Why Is New York City Safer Than Chicago?

A common question people ask is why is New York City safer than Chicago. It’s a valid question, especially given the fact that both cities have a reputation for being tough places to live. 

The truth is, several factors contribute to the difference in safety between New York and Chicago. Let’s take a closer look at some of those factors.

Crime Rates

One of the biggest factors that contribute to the difference in safety between New York and Chicago is the crime rate. Simply put, the crime rate in New York is much lower than the crime rate in Chicago. 

In fact, according to FBI data, the violent crime rate in New York City is less than half of what it is in Chicago. That means you’re much less likely to be a victim of theft, assault, or murder if you live in New York City than if you live in Chicago.

Population Density

Another factor that contributes to the difference in safety between these two cities is population density. 

New York City is one of the most densely populated cities in the world, with more than 27,000 people per square mile. By contrast, Chicago has fewer than 11,000 people per square mile. 

The sheer number of people living close to one another makes it more difficult for criminals to operate undetected in New York City than in Chicago. 

Public Transit

The final factor we’ll consider is public transit. According to Crain’s Chicago Business, 70% of households in Chicago do not have a car. That means a large portion of the population relies on public transit to get around. 

Unfortunately, this also makes them more vulnerable to crimes like mugging and pickpocketing. 

In New York City, by contrast, 52% of households have a car, and only 28% use public transit exclusively. This lower dependence on public transit makes residents of New York City less susceptible to crime. 

All things considered, it’s not surprising that New York City is safer than Chicago. When you look at the facts, it becomes clear that there are a number of reasons why this is the case. 

From lower crime rates to higher population density to less dependence on public transit, all of these factors contribute to making New York City a safer place to live than Chicago.

Number Proves Chicago is More Dangerous Than New York City.

When it comes to safety, both Chicago and New York can be seen as examples of their respective states’ extremes. While Chicago is a much more dangerous city than the nation’s average, New York stands out as one of the safest cities in the world. 

In 2018, Chicago reported 664 homicides, compared to 289 homicides in New York. 

However, considering that New York has nearly three times the population size of Chicago — 8.4 million compared to Chicago’s 2.7 million—it could easily be argued that New York is significantly safer than its midwestern sibling when taking population into account. 

Furthermore, while theft and burglary are serious issues in both cities, New York’s rate per capita is drastically lower; there were 3,753 burglaries per 100,000 people in New York in 2017, compared to 11,282 per 100,000 in Chicago during that same year period. 

Ultimately, it appears as if New York far outpaces its rival with regard to safety indices overall. 

On a scale of 1–10 rating urban safety by population size and severity of crime-related incidents and occurrences whenever possible, it seems likely that at this moment in time — New York would rate a 5-6, whereas the Windy City would likely register between 8–9 points on the same 1–10 metric scale. 

As such, this underscores just how much variation exists between two large metropolitan areas regarding safety for their citizens and visitors at any given point in time. 

Why does Chicago have more crimes than New York City, and why is it not a safe place to live?

There are a number of factors that contribute to the high crime rate in Chicago. One of the main reasons is the city’s high poverty rate. 

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 17.5% of Chicagoans live below the poverty line. That’s nearly one in five people. When you have a large number of people living in poverty, it stands to reason that there will also be a higher number of people turning to crime in order to make ends meet.

Another factor that contributes to crime in Chicago is the city’s strict gun laws. 

Illinois has some of the most stringent gun laws in the country, which makes it difficult for law-abiding citizens to purchase and own firearms. 

However, these same laws do nothing to deter criminals from obtaining guns illegally. 

As a result, there is a significant disparity between the number of law-abiding citizens with guns and the number of criminals with guns, which contributes to the high level of violence in Chicago.

Finally, it’s important to note that crime is concentrated in certain areas of Chicago. There are certain neighborhoods that are notoriously dangerous, and if you live or work in one of these areas, your risk of being a victim of crime is much higher than if you lived or worked elsewhere in the city. 

Unfortunately, due to segregation and economic factors, many of these dangerous neighborhoods are home to a large number of African Americans and other minorities.


Chicago is a city with a lot to offer its residents. However, it’s important to be aware of the challenges that come with living in such an urban environment. 

If you’re considering moving to Chicago or if you already live there, it’s essential to be aware of the crime problem and take steps to protect yourself and your property. Keep these things in mind, and always be vigilant when out and about in the Windy City.