top 100 safe cities 2018

In light of the distressing spate of mass shootings plaguing the nation in recent years and rising violent crime rates in major urban areas, Americans have every right to be concerned for their safety and well-being.

While the U.S. isn’t exactly a warzone; crime rates have trended downward dramatically in every region of the country over the past 25 years, the recent uptick in urban crime, coupled with the tumultuous political unrest and public demonstrations endemic to the Trump Era, has left many Americans unsure whether their communities are safe, secure, and free from potential threats.

Our 2018 ranking of the 100 safest places to live in America is designed as a resource for concerned citizens across the country. We analyzed the latest FBI crime data from all 50 states in order to determine the most peaceful, crime-free towns and cities with a population topping 10,000. Hopefully you will find your town on the list.

If you are a parent contemplating a move to a community where you will be able raise your children in a safe and secure environment, you can’t go wrong with any of the following entries.

Predictably, much of the list is composed of smaller towns and suburbs, rather than bustling metropolises. It is not a universal truth that small towns and rural areas are safer than larger cities. In fact, many cities are safer and less crime-stricken than numerous isolated small communities in rural areas struggling with poor policing, underachieving school systems, and high unemployment. However, the vast number of smaller towns and cities in the nation ensures that the very safest of them outrank their larger metropolitan neighbors.

While the list is indeed primarily composed of smaller communities (only 6 on the list break the 30,000 mark, with exactly one city--Monroe Township, New Jersey--exceeding 40,000), they don’t exactly resemble the mythological notion of an American rural small town composed of modest homes built around a single main street lined with ma and pa shops, one general store, and a Tastee Freez. Rather, they are independent municipalities within larger metropolitan areas or densely populated counties that boast high median household incomes, excellent school systems, and lofty real estate prices.

The ideal conditions for a city or town to be included among the safest in the nation are low population, high median income, and being located within a major metropolitan area or dense conglomeration of small communities.

For example, top-ranked Lewisboro, NY (population: 12,862) is located within the famously affluent Westchester County, just north of New York City. Westchester is known for being one of the first large-scale suburban areas of its type to cultivate, owing to a large influx of upper-middle-class families emigrating from the larger city in the late 19th century, followed by rapid housing and commercial development. Lewisboro has a median household income of $112,462, nearly twice that of the nationwide median household income. America’s safest town counts among its residents the acclaimed actors Jeffrey Tambor and Stanley Tucci, as well as Richard B. Handler, CEO and Chairman of Jeffries Group, a major investment bank based in New York City.

The rest of the top ten safest places to live in the United States share a lot in common, with Lewisboro; all but one are between 10-15K in population (Norton, Massachusetts, topping 19K, is the sole outlier), and all are quite affluent. Only Sleepy Hollow, NY (#8) has a median household income under $75,000, while others are very wealthy, indeed: #3 Weston, CT’s median household income tops $200K, one of the highest median household incomes for any community in the United States.

Geographical location seems to factor into these extremely low crime rates as well. Of the top 25 safest communities, 13 are located within the NY-NJ-CT tristate area, 5 are in Massachusetts, and just 7 are located in other states.

At-a-Glance

Top 100 Safest Cities in America, 2018

RankCityState
1Lewisboro TownNew York
2WaylandMassachusetts
3WestonConnecticut
4Chester TownshipOhio
5Grosse Ile TownshipMichigan
6NorfolkMassachusetts
7NortonMassachusetts
8Sleepy Hollow VillageNew York
9River Vale TownshipNew Jersey
10Western SpringsIllinois
11New MilfordNew Jersey
12SudburyMassachusetts
13ChannahonIllinois
14RidgefieldConnecticut
15FranklinMassachusetts
16Oakland TownshipMichigan
17NewtownConnecticut
18New Castle TownNew York
19Washington Township, Morris CountyNew Jersey
20Carmel TownNew York
21GlocesterRhode Island
22Clinton TownshipNew Jersey
23Olmsted TownshipOhio
24Bernards TownshipNew Jersey
25Warren TownshipNew Jersey
26Campton HillsIllinois
27HillsdaleNew Jersey
28WaterlooIllinois
29Monroe Township, Middlesex CountyNew Jersey
30BrandonSouth Dakota
31WiltonConnecticut
32RyeNew York
33HopkintonMassachusetts
34Adams Township, Butler CountyPennsylvania
35HoldenMassachusetts
36BergenfieldNew Jersey
37BedfordMassachusetts
38Montville TownshipOhio
39Woolwich TownshipNew Jersey
40SmithfieldUtah
41Sparta TownshipNew Jersey
42MonroeConnecticut
43Montgomery TownshipNew Jersey
44Bedford TownNew York
45South Fayette TownshipPennsylvania
46Penn Township, Westmoreland CountyPennsylvania
47HudsonOhio
48Shawangunk TownNew York
49Kent TownNew York
50Brunswick Hills TownshipOhio
51Chatham TownshipNew Jersey
52MedwayMassachusetts
53Harrison TownNew York
54BrecksvilleOhio
55Rocky RiverOhio
56New Hanover TownshipPennsylvania
57SharonMassachusetts
58New ProvidenceNew Jersey
59WestwoodNew Jersey
60MadisonConnecticut
61Hobart-LawrenceWisconsin
62Sagamore HillsOhio
63Hamburg TownshipMichigan
64Buckingham TownshipPennsylvania
65ImperialCalifornia
66HollistonMassachusetts
67Jefferson TownshipNew Jersey
68Floral Park VillageNew York
69GrotonMassachusetts
70Glen CoveNew York
71KinnelonNew Jersey
72ClintonMassachusetts
73ShrewsburyMassachusetts
74LexingtonMassachusetts
75WestfordMassachusetts
76Brandon TownshipMichigan
77TenaflyNew Jersey
78LouisvilleColorado
79Lower Salford TownshipPennsylvania
80East Greenwich TownshipNew Jersey
81Upper Uwchlan TownshipPennsylvania
82Denville TownshipNew Jersey
83Robbinsville TownshipNew Jersey
84Schodack TownNew York
85Homer GlenIllinois
86South LyonMichigan
87WindhamNew Hampshire
88Winslow TownshipNew Jersey
89RingwoodNew Jersey
90Randolph TownshipNew Jersey
91Upper Gwynedd TownshipPennsylvania
92Raritan TownshipNew Jersey
93LindenhurstIllinois
94Branchburg TownshipNew Jersey
95WhitehallPennsylvania
96Franklin ParkPennsylvania
97Marco IslandFlorida
98Flushing TownshipMichigan
99PlainfieldConnecticut
100Port WashingtonNew York

Methodology

In crafting the list, 2016 FBI crime data (the latest year for which complete data exists) was used to calculate the rankings. All towns and cities below 10,000 in population, or for which significant data was lacking, were omitted from consideration. All remaining cities and towns were ranked by a "safety rating" factoring in violent crime and property crime rates per 1,000 inhabitants. Due to greater severity and potential danger, violent crime was weighted 1.5 times more heavily than property crime.

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