase over Rhode Island’s previous Census expansion.
While it’s the smallest U.S. state by geographic size, Rhode Island remains an attractive spot for folks looking to relocate from elsewhere. Those already residing in Rhode Island may be weighing their options and considering a change of scenery.
Whether they’re coming from inside the state or outside, it’s important to understand how common property crime is in Rhode Island and which communities across the state have the highest and lowest rates.
At A Glance:
- With #1 being the best, Rhode Island is ranked #11 for property crime out of 50 states + Washington, D.C.
- You have a 1.53% chance of being a property crime victim in Rhode Island in the next 12 months.
- Rhode Island’s property crime rate is 27% lower than the average crime rate in the United States.
- Providence has the highest property crime rate in Rhode Island (30.1 incidents per 1,000 people).
- In many states, the community with the highest property crime rate is a small one and the high rate is the result of the method used to calculate the rates, which balances property crimes against population. But in Rhode Island, that does not appear to be the case, as Providence, the state’s capital and largest city, also has the highest property crime rate.
Only nine states and the District of Columbia have higher property crime rates than Rhode Island. However, the state’s property crime rate is higher than every other state in the region. Massachusetts and New Hampshire have the lowest rates, separated by just three-tenths of a point.
Rhode Island’s Most Current Property Crime Rates (2019)
- Rate of Property Crime
- Rhode Island average::15.4 crimes per 1,000 people
- National average: 21.1 crimes per 1,000 people
Like most states, Rhode Island has seen property crime become less common over the past decade. In all but two states (Alaska and North Dakota), property crime rates in 2019 were lower than in 2010, and the drop in Rhode Island’s rate is one of the highest, about 40 percent.
Rhode Island’s Overall Property Crime Trends (2010 – 2019)
- Average Rate of Property Crime:
- Rhode Island 10-year average: 21.06 crimes per 1,000 people
- National 10-year average: 25.61 crimes per 1,000 people
- -40% Has property crime increased or decreased during this time?
- There was a 40% decrease in property crime in Rhode Island from 2010 as compared to 2019.
- 2011 Which year had the highest rate of property crime in Rhode Island?:
- The highest rate of property crime in Rhode Island was 2011 (26.6 crimes per 1,000 people)
- 2019 Which year had the lowest rate of property crime in Rhode Island?:
- The lowest rate of property crime in Rhode Island was 2019 (15.4 crimes per 1,000 people)
What incidents fall under the umbrella of property crime? Burglary, larceny, motor vehicle theft, and arson are the four major property crime categories reported by the FBI. In every case, if the incident involves violence or threats of violence, it no longer is a property crime and is classified as a violent crime.
Rhode Island’s Property Crime Category Trends (2010 – 2019)
- Which type of property crime occurred the most in Rhode Island over the past decade?
- Larceny occurred more than any other property crime at a rate of 15 crimes per 1,000 people.
- Average property crime rate by category
- Average burglary rate: 4.3 crimes per 1,000 people
- Average larceny rate: 15 crimes per 1,000 people
- Average vehicle crime rate: 1.7 crimes per 1,000 people
- Average arson rate: 0.1 crimes per 1,000 people
- Note: There were no FBI estimates for arson rates, so we used all available data that was reported by individual cities in Rhode Island.
- +32% Which types of property crime have increased during this time period?
- All four types of property crime have declined in Rhode Island over the past 10 years, but larceny fell by the lowest rate, 32%.
- -64% Which types of property crime have decreased during this time period?
- Arson declined by the most rapid rate, falling 64%.
Crime is a complex and hyperlocal issue, but researchers tend to tie socioeconomic factors like wealth, joblessness, and urbanization to property crime rates. Reviewing those statistics in Rhode Island creates a bit of a murky picture.
That’s because while the state has less poverty and higher wages than the average state, it’s one of the most urbanized, with 91 percent of the population living in urban areas. The overall rate for the U.S. is 81 percent, putting Rhode Island in eighth place when it comes to urbanization.
As we said, crime is an intensely local issue, and this can create vastly different crime rates even within a small geographic area. Of course, the entire state of Rhode Island is a small geographic area, so the effect is perhaps even more pronounced here.
The communities with the highest and lowest rates, Providence and Glocester, respectively, are separated by only 20 miles. But the property crime rate in Providence is more than 12 times higher than the rate in Glocester.
Top 5: Best Property Crime Rates (based on 2019 data):
- Glocester, Rhode Island (Providence County)
- Scituate, Rhode Island (Providence County)
- Jamestown, Rhode Island (Newport County)
- Portsmouth, Rhode Island (Newport County)
- Bristol, Rhode Island (Bristol County)
Bottom 5: Worst Property Crime Rates (based on 2019 data):
- Providence, Rhode Island (Providence County)
- Pawtucket, Rhode Island (Providence County)
- New Shoreham, Rhode Island (Washington County)
- Newport, Rhode Island (Newport County)
- North Smithfield, Rhode Island (Providence County)