Providence, Rhode Island, serves as the capital and largest city in the state, boasting a population of approximately 189,000 individuals. Established in 1636 by Roger Williams, it holds the distinction of being one of the oldest cities in the United States.
Providence is renowned for its historical architectural marvels, cultural diversity, and prestigious educational institutions.
Nevertheless, like many urban areas, Providence contends with its fair share of crime and violence. According to data from NeighborhoodScout, Providence reports a crime rate of 29.1 incidents per 1,000 residents, surpassing that of 88% of cities and towns across the nation.
Within this article, we will delve into the five neighborhoods in Providence deemed the most perilous. This classification is based on information from AreaVibes, which evaluates neighborhoods based on their violent crime rate per 100,000 inhabitants. We will also furnish additional details concerning each neighborhood, including its population, location, and historical background.
Downtown Providence is the city’s central business hub and its most densely populated neighborhood, covering 0.8 square miles and housing around 4,200 residents.
This area boasts numerous attractions, including the Rhode Island State House, Providence Place Mall, Providence Performing Arts Center, and Waterplace Park. It’s also a vibrant host of various events and festivals throughout the year, such as WaterFire, PrideFest, and PVD Fest.
Regrettably, Downtown also faces safety challenges, as it holds the unenviable title of being the most crime-prone neighborhood in Providence, with a violent crime rate of 1,774 per 100,000 residents. This rate is 343% higher than the city’s average and a staggering 865% above the national average.
Olneyville, located in the western part of Providence, is home to approximately 7,000 residents and covers an area of 0.8 square miles. Historically, it was a vibrant industrial hub, producing textiles, jewelry, machinery, and rubber goods.
The neighborhood has a rich history of cultural diversity, with immigrants from Ireland, Italy, Poland, Portugal, and various other countries making it their home. Today, Olneyville continues to be a diverse community, boasting a significant Hispanic population and numerous cultural and artistic establishments.
Regrettably, Olneyville currently holds the unfortunate distinction of being the second most dangerous neighborhood in Providence, with a violent crime rate of 924 per 100,000 residents. This figure is 131% higher than the city’s average and a staggering 452% higher than the national average.
Smith Hill is a neighborhood located in the north side of Providence. It has a population of about 5,400 people and covers an area of 0.5 square miles.
Smith Hill is known for being the seat of the Rhode Island government, as it hosts the State House and other state offices. Smith Hill is also a diverse neighborhood that hosts various ethnic groups, such as Irish, Italian, African American, Hispanic, and Asian.
Smith Hill is the third most dangerous neighborhood in Providence, with a violent crime rate of 848 per 100k people. This is 112% more than the city average and 417% more than the national average.
Charles is a northern neighborhood in Providence. It’s home to approximately 6,300 residents and spans an area of 0.9 square miles.
Originally, Charles was a rural area before becoming part of Providence in 1869. It’s primarily a residential community with single-family houses, apartments, and public housing projects.
When it comes to safety, Charles ranks as the fourth most risky neighborhood in Providence, with a violent crime rate of 712 per 100,000 people. This is significantly higher than both the city and national averages, surpassing them by 78% and 350%, respectively.
West End, situated in the western part of Providence, is home to approximately 17,400 residents and spans an area of 1.3 square miles. Originally, West End was a rural area that later evolved into a suburban community during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
This neighborhood is known for its diversity, welcoming various ethnic groups, including African American, Hispanic, Asian, and Middle Eastern communities.
Regrettably, West End ranks as the fifth most crime-prone neighborhood in Providence, with a violent crime rate of 657 incidents per 100,000 people. This figure is 64% higher than the citywide average and a staggering 322% higher than the national average.
Providence boasts a vibrant history, culture, and educational scene, yet grapples with significant issues tied to crime and violence. The city faces its most pressing safety concerns in five neighborhoods: Downtown, Olneyville, Smith Hill, Charles, and West End.
In these areas, violent crime rates far exceed both the city and national norms. Several factors play into this elevated crime level, including poverty, unemployment, homelessness, drug-related issues, gang presence, and urban deterioration.
Addressing these challenges requires heightened focus and resources from both municipal and state authorities, aiming to enhance safety and the overall well-being of residents.