Is Duluth MN Safe? A Complete Look at Crime Rates & Safety

Duluth, Minnesota, is a city located on the shores of Lake Superior. It is known for its natural beauty, vibrant arts scene, and outdoor recreational opportunities. However, many wonder if Duluth is a safe place to live or visit.

According to various sources, Duluth has a higher crime rate than other cities in Minnesota and the United States. For example, NeighborhoodScout reports that Duluth’s crime index is 4 out of 100 (with 100 being the safest), meaning it is safer than only 4% of U.S. cities. Similarly, AreaVibes shows that Duluth is safer than only 10% of Minnesota and 21% of cities across the United States.

Despite these statistics, it is important to note that crime rates can vary widely depending on Duluth’s neighborhood and specific area. Additionally, many residents and visitors feel safe in Duluth and enjoy all the city offers. This article will explore whether Duluth is a safe place to live and visit, taking into account both statistical data and personal experiences.

Crime Statistics

Overall Crime Rate

Duluth, MN has a higher crime rate than the national average. According to AreaVibes, the crime rate in Duluth is 79% higher than the national average. The 2020 Duluth crime rate fell by 14% compared to 2019, but it is still higher than the average for U.S. cities.

Violent Crime Rate

The violent crime rate in Duluth is higher than the national average but has decreased in recent years. According to NeighborhoodScout, the violent crime rate in Duluth is 20 per 1,000 residents, which is lower than the national median of 4. However, Duluth is still safer than only 4% of U.S. cities. The chances of becoming a victim of a violent crime in Duluth are 1 in 272, which is higher than the chances in Minnesota as a whole.

Property Crime Rate

The property crime rate in Duluth is also higher than the national average. According to AreaVibes, residents of Duluth have a 1 in 24 chance of becoming a victim of a property crime. Again, this is higher than the national average and means that Duluth is safer than only 21% of U.S. cities. Crime in Duluth has decreased by 9% yearly, but it is still a concern for residents and visitors alike.

2010-2020 Yearly Reported Crime Stats

Image courtesy of Duluth, MN Police Department

Safety Measures

Police Presence

Duluth has a strong police presence, with the Duluth Police Department working diligently to ensure the safety of residents and visitors. The department has a staff of over 150 officers, supported by several civilian employees. The police department is committed to community policing, which involves building relationships with community members to prevent crime and promote safety.

The department is also active on social media, providing updates on crime trends, safety tips, and community events. The department also has a mobile app that allows residents to report crimes, submit tips, and receive alerts.

Community Watch Programs

Community watch programs are an important part of Duluth’s safety measures. These programs involve residents working together to keep an eye on their neighborhoods and report any suspicious activity to the police. The Duluth Police Department actively supports community watch programs and provides training and resources to help residents start and maintain these programs.

These programs have been successful in reducing crime in many neighborhoods throughout Duluth. In addition, residents who participate in community watch programs report feeling safer and more connected to their neighbors.

Public Safety Initiatives

Duluth has implemented several public safety initiatives to improve safety throughout the city. These initiatives include:

  • Safe City Nights: This initiative aims to reduce alcohol-related crime by increasing police presence in areas with high concentrations of bars and restaurants.
  • Operation Safe Homes: This initiative involves police officers visiting homes in high-crime areas to provide safety tips and assess security measures.
  • Neighborhood Resource Officers: These officers are assigned to specific neighborhoods and work closely with residents to address safety concerns and reduce crime.

These initiatives have successfully reduced crime and improved safety in many areas throughout Duluth. The city continues to explore new initiatives and programs to promote safety and prevent crime.


Duluth, MN has a variety of neighborhoods, each with its own unique character and safety profile. Here are a few notable neighborhoods:

Downtown Duluth

Downtown Duluth is the city’s heart, with a mix of commercial and residential buildings. While it can be busy during the day, it tends to be quieter at night. According to NeighborhoodScout, the crime rate in downtown Duluth is higher than 95% of cities in Minnesota. However, this is largely due to property crime such as theft and vandalism. Violent crime is relatively rare.

Canal Park

Canal Park is a popular tourist destination with various shops, restaurants, and attractions. It is located on the shore of Lake Superior and offers beautiful water views. According to NeighborhoodScout, the crime rate in Canal Park is lower than 37% of cities in Minnesota. Property crime is still the most common type of crime, but violent crime is less common than in downtown Duluth.

Lincoln Park

Lincoln Park is a residential neighborhood located west of downtown Duluth. It has a mix of single-family homes and small businesses. NeighborhoodScout states that the crime rate in Lincoln Park is higher than 83% of cities in Minnesota. Property crime is the most common type of crime, but there is also a higher violent crime rate than Canal Park.

Tips for Staying Safe

Whether you are a resident or a visitor, staying safe in Duluth, MN is important. Here are some general safety tips, travel safety tips, and home safety tips to help you stay safe:

General Safety Tips

  • Be aware of your surroundings at all times.
  • Walk in well-lit areas and avoid walking alone at night.
  • Keep your valuables out of sight and do not carry large amounts of cash.
  • Trust your instincts and avoid situations that make you feel uncomfortable.
  • Do not leave your belongings unattended in public places.
  • Stay up-to-date with local news and information about crime and safety.

Travel Safety Tips

  • Plan your route in advance and avoid unfamiliar areas.
  • Keep your car doors locked and windows rolled up when driving.
  • Do not leave valuables in your car, especially visible ones.
  • Use a GPS or map to navigate and avoid getting lost.
  • Be cautious when using public transportation and stay alert for suspicious activity.

Home Safety Tips

  • Install deadbolt locks on all doors and secure windows with locks or bars.
  • Use a peephole or intercom system to identify visitors before opening the door.
  • Keep your home well-lit, especially at night.
  • Do not advertise your absence by leaving notes or messages on your door.
  • Notify your neighbors or a trusted friend when you will be away for an extended period of time.
  • Consider installing a home security system for added protection.

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