Is Manhattan safe?

I have not been to Manhattan in about 6 years. I have to go the midtown area next week for a medical appointment. My relatives are horrified. They are sure I am going to be assaulted or murdered. I am seeking opinions about the safety of the area. Thanks!

Compared to what? And what part of Manhattan?

Overall Manhattan is one of the safest very large cities in the US. It just isn’t as safe as it was 6 years ago. During the day and anywhere from Mid-Town or Lower there should be no worries.

If you’re taking the subway, avoid empty cars is about the only issue. Shouldn’t be an option during the day.

Some stats to back up what I posted:

Due to the city’s constant police presence, potential muggers don’t have much opportunity to get away with a violent crime such as a mugging in most parts of town. However, muggings are possible in quieter residential neighborhoods such as Harlem and Inwood, in neighborhoods that shut down at night, such as the Financial District and Central Park, and in empty subway cars or stations.

Read the Pickpocketing section too, good advice if you’re going to be near the extra tourist-filled areas. Decent rule of thumb: If there are Elmos around the chance of a pickpocket being around is much higher.

This link
is not quite up to date, but (despite a spike?) New York County does not look that bad compared to Philadelphia or New Orleans or even Chicago…

True enough.

But if the OP (and relatives) live in the comfy lily-white suburbs, the comparison that matters is the crime rate in Midtown vs the crime rate in Sleepy Gated Hollow.

It also matters greatly how much Faux News the OP or relatives watch.

You’re safer in Manhattan than in small-town America:

Seriously? I visited Manhattan multiple times in the mid-late 1980s, when people believed that a mugging was practically guaranteed as an experience for every visitor. Manhattan today is nothing like that.

That’s what a lot of Europeans think will happen to anyone visiting America. See how silly that sounds? In 2021 there were 488 murders in NYC (not sure about Manhattan specifically), which is 1.3 per day out of 8.9 million people. That’s closer to a one in 10 million chance than a one in one million chance. Driving to the grocery store is riskier than that.

That analysis covers per capita homicide rates and deaths from various causes (the writer even drags in slip-and-falls and medical misadventures to make a point). The original Bloomberg version doesn’t seem to be paywalled.

Urban areas in the U.S. have generally had higher overall crime rates than rural ones, though there are numerous exceptions.

For New York City, crime rates have jumped compared to a couple of years ago, but are way down compared to the big bad '90s.

I wouldn’t have any qualms about visiting midtown Manhattan for a doctor’s appointment. I’d be more apprehensive in (for instance) Goldsboro, North Carolina, to pick on one relatively crime-ridden small city.

But as to the central question “Is Manhattan safe?”: No. It isn’t safe.

*miraculously, I survived traveling into midtown Manhattan on a daily basis to attend high school back in the late '60s/early '70s. I probably looked too downtrodden to be an attractive mugging target.

The doctor and their staff go there every day, so how risky can it be?

I live in Brooklyn. I work in Manhattan. I’m in Manhattan every work day, riding the subway to and from work, doing errands and shopping for things, going to meetings in other parts of Manhattan, eating out, going to hear music and to the movies, visiting friends.

You will be 100% completely safe. A bee might sting you, you might stub your toe or step in a puddle. You’ll probably see a rat. You might catch a whiff of a bad smell. Somebody might look at you in an unfriendly way. Those are probably the biggest risks.

I’ve lived in NYC since 1984. In Manhattan and Brooklyn, and frequently in the “unsafe” areas. In Midtown Manhattan, in 2022, you don’t even have to be “street-smart” or careful. Just be yourself and do what you do, and tell your relatives to come along and join you, too. It’s still a great city, to visit or live in (although expensive, of course).

No place is safe. Might as well be unsafe someplace with good food and entertainment options.

I remember when I asked about visiting Philadelphia a few months ago here people were giving me exact areas to avoid, which makes it seem like yeah there are cities you need to avoid in terms of crime but NYC isn’t one of them.

Who is going to assault you in an empty car?



One tip I have heard since forever is to ride in the car with the conductor.

Not only that, but most of those murders are of people who are already involved with criminals in some way: Members of gangs, or borrowers from crooked loan sharks, or the like. Stay away from those, and your risk is far lower yet.

Which Manhattan?

Our Manhattan will ban your ass.

Doctor Manhattan has the power of a god and seems to care only about physics.

On a lighter note- It seems safer than Philly, and I live in Philly.

Manhattan Kansas is dangerous? :roll_eyes:

I guess it depends on your idea of “safe.” I dig Joeu’s description above. My attitude towards any big city I’ve been in has been mind your own business and don’t be appallingly stupid, and no one else will give a damn whether you are there or not.

I’d rather ride with the orchestra.

I just spent three days in Manhattan last month and the biggest assault was the heat and humidity (and what that does to the environment in an underground subway stop – the platforms are not air conditioned. oo ooh can you smell that smell…)

The way NYC is fire-branded in part of the collective psyche as this dystopian hellscape is quite the accomplishment.

Consider also that on any given day there’s like twice that much people inside city limits.

Ehh, it can’t hoyt anyway. But yeah, really, not especially more than in most other major cities.