Safety is a top concern for many homebuyers, including parents and young professionals. Not only can feeling safe provide peace of mind, but safety ratings also influence housing market trends.
Buyers might want to local housing market trends before making the big commitments.
To make finding the right place to call home easier, consider checking out this list of the 50 safest cities in the country.
This safe cities index describes why a spot made the list and gives a closer look at how safe each really is, according to the National Council for Home Safety and Security (which ranked cities of 10,000-plus residents using violent and property crime rates derived from the latest FBI crime statistics and law enforcement data).
By the way, the Northeast is killing it, so to speak, in the low-crime department.
Related: Is now a good time to buy a house?
1. Wayland, Massachusetts
Wayland is considered the safest city in Massachusetts and one of the safest cities in the country (it logged only one violent crime in 2018). Wayland has a respected public education system and, thanks to a low crime rate, is considered a great place to raise a family. (The Bay State, by the way, is home to half of the safest top 10 cities.)
2. Frederick, Colorado
Frederick is the only Colorado city to make the top 50 list, but it ranks high because the city reported only seven crimes in 2018. The property crime rate was only 1% of the national rate.
3. Hopkinton, Massachusetts
Hopkinton is considered the state’s second safest city. People come from far and wide to Hopkinton for the Boston Marathon. The city reported just two violent crimes in 2018 and had a property crime rate that was less than 10% of the national rate.
4. Clinton, Massachusetts
The third safest community Massachusetts and the fourth in the United States is Clinton. This historic town dates back to 1654 and reported fewer than 30 crimes of any sort in 2018.
5. Norfolk, Massachusetts
Like Wayland, Norfolk recorded only one violent crime in 2018. Four state prisons are in Norfolk, perhaps encouraging good behavior among locals.
6. Norton, Massachusetts
During all of 2018, this community of nearly 20,000 residents recorded 14 violent crimes and 23 property crimes. Norton, a center of witchcraft hysteria in the early 18th century, is known as the home of Wheaton College.
7. Penn Township, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania
Penn Township of Westmoreland County earned the top spot as the safest city in Pennsylvania. Thirteen townships in Pennsylvania share the name Penn Township, which can be confusing at times, but Penn Township of Westmoreland County stands out for having had just one reported property crime in 2018. The violent crime rate was 1.55 per 1,000 residents.
8. Bedford, New York
In New York state, the safest spot is Bedford. This affluent city of 18,000 recorded four violent crimes in 2018. (The Empire State makes a strong showing on this list.)
9. South Park Township, Pennsylvania
Situated near Pittsburgh, South Park Township is the second safest municipality in Pennsylvania. The recreational area named South Park occupies a third of the community’s total area. So it’s green, and safe: With over 13,000 residents calling this community home, only three violent crimes were recorded in 2018.
10. River Vale Township, New Jersey
The Garden State also makes its mark on this list. People looking for a safe place to put down roots might take a gander at River Vale Township, considered the safest city in the state. Only one violent crime and fewer than 25 property crimes were reported in this community two years ago.
11. Upper Providence Township, Delaware County, Pennsylvania
Just 15 miles west of Philadelphia, Upper Providence Township has vastly lower crime rates than the City of Brotherly Love (the City of Sisterly Love until the end of 2020). Those looking to work in the big city but live somewhere safer may find Upper Providence Township appealing.
12. Tenafly, New Jersey
This affluent community is the second safest city in New Jersey, and crime is a rarity in this area. Tenafly had a violent crime rate of 0.1 per 1,000 residents and a property crime rate that was less than 15% of the national rate.
13. Ridgefield, Connecticut
Ridgefield is considered the safest city in Connecticut. The historic burg of 25,000 sits at the foothills of the Berkshire Mountains and recorded only one violent crime in 2018.
14. Kinnelon, New Jersey
One of the smallest cities on this list, with a population of just over 10,000, Kinnelon recorded just one violent crime in 2018. Kinnelon is one of only three New Jersey communities that can say as much.
15. Bergenfield, New Jersey
Despite being three times as large as the previous New Jersey cities on this list, Bergenfield had similarly low crime rates, in terms of both violent and property crime.
16. Mount Olive Township, New Jersey
With a property crime rate of just 2.66 per 1,000 people, Mount Olive is the fifth safest New Jersey city and is similar in size and property crime rates to Bergenfield.
17. Olmsted Township, Ohio
Welcome to Ohio’s safest community, Olmsted Township, situated in a Cleveland suburb with about 13,400 residents. Only two violent crimes were recorded in 2018, and the crime rate was only about 10% of the national average.
18. Floral Park Village, New York
Lying on the perimeter of the Queens borough of New York City in Nassau County, Long Island, Floral Park Village is seen as a peaceful place to live. The city logged 2018 crime rates at a fraction of national levels.
19. New Castle Town, New York
The third safest city in New York state is New Castle, which also happens to be the 19th safest city in the country. This area is known for having gorgeous wide lawns and 18th century homes. New Castle Town had a property crime rate that was 13% of national levels and reported one violent crime in 2018.
20. Dumont, New Jersey
With a population of almost 18,000, Dumont is one of the safest cities in America. In 2018, only 54 crimes of any type were reported; five of those were considered violent.
21. Sparta Township, New Jersey
Like Dumont, Sparta reported five violent crimes in 2018. This town had just 59 crimes in total that year, with a crime rate of 3.16 per 1,000 residents.
22. McPherson, Kansas
Kansas’ safest city dates back to the mid-19th century and today has a very low crime rate. McPherson is home to two colleges and has a violent crime rate of 1.74 per 1,000 residents, well below half of the statewide rate.
23. Long Beach, New York
Long Beach, another Nassau County city in New York, made the top 50. This beachside community is a popular tourist destination during the summer, but despite the influx of visitors, Long Beach had very low crime rates in 2018.
24. Franklin, Massachusetts
Franklin is the sixth Massachusetts city on this list but has a much higher population than the cities that outrank it. With over 33,000 residents and a crime rate of 2.71 per 1,000 residents, Franklin is considered very safe overall.
25. New Milford, New Jersey
Ranking as the eighth safest city in New Jersey, New Milford reported five violent crimes and 52 property crimes in 2018. Overall, the crime rate came in at a low 3.41 per 1,000 residents.
26. Harrison Town, New York
Harrison Town is a peaceful place. This wealthy community reported no violent crimes in 2018 and had a property crime rate that was less than 20% of the national average.
27. Chatham Township, New Jersey
The ninth New Jersey city to make the list is Chatham Township, with an overall crime rate of 3.21 per 1,000 residents. Despite having over 10,000 residents, this community had zero violent crimes in 2018.
28. Southborough, Massachusetts
With only 34 crimes reported throughout 2018, Southborough proved to be a safe place to live and raise a family. Most of those crimes were property crimes, with 11 violent crimes reported.
29. Warren Township, New Jersey
Warren Township is home to almost 16,000 residents. As this city reported only three violent crimes in 2018, it had an exceptionally low violent crime rate of 0.19 per 1,000 people.
30. Hopatcong, New Jersey
New Jersey is still coming in strong. Hopatcong is the 11th Garden State city to make the list of top 50 safest U.S. cities, with a low crime rate of 3.38 per 1,000 residents.
31. Satellite Beach, Florida
Satellite Beach is ranked the safest city in Florida and the 31st safest in the United States. This Atlantic coast city of 11,000 had a remarkably low amount of crime in 2018. The violent crime rate was less than 10% of the national rate, and the property crime rate was six times less than levels throughout the state.
32. Grosse Ile Township, Michigan
The safest community in Michigan is also a historic one. Grosse Ile Township, named by French explorers who visited in the 17th century (“Large Island”), is actually made up of several islands in the Detroit River. These days, Grosse Ile Township is an extremely safe place to live, with a violent crime rate of 0.30 per 1,000 people and a property crime rate of 3.36 per 1,000.
33. Washington Township, Morris County, New Jersey
Almost 19,000 people reside in Washington Township, which boasted an overall crime rate of 3.08 per 1,000 residents and a violent crime rate of just 0.38 per 1,000 in 2018.
34. Tarrytown Village, New York
Tarrytown Village is one of the safest cities in New York state, coming in sixth, thanks to a violent crime rate of just 0.60 per 1,000 residents. In 2018 seven violent crimes and 41 property crimes were reported in Tarrytown Village.
35. Brecksville, Ohio
The second safest community in Ohio is a wealthy Cleveland suburb called Brecksville. Despite being similar in size to Cleveland’s safest city, Olmsted Township, Brecksville had slightly higher violent and property crime rates that knocked it into second place.
36. Shrewsbury, Massachusetts
While Shrewsbury has a higher property crime rate than many cities on this list, the exceptionally low violent crime rate deserves a round of applause. Even though the city is home to almost 38,000 residents, only four violent crimes were logged in 2018.
37. Campton Hills, Illinois
The safest city in Illinois reported only one violent crime during 2018. On the property crime front, only 17 crimes were reported, for an overall low crime rate of 1.59 per 1,000 people.
38. Glocester, Rhode Island
Glocester is considered the safest community in Rhode Island. The town of a little over 10,000 reported five violent crimes and 30 property crimes in 2018. Glocester’s overall crime rates were less than 14% of national levels.
39. Holliston, Massachusetts
That’s right, another Massachusetts city made its way onto this list. Holliston, with almost 15,000 residents, logged 12 violent crimes two years ago, leading to a low violent crime rate of 0.80 per 1,000 people.
40. Mahwah Township, New Jersey
The 13th New Jersey city to land on this list of safe U.S. cities is Mahwah Township. Over 26,500 people live in Mahwah Township, and in 2018 three violent crimes and 98 property crimes were reported.
41. Rye, New York
When it comes to illegal activity, there’s just a schmear on Rye. The seventh safest city in New York reported six violent crimes and 56 property crimes in 2018. Overall, this city can proudly share a crime rating of 3.86 per 1,000 people.
42. Sharon, Massachusetts
Rounding out the top 10 safest cities in Massachusetts, Sharon had a violent crime rate of just 0.71 per 1,000 residents and a property crime rate of 2.78 per 1,000, for an overall rate of 3.48 (when other safety factors are taken into consideration).
43. Lexington, Massachusetts
With 34,000 residents, Lexington reported eight violent crimes in 2018. The fact that the city had 113 property crimes the same year raised the overall crime rating.
44. Robbinsville Township, New Jersey
A very low violent crime rate of 0.14, property crime rate of 4.01, and overall crime rate of 4.15 per 1,000 residents landed yet another New Jersey city on this list of safest cities in the country.
45. North Ridgeville, Ohio
Not only is North Ridgeville the third Ohio city to make this list, it’s the third Cleveland suburb to top the list of Ohio’s safest cities. With about 34,000 residents, North Ridgeville is larger than the first- and second-ranked Ohio cities combined, but it recorded only nine violent crimes in 2018.
46. North Reading, Massachusetts
North Reading is the 12th and final Massachusetts city to make this list. With almost 16,000 residents, the city had an overall crime rate of 3.79 per 1,000 people.
47. Bernards Township, New Jersey
The 15th New Jersey city to grace this list is Bernards Township. This city reported two violent crimes and 87 property crimes in 2018.
48. Towamencin Township, Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania’s fourth-safest city is Towamencin Township, a community of 18,443 residents with a rich history that goes back to the early 1700s. The city boasts a very low violent crime rate that is significantly less than 1 offense per 1,000 people.
49. Scituate, Rhode Island
The second-safest city in Rhode Island is the Providence County town of Scituate. The city is similar in size to Rhode Island’s safest city, Glocester, and reported just 11 more crimes in total in 2018.
50. Monroe Township, Middlesex County, New Jersey
The final community, and 16th New Jersey city, to make this list had an overall crime rate of just 3.57 per 1,000 denizens.
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