If you are considering a move to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, one factor to consider is safety when it comes to picking a neighborhood. Philadelphia, aka Philly, is smack between Washington, D.C. and New York City. Both grab all the fame and Philly ‘gets no respect.’ Yet I think Philadelphia, Pennsylvania deserves a serious look. I’ll tell you why briefly while we cover the topic of safety.

By the way, we’re Bellhop – we have local Philadelphia movers and offer long-distance moves to Philadelphia, as well..

Before we start talking about crime, some disclaimers

Crime in any city is a touchy subject, particularly when politicians get elected running on ‘law and order.’ City leaders can fix it, yet a neighborhood’s reputation for high crime rates may linger long after. So, take our list as a place to start your research.

Secondly, even the FBI says it’s a bad idea to compare crime stats from place to place: big towns with small, even similarly sized cities like Philadelphia with Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Crime rates per capita don’t always compare.

Crime Rates in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Even though it’s nickname is ‘the city of brotherly love,’ Philadelphia is regularly rated as very dangerous when compared to all U.S. cities and somewhat more dangerous than similarly-sized large cities. Like most cities crime rates rose in Philadelphia in 2020 and 2021, (Covid and reactions to George Floyd murder) then dropped from 2022 to 2023. City police reported homicides (a violent crime) dropped 20% in Philly, compared with a 9% drop nationally. So, be sure to check the year of data the writer is scaring you with.

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Personal View of Philadelphia Crime

My personal experience with crime in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (like most folks) is based on belief not fact (never mugged). In the 1970s I grew up in nearby Wilmington, Delaware. You didn’t go to Philly; or if you did, you made a beeline to your destination and then skedaddled right home. I learned that when I dropped an Italian college friend off near the Italian Market.

Now, my 20-something daughter has lived in the city for three years, loves it, and won’t move home. I’ve visited her in Philly, walked across town and back, and had a great time. I’d even consider moving back to Philly’s lousy, humid summers if that’s what it takes to live close to kids.

I think you can find the same experience she loves. Let’s start finding you that walkable, bike-friendly neighborhood.

Why Philly?

  • It’s affordable. The city is rated slightly above the national average with homes slightly less (-6%) according to RentCafe. For an east-coast town that’s great, particularly compared to NYC (+27% and +80% for housing). Read more about cost of living in Philadelphia.
  • Strong history with a key role in America worth exploring. Yes, George Washington slept here.
  • It’s diverse with a strong Asian and Hispanic community adding to the White and Black base of Philly. U.S. Census source.
  • Popular with all ages, including retirees (who don’t want to leave) and young professionals
  • Strong academic foundation with University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University. Learn more about Philadelphia schools.
  • Lots of  green space and Philly parks , thanks to William Penn who laid out the city’s original plan.
  • Walkable with great paths and parks good for biking too. You can row a shell on the Schuylkill River too.
  • Great all-season sports team make Philly a great fan town

Philadelphia Neighborhoods with a Reputation for High Crime Rates

Crime rates vary by Philly neighborhood. 80% of crimes are property crimes like auto theft, shoplifting, robbery. But news sources like to report murder and violent crime, making it hard to find useful Philly neighborhood data. Other sources don’t reveal the stats as they declare a neighborhood’s grade.

Philadelphia has 900 neighborhoods too making reporting problematic. Though the city is addressing the crime issue, there are neighborhoods with historically high rates of crime and drug use that you may want to deeply research block by block if considering moving into one of them. (Yes, it can be block by block with certain intersections getting the ugly attention). Full disclosure: these areas were pulled from Internet searches, not by any measure of statistics.

  • Kensington:  Hartranft and Fairhill neighborhoods
  • North Philadelphia: Strawberry Mansion and Glenwood neighborhoods.
  • West Philadelphia: Mantua and Haddington neighborhoods
  • Southwest Philadelphia: Kingsessing and Elmwood Park neighborhoods
  • Hunting Park neighborhood
Mural on Broad St in Philadelphia | Bellhop

16 Safe Philadelphia Neighborhoods with Lower Crime Rates

Center City

Center City (Zip Codes: 19102 and 19103) is known as the heart of Philadelphia’s business, culture, and nightlife. Center City is known for its high-rise condos and apartments in contemporary buildings and historic row houses. Parks include LOVE Park, Dilworth Park. The Reading Terminal Market is always stimulating (briefly scene in the movie National Treasure. Center City is one of the safest neighborhoods in Philly. Zillow shows an average home value of $301,000.

Fairmount

Fairmont (Zip Code: 19130 and Niche rating #4) is famous for its brick-clad row houses. The neighborhood also includes single-family homes, with a mix of Victorian and Colonial styles, and newer apartments and condos, especially closer to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Visit the city’s largest park: Fairmount Park,  the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the preserved Eastern State Penitentiary. It’s close in to center city. Average home value in this part of Philly: $413,000. Condos $335,000.

Fishtown

(Zip Code: 19125) Recently, modern apartments and condos have been developed in Fishtown, blending with the historical brick row houses as its popularity grows. Penn Treaty Park is nearby. Fun things to do in Fishtown: explore the Fillmore Philadelphia and the area’s unique art galleries. Average home value in Fishtown is $348,334. Condos are a pricier $372,000. Learn more about Fishtown in our detail. Fishtown is one of the safest neighborhoods in Philly with low crime rates.

Bella Vista

(Zip Code: 19147) Bella Vista is well-known for its Italian Market and traditional row housing, which includes a mix of brick and stone exteriors. This south Philly neighborhood’s single-family homes often feature details from the Victorian era, and there’s a growing number of condos and apartments, providing a variety of housing options. Bella Vista is where they filmed Sly Stallone in the training scenes in the movie Rocky. (My daughter lives there and it is a fun and safe neighborhoods with plenty of cafes and local small grocery shopping). Average home value of $478,000 with condos around $440,000 in Bella Vista. Niche rates this as the #3 locale in Philly. It enjoys easy access to the airport (15 minutes) and twenty minutes by bus to center city.

Chestnut Hill

(Zip Code: 19118) Chestnut Hill has low crime rates with a more suburban feel within Philly. Chestnut Hill offers spacious single-family homes that range from Victorian to Colonial styles, often surrounded by lush gardens and mature trees. Chestnut Hill also features charming cottages and ramblers, alongside apartments and condos set among Philly‘s historic buildings. There’s Wissahickon Valley Park and Morris Arboretum plus great bars, cafes, and restaurants on Germantown Avenue. Zillow shows homes in Chestnut Hill at $760,000.

Rittenhouse Square

(Zip Code: 19103) Known For: Luxurious living, high-end shopping, and fine dining and cafes in this one of Philly’s best neighborhoods. Rittenhouse Square offers high-rise apartments and condos that provide panoramic views of Philly amid historic row houses and mansions. Rittenhouse Square is one of the safest neighborhoods in Philly with low crime rates. Average home value is $$462,000 and condos $345,000. It is center city.

Fox Chase

(Zip Code: 19111) Fox Chase is known for its suburban feel within the city, rich history, community-oriented living and safest places. Family-friendly living at an affordable price plus a low crime rate. Visit Fox Chase Farm, explore nearby Pennypack Park. Zillow shows average home prices of $304,000, condos at $215,000.

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Bustleton

(Zip Code: 19115) Bustleton is known for its residential appeal, diverse community, and excellent schools, a special place tucked away in the northeastern part of Philadelphia with a low crime rate. Pennypack Park provides a natural escape with miles of trails, wildlife, and scenic views for biking and walking. Bustleton is one of the safest neighborhoods with low crime rates. Average home value is $353,924.

Somerton

(Zip Code: 19116) Homes in Somerton are often split-level, ranch, or colonial in style, featuring well-manicured lawns and ample living space. Niche offers an overall B rating with an A for diversity. Somerton is one of the safest places in Philly. The Somerton community regularly organizes events and festivals that bring neighbors together throughout the year. Average home value of $354,000 in Somerton on Zillow.

Manayunk

(ZIP Code 19127) Manayunk hugs the Schuylkill River with a small-town vibe and great nightlife. Manayunk’s hilly terrain is lined with brick and stone clad row houses plus single-family homes in a mix of Victorian and contemporary styles.  Newer apartments and condos are being added that appeal to young professionals and families looking for a blend of urban and suburban living. Average home value in Manayunk: $313,000.

Mount Airy

(Zip Code 19119 ) Mount Airy provides a diverse array of housing choices, from stately single-family homes in Colonial and Victorian styles to more modest ramblers and cottages, to apartments and condos. Mount Airy is gaining popularity with families and young professionals and will soon become a best neighborhood. Germantown Avenue is where the bars, cafes and fun mingle. Mount Airy is one of the safest places in Philly. Home values range from $350,000 in East Mount Airy to $450,000 in West Mount Airy. Read our longer detail here.

Frankford

(Zip Code: 19124) Frankford, known for its rich American history and diversity, offers classic row houses and contemporary apartments, reflecting Frankford’s eclectic community spirit. Visit walkable Wissinoming Park, the Frankford Arts Corridor, and explore its many historical sites. Average home value: $121,879.

Brewerytown

(Zip Code: 19121) Brewerytown in the North Philadelphia area borders the Schuylkill River. Housing is made up of renovated row houses and modern condos. This best neighborhood is famous for its annual Brewerytown Spring Festival. Nearby enjoy visiting the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Philadelphia Zoo. Brewerytown enjoys easy access to center city. Average home values are $186,000. Modern condos are a pricier $270,000. Read our longer detail here.

East Falls

(Zip Code: 19129) East Falls neighborhood in Philadelphia strikes a perfect balance between nature and urban living, making it a desirable neighborhood for those who appreciate both close-in convenience and tranquility. Homes bear the American Colonial and Victorian architectural styles. Modern apartments and condos are available. The neighborhood hosts the annual East Falls Autumn Street Festival with local artisans, food, and music. Biking along the river or to nearby Fairmount Park is popular. Average home value: $320,000. Condos average $215,000.

Spring Garden

Spring Garden is a vibrant and historically rich neighborhood in the heart of North Philadelphia’s cultural district. Homes include brick and stone-faced row-houses, plus modern condos. Parks include the Rodin Museum Garden and Spring Garden Greenway. Biking to nearby Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Barnes Foundation are an option. It enjoys easy access to center city. Average home value: $418,000. Condos: $316,000.

Roxborough

(Zip Code: 19128) The Roxborough section of Philadelphia is recognized for its rolling hills, verdant landscapes, and friendly community vibe. This Philly neighborhood offers a suburban feel with the convenience of city living, making it a favorite among families and outdoor enthusiasts. Roxborough’s housing includes single-family homes in styles ranging from Victorian to split-level and ramblers, as well as modern apartments. Average home value in Roxborough: $337,000.

Ready to move to Philadelphia?

We hope you enjoyed reading this article about safe and affordable neighborhoods in Philadelphia. When it comes time for you to make your move, we would love to help with your Philadelphia move.

If you’re still not quite sure, enjoy a little more reading on us:

The Top 5 Up and Coming Neighborhoods in Philly

Richest Neighborhoods of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

What Is the Cost of Living in Philadelphia?

Is Moving to Pennsylvania Right for You? A 2024 Guide.

Best Philadelphia Schools

Warren Sly
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