population - 1,585,873

Uptown Renewal Pushes Crime Rate Down

In recent years, Lower Manhattan and Midtown have undergone an impressive residential and retail boom, with median home prices soaring, despite a slumping housing market nationally. The waning of the crack epidemic, coupled with economic growth and an increased police presence, has also led to a precipitous decline in crime uptown, where murder rates have fallen by 83 percent from 1993 to 2010. Inwood, the borough's northernmost neighborhood, has nearly wiped out murder, with only four in 2010, a 92 percent decline from 1993. This has led to a flood of new residents eager to escape the exorbitant real estate prices of Manhattan's southern half.

Nine of the borough's 17 neighborhoods rank in the bottom third of's Crime & Safety Report for major crimes per capita in 2010, and two, Greenwich Village and Midtown, come in dead last. While a couple of uptown neighborhoods rank near the bottom in terms of violent crime, much of Manhattan's position can be explained by its high per capita rate of property crimes. The six neighborhoods with the highest rates of that category of crimes in 2010 were Midtown, Greenwich Village, Flatiron, Downtown, Chelsea & Hell's Kitchen and Murray Hill & Gramercy, which are all packed with businesses and high-end residences. Burglary also was a problem in Midtown, Greenwich Village and the East Village in 2010, which rank 69th, 53rd and 54th, respectively. Manhattan's neighborhoods also saw large jumps in rape from 2009 to 2010.


Drop in burglary, 2009 to 2010


Increase in reported rapes, 2009 to 2010

Midtown has the dubious distinction of being the least safe neighborhood in the city in terms of major crime per capita in 2010. While that can largely be attributed to property crimes, Midtown also ranks near the bottom in terms of violent crimes. A major reason for these low rankings is that the neighborhood has a small resident population — the millions of people who flood the area every day, such as tourists and workers from other boroughs, skew the statistics markedly.

It's no surprise that the Upper East Side and Upper West Side rank No.1 and No.2 safest within the borough. However, the next two safest in Manhattan, Inwood and Washington Heights, are surprise movers, as are West Harlem, East Harlem and Central Harlem (sixth, eighth and 10th safest of the 17 neighborhoods in the borough). The three Harlem neighborhoods are now significantly safer than Downtown and Greenwich Village, for total crimes per capita.


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Memorable Crimes in Manhattan's History