massachusetts safe cities 2018

On a whole, Massachusetts’s crime rates are decent. The state places near the national mean in violent crime, with an average of 3.91 violent crimes per 1,000 inhabitants, yet it fares excellently in property crime: only 15.82 crimes per 1000, good enough for 4th overall among the fifty states.

3.91 Average violent crime per 1,000
15.82 Average property crime per 1,000

The New England state is also home to some of the safest municipalities found in the country, with three of its communities placing in the top ten overall for safest U.S. towns with a population exceeding 10,000. The safest in Massachusetts is Wayland, a town of 13,760 that recorded just 5 violent crimes and 6 property crimes. This calculates into averages of less than 0.5 crimes per 1,000 inhabitants in both categories.

Norfolk (#2), founded in 1669, is a similarly sized town with nearly as impressively low crime rates. Its 0.33 violent crimes and 1.75 property crimes per 1,000 are rates hard to find anywhere else in the country.

Placing third is Norton, home of Wheaton College (Mass.) and slightly larger with a population of 19,445. The town recorded just 10 violent crimes in the most recent year for which data is available and furthers Massachusetts’s reputation for very safe communities.

1.  WAYLAND

13,760 Population
5 Violent Crimes
6 Property Crimes
wayland crime 2018

2. NORFOLK

11,991 Population
4 Violent Crimes
21 Property Crimes
norfolk crime 2018

3. NORTON

19,445 Population
10 Violent Crimes
33 Property Crimes
Norton crime 2018

4. SUDBURY

19,035 Population
7 Violent Crimes
41 Property Crimes
sudbury crime 2018

5. FRANKLIN

33,264 Population
1 Violent Crimes
98 Property Crimes
franklin crime 2018

Massachusetts' Safest Cities

RankCityPopulationViolent
crime
Property
crime
Violent per 1,000Property per 1,000
1Wayland13,760560.360.44
2Norfolk11,9914210.331.75
3Norton19,44510330.511.70
4Sudbury19,0357410.372.15
5Franklin33,2641980.032.95
6Hopkinton16,9602640.123.77
7Holden18,82913550.692.92
8Bedford14,2806490.423.43
9Medway13,2890590.004.44
10Sharon18,20014620.773.41
11Holliston14,65610550.683.75
12Groton11,3724490.354.31
13Clinton13,7808560.584.06
14Shrewsbury36,87441760.114.77
15Lexington33,643231320.683.92
16Westford24,10321880.873.65
17Weston12,14710520.824.28
18North Reading15,71220601.273.82
19Southborough10,0485530.505.27
20Needham30,73361770.205.76
21Wellesley29,049131590.455.47
22Billerica42,965432011.004.68
23Tyngsboro12,39712630.975.08
24North Andover29,853121790.406.00
25Grafton18,61329801.564.30
26Belchertown14,98513810.875.41
27Marshfield25,696311281.214.98
28Arlington45,004542281.205.07
29Andover35,558232160.656.07
30Pembroke18,274171050.935.75
31Charlton13,43011800.825.96
32Duxbury15,49714910.905.87
33Reading25,779111760.436.83
34Winchester22,52341660.187.37
35Belmont25,637141770.556.90
36Ipswich13,86318821.305.92
37Concord20,189181320.896.54
38Norwell11,03012691.096.26
39Newton89,116466420.527.20
40Lynnfield12,9469900.706.95
41Ashland17,689201161.136.56
42Hanover14,46631150.217.95
43Acton23,770241691.017.11
44Melrose28,070192140.687.62
45Milton27,31792230.338.16
46Plymouth59,088933771.576.38
47Westborough18,984151440.797.59
48Marblehead20,563221481.077.20
49Hanson10,66629512.724.78
50Dudley11,55832562.774.85
51Amherst40,063872402.175.99
52Littleton10,07411781.097.74
53Maynard10,74528612.615.68
54Sandwich20,312331501.627.38
55Longmeadow15,876111410.698.88
56Northborough15,10931460.209.66
57Hingham23,204241961.038.45
58Pepperell12,24224881.967.19
59Wilmington23,667441751.867.39
60Beverly41,303653301.577.99
61Rehoboth12,033171041.418.64
62Wakefield27,080602102.227.75
63Mansfield23,681392061.658.70
64Gloucester29,836732292.457.68
65Hull10,48226802.487.63
66East Bridgewater14,390201341.399.31
67Whitman14,852331212.228.15
68Westport15,798221491.399.43
69Easton23,918382231.599.32
70Norwood29,058312961.0710.19
71Hudson19,93182270.4011.39
72Newburyport18,011171920.9410.66
73Walpole25,187452441.799.69
74Carver11,600281032.418.88
75Spencer11,782181221.5310.35
76Tewksbury31,160633002.029.63
77Westwood16,285221741.3510.68
78Wilbraham14,684181651.2311.24
79Kingston13,378221421.6410.61
80Stoneham22,045312421.4110.98
81Waltham63,613996881.5610.82
82Watertown34,655384001.1011.54
83Chelmsford35,251294220.8211.97
84Mashpee14,122331402.349.91
85Weymouth56,1491615272.879.39
86East Longmeadow16,267201931.2311.86
87Canton22,962781983.408.62
88Swampscott14,551101860.6912.78
89Medford57,367896701.5511.68
90Lakeville11,417171351.4911.82
91Woburn39,638824462.0711.25
92Winthrop18,216751534.128.40
93Dracut31,586384041.2012.79
94Northbridge16,638341962.0411.78
95Easthampton16,026501673.1210.42
96Somerset18,223422182.3011.96
97Acushnet10,466191341.8212.80
98Harwich12,112251512.0612.47
99Milford28,606683482.3812.17
100Natick36,777584951.5813.46
101Malden61,1021697172.7711.73
102Framingham71,4222118312.9511.64
103Middleboro24,4901012424.129.88
104Leicester11,355231492.0313.12
105South Hadley17,748232531.3014.26
106Westfield41,700935502.2313.19
107North Attleboro29,013354331.2114.92
108Bourne19,577492572.5013.13
109Oxford13,895261971.8714.18
110Ludlow21,484522872.4213.36
111Swansea16,418332462.0114.98
112Abington16,201362382.2214.69
113Randolph33,807964712.8413.93
114Taunton56,7202037493.5813.21
115Everett46,7541456523.1013.95
116Somerville80,8992061,2062.5514.91
117Methuen49,912798211.5816.45
118Peabody52,5012066853.9213.05
119Millbury13,532222241.6316.55
120Wrentham11,61452150.4318.51
121Stoughton28,583834402.9015.39
122Marlborough39,8991605614.0114.06
123Yarmouth23,2994680.0020.09
124Burlington26,083524531.9917.37
125Dedham25,402105040.3919.84
126Attleboro44,225937792.1017.61
127Agawam28,844814892.8116.95
128Braintree37,673906642.3917.63
129Southbridge16,819522823.0916.77
130Bellingham16,922343212.0118.97
131Winchendon10,727381793.5416.69
132Lunenburg11,438312102.7118.36
133Quincy93,4374081,5064.3716.12
134Raynham13,818282722.0319.68
135Barnstable43,9741997114.5316.17
136Danvers27,997396081.3921.72
137Palmer12,171661935.4215.86
138Seekonk15,159303191.9821.04
139Athol11,612492114.2218.17
140Haverhill62,8513739825.9315.62
141Lowell111,0273802,1993.4219.81
142Gardner20,2775090.0025.10
143Saugus28,131915723.2320.33
144Cambridge111,0302942,3692.6521.34
145Falmouth31,3821206253.8219.92
146Dartmouth34,630728042.0823.22
147Northampton28,5211296004.5221.04
148Webster16,8421212927.1817.34
149Wareham22,4221234465.4919.89
150Fairhaven16,120563733.4723.14
151Salem42,8881311,0333.0524.09
152Revere53,5142621,1424.9021.34
153Auburn16,508464092.7924.78
154Dennis13,905573204.1023.01
155Lawrence80,6225971,5097.4018.72
156Chicopee56,8872651,3164.6623.13
157Greenfield17,4561173656.7020.91
158Nantucket11,036263062.3627.73
159Boston673,8804,76714,4897.0721.50
160Leominster41,5472709406.5022.62
161Lynn92,4437141,9227.7220.79
162Fitchburg40,3913128467.7220.95
163Fall River88,3719661,66610.9318.85
164Pittsfield43,0313401,0167.9023.61
165Chelsea40,0963709149.2322.80
166Brockton95,1891,0292,29010.8124.06
167Worcester184,5951,6425,3588.9029.03
168New Bedford94,5248192,9248.6630.93
169Springfield154,1021,5885,07310.3032.92
170West Springfield28,6891881,2066.5542.04
171North Adams13,16218143313.7532.90
172Holyoke40,7384362,01310.7049.41

METHODOLOGY

To identify the safest cities in Massachusetts, we reviewed the most recent FBI Uniform Crime Report statistics along with our own population data and internal research. We eliminated any cities that failed to submit a complete crime report to the FBI and removed cities with populations under 10,000.


The remaining cities were ranked based on the number of reported violent crimes (aggravated assault, murder, rape, and robbery) and property crimes (burglary, arson, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft) per 1,000 people. These variables were then weighted, with violent crimes accounting for 1.5 of the total (due to their severity) than property crimes. 

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