Dallas, like any other big city, has a mix of safe and best-avoided areas.
Whether you are just visiting this vibrant city or looking to invest in a home in this bustling, growing metropolis, it helps to know which neighborhoods you should set your sights to.
In this article, I’ll talk about the safest areas to live in in Dallas, Texas.
What Is the Safest Area to Live in Dallas TX?
The safest area to live in Dallas, Tx, is the Park Cities, comprised of Highland Park and University Park. It is an area that is considered one of the most affluent in Dallas, which boasts high-quality living, education, and low crime rates.
The Park Cities — Independent Communities
Highland Park and University Park are collectively known as the “Park Cities”, independent communities located 7 miles north of Downtown Dallas.
They are generally considered Dallas suburbs, but they are independent cities with their municipal government and fire and police departments.
A City Built Around A University
University Park is named as such because it is where the well-known Southern Methodist University is located, considered one of the best universities in Texas and the country.
SMU is known for being a diverse school, with students from all over the U.S. and over 80 other countries around the world. It prides itself on small classes, hands-on learning, and well-rounded educational programs.
The city began as a small group of homes surrounding the then-just-established university in the early 1900s.
It started as a small town, but its growth and development over the decades have transformed it into one of the most affluent areas in Dallas and Texas.
A Town Overlooking Downtown Dallas
Highland Park was developed in 1906 by John S. Armstrong, the same developer of the Oak Cliff neighborhood of Dallas. He named the development as such because the area was located on high land, which overlooked Downtown Dallas.
The same landscape designer designed Highland Park as the one that planned Beverly Hills in California and developed by the same city planner as the one that did Downtown Dallas.
The first outdoor shopping center in the country, Highland Park Village, was built here in 1931, originally as a town square. In 2000, it became a National Historic Landmark.
The Park Cities are safe, family-oriented, and education-centered and are two of the most expensive neighborhoods in Dallas. According to D Magazine, real estate here is some of the most expensive in the whole DFW area.
The Park Cities is known for its safe, tree-lined streets, beautiful homes, manicured lawns, abundance of beautiful gardens, and green spaces. They are two of the best neighborhoods in Dallas for families (Read: 10 Best Areas to Live in Dallas For Families)
a) Crime Rate
The Park Cities have some of the lowest crime rates among Dallas neighborhoods. Data analytics and real estate company Area Vibes considers University Park and Highland Park to be two of the safest neighborhoods in Dallas, with University Park being the safer of the two based on crime statistics.
According to data from FBI statistics and local law enforcement agencies in 2020, both University Park and Highland Park have significantly lower levels of total crime per 100,000 people compared to Dallas, Texas, and the national average.
- University Park: 962 per 100k people
- Highland Park: 2,216 per 100k people
- Dallas: 4,391 per 100k people
- Texas Average: 2,692 per 100k people
- National Average: 2,346 per 100k people
University Park edges out Highland Park, but the crime rate in Highland Park is still comparatively lower than Dallas, Texas, and the National average.
University Park is 89% safer than other Texas cities and 83% safer than other cities in the United States.
Highland Park, on the other hand, is 55% safer than other Texas cities and 51% safer than other U.S. cities.
University Park is the bigger city between the two, with an estimated population of 24,849, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Highland Park, technically a town, has a population of 8,747.
The median age of residents in University Park is 35.4 years, while the median age in Highland Park is 44.3 years.
c) Cost of Living
The cost of living in the Park Cities, though, is higher than the rest of Dallas and the state and national average.
In terms of utilities, transportation, goods and services, and healthcare, Area Vibes reports the following:
- University Park: 132% higher than Texas, 114% higher than the National average
- Highland Park: 155% higher than Texas, 135% higher than the National average
From this, we can see that, in terms of the cost of living, Highland Park is the more expensive of the two.
d) Median Home Value and Rent
In terms of housing, University Park and Highland Park are also more expensive than other Dallas neighborhoods.
Below are details of the median home value and the median rent for both areas, compared to Dallas. Details were acquired from the U.S. Bureau of Census.
Median Home Value
- University Park: $1,380,600
- Highland Park: $1,541,500
- Dallas: $230,000
- University Park: $2,536
- Highland Park: $2,364
- Dallas: $1,178
Highland Park has the more expensive median home value, while University Park has the more expensive median rent. Both are more expensive than Dallas.
University Park and Highland Park share the same school district, the Highland Park Independent School District. It’s considered one of the best school districts in the whole state.
Highland Park High School is part of the Top 250 High Schools In America and is included in the Top 50 in the state.
On the other hand, Southern Methodist University recently made it to number 83 on the Forbes list of America’s Top Colleges.
Residents of the Park Cities are very education-centered and are heavily invested in the growth and development of their children.
Many community activities are geared towards this goal, and many collaborative activities and community events are geared toward promoting this common goal. The proverb “It takes a village to raise a child” seems true in the Park Cities.
This tight-knit, close community is perfect for those with families.
Attractions Near the Park Cities
The Park Cities are located just 7 miles from the Dallas City Center, so there is easy access to all the amenities Downtown offers.
However, they also have their attractions worth visiting.
1. Meadows Museum
Nicknamed “Prado on the Prairie”, the Meadows Museum is a 66,000-square-foot, two-story museum on the Southern Methodist University campus that houses the largest collection of Spanish Art that exists outside of Spain, spanning the 10th to the 21st centuries.
Works by masters like El Greco, Murillo, Goya, Ribera, Miro, Dali and Picasso can be found here.
It opened in 1965, and its collection was gifted by Algur H. Meadows, founder of the General American Oil Company of Texas, where the museum got its name.
2. George Bush Presidential Library and Museum
The museum documents the presidency of George W. Bush, through thousands of artifacts and documents, including official records, from this period in American history.
It is located inside the Southern Methodist University campus.
3. Highland Park Village
Highland Park Village is an upscale shopping mall built in 1931, the first outdoor shopping mall in the country. It was originally built as a town square for Highland Park.
The people who built it drew inspiration from the architecture in Barcelona, Seville, Mexico, and California, which is evident in its door arches and red-tile roofs. In 2000, it was declared a National Historical Landmark.
Highland Park Village has over 70 luxury stores, from Cartier to Chanel, Christian Dior, Fendi, Goyard, Hermes, Jimmy Choo, and many others. It is also home to the largest Ralph Lauren store in Texas.
Aside from shopping, it is also home to popular restaurants like Café Pacific, an upscale seafood restaurant, and Mi Cocina, a popular place for Tex-Mex cuisine.
4. Lakeside Park
Lakeside Park is a 14-acre green space that runs along Turtle Creek, with lots of beautiful views and walking paths. It is home to beautiful and whimsical Teddy Bear sculptures.
It’s considered as one of the best parks in Dallas.
Other Safe Areas to Live in Dallas, TX
Okay, so not everyone can afford to shell out that much money to live in the Park Cities, no matter how safe they are and no matter how prized the community is.
Are there any other options available? You’ll be more than thrilled to know that the answer is yes!
The Dallas-Fort Worth metropolis is huge, and there are many other neighborhoods and cities you can look into to suit your specific budget.
I’ll list some notable ones below, including some helpful information.
Frisco is known as “Sports City USA” because it is home to many sports teams like the Dallas Cowboys (NFL), the Dallas Stars (NHL), FC Dallas (MLS), Texas Legends (NBA G League), and the Frisco Roughriders (MiLB).
It was named the best place to live in America by Money Magazine in 2018, and personal finance website Smart Asset named it the Safest City in America.
- Median Home Value: $420,700
- Median Rent: $1,508
- Population: 145,646
- Median Age: 36.2
- Crime Rate: 1,058 per 100k people (80% safer than other Texas cities)
- Distance from Downtown Dallas: 27 miles
McKinney is known for its lively and unique Historic Downtown, one of the most well-preserved in the state, its breweries, vineyards, and small-town way of life, while still having big-city amenities.
Livability named it as one of the best places to live in the U.S., the only DFW city to make the Top 20. (Read also: 16 Best Places to Live in the USA for Singles )
- Median Home Value: $327,800
- Median Rent: $1,442
- Population: 156,821
- Median Age: 34.6
- Crime Rate: 1,070 per 100k people (75% safer than other Texas cities)
- Distance from Downtown Dallas: 32 miles
Coppell is known for its good schools, family-friendly environment, and location. It offers easy access to the DFW Airport and the Las Colinas and North Dallas business centers.
It has safe streets, a community-centered mindset, and outdoor access.
- Median Home Value: $414,000
- Median Rent: $1,538
- Population: 40,631
- Median Age: 40
- Crime Rate: 1,581 per 100k people (71% safer than other Texas cities)
- Distance from Downtown Dallas: 21 miles
4. Flower Mound
Another community-centered, family-friendly area with good schools, Flower Mound, is another very safe city to consider, which offers more affordable housing options.
It has a small-town vibe with access to the beautiful outdoors. The nearby Grapevine Lake offers many hiking, biking, boating, and kayaking opportunities.
The city was named after a 12.5-acre mound found in the center of the town.
- Median Home Value: $376,500
- Median Rent: $1,787
- Population: 69,966
- Median Age: 39.6
- Crime Rate: 738 per 100k people (90% safer than other Texas cities)
- Distance from Downtown Dallas: 27.8 miles
So, these are some of the safest areas to live around Dallas.
It is important to remember that even if it is a safe area with low crime rate statistics, it is still important to exercise caution to protect yourself, your family, your belongings, and your property.
Important Safety Tips
Whether you are visiting or moving to Dallas or any other big city, it is always important to keep your wits about yourself and be aware of your situation and environment.
- Always plan and map out walking or driving routes, so you don’t unnecessarily get lost and find yourself in a questionable area.
- Avoid dark streets and alleys, especially in unfamiliar areas. Always choose well-lit streets with lots of foot traffic.
- Make sure you are aware of your surroundings at all times, especially when alone. Do not get too lost in your phone.
- Observe the people around you and be careful of people who seem to have no purpose in the area.
- Even when lost, walk with purpose and intention, and avoid appearing rattled.
- Always lock the doors to your home and vehicles, so you’re not inviting thieves to break into your house or car.
- Identify safe havens in your neighborhood or the area you are going to in case of emergencies.
- If you feel you are being tailed or followed, change directions and head into a restaurant or crowded area.
To get more detailed information about safety tips, you may visit the resources given on the Dallas Police website.
Remember, safety is not only the responsibility of the authorities but our responsibility as well.
Conclusion to What is the Safest Area to Live in Dallas, Tx
Located just 7 miles from Downtown Dallas, University Park and Highland Park, known collectively as the Park Cities, are the safest areas to live in Dallas, Texas. The area is known for its safe streets, beautiful homes, manicured gardens, green spaces, and fierce commitment to their children’s education.