Safest Cities in Michigan – 2020

Last Updated on January 19, 2020

The crime situation in Michigan is one of contrasts: the state has 1 of the top 15 highest violent crime rates in the U.S., yet its property crime rate is well below the national level. Meanwhile, the state is home to some of the highest crime areas in the country (Flint, parts of Detroit), as well as communities where crime is exceedingly scarce. Today, let’s put the focus on the safest cities in the Great Lake State.

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Crime rate per 1,000
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Law enforcement per 1,000

Grosse Ile Township is the safest community in Michigan. The municipality comprises several islands within the Detroit River and was named by French explorers who visited the area in the 17th century. In 2018, Gross Ile posted some of the lowest crime figures in the country: a 0.30 per 1,000 violent crime rate, and a 3.36  per 1,000 property crime rate.

Michigan’s 2nd safest community is Rochester, a city of 13K north of Detroit. With just 8 reported violent crimes and property crime 6 times below the national rate in 2018, Rochester earns its place in the upper echelon of safe cities in America.

#3 South Lyon is not far behind: the Oakland County city recorded a property crime rate similar to the two prior entries on the list, albeit with a marginally higher violent crime rate of about 1 offense per 1,000.

Beverly Hills, another Oakland County suburb, is Michigan’s 4th safest municipality. The largest village in the state is also one of those with the least amount of crime, logging just 5 violent crimes and 57 property crimes in 2018.

Hamburg Township, the most populated municipality in Livingston County,  earns Michigan’s #5 spot. The village recorded the lowest total crime rate in all of Michigan, and is kept out of the top position only due to a low law enforcement-to-residents ratio of 0.82 per 1,000.

Michigan’s Safest Cities

MICityPopulationViolent
crime
Property
crime
Law enforcement
employees
Total crimesCrime rate per 1,000Violent crimes per 1,000Property crimes per 1,000Law enforcement per 1,000
1Grosse Ile Township1012833424373.650.303.362.37
2Rochester1307584830564.280.613.672.29
3South Lyon11803124017524.411.023.391.44
4Beverly Hills1045055726625.930.485.452.49
5Hamburg Township22024106718773.500.453.040.82
6Berkley1538258734925.980.335.662.21
7Milford16808106720774.580.593.991.19
8New Baltimore1242385718655.230.644.591.45
9Birmingham2129510137421476.900.476.431.97
10Trenton1817622104351266.931.215.721.93
11Farmington10605205823787.361.895.472.17
12West Bloomfield Township65928383861034246.430.585.851.56
13Flushing Township101795459504.910.494.420.88
14Clawson11962126918816.771.005.771.50
15Plymouth Township2703224165421896.990.896.101.55
16Bloomfield Township4219921327893488.250.507.752.11
17East Grand Rapids1188661223012810.770.5010.262.52
18Farmington Hills81239696811407509.230.858.381.72
19Royal Oak5938356481935379.040.948.101.57
20Big Rapids1036924862111010.612.318.292.03
21Shelby Township79878119500866197.751.496.261.08
22Huron Township1593034120261549.672.137.531.63
23Novi6037843532945759.520.718.811.56
24Riverview12058141162213010.781.169.621.82
25Thomas Township114888688766.620.705.920.70
26Marquette20529232043822711.061.129.941.85
27Grosse Pointe Park1106901753817515.810.0015.813.43
28Green Oak Township1887425140191658.741.327.421.01
29Midland4196155354504099.751.318.441.19
30DeWitt Township1519418127171459.541.188.361.12
31Bath Township1298414106131209.241.088.161.00
32Northville Township28939213024232311.160.7310.441.45
33Grand Haven10984211733619417.661.9115.753.28
34St. Clair Shores596181325918872312.132.219.911.48
35Grosse Pointe Woods15497132253623815.360.8414.522.32
36Brownstown Township31912782813935911.252.448.811.22
37Davison Township19177401712121111.002.098.921.10
38Sterling Heights1330552401334168157411.831.8010.031.26
39Troy84221521157152120914.360.6213.741.80
40Canton Township92055134986119112012.171.4610.711.29
41Fraser14626231982822115.111.5713.541.91
42Livonia937401381313167145115.481.4714.011.78
43Garden City265201052413334613.053.969.091.24
44Ferndale20095393415138018.911.9416.972.54
45Grand Blanc Township36489494484749713.621.3412.281.29
46Madison Heights30100894356252417.412.9614.452.06
47Ionia11170481201716815.044.3010.741.52
48Waterford Township730661467507089612.262.0010.260.96
49Oak Park29688834556053818.122.8015.332.02
50Chesterfield Township45686596305868915.081.2913.791.27
51Mount Pleasant25828763233439915.452.9412.511.32
52Hazel Park16501532843733720.423.2117.212.24
53Lincoln Township14585121771318912.960.8212.140.89
54Metro Police Authority of Genesee County19887422682531015.592.1113.481.26
55Sault Ste. Marie13557302252425518.812.2116.601.77
56Traverse City15630742533132720.924.7316.191.98
57Dearborn940223141871224218523.243.3419.902.38
58Owosso14455761691724516.955.2611.691.18
59Dearborn Heights5549524391195115420.794.3816.421.71
60Fenton11225172071722419.961.5118.441.51
61Pittsfield Township39314765824265816.741.9314.801.07
62Van Buren Township28210865405262622.193.0519.141.84
63Allen Park27020685004456821.022.5218.501.63
64Ann Arbor1225712701932145220217.972.2015.761.18
65Monroe197541143834549725.165.7719.392.28
66Escanaba12169413374137831.063.3727.693.37
67Clinton Township1012793221422101174417.223.1814.041.00
68Southfield734182041509133171323.332.7820.551.81
69Auburn Hills23579945305462426.463.9922.482.29
70Walker25010635224058523.392.5220.871.60
71Warren1351606882808246349625.875.0920.781.82
72Sturgis10796612592532029.645.6523.992.32
73Niles11154702732734330.756.2824.482.42
74Romulus233891905325772230.878.1222.752.44
75Melvindale10291682432431130.226.6123.612.33
76Grand Rapids20042813133830335514325.666.5519.111.67
77Kentwood52192193110079129324.773.7021.081.51
78Saginaw Township39198797964887522.322.0220.311.22
79Mount Morris Township202951374013153826.516.7519.761.53
80Cadillac10455682261729428.126.5021.621.63
81Bay City329532317325796329.227.0122.211.73
82Wayne168621322661939823.607.8315.781.13
83Adrian206241154743258928.565.5822.981.55
84Taylor61037366134691171228.056.0022.051.49
85Southgate28959467894483528.831.5927.251.52
86Redford Township46899302104468134628.706.4422.261.45
87Coldwater10736493122136133.634.5629.061.96
88Port Huron289072307465697633.767.9625.811.94
89Hamtramck216681664933465930.417.6622.751.57
90Norton Shores24578376953273229.781.5128.281.30
91Burton284641276853381228.534.4624.071.16
92Kalamazoo Township24623986603375830.783.9826.801.34
93Grandville16057285162554433.881.7432.141.56
94Lincoln Park36466208102356123133.765.7028.051.54
95Portage49175117144266155931.702.3829.321.34
96Battle Creek606156001958139255842.209.9032.302.29
97Meridian Township4307298109041118827.582.2825.310.95
98Roseville47524187152872171536.093.9332.151.52
99Detroit671275134782889730194237563.1320.0843.054.50
100Lansing11738013013557213485841.3911.0830.301.81
101Saginaw4830278388661166934.5516.2118.341.26
102Inkster243342626563691837.7210.7726.961.48
103Muskegon38125245171783196251.466.4345.042.18
104Kalamazoo7602010083825251483363.5813.2650.323.30
105Eastpointe32526222106341128539.516.8332.681.26
106Harper Woods136741286773380558.879.3649.512.41
107Flint Township30378266121450148048.728.7639.961.65
108Blackman Township3688497132135141838.442.6335.810.95
109Jackson32602366138759175353.7711.2342.541.81
110Flint9567717392584119432345.1818.1827.011.24
111Fruitport Township14168155441055939.461.0638.400.71
112Emmett Township11619426061564855.773.6152.161.29
113Muskegon Township17879407811582145.922.2443.680.84
114Highland Park107941883441053249.2917.4231.870.93
115Muskegon Heights107202406302587081.1622.3958.772.33
116Benton Township1438223185728108875.6516.0659.591.95

Methodology

To identify the safest cities, we reviewed the most recent FBI Uniform Crime Report statistics. We eliminated any cities that failed to submit a complete crime report to the FBI and cities with populations under 10,000. This left 3,381 cities (out of a total of 9,251). 

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 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 normalized.

Data from 2,831 law enforcement agencies was then collected to determine police adequacy (TotalCrimes / Number of police employees).  We consider that the smaller the police adequacy statistic is, the safer the city is. This variable was also transformed and normalized.

Finally, the two variables were combined to create a safety score for each city.