There’s a lot of data out there regarding the safety of different cities, and each organization compiles their information a little differently. We’ve tried to include places with populations between 6,000 and 20,000 people (there are a few exceptions), and focused on towns with active community programs in place to keep everything safe and peaceful.
Please note that we know there are plenty of absolutely lovely, safe communities all across the country. This list includes towns specifically highlighted by established studies on public safety and crime rates.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
16. Sudbury, Massachusetts
Sudbury helps its teenagers stay safe by hosting fun events at the Sudbury Teen Center on Friday nights, in order to keep them off the roads and under supervision. Sudbury also has a rich history of involvement in the Revolutionary War and King Phillip's War, and has been the home of Henry Ford, Babe Ruth, Shaquille O'Neal, and Paula Poundstone. In 2011, Boston magazine rated Sudbury's schools as the 4th best in the state. Sudburyhas a population of 18,592 and only 0.05 violent crimes per 1,000 people. In 2015, there were 3.17 property crimes reported per 1,000 people.
15. Weston, Connecticut
Weston may have dropped five spots since last year's list was compiled, but this is still an exceptionally safe and peaceful place to live. Weston's police department employs high-tech communication and forensic systems that can actually alert residents about local emergencies within moments of them being reported. Weston is also close to many natural recreation areas. Weston has a population of 10,417 and only 0.19 violent crimes per 1,000 people. In 2015, there were 3.17 property crimes reported per 1,000 people.
14. Franklin, Massachusetts
This town is the home of the nation's first public library, an accomplishment of which its namesake, Benjamin Franklin, would have been proud. Franklin is a great place to retire, as the Franklin Council on Aging is active in the community and teaches residents about issues involving senior citizens. The town is also home to a very strong school system and lots of lovely places to eat, shop, and stroll. Franklin has a population of 32,857 and only 0.15 violent crimes per 1,000 people. In 2015, there were 3.20 property crimes reported per 1,000 people.
13. Wilton, Connecticut
According to SafeWise, Wilton has jumped a full 60 spots from last year's ranking. Businesses like Cannondale and Melissa & Doug are based in Wilton, which means employment is high and the economy is stable. Wilton's "Citizen Police Academy" program also teaches residents about crime spotting and prevention through a 12-week course. Wilton has a population of 18,807 and only 0.05 violent crimes per 1,000 people. In 2015, there were 3.24 property crimes reported per 1,000 people.
12. South Park Township, Pennsylvania
South Park Township gets its name from an actual 3,000-acre park that is loaded with great outdoor opportunities. Residents are free to play golf, ice skate, picnic, and hike all over the beautiful public land. South Park Township also has a very transparent and responsive police force, with residents being encouraged to reach out to the police chief via phone or email with any concerns. Wilton has a population of 13,571 and only 0.29 violent crimes per 1,000 people. In 2015, there were 0.29 property crimes reported per 1,000 people.
11. Brookings, South Dakota
This place may be the state's fourth largest city, but Brookings is still an exceptionally safe place to live and work. The city is home to South Dakota State University, lots of museums, and a thriving art scene. Brookings has a population of 22,741 and only 9 violent crimes were reported in 2015, while 33 burglaries occurred.
10. Campton Hills, Illinois
Green space, rolling hills and beautiful farmland defines this small Illinois town. This place knows the importance of getting its residents out into nature and keeping them active. It's "Leave No Child Inside" program aims to promote community involvement and outdoor socialization, which actually does wonders for keeping crime rates low and helping people help each other with property maintenance and beautification. Campton Hills has a population of 11,351 and only 0.18 violent crimes per 1,000 people. In 2015, there were 3 property crimes reported per 1,000 people.
9. Imperial, California
For number nine, we head over to the West Coast. Imperial is filled with rolling sand dunes and natural beauty, but that doesn't mean law enforcement is relaxed. Imperial's "E-Policing" program allows residents to sign up for crime and local news reports online, and to receive alerts when there are any emergencies ongoing in their area. Imperial's Neighborhood Watch program is also very active. Imperial has a population of 16,535 and only 0.30 violent crimes per 1,000 people. In 2015, there were 2.78 property crimes reported per 1,000 people.
8. Hopkinton, Massachusetts
The town of Hopkinton cares deeply about the mental health and wellbeing of its citizens. Hopkinton offers anonymous psychological screenings and hosts seminars focused on healthy living and maintaining personal wellness. The town is full of green public areas and recently opened a new library. Hopkinton has a population of 16,209 and a minuscule violent crime rate of 0.06 per 1,000 people. In 2015, there were 2.65 property crimes reported per 1,000 people.
7. Upper Providence Township, Pennsylvania
This is one clean place to live. The Upper Providence Environmental Commission vigorously maintains a street cleaning initiative that keeps the town's roads looking spotless, while also hosting plenty of educational cleanup events and even sponsoring hazardous waste removal. The town also hosts plenty of gardening workshops that encourage residents to learn about sustainable living. On top of that, the town compost site makes sure nothing goes to waste. Upper Providence Township has a population of 10,354 and only 0.19 violent crimes per 1,000 people. In 2015, there were 2.51 property crimes reported per 1,000 people.
6. Ridgefield, Connecticut
This town actually ranked amongst the top three safest towns according to a number of different 2014 surveys. Their "G.R.A.D.D." (Government of Ridgefield against Drunk Driving) program unites the community against substance abuse and helps young citizens recognize the dangers of drinking and driving. Ridge field's police department is exceptionally involved in making the town's neighborhoods safe and enjoyable places to live, which includes hosting a popular Halloween celebration to keep families safe through the holiday. The town has a population of 25,288 and reported 0.04 violent crimes per 1,000 people. Property crimes came in at 2.57 per 1,000 people.
5. Broadview Heights, Ohio
This town is all about giving back. Broadview hosts lots of town events that are aimed at mustering funds for local charities and community groups, such as their popular Outdoor Rock Concert series. The local schools are superb as well, with Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School ranking as one of the best in the nation according to U.S. News Best High Schools. This town has a population of 19,318 and a violent crime rate of 1.19 per 1,000 people. The property crime rate is 1.35 per 1,000 people.
4. Washington Township (Morris County), New Jersey
This pretty town is filled with community gardens and public food-growing areas, making it a great place to support sustainable living and agriculture. The Washington Township Family & Community Services and Municipal Alliance Commission also maintains a strong public program aimed at educating citizens about drugs and alcohol. The town has a population of 18,787 with only 0.37 violent crimes per 1,000 people. Property crimes were reported at 1.76 per 1,000 people.
3. Norfolk, Massachusetts
This historic town is big on public safety, and has a uniquely effective rabies vaccination program that keeps its streets and forests free of the disease. Drug use prevention is also a big deal here, with youth education starting early. George Washington was known to frequent taverns in Norfolk, and the town holds on to its roots by maintaining its beautiful historic public parks and architecture. This town has a population of 11,835 and only reported 0.17 violent crimes per 1,000 people. Property crime rates are also looking good at 1.86 per 1,000 people.
2. Wayland, Massachusetts
The Massachusetts town of Wayland comes in a strong second in this list of safest places. It is home to the state's first public library, and runs a city-wide program teaching citizens the basics of fire safety and prevention. Schoolchildren as young as four are educated about how to keep themselves safe at home and in public. Wayland also has some pretty beautiful natural scenery, and plenty of historic buildings. This town has a population of 13,592, with only 0.44 violent crimes per 1,000 people. Property crimes come in at 0.96 per 1,000 people.
1. Lewisboro, New York
Let's start with the most impressive statistic about Lewisboro: this town has a population of 12,712 and reported NO violent crimes in 2015. None. Property crimes came in at 1 per 1,000 people, which is also incredibly low, seeing as this town sits just 50 miles away from New York City. Lewisboro has an extensive "Complete Streets" program that helps kids find safe walking routes to school, and educates pedestrians and bikers about safety. This town also has seven official natural parks and preserves, with plenty of scenic ponds, trails, and hiking areas.
What do you think of these safest and most peaceful places to live? Would you consider moving to any of these spots?