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Safest Cities in Virginia

Virginia is known as the Old Dominion State, Birthplace of a Nation and Mother of Presidents. It’s a state with long, rich history. But before you move there, you want to make sure you find a city where you and your family feel safe.

To help you do that, we’ll tour the 10 safest cities in Virginia, as well as cover some cool facts about each city so you can see if you might like living there.

Let’s get started!

How Do We Find the Safest Cities in Virginia?

To find the safest cities in Virginia, we looked at the FBI’s official Uniform Crime Report for cities with at least 7,000 residents.1 The FBI splits crimes into two categories, property and violent. Here’s how they’re grouped and defined:

Property Crimes

  • Burglary: Breaking into a building to commit a felony
  • Larceny-theft: Stealing somebody’s stuff
  • Motor vehicle theft: Stealing a car, motorcycle, boat, etc.
  • Arson: Setting fire to someone’s property2

Violent Crimes

  • Rape: Any type of sex with someone who doesn’t consent
  • Robbery: Forcefully or violently stealing somebody’s stuff
  • Aggravated assault: Threatening to or trying to badly injure someone else
  • Murder: Pre-planned killing
  • Nonnegligent manslaughter: Purposely killing someone, but without planning it beforehand3

We tallied up how many of these crimes happened in each city per 1,000 residents. Then, we calculated how many full-time law enforcement employees work in each city per 1,000 residents. (The safest cities actually have the fewest law enforcement employees, since they don’t need as many.)

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Finally, we combined the total crime rate and number of law enforcement employees per 1,000 residents to get each city’s safety score. The safest cities had the lowest scores—so let’s get to them!

Top 10 Safest Cities in Virginia

Here they are, folks—the 10 safest cities in Virginia:

  • Purcellville
  • Lexington
  • Blacksburg
  • Poquoson
  • Manassas Park
  • Leesburg
  • Vienna
  • Radford
  • Warrenton
  • Herndon

Now before we go any further, let’s admit that lists like this aren’t always the most accurate way to determine how safe a city is. One bad (or good) neighborhood can make a city look worse (or better) than it really is.

So think of this article as a starting point, okay? We’ll cover the basics, then it’s up to you to do more research before you decide where to live. (And remember, you have to decide. Real estate steering laws keep agents from pointing you to certain homes based on the city with the lowest crime rate, the best schools and so on.)

With that in mind, let’s unpack the safest cities in Virginia and compare them to the rest of the state—and the rest of the country. Here we go!

1. Purcellville

Purcellville is the safest city in Virginia. Located in north central Virginia, this quaint town is home to several wineries. You can even see painted wine barrels around town, showcasing local artists.

After you eat at local favorites like Monk’s BBQ, Gruto’s or The Tipped Cow, you can burn off some calories by hiking or biking up to a mountain lookout to watch the sunset. The Chapman DeMary Trail is cool too—it’s one of the few places where you can still see Virginia’s majestic old-growth forest.  

 

Purcellville

Virginia

U.S.

Population*

10,346

8.5 million

328.2 million

Violent Crimes

0.77

2.08

3.67

Property Crimes

3.58

16.43

21.10

Total Crimes

4.354

18.515

24.776

Law Enforcement**

1.937

2.868

2.99

*For each city, the population includes only city limits (not the greater metro area).**For each city, all crime and law enforcement numbers refer to the amount of crimes or law enforcement employees per 1,000 residents.

2. Lexington

Next up is Lexington—a safe city with one of the lowest costs of living in Virginia. Lexington is tucked away in the Blue Ridge Mountains, near the West Virginia border.

You’ll have plenty of chances to bask in nature since it’s near George Washington & Jefferson National Forest. The town’s museums and historic homes include inventor Cyrus McCormick’s farm, General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson’s house and the Miller House Museum. Lexington is also home to two historic schools— the Virginia Military Institute and Washington and Lee University.

 

Lexington

Virginia

U.S.

Population

7,107

8.5 million

328.2 million

Violent Crimes

0.98

2.08

3.67

Property Crimes

3.8

16.43

21.10

Total Crimes

4.7910

18.5111

24.7712

Law Enforcement

2.9513

2.8614

2.915

3. Blacksburg

Blacksburg is one of the best places to live in Virginia, so it’s no surprise the city made this list too! It’s located in the mountains of Montgomery County, an hour and a half southwest of Lexington.

In Blacksburg, you can hike to Cascade Falls, Dragon’s Tooth or McAfee’s Knob—or tour the pet-friendly cave at Dixie Caverns. The annual Steppin’ Out Festival gives you a chance to sample local food, performances and art. You’ll also find plenty of places to play baseball there.

 

Blacksburg

Virginia

U.S.

Population

44,948

8.5 million

328.2 million

Violent Crimes

1.11

2.08

3.67

Property Crimes

6.12

16.43

21.10

Total Crimes

7.2316

18.5117

24.7718

Law Enforcement

1.619

2.8620

2.921

4. Poquoson

Poquoson is near where the York River runs into the Chesapeake Bay, so you can take a boat or river tour to see the area from the water. You can also enjoy a day at the beach, visit the Plum Tree Island National Wildlife Refuge, or head to the Poquoson Museum to learn the local history.

Plus, you’re minutes from museums, activities and jobs in bigger cities like Newport News and Virginia Beach.

 

Poquoson

Virginia

U.S.

Population

12,126

8.5 million

328.2 million

Violent Crimes

1.9

2.08

3.67

Property Crimes

7.5

16.43

21.10

Total Crimes

9.422

18.5123

24.7724

Law Enforcement

2.2325

2.8626

2.927

5. Manassas Park

Another safe city in Virginia, Manassas Park holds a ton of Civil War history. You can visit battlefields at nearby Bull Run and Manassas (yes, that’s a different town than Manassas Park) to learn about Virginia’s role in the war.

You can also shop at the Old Town Manassas Farmer’s Market, make art at Café Pottery, or head to the Annual Manassas International Food Festival to sample cuisine from all over the world. For a day outdoors, hike Hemlock Overlook or go skeet shooting at the Bull Run Shooting Range and Regional Park.

 

Manassas Park

Virginia

U.S.

Population

17,602

8.5 million

328.2 million

Violent Crimes

1.19

2.08

3.67

Property Crimes

8.75

16.43

21.10

Total Crimes

9.9428

18.5129

24.7730

Law Enforcement

2.131

2.8632

2.933

6. Leesburg

East of Purcellville, the city of Leesburg stands by the Potomac River. (You can get a panoramic view of the river by hiking up to Red Rock Wilderness Overlook.) The town also has other hiking trails and parks, as well as the Rust Nature Sanctuary.  

And if you want to become a tourist in your own city, try the Tour Leesburg app. It’ll walk you to historic points around the city, teach you about Leesburg’s African American history, and guide you to war memorials and public art.

 

Leesburg

Virginia

U.S.

Population

55,461

8.5 million

328.2 million

Violent Crimes

1.84

2.08

3.67

Property Crimes

10.28

16.43

21.10

Total Crimes

12.1234

18.5135

24.7736

Law Enforcement

1.7337

2.8638

2.939

7. Vienna

Vienna is in the Arlington metro area, across the river from the west D.C. suburbs.  The Potomac Appalachian Trail Club has their headquarters here, helping keep up parts of the 2,000-plus mile trail, educate the community, and conserve Virginia’s natural resources.

In Vienna, you can hike the trail to nearby towns—or to far away states like Maine and Georgia. You can also shop at the old-timey Freeman Store and Museum, visit the town’s historic railroad depot and red caboose, or make friends at the monthly Chillin’ on Church block party.  

 

Vienna

Virginia

U.S.

Population

16,660

8.5 million

328.2 million

Violent Crimes

1.2

2.08

3.67

Property Crimes

9.78

16.43

21.10

Total Crimes

10.9840

18.5141

24.7742

Law Enforcement

343

2.8644

2.945

8. Radford

The eighth safest city in Virginia, Radford is an eclectic town. Residents can do just about anything—enjoy the outdoors at Claytor Lake State Park, tour the 1800s Glencoe Mansion Museum, or get in on the action at Motor Mile Speedway.

At the speedway, you can see six different types of round-track car racing, plus watch drivers go head-to-head on the Motor Mile Dragway. You can even get pit passes—you’ll be close enough to smell the racing fuel! (Just don’t breathe too deep.)

 

Radford

Virginia

U.S.

Population

18,487

8.5 million

328.2 million

Violent Crimes

2.43

2.08

3.67

Property Crimes

9.689

16.43

21.10

Total Crimes

12.1246

18.5147

24.7748

Law Enforcement

2.649

2.8650

2.951

9. Warrenton

About halfway between Arlington and West Virginia, you’ll find Warrenton. The town offers a glimpse into Virginia’s legal history, with its Old Courthouse and Old Jail. It was also home to John Marshall, the longest-serving U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice. (He held the role for over 34 years.)

In Warrenton, you can tour 11 Civil War sites, have a sip at a winery, or attend the annual Warrenton Horse Show—which has been a tradition for over 120 years.

 

Warrenton

Virginia

U.S.

Population

9,977

8.5 million

328.2 million

Violent Crimes

1.4

2.08

3.67

Property Crimes

10.93

16.43

21.10

Total Crimes

12.3352

18.5153

24.7754

Law Enforcement

2.5155

2.8656

2.957

10. Herndon

Herndon is another Arlington suburb, near Dulles International Airport. Like many Virginia cities, Herndon was a railroad and farming town—and those railroads and farms played an important role in the Civil War.

Herndon’s downtown area burned in 1917, but locals quickly rebuilt it. Today, residents can enjoy beautiful neighborhoods and a close-knit community with lots of parks and clubs. You can even join an orienteering club to learn how to navigate with maps. (Hey, it’s a helpful skill if you like to hike or travel!)

 

Herndon

Virginia

U.S.

Population

24,693

8.5 million

328.2 million

Violent Crimes

2.59

2.08

3.67

Property Crimes

10.94

16.43

21.10

Total Crimes

13.5358

18.5159

24.7760

Law Enforcement

2.8861

2.8662

2.963

Ready to Move to Virginia?

Woo-hoo! Virginia is a great place to live—and you may have noticed from the charts that it’s safer than the average U.S. state. But there’s another big factor in where you live . . . affordability.

Housing in Virginia costs about 9% more than in the average U.S. state.64 So before you move, you’ll need to make sure you can afford to buy or rent in the Virginia city of your choice.

To figure out your housing budget, use the 25% rule—keep your monthly rent or mortgage payment to 25% or less of your monthly take-home pay. For mortgages, that includes interest, property taxes, insurance and HOA fees. Try our free mortgage calculator to enter your down payment amount and see which home prices fit your budget.

And for a mortgage you can pay off fast, talk to the home loan specialists we trust at Churchill Mortgage. They’ll help you get a 15-year, fixed-rate conventional loan—the fastest, cheapest mortgage around.

Find a Virginia Real Estate Agent

If you know where in Virginia you want to live, your next step is to find a real estate agent you can trust.

For a free, easy way to connect with top agents in Virginia, try our Endorsed Local Providers (ELP) program. We give ELPs our RamseyTrusted seal of approval because we know they’ll serve you with excellence.

Find a Virginia real estate agent we trust!

Ramsey Solutions

About the author

Ramsey Solutions

Ramsey Solutions has been committed to helping people regain control of their money, build wealth, grow their leadership skills, and enhance their lives through personal development since 1992. Millions of people have used our financial advice through 22 books (including 12 national bestsellers) published by Ramsey Press, as well as two syndicated radio shows and 10 podcasts, which have over 17 million weekly listeners. Learn More.

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