St. Paul, Minnesota, calls itself "the most livable city in America." But like all large metropolitan areas, it has neighborhoods with higher crime rates than others. So if you want to avoid crime, which parts of St.Paul should you stay away from?
The city of St. Paul as a whole has a slightly higher crime rate than the average large US city, ranking around 115th among nearly 400 large metropolitan areas in the nation.
St. Paul includes many areas that are very quiet, with low crime rates. But it also has higher-crime neighborhoods. The St. Paul Police Department publishes monthly crime maps of the city, reporting demographic statistics for the following crimes:
- Aggravated assault
- Auto theft
- Commercial burglary
- Residential burglary
According to the St. Paul Police Department, the following are neighborhoods with high crime relative to the city average:
- Frogtown, in the area surrounding University Avenue just west of downtown St. Paul out to Fairview Avenue, with the highest concentration of crime around Western Avenue, Dale Street and Victoria Avenue.
- Westside St. Paul, one of the poorest parts of St. Paul.
- Around Cesar Chavez and George streets.
- North-central St. Paul, along Rice and Western avenues north of University.
- Grand Avenue area and Downtown St. Paul. Both have dense populations, as well as nightlife and entertainment districts, and as a result, they experience somewhat more crime.
But just because the local crime rate is high, it doesn't mean that a neighborhood is bad. The neighborhoods listed above include both good and bad parts. The character of Westside St. Paul, for instance, can change markedly in a few blocks, and there are many safe, quiet parts of the Westside, where families are taking advantage of lower house prices.
Metro Transit's Green Line, an 11-mile light rail transit (LRT) line connecting downtown Minneapolis and downtown St. Paul, runs along University Avenue in Frogtown and is expected to eventually depress crime in the neighborhood. It has already stimulated investment along its route, improving the area's livability and making it more attractive as a residential neighborhood. The line, which went into service in 2014, serves destinations including the State Capitol, St. Paul’s Midway area, and the University of Minnesota’s Minneapolis campus.
Remember that crime can happen anywhere, regardless of the crime rate in a neighborhood, even in the presumably safest neighborhoods. Take care, always take basic crime prevention precautions and stay safe.