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Which state in Australia has the safest areas to live in?

Profile photo of Samantha Thorne

Wondering where the safest place to live in Australia is?

While our great nation as a whole is a safe country, there are of course areas that are safer than others.

When it comes to living somewhere and putting down roots, everyone has a different set of criteria for choosing a suburb to call home. Young professionals might enjoy the hustle and bustle of an ‘edgier’ suburb, but for families and those seeking a quieter lifestyle, the safety and security of your neighbourhood are a top consideration. In terms of property values and real estate, it can pay to highlight the fact that your suburb is safe and its crime rates low when you are selling.

With this in mind let's start by looking at what ranking criteria are used to produce the safest suburbs in Australia. 

Safest city rankings: what do the statistics say about safety in Australia?

Australian cities score fairly well on a global scale in the most recent The Economist Intelligence Unit Safe Cities Index 2019 (SCI), with Sydney ranked 10th and Melbourne 16th for the personal security metric. This index, ‘...considers how at-risk citizens are from crime, violence, man-made threats and natural disasters’, using indicators that include the level of police engagement, the use of data-driven crime prevention and the overall political stability of the country. Unsurprisingly the study found that higher incomes correlated with better results in the index.

Insurer Budget Direct’s Home Burglary Survey 2021 found that Australia has the 7th highest rate of burglaries in the world, with 4.3 per cent of Australian households experiencing at least 1 break-in (or attempted break-in) during the last 12 months. Surprisingly, New Zealand had the highest rate of burglary globally, with 1,354 cases per 100,000 people vs Australia’s rate of 674.9.

Another way of ranking safety in our suburbs is to access state crime databases which are based on major incidents including assault, robbery, theft, fraud and damage to property reported to police. Unsurprisingly the CBD of our major cities also feature some of the highest crime rates, which is not an uncommon characteristic for high density urban areas.

Safest suburbs to live in Australia

Let’s now look at some of the safest suburbs in Australia, with a focus on our biggest cities and populated areas.

Safest suburbs in Sydney, New South Wales

Based on data compiled from the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) the safest suburbs in Sydney - with the lowest number of major incidents - are Hunter's Hill (455), Mosman (613), Lane Cove (861), Woollahra (1310) and Burwood (1638). This data is based on annual data over the 12 months to June 2019.

Sydney suburbs with the lowest number of major criminal incidents - which suburbs are the safest?

Sydney suburbNumber of criminal incidents
Hunter's Hill455
Mosman613
Lane Cove861
Woollahra1310
Burwood1638

Linking income to Hunter’s Hill, the most recent census (2016) lists the median weekly household income here at $2,700; while median property prices are currently $3,212,500 for houses and $1,165,000 for units. As a reference the current full-time adult average weekly earnings across Australia is $1,711 according to 2021 ABS data, while CoreLogic list the current median dwelling value as $634,355.

Read: What are the most leafy suburbs in Sydney?

Safest suburbs Melbourne, VIC

In Victoria the Crime Statistics Agency collects incident data, and recorded the following for Melbourne’s suburbs, expressed as a figure per 100 residents. The suburb with the lowest crime rate is The Patch - 39 km east of the CBD in the foothills of the Yarra Range with 1.03 incidents per 100 residents. The median house price in The Patch in 2020 was $825,000, with a median weekly household income $1,583.

Other suburbs in Melbourne with low crime rates include Park Orchards (1.33 incidents/100 residents), Ferny Creek (1.38 incidents/100 residents), Selby (1.47 incidents/100 residents) and Kallista (1.53 incidents/100 residents).

Melbourne suburbs with the lowest crime rate

Melbourne suburbCrime rate per 100 residents
The Patch1.03
Park Orchards1.33
Ferny Creek1.38
Selby1.47
Kallista1.53

A RACV study based on burglary data collected by Victoria Police found, ‘...the risk of burglary highest in country Victoria, with regional areas making up eight of the state’s 10 riskiest postcodes’. 

Read: The best ways to add value of your home

Safest suburbs Brisbane, Queensland

According to the RACQ the safest suburb in Brisbane is Morningside, slap bang in the middle of the city, and bordered by blue chip suburbs like Balmoral and Hawthorne. It together with eight other suburbs - Morningside, Cannon Hill, Norman Park and Seven Hills, Rocklea, Nathan, Berrinba - recorded zero incidents of home theft, vandalism and malicious damage in the three years to 2019. Residents on homely.com.au call Morningside ‘neighbourly, safe, clean & green’.
 

The median weekly household income in Morningside is $2,065, with median property prices of $891,000 for houses and $500,000 for units.


Morningside, Cannon Hill, Norman Park and Seven Hills, Rocklea, Nathan, Berrinba - recorded zero incidents of home theft, vandalism and malicious damage in the three years to 2019.

Safest suburbs Canberra, ACT

Data from the AFP (2019) indicates that suburbs with lowest number of crime incidents, include the Molonglo Valley (439) - a relatively new suburb with a low population density, Weston Creek (1066), Woden (2073), Inner South (2881) and Gungahlin (3695).

Overall, Canberra has very low levels of serious crime and is regularly ranked as a very liveable city - based on a range of factors including stability, healthcare and infrastructure. 

Safest suburbs Adelaide, SA

Adelaide, a city that ranked as the world’s 10th most liveable city by the Economist Intelligence Unit’s 2019 Global Liveability Index, is also generally considered a very safe place to live. In terms of specific suburbs, South Australia Police (SAPOL) crime data indicates Rosslyn Park, in Adelaide’s east as one of the safest, with just 0.96 incidents per 100 residents. The median weekly household income is $1,394 here with a median house price of $1,035,500.

Other suburbs which ranked highly included McLaren Flat (0.98 incidents/100 residents), Stonyfell (0.99 incidents/100 residents), Glenalta (1.17 incidents/100 residents) and Erindale (1.18 incidents/100 residents). 

Read: Best suburbs to invest in Adelaide
 

Safest suburbs Perth, WA

Data from the Western Australia Police Force indicates that the suburb of Dalkeith with 0.7 incidents per 100 residents is the safest in Perth. Slap bang on the Swan River this blue chip suburb has a median house price of $2,800,000, and residents have a median weekly household income of $1,827.

Other Perth suburbs with low crime rates include Floreat (0.9 incidents/100 residents), Lower Chittering (0.9 incidents/100 residents), Leeming (0.9 incidents/100 residents) and Iluka (0.9 incidents/100 residents).

What about the other side of the coin - which Australian city has the highest levels of crime?

Perth suburbs with lowest rates of crime

Perth suburbCrime rate incidents per 100 residents
Dalkeith0.7
Floreat0.9
Lower Chittering0.9
Leeming0.9
Iluka0.9

Most dangerous city in Australia?

According to data aggregating site Numbeo’s international crime index, Australia’s most dangerous city is Darwin, while this site rates Canberra as our safest city. 

To put this into perspective Darwin is 86th on the global index, with Caracas (Venezuela), Pretoria (South Africa) and Port Moresby (Papua New Guinea) listed as the top three most dangerous cities worldwide. 

What areas of Australia are the safest?

Data from Microburbs shows that major public transport hubs and interchanges can feature elevated levels of crime, particularly when compared to the relatively quiet suburbs surrounding them. However, here it must be understood that there are thousands of people passing through those hubs at peak hour.

CBDs around Australia also feature the highest crime rates, easily explained by the fact that they are home to countless pubs, clubs, and other social establishments. Authorities are acting on these statistics, with the NSW Government launching the Sydney lockout laws, now copied by the Queensland Government.

While some might argue that the Sydney lockout laws have had a detrimental impact on the city’s nightlife, they have had the opposite effect on property prices. With property prices in Kings Cross and Potts Point rising exponentially over the years. This shows just how high safety rates for buyers, 

Buying and investing in safe areas

If you're looking to buy property, always do your research, not only on how the market is faring, but also on demographics, safety, schools and the degree to how family friendly the suburb is etc. Check out our investment articles to find out more about areas around Australia that are ripe for investment.

Buying in capital cities:

 


Buying in states around Australia:

 

We've done the research and have spoken to the experts about the best places to buy in states around Australia. We've included plenty of regional areas that are experiencing periods of growth, as well as suburbs and areas perfect for growing families.