Last Updated on: 27th July 2023, 10:37 pm
One of the most important considerations when deciding to move to a new place is whether or not it’s safe. Crime rates can vary greatly from city to city, neighborhood to neighborhood, and even block to block, but statistics and other data can help give you a good sense of whether or not an area is safe.
If you’re considering relocating to the world’s live music capital, you may be curious about the Austin crime rate. Austin, TX is one of the safest of the 30 most populous large cities in America, with a relatively low violent crime rate. But like any city, Austin does experience some crime and has its nicer areas and neighborhoods you’ll want to avoid. So to help you get a sense of what to expect, here is a look at the crime rate in Austin Texas.
Understanding the Austin Crime Rate – How Crime Rates Are Calculated
Before combing through any statistics, it’s crucial to understand where crime rates come from and how they may be potentially flawed or misleading. Crime rates in Austin come from reports made by local law enforcement agencies collected and compiled by the FBI. Whenever someone reports a crime, the local police station makes a note and sends that information to the FBI. The FBI then organizes that data and publishes it as an annual report.
Crime data falls into two categories: violent crime and property crime. Violent crime includes murder, manslaughter, rape, sexual assault, assault, battery, kidnapping, and armed robbery. Property crime includes burglary, home invasion, motor vehicle theft, vandalism, arson, larceny, and shoplifting.
Although crime rates can be an excellent way to get a broad overview of the relative safety of an area, they are in no way a perfect metric. Even the FBI warns people against using crime rates to compare different cities, states, or metro areas because there may be discrepancies in the reporting.
A few reasons crime rates are imperfect include:
- Crime rates are citywide, yet certain types of crime may be isolated to a specific area or areas.
- Not all crimes are counted, and not all offenses have uniform definitions across departments.
- Crime stats only include crimes that are reported, while the vast majority of criminal activity is undocumented.
- Some types of crimes may be highly targeted, such as gang violence or domestic violence.
- Crime rates don’t account for unique factors such as the reporting accuracy or the amount of crime that goes reported vs. unreported.
Plus, crime stats need context to fully interpret. For example, Austin police reports show that crime against another person decreased by 2% between 2021 and 2022. However, theft from buildings increased by 154%. If you saw that statistic by itself, you may assume that the Austin Texas crime rate is getting out of hand. While in reality, serious crime is down across the board, and only one very specific crime has increased dramatically. So, that’s why it’s crucial to understand the limitations of crime stats and look for more context whenever interpreting the raw data.
What Is the Austin Crime Rate?
The total crime rate in Austin is 4,098 crimes per 100,000 residents. The Austin violent crime rate is 467 per 100,000 residents, and the Austin property crime rate is 3,631 per 100,000 residents. Your chances of being the victim of a crime in Austin is 1 in 24.
Although Austin is a safe place to live compared to many other large cities, the crime stats are higher than the state and country overall. Here is how the Austin crime rate compares to the rest of Texas and the national average.
|Total Crime Rate
|Violent Crime Rate
|4,098 per 100K
|467 per 100K
|3,631 per 100K
|2691 per 100K
|447 per 100K
|2,245 per 100K
|2,346 per 100K
|388 per 100K
|1,958 per 100K
However, most large cities tend to experience a higher degree of crime than rural and suburban areas, so it’s not uncommon for the stats to be higher. In comparison, Austin is safer than Houston and Dallas, although they are also larger cities.
Austin Crime Map & Crime Reports
A good way to get a quick overview of the crimes happening in the city is to use an Austin, TX crime map. Austin crime maps give you an up-to-date look at the crimes being reported in the city in real time. The Austin Police Department has a Crime Viewer on its website. It allows you to access information from the APD database on an interactive map by searching different geographic boundaries.
If you click “Thematic Reports,” you can generate a map showing the number of a specific type of crime that occurred in a particular zip code or council district in a given year. This can be an excellent way to see what types of crime are committed in different city areas based on real Austin crime reports.
Violent Crime in Austin
Although all different types of crime can be cause for concern, most residents are primarily concerned with violent crime. The violent crime rate in Austin is 467 incidents per 100,000 residents, which is 4.6% higher than the statewide average and 20.4% higher than the national average. However, the Austin murder rate is only 4 per 100,000 residents, which is 39.4% lower than the rest of Texas and 38.9% lower than the rest of the United States. Your chances of being the victim of a violent crime in Austin are 1 in 214.
Austin homicides peaked in 2021, with 88 in the entire year. The chart below shows the amount of Austin homicides by year from 2018 to 2022. As you can see, the numbers remained relatively consistent before jumping up in 2021, when decreasing by more than. 21% in 2022. But even at its peak, the Austin murder rate is still significantly lower than the rest of the US.
Property Crime in Austin
While not as shocking as violent crime, property crime is also a significant concern, and residents want to be sure their belongings are safe when they move to a new area. The Austin property crime rate is 3,631 per 100,000 residents, which is 61.7% higher than the state and 85.4% higher than the rest of the country. In 2020, the FBI recorded 4774 instances of burglaries, 27,481 instances of larceny/theft, 4,067 motor vehicle thefts, and 134 acts of arson. Your chances of being the victim of a property crime in Austin are 1 in 28.
According to Austin Police Department data, overall, property crime decreased by 6% between 2021 and 2021. However, theft from buildings and motor vehicle theft increased substantially, while shoplifting decreased considerably. Robbery and burglary both remained consistent.
Bad Neighborhoods in Austin
Although there are many safe areas in Austin, there are also several areas you’ll want to avoid. Here are some of the worst neighborhoods in Austin.
- Population: 4121
- Crime rate: 12,941 per 100,000 residents (452% higher than the national average)
The MLK neighborhood is one of the main areas to avoid in Austin as it experiences a high rate of both violent and property crime.
- Population: 12,906
- Crime rate: 13,530 per 100,000 residents (477% higher than the national average)
Located along the Colorado River, Riverside is another one of the high-crime areas in Austin that features a large homeless encampment along Riverside Drive.
- Population: 5,701
- Crime rate: 8,161 per 100,000 residents (248% higher than the national average)
Rosewood is another neighborhood that tops the list of Austin’s areas to avoid, with a high rate of poverty and urban decay.
- Population: 9600
- Crime rate: 10,925 per 100,000 residents (366% higher than the national average)
Georgian Acres is a neighborhood in north-central Austin with a reputation for drug activity and vehicle theft, especially in the northern section near Rundberg Lane.
- Population: 12,211
- Crime rate: 9,434 per 100,000 residents (302% higher than the national average)
Located near the Austin-Bergstrom Airport, Montopolis is one of the poorest neighborhoods in the city and suffers from a high rate of violent crime.
Safest Neighborhoods in Austin
Although every city has its rough areas, there are also plenty of safe neighborhoods in Austin, including:
Windsor Park is a quiet, family-friendly neighborhood with a crime rate that is 10% lower than the rest of the Austin metro area. With walkable streets, gorgeous mature trees, and modest Ranch-style homes, Windsor Park is one of the best places to live in Austin.
The Rosedale neighborhood is one of the safest Austin neighborhoods, with a violent crime rate that is 21% below the national average. The neighborhood offers a good mix of suburban bliss and urban convenience with leafy, tree-lined streets and plenty of parks and restaurants nearby.
Austin’s Hyde Park neighborhood is among the most desirable areas in the city, with charming Victorian and Tudor-style homes, plenty of cafes and art galleries, and a central location. The crime rate is on par with the citywide average, and most residents report that it’s a safe, family-friendly neighborhood with a unique character.
Austin Safety Tips – How to Avoid Crime in Austin
- Downtown Austin is safe; however, you’ll want to avoid the area after the bars close at 2am.
- You can follow the Austin-Travis County EMS Twitter Account for breaking news and live updates on crime and happenings in the city.
- Austin has a large homeless population, and you’ll often find encampments near popular areas like Zilker Metropolitan Park and Barton Springs Pool.
- Most Austin shootings tend to occur in the northern part of the city.
- Over the past five years, 18 people have drowned in Lady Bird Lake, so be careful when visiting the area.
UT Austin Campus Crime and Security
If you’re moving to Austin to attend college, you may be interested to know if UT Austin is safe. Yes, in general, UT Austin is safe for a college campus in a major city. However, it does have some issues with property crime. The total UT Austin crime rate is 4,129 incidents per 100,000 residents, which is 76% above the national average. However, the violent crime rate is 266 per 100,000 residents, which is 21% below the national average. Most UT Austin crime is related to personal property or motor vehicle theft, so if you live on campus, lock your dorm and park in a safe area.
You can contact the UT Austin Police Department at 512-471-4441 ext. 9 or visit their headquarters at 2201 Robert Dedman Dr, Austin, TX 78705. You can also find information and resources on their official website.
Austin Police Department
The Austin Police Department employs 2290 law enforcement personnel, including 1738 total officers and 552 civilians. The first marshal in the city was elected in 1840, shortly after the city’s founding; however, an official police department with a sworn chief was not established until 1862. In addition to employing an extensive network of human officers, the department also employs 24 K-9 police dogs and 16 horses.
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Joseph Chacon is the current Austin Chief of Police, a role he has served since 2021. Anyone who wants to access real-time Austin crime statistics and police logs can find that information on their official website. For any other information or requests, you can visit their headquarters at 715 E 8th St, Austin, TX 78701, or call them at (512) 974-5000.
Austin Crime Rate FAQ
Is Downtown Austin safe to visit?
Yes, downtown Austin is actually one of the safest neighborhoods in the city, with a violent crime rate that is 52% lower than the rest of the country. However, it’s still a busy area, and you’ll want to exercise caution after dark.
Is Austin safer than Dallas?
Yes, most data shows that the crime rate in Austin, Texas is lower than Dallas, with a crime rate of 4098 per 100,000 residents compared to 4291 per 100,000 residents in Dallas.
What is the Austin murder rate?
The Austin murder rate is four homicides per 100,000 residents, which is 39.4% lower than the national average.
Ready to relocate to one of the safest large cities in America? Trust our dedicated team of Austin movers to make your journey simple and stress free. Call 512-339-9922 or fill out the form on our website for a free, personalized moving estimate.