Safest Cities in New Hampshire – 2020

Last Updated on February 11, 2020

New Hampshire is one of the safest states in America, logging the 3rd lowest violent crime rate and the lowest property crime rate in the nation. The Granite State’s reputation for safety is reflected in the low crime rates of its 5 safest cities.

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

Durham is the safest municipality in New Hampshire. The Strafford County town has a history of settlement dating back to the mid 17th Century, and is home to the University of New Hampshire. Durham’s violent crime rate of 0.65 per 1,000 is remarkable for a town that houses a large public university.

The 2nd safest community in New Hampshire is Raymond, a peaceful town of 10.4K in Rockingham County. Only 10 violent crimes were reported in Raymond in 2018.

Merrimack, a town in Hillsborough County named after a Native American term for sturgeon, is 3rd in the ranking of New Hampshire’s safest communities. Despite being over twice as large as the prior two entries on the list, Merrimack has even less violent crime, recording a mere 6 offenses in 2018.

#4 Milford continues New Hampshire’s streak of safe towns, logging under 10 violent crimes and 100 property crimes in 2018. Not far behind is #5 Londonderry, a town of over 26,000 that logged marginally higher crime rates than preceding entries, though they are still considerably less-than-half of national levels.

New Hampshire’s Safest Cities

NHCityPopulationViolent
crime
Property
crime
Law enforcement
employees
Total crimesCrime rate per 1,000Violent crimes per 1,000Property crimes per 1,000Law enforcement per 1,000
1Durham16813115323643.810.653.151.37
2Raymond10485105424646.100.955.152.29
3Merrimack256836148521546.000.235.762.02
4Milford15497894311026.580.526.072.00
5Londonderry2662739194762338.751.467.292.85
6Pelham137951396301097.900.946.962.17
7Hanover11519896311049.030.698.332.69
8Goffstown1797824134451588.791.337.452.50
9Exeter1530515114351298.430.987.452.29
10Bedford2264012190492028.920.538.392.16
11Hudson25232252466527110.740.999.752.58
12Berlin10263161033111911.601.5610.043.02
13Hampton15679341594519312.312.1710.142.87
14Derry33724453156736010.671.339.341.99
15Dover31600353537238812.281.1111.172.28
16Portsmouth22038363419037717.111.6315.474.08
17Nashua885961241144234126814.311.4012.912.64
18Amherst1123261271913311.840.5311.311.69
19Hooksett14283182073922515.751.2614.492.73
20Lebanon13578222364625819.001.6217.383.39
21Salem29297304758050517.241.0216.212.73
22Conway10153182043222221.871.7720.093.15
23Concord430711038499495222.102.3919.712.18
24Claremont12930582472830523.594.4919.102.17
25Keene22870465605360626.502.0124.492.32
26Somersworth11920303193234929.282.5226.762.68
27Manchester1114226612878279353931.765.9325.832.50
28Laconia16658405544959435.662.4033.262.94
29Rochester3094711790263101932.933.7829.152.04

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.