The Safest Neighborhoods in Austin
They say everything’s bigger in Texas: the people, the food, the scenery, the personalities. Today, Texas is the second-largest state and the second most populous. It boasts six cities with a population of 500,000+, including its capital city of Austin. One of the fastest-growing cities in the country, Austin attracts all kinds of residents, from blue-collar workers to students to musicians to tech experts. But is it safe? And where are the safest neighborhoods in Austin?
Texas Crime Statistics
With 131,084 reported violent crimes and 659,160 reported property crimes in 2020, the overall crime rate in Texas is 27.11 crimes per 1,000 residents. That’s higher than the national average. To break that down further, the violent crime rate in Texas is 4.5 per 1,000 residents compared to the national median of 4. The property crime rate is 22.62 per 1,000 residents, while the national median is 19.
So everything—including crime—is indeed bigger in Texas.
But that’s not to say the state as a whole is dangerous. In fact, three cities in Texas cracked the top 15 safest large cities in America according to MoneyGeek: El Paso at #4, Austin at #12, and Arlington at #13. Safety depends on where you are in the state.
And in terms of safety, size, amenities, and things to do, you can’t do much better than the city of Austin.
Crime Rate in Austin
Austin’s 2022 population of 1,028,225 makes it the 11th most populous city in the US, the 4th most populous city in Texas, and the 2nd most populous state capital (after Phoenix). Clearly, it’s popular. But is Austin safe to live in or visit?
Generally, higher crime rates go hand-in-hand with larger populations. In 2020, there were 4,692 violent crimes and 36,586 property crimes reported in Austin. That’s an overall crime rate of 42.91 per 1,000 residents, according to NeighborhoodScout. The violent crime rate is 4.88 per 1,000—higher than the national median of 4—while the property crime rate is 38.04 per 1,000, much higher than the national median of 19.
That may not look great at first glance. But Austin is more than the sum of its parts.
It’s a vibrant, beautiful city. Austin is the self-professed “Live Music Capital of the World.” After all, it has more music venues per capita than anywhere else in the country. It’s also home to the film/music/interactive festival SXSW (South by Southwest) and the longest-running music program on American television, Austin City Limits.
In short, you need not fear Austin. It’s a large city of over one million citizens, spread out over 326 square miles. Safety is there if you know where to look. That’s why you should keep an eye out for the safest neighborhoods in Austin, TX.
The Safest Neighborhoods in Austin
Much like any big city, Austin has a variety of criminal activity across its many neighborhoods. The safest areas in Austin, according to NeighborhoodScout, include:
- Bear Creek: Located 16 miles southwest of downtown Austin, Bear Creek has a population of only 382.
- Belterra: This unincorporated community of 6,170 is found 18 miles southwest of downtown Austin, right at the city limits.
- Hays: Even smaller than Bear Creek at 217 citizens, Hays is 14 miles southwest of the downtown core. (If you’re good at geography, you might have deduced that these top three neighborhoods border each other.)
- Hamilton Pool Rd/Reimers Rd: Coming in at the fourth spot, you’ll find this area to the west-northwest of downtown.
- Spanish Oaks: A gated community and golf club built 20 years ago to the west of Austin, Spanish Oaks has two entrances and 24/7 security guards.
- The Park at Spicewood Springs/Northwest Balcones: Wealthier than a staggering 98.2% of neighborhoods in the US, this area is north-northwest of downtown.
- Brushy Creek: A census-designated place (CDP) of 22,519 residents on the northern cusp of Austin, the natural scenery here is unparalleled.
- Del Valle Southeast: An unincorporated area found 7 miles southeast of downtown Austin, this spot is home to 17,139 residents.
- Grandview Hills: A designed community to the northwest of downtown, Grandview Hills offers great views and a more retiree-friendly location than 98% of neighborhoods in Texas.
- Shady Hollow: A CDP of 5,004 people ten miles southwest of downtown Austin near the Travis/Hays county line, Shady Hollow boasts real estate prices that are more expensive than 89% of American neighborhoods.
It’s no surprise that most of these are well outside the downtown core and have relatively small populations. Many of them also rank as some of the most expensive neighborhoods across both Texas and the entire United States.
Safest Cities Near Austin, TX
Some other areas with relatively little crime can be found just beyond the city’s borders. For easy comparison, The Neighborhood Score boils crime rates down to a 1-100 scale, where 1 is low crime and 100 is high crime. According to this source, other safe areas near Austin include:
- The Hills: Violent crime rate of 10.1, property crime rate of 18.6
- Briarcliff: Violent crime rate of 12.1, property crime rate of 22.7
- Hudson Bend: Violent crime rate of 12.2, property crime rate of 23
- Driftwood: Violent crime rate of 10.4, property crime rate of 18.8
- Pflugerville: Violent crime rate of 10.7, property crime rate of 25
- Leander: Violent crime rate of 8.2, property crime rate of 21.2
To put that in perspective, the website gives the United States an overall violent crime rate of 22.7 and a property crime rate of 35.4, compared to a violent crime rate of 24.8 and a property crime rate of 38 for the state of Texas.
As you can see, there are many options where the crime rates are below the Texan and American averages. But what about dangerous areas? What are the neighborhoods in Austin best avoided?
Most Dangerous Neighborhoods in Austin
When considering crime rates, some areas of Austin are not as safe. These are the top ten most dangerous Austin neighborhoods, based on violent crimes:
- MLK: 1,772 violent crimes per 100,000 residents, 279% more crime than Austin
- Riverside: 1,505 violent crimes per 100,000 residents, 222% more crime than Austin
- Rosewood: 1,373 violent crimes per 100,000 residents, 194% more crime than Austin
- Bouldin: 1,355 violent crimes per 100,000 residents, 190% more crime than Austin
- Georgian Acres: 1,324 violent crimes per 100,000 residents, 184% more crime than Austin
- Pecan Springs Springdale: 1,302 violent crimes per 100,000 residents, 179% more crime than Austin
- Heritage Hills: 1,294 violent crimes per 100,000 residents, 177% more crime than Austin
- Windsor Park: 1,245 violent crimes per 100,000 residents, 167% more crime than Austin
- University Hills: 1,236 violent crimes per 100,000 residents, 165% more crime than Austin
- Govalle: 1,221 violent crimes per 100,000 residents, 161% more crime than Austin
Most of these neighborhoods are in the heart of downtown Austin. If you live in one of these areas or visit for the night, stay alert and take precautions.
Staying Safe in Austin
No matter where you end up in Austin, you can protect yourself by following security best practices. We’ve put together Austin home security and crime prevention tips, but here are the highlights:
- Brush up on crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED) principles. These include maintaining your landscaping, removing any convenient hiding spots, illuminating entryways, creating a clear boundary around your property, and so on. Basically, anything you can do to your home’s appearance to make it an unappealing target for criminals.
- Get to know your crime prevention officers, who can provide education and guidance. Austin makes these officers available via a central phone line: 512-974-4735.
- Install home security cameras with surveillance guards. Visible cameras give burglars pause, and live security guards send them running. Plus, you’ll have footage of any criminal activity to resolve the matter with the police. That’s home security done the Deep Sentinel way.
Whether you’re living in one of the safest neighborhoods in Austin or an area that’s less safe, it’s important to stay vigilant and take precautions to protect your home.
Need a Solution that Prevents Crime?
Deep Sentinel is the only security technology that delivers the experience of a personal guard on every customer’s home and business. Visit deepsentinel.com/business or call 833-983-6006.