Safest Cities in New Jersey – 2020

Last Updated on January 19, 2020

While New Jersey may be widely known as the setting of the classic HBO mob series, The Sopranos, in truth, the Garden State is among the safest in the nation, with violent and property crime rates well below national levels. Let’s take a look at New Jersey’s five safest cities, which are model communities for more than just their low frequency of crime. All five are located in the counties of Bergen and Morris.

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

River Vale is the safest municipality in New Jersey. The Bergen County township logged a single violent crime in 2018, and less than 25 property crimes.

The 2nd safest community in New Jersey is Tenafly, another small, affluent Bergen County community. Like River Vale, crime is a rarity in Tenafly: the city earned a violent crime rate of 0.1 per 1,000, along with a property crime rate less than 15% of the national rate, in 2018.

#3 Kinnelon of Morris County barely cracks our population parameters with a population just over 10K, yet deserves its spot due to being 1 of the 3 New Jersey communities in the top 5 to record just 1 violent crime in 2018.

Bergenfield earns the #4 spot on the list. The 3rd Bergen County community on the list has a lot in common with prior entries: near-nonexistent violent crime and scarce property crime. However, with a population over 27K, it is nearly 3 times the size of the first 3 New Jersey communities on the list, making its low crime rates even more impressive.

Rounding out New Jersey’s 5 safest cities is Mount Olive, a Morris County township similar in size to Bergenfield. Mount Olive’s property crime rate of 2.66 per 1,000 is nearly identical to that of the prior entry on the list, and it is a notch lower in the ranking only because it recorded several more violent crimes in 2018.

New Jersey’s Safest Cities

NJCityPopulationViolent
crime
Property
crime
Law enforcement
employees
Total crimesCrime rate per 1,000Violent crimes per 1,000Property crimes per 1,000Law enforcement per 1,000
1River Vale Township1015712421252.460.102.362.07
2Tenafly1474243739412.780.272.512.65
3Kinnelon1008012517262.580.102.481.69
4Bergenfield2768417653772.780.042.751.91
5Mount Olive Township2899467759832.860.212.662.03
6Dumont1782554940543.030.282.752.24
7Sparta Township1869455444593.160.272.892.35
8New Milford1670155242573.410.303.112.51
9Chatham Township1028803322333.210.003.212.14
10Warren Township1595135237553.450.193.262.32
11Hopatcong1418364231483.380.422.962.19
12Washington Township, Morris County1848475030573.080.382.711.62
13Mahwah Township26501398621013.810.113.702.34
14Robbinsville Township1471025938614.150.144.012.58
15Bernards Township2681328742893.320.073.241.57
16Monroe Township, Middlesex County455975158791633.570.113.471.73
17Hasbrouck Heights1216315131524.280.084.192.55
18Oakland1310274832554.200.533.662.44
19Glen Rock1193704926494.100.004.102.18
20Hillsdale1048434123444.200.293.912.19
21Jefferson Township2107158443894.220.243.992.04
22Clinton Township1282415023513.980.083.901.79
23Ringwood1230364826544.390.493.902.11
24Berkeley Heights Township1364646033644.690.294.402.42
25New Providence1328306535654.890.004.892.63
26Waldwick1001924725494.890.204.692.50
27Hopewell Township1800087639844.670.444.222.17
28Madison1583237638794.990.194.802.40
29Florham Park1160236538685.860.265.603.28
30Vernon Township220571100411014.580.054.531.86
31Montgomery Township23515797401044.420.304.131.70
32Franklin Lakes1119115928605.360.095.272.50
33Denville Township1673729042925.500.125.382.51
34Lincoln Park1030806029605.820.005.822.81
35Raritan Township22092595361004.530.234.301.63
36River Edge1161106428645.510.005.512.41
37Ridgefield1132936832716.270.266.002.82
38Cranford Township243537145671526.240.295.952.75
39Plainsboro Township2324310118471285.510.435.082.02
40West Caldwell Township1091226830706.410.186.232.75
41Harrison Township1291526724695.340.155.191.86
42Barnegat Township2277713120511335.840.575.272.24
43Roxbury Township230101127451285.560.045.521.96
44Pequannock Township1517739339966.330.206.132.57
45Waterford Township1064176429716.670.666.012.73
46Manchester Township4293915238892535.890.355.542.07
47Randolph Township255522128391305.090.085.011.53
48Readington Township1594128226845.270.135.141.63
49Verona1343708935896.620.006.622.60
50Branchburg Township1457748028845.760.275.491.92
51South Brunswick Township46340232761092996.450.505.962.35
52Morris Township221836120391265.680.275.411.76
53Ridgewood254295155521606.290.206.102.04
54Wanaque11960117129826.860.925.942.42
55Summit221257143521506.780.326.462.35
56Middletown Township65469143881244026.140.215.931.89
57Ramsey151262106391087.140.137.012.58
58Marlboro Township40338252711102967.340.626.722.73
59Fort Lee37729222711162937.770.587.183.07
60Cedar Grove Township1256648632907.160.326.842.55
61Stafford Township2714115183701987.300.556.742.58
62Point Pleasant1847414115431296.980.766.222.33
63West Milford Township2656010158501686.330.385.951.88
64Cliffside Park2500115150511656.600.606.002.04
65Roselle Park136985104411097.960.377.592.99
66Holmdel Township166214129501338.000.247.763.01
67Nutley Township2859627197812247.830.946.892.83
68Manalapan Township4015013218592315.750.325.431.47
69Palisades Park2088817130451477.040.816.222.15
70Jackson Township56706273601133876.820.486.351.99
71Sayreville45062443011073457.660.986.682.37
72Parsippany-Troy Hills Township52447293621163917.460.556.902.21
73Ridgefield Park130281399391128.601.007.602.99
74Scotch Plains Township2442310171521817.410.417.002.13
75East Greenwich Township1050446819726.850.386.471.81
76East Windsor Township2740118171501896.900.666.241.82
77Springfield Township, Union County177624144481488.330.238.112.70
78Hillsborough Township3979615240622556.410.386.031.56
79Middlesex Borough1370411100341118.100.807.302.48
80Howell Township52672363511043877.350.686.661.97
81Florence Township127481389301028.001.026.982.35
82Rahway3011334245932799.271.138.143.09
83Princeton3185611224602357.380.357.031.88
84Little Ferry10895794331019.270.648.633.03
85South River1615919122421418.731.187.552.60
86Lyndhurst Township2238412168491808.040.547.512.19
87Montville Township213964173461778.270.198.092.15
88East Hanover Township110842106331089.740.189.562.98
89Bridgewater Township4505016331813477.700.367.351.80
90Wall Township2595562628426810.330.2310.093.24
91Little Falls Township1430616113341299.021.127.902.38
92Old Bridge Township66321284901175187.810.427.391.76
93Lower Township2161735163531989.161.627.542.45
94North Bergen Township63166984351285338.441.556.892.03
95Livingston Township29820232778530010.060.779.292.85
96Pompton Lakes110621589271049.401.368.052.44
97Metuchen142625128341339.330.358.972.38
98Aberdeen Township1837811163451749.470.608.872.45
99Piscataway Township57342544251014798.350.947.411.76
100Berkeley Township4133125378974039.750.609.152.35
101North Arlington158685148361539.640.329.332.27
102Rutherford1861719164421839.831.028.812.26
103Bordentown Township123231499241139.171.148.031.95
104Haddonfield112536100231069.420.538.892.04
105Hawthorne188742177381799.480.119.382.01
106Fair Lawn3341319304683239.670.579.102.04
107Tinton Falls1775451824318710.530.2810.252.42
108Lacey Township2865418257572759.600.638.971.99
109Lakewood Township1029151297791719088.821.257.571.66
110Englewood289888528110136612.632.939.693.48
111Morristown18860302026223212.301.5910.713.29
112Teaneck Township409394541910946411.331.1010.232.66
113Bayonne6682411477324888713.271.7111.573.71
114Hanover Township1458341613816511.310.2711.042.61
115Guttenberg1160228992812710.952.418.532.41
116Hammonton1431191493515811.040.6310.412.45
117Little Egg Harbor Township2108742415624511.620.1911.432.66
118Medford Township2355847176412239.472.007.471.74
119Edgewater12318131373615012.181.0611.122.92
120Somerville12326161313314711.931.3010.632.68
121Bound Brook10360131142912712.261.2511.002.80
122Weehawken Township15567232237424615.801.4814.334.75
123Wallington1167651202412510.710.4310.282.06
124West Windsor Township28277112986030910.930.3910.542.12
125Hazlet Township19970232084723111.571.1510.422.35
126Montclair388933750213053913.860.9512.913.34
127Freehold Borough11873161293014512.211.3510.862.53
128Delran Township1657981763418411.100.4810.622.05
129Rockaway Township2532862945930011.840.2411.612.33
130Brick Township747126590420896912.970.8712.102.78
131Fairview14428351443617912.412.439.982.50
132Red Bank12128211624518315.091.7313.363.71
133Dover17982261874021311.851.4510.402.22
134Bloomfield507775064715069713.730.9812.742.95
135Franklin Township, Somerset County666244867011971810.780.7210.061.79
136Evesham Township45354345069954011.910.7511.162.18
137Lodi24720282544828211.411.1310.281.94
138Highland Park1398981663217412.440.5711.872.29
139Carteret23921452957234014.211.8812.333.01
140Clark Township1607942274923114.370.2514.123.05
141Saddle Brook Township1403711923919313.750.0713.682.78
142Roselle21787452817032614.962.0712.903.21
143Edison Township1013091201147219126712.511.1811.322.16
144West New York5409513856712570513.032.5510.482.31
145Burlington Township22857352745630913.521.5311.992.45
146Beachwood1114661302213612.200.5411.661.97
147Galloway Township36467733997947212.942.0010.942.17
148Mantua Township1477271903319713.340.4712.862.23
149Kearny423393867715371516.890.9015.993.61
150East Brunswick Township483423263210966413.740.6613.072.25
151Moorestown Township20510132513826412.870.6312.241.85
152Franklin Township, Gloucester County1622592364124515.100.5514.552.53
153East Orange64625333904261123719.145.1513.994.04
154Perth Amboy5234716572116388616.933.1513.773.11
155Maplewood Township24635223947641616.890.8915.993.09
156Union Township588614595418399916.970.7616.213.11
157Washington Township, Gloucester County47024665548762013.181.4011.781.85
158Voorhees Township29071423756341714.341.4412.902.17
159West Orange480719161510970614.691.8912.792.27
160Monroe Township, Gloucester County36498474627450913.951.2912.662.03
161Belleville360756258912365118.051.7216.333.41
162Freehold Township34896414517149214.101.1712.922.03
163West Deptford Township20889192904630914.790.9113.882.20
164Bellmawr1131281582416614.670.7113.972.12
165Ocean City1113852837228825.860.4525.416.46
166Gloucester Township6319878945152102316.191.2314.952.41
167South Plainfield24238233976742017.330.9516.382.76
168Toms River Township92191551317181137214.880.6014.291.96
169Hackensack4492611664911576517.032.5814.452.56
170South Orange Village16880222935231518.661.3017.363.08
171Union City699502331078215131118.743.3315.413.07
172Hoboken5509611986215298117.812.1615.652.76
173Millburn Township2025083696037718.620.4018.222.96
174Pleasantville20799923066539819.144.4214.713.13
175North Plainfield21834393385537717.271.7915.482.52
176North Brunswick Township422055368310273617.441.2616.182.42
177Clifton85732971354188145116.921.1315.792.19
178Glassboro19938383275136518.311.9116.402.56
179Plainfield50820195820153101519.973.8416.143.01
180Wayne Township5434064986147105019.321.1818.152.71
181Jersey City27017512334781955601422.264.5617.703.53
182Pine Hill10431251622318717.932.4015.532.20
183Newark282258206956741490774327.437.3320.105.28
184Ventnor City10182172595127627.111.6725.445.01
185Elmwood Park20277333424637518.491.6316.872.27
186Ewing Township361426968510275420.861.9118.952.82
187Middle Township18358513947044524.242.7821.463.81
188Totowa10666122193223121.661.1320.533.00
189Mount Laurel Township41629526647771617.201.2515.951.85
190Maple Shade Township18772383053934318.272.0216.252.08
191Long Branch3075012463911776324.814.0320.783.80
192Ocean Township, Monmouth County26947205867960622.490.7421.752.93
193Secaucus20482305268855627.151.4625.684.30
194Eatontown12364302774430724.832.4322.403.56
195Haddon Township14500192472726618.341.3117.031.86
196Hamilton Township, Mercer County878891161700206181620.661.3219.342.34
197Lumberton Township12253102122222218.120.8217.301.80
198Harrison18058413735041422.932.2720.662.77
199Egg Harbor Township432766290211396422.281.4320.842.61
200Cinnaminson Township16630142862830018.040.8417.201.68
201Lawrence Township, Mercer County32644305966262619.180.9218.261.90
202Manville10308182142723222.511.7520.762.62
203Hillside Township22078415407958126.321.8624.463.58
204Pennsville Township1237862362424219.550.4819.071.94
205Garfield32203795856966420.622.4518.172.14
206Somers Point10436142463126024.911.3423.572.97
207Phillipsburg14395442953733923.553.0620.492.57
208Passaic704354061298189170424.195.7618.432.68
209Irvington542203541277223163130.086.5323.554.11
210Linden428061221126165124829.152.8526.303.85
211Collingswood13843302793030922.322.1720.152.17
212Orange City3044922677214099832.787.4225.354.60
213New Brunswick565773091210170151926.855.4621.393.00
214Gloucester City11167342693430327.133.0424.093.04
215Atlantic City382712761181224145738.077.2130.865.85
216Paterson14689310763564526464031.597.3324.263.58
217Pemberton Township27212905474763723.413.3120.101.73
218Pennsauken Township3542010190981101028.512.8525.662.29
219Neptune Township278251068519295734.393.8130.583.31
220Camden County Police Department7314011982219413341746.7216.3830.345.65
221Cherry Hill Township70578922026162211830.011.3028.712.30
222Trenton837539732467359344041.0711.6229.464.29
223Hamilton Township, Atlantic County26380578578091434.652.1632.493.03
224Paramus26744241067110109140.790.9039.904.11
225Lindenwold172041114554456632.906.4526.452.56
226Bridgeton243862037208092337.858.3229.533.28
227Elizabeth1290808974002411489937.956.9531.003.18
228Asbury Park157171746539582752.6211.0741.556.04
229Vineland603302582021172227937.784.2833.502.85
230Deptford Township3013747115374120039.821.5638.262.46
231Millville27837127121791134448.284.5643.723.27

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.