Safest Cities Massachusetts - header

Massachusetts – One of the “original 13” states, it has been at the center of US politics and history since colonial times. Home to Harvard and MIT, its population numbers approximately 6.8 million. Given Massachusetts’ relatively small area, this makes it the 3rd most densely populated state in the US. Approximately 80% of that population is located within the Boston metropolitan area. The state was once heavily focused on industry and manufacturing but during the latter 20th century it diversified into areas such as financial services and insurance.

Massachusetts boasts average household income ($77,000) that is over 25% higher than the US average. Median per capita income is roughly one third higher at almost $42,000. The state is, by some measures, one of the most expensive to live in and consistently rated as being one of the best places in the US to live.

2.57 Average violent crime per 1,000
11.75 Average property crime per 1,000

Overall, crimes statistics are encouragingly lower than US norms. They include:

  • At number 1, it’s the safest US state for property crime (where 1st = lowest crime)
  • Violent crime levels are similarly below US averages with a ratio of 0.74 based upon 2.57 violent crimes per 1,000 versus the national average figure of 3.47.
  • Property crime is very low seen against US averages at 11.75 against the national level of 40.43 – giving a ratio of 0.29.

Even with these statistics, some parts of Massachusetts are safer than others. The five safest locations statistically are:

  1. Wayland
  2. ​Norton
  3. ​Clinton
  4. ​Weston
  5. Norfolk

Safest Cities in Massachusetts, 2019

RankCityViolent CrimesProperty CrimesViolent Crime RateProperty Crime Rate
1Wayland290.1430.644
2Norton1180.0510.916
3Clinton6340.4342.457
4Weston5370.4083.021
5Norfolk1350.0852.962
6Groton6340.5262.980
7Franklin9740.2692.216
8Sharon15450.8142.443
9Holliston8300.5432.036
10Norwell3430.2693.857
11Hopkinton-590.0003.401
12Westford9760.3653.085
13Bedford9590.6164.039
14Shrewsbury31280.0813.462
15Medway6530.4483.953
16Sudbury11720.5753.766
17Wellesley121310.4084.451
18Rehoboth10630.8235.184
19Marshfield31851.1963.278
20North Reading24651.5214.119
21Winchester91190.3905.161
22Maynard21541.9525.020
23Reading81570.3076.031
24Concord141030.6935.101
25Southborough7600.6905.912
26Ipswich9800.6455.734
27Hanson31492.8554.512
28Belmont122100.4547.945
29Grafton22601.1733.198
30Littleton11751.0797.356
31Newton495760.5466.419
32North Andover271640.8705.284
33Ashland18921.0075.146
34Arlington382570.8365.655
35Billerica402440.9275.658
36Acton231700.9617.102
37Needham91940.2906.247
38Hudson71500.3517.514
39Waltham986091.5459.604
40Beverly482351.1525.638
41Winthrop361111.9656.059
42Wilmington301751.2617.356
43Amesbury501202.8356.804
44Harwich231511.89312.428
45Spencer19731.5946.124
46Easton401601.6556.618
47Whitman25961.6676.400
48Gloucester822072.7356.905
49Westwood191651.16210.094
50Longmeadow61470.3799.276
51Marblehead361551.7467.518
52Norwood422931.43910.036
53Belchertown25911.6566.028
54Watertown323410.8999.582
55Melrose232160.8187.687
56Hingham132340.55610.003
57Wakefield461951.7017.209
58Stoneham271991.2239.014
59Brookline456650.76011.227
60Foxborough451922.55210.887
61Westborough101510.5247.917
62Sandwich341551.6707.612
63Andover722872.0067.995
64Westport231471.4459.234
65Ludlow522132.4159.894
66Lakeville181021.5658.868
67Plymouth1515912.5259.882
68Somerset351691.9199.266
69Canton901493.8216.327
70Barnstable1975474.46312.392
71Tewksbury853312.72010.594
72East Bridgewater171331.1679.126
73Pepperell15791.2236.440
74Bourne412622.06413.188
75Northborough31550.19910.259
76Oxford211431.50510.247
77Mashpee401852.80312.962
78Mansfield392491.63510.442
79Taunton2204923.8568.624
80Kingston271621.98311.899
81Swampscott141810.93212.054
82Walpole592492.3319.837
83Woburn634331.58810.913
84Easthampton411702.55310.585
85Braintree486651.27717.696
86Acushnet321013.0349.576
87Weymouth1475772.60710.234
88Dennis582914.15020.821
89Milford583082.01610.705
90Dudley37563.1354.745
91Methuen946701.86513.295
92Peabody1536242.90211.836
93Wilbraham131790.88112.136
94Carver251142.1429.768
95Palmer501294.12010.630
96Stoughton1043893.62613.564
97Medford886631.53311.547
98Natick394551.06312.396
99Framingham2357483.25710.367
100Abington331582.0169.652
101Middleboro882433.5089.687
102Quincy3831,5644.07616.644
103Boston4,57014,2666.69220.890
104Everett1576623.32714.030
105Amherst1002632.4816.524
106Seekonk242641.54617.009
107Holbrook391293.52511.659
108Bellingham282631.63515.361
109Dedham104270.39416.839
110Attleboro1205932.69013.294
111Burlington534851.98718.180
112Swansea222591.32615.605
113Westfield1055592.51613.394
114Raynham342312.42016.444
115Yarmouth1593726.80415.918
116Cambridge3132,0312.80218.181
117Dracut413201.29410.099
118Millbury211661.54112.183
119Saugus734782.58516.926
120Chelmsford454901.27113.845
121Auburn413472.47520.950
122Lowell3222,1982.89319.749
123Southbridge882835.21916.785
124Chelsea3156627.77516.340
125Northbridge392022.33412.088
126South Hadley272511.51714.098
127Somerville1911,0712.32013.009
128Fall River8801,5649.88617.571
129Agawam665192.28917.996
130Malden2077803.38812.766
131Dartmouth737072.09820.315
132Wrentham81980.67616.726
133North Attleboro274750.92616.291
134Falmouth1234683.90614.863
135Greenfield1103336.29919.070
136Randolph1214833.57614.274
137Gardner993364.83116.397
138Danvers484981.70417.680
139Leicester271702.37514.953
140Marlborough1526103.80815.281
141Salem1169512.67421.920
142Wareham1294255.67218.687
143Fairhaven403382.47120.880
144East Longmeadow242791.47317.129
145Northampton1655555.79819.502
146Winchendon331703.05215.723
147Worcester1,3454,0477.26621.863
148Fitchburg2997417.39318.321
149Lunenburg251582.17813.767
150Revere2481,0104.64218.905
151New Bedford6332,7176.65628.568
152Webster1232527.28514.926
153Haverhill3919176.18214.499
154Springfield1,3514,5948.74129.723
155Chicopee2891,3815.13724.549
156Lawrence5851,3917.23217.196
157Lynn6661,6317.15117.511
158Leominster2349405.59222.463
159Pittsfield3751,0928.81425.666
160West Springfield1741,1056.07638.589
161Brockton9171,9619.55020.424
162North Adams19339914.90630.816
163Holyoke4381,94610.82848.108

METHODOLOGY

To identify the safest cities in Massachusetts, we reviewed the most recent FBI Uniform Crime Report statistics. A total of 7,639 cities were factored into this ranking with populations ranging from 7,639 to 4,007,147. However, we eliminated any cities that failed to submit a complete crime report to the FBI and removed cities with populations under 10,000.

Overall, data from 8,793 law enforcement agencies that represented more 193 million of the US population helped us draw interesting insights between the size of the police force and incidence of crime.

There are two broad classifications of crimes: violent crimes and non-violent crimes. According to the FBI, “Violent crime is composed of four offenses: murder and non-negligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. Violent crimes are defined in the UCR Program as those offenses that involve force or threat of force. Property crime includes the offenses of burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson. The object of the theft-type offenses is the taking of money or property, but there is no force or threat of force against the victims. ”

We computed the total number of crimes reported by each city by adding violent crimes and property crimes. We then rated them using the population of the city and created a crime rate as the number of crimes per 1,000 population. Then we transformed the total crime rate variable so that the skewness was reduced and we normalized it so the final number became a score between 0 and 1.

Next, we computed a new variable called Police Adequacy (TotalCrimes / Number of police employees). We consider that the smaller the police adequacy statistic is, the safer the city is. We transformed and normalized this police adequacy variable also, resulting in a score between 0 and 1. Finally, we combined the two scores to create a safety score for each city.

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