The crime rate and relative safety of various cities are something that very few people frequently consider unless they’re trying to move to a new home. However, the difference between the safest and least safe cities in the country is massive. If your city isn’t safe for whatever reason, it can have numerous adverse effects on your life that prevent you from staying healthy, saving money or sleeping properly. It can also put you in a stressful and anxious state of mind, and one that’s hard to get rid of. Safety can also be a determining factor in where we buy housing, which parts of town we visit for leisure activities and how much money we invest in home security.
Because your sleeping schedule is at risk, we want to make a ranking list of the safest cities to help you pick the next place to move or visit. Most safe cities come with other benefits like a stronger sense of community (the idea that everyone in a small town knows each other isn’t as far-fetched as you’d think), less noise, no excessive brightness and sometimes even less pollution. It makes them ideal places to live even if you’re not super-worried about safety.
How did we make this ranking?
There’s more than one way to get an idea of how much crime there is in various cities. Countless polls and surveys have been conducted over the years, but these methods end up resulting in nothing but subjective opinions and speculation. For us, this wasn’t enough – so we went straight to the hard data.
The best way to find accurate crime rate statistics is to have a look at the FBI’s crime data reports. From these reports, we can summarize the per capita rate of violent and property crimes (the main categories that cause safety concerns) and rank the safest cities out there. Let’s make a quick comparison to show you the difference between the safest and least safe city according to our data. In Cary, NC (the safest place on our list), you roughly have a 1 in 93 chance of being a victim of property crime. Meanwhile in St. Louis, MO – that chance skyrockets to 1 in 30. That’s just over three times as likely and is the cause of a lot of stress for St. Louis residents. Property crime is the more relevant value when it comes to home security since around 19% of all property crime are burglaries. Let’s look into the best possible places to live if you’re concerned about your safety.
The Safest Cities in the US
If safety is your primary concern, almost no city in America is as attractive as Cary, NC. It ranks second-to-last in both its violent crime rate (64) and its property crime rate (1074). It makes the likelihood of being the victim of a crime incredibly small. On top of this, the schools are in very high regard among its populace, making Cary the perfect place to raise your kids. The nightlife in this town is not extremely active, but we feel that this adds to the safety and peace you benefit from while living here. If you’re looking to party, there are nearby towns where that’s much easier to find. The town has a very deep suburban feel to it, adding to a sense of community that seniors find particularly attractive. When it comes to food, Cary doesn’t disappoint. There are a lot of restaurant options, letting you sample many kinds of national cuisine. Whether you’re a young professional looking to further your career, or you have a family to raise, Cary is one of your best safety options.
The police patrols in Irvine are very active and regular, making it one of the safest cities in the US. It has the single lowest violent crime rate in the country, at only 61 per 100 thousand inhabitants. The property crime rate is the 9th lowest overall, at around 1316. Couple this with the cozy suburban aesthetic of the town and you have an incredibly tempting place to move to. As an additional benefit, the education offered in Irvine is top-notch, making this town an ideal place to start and raise a family. Ordinarily, a lot of schools in a given town are underfunded and in a state of mild disarray, but Irvine has incredibly talented people allocating the town’s funds, so every school is well-equipped.
The food selection is a tad more limited than places like Cary, with most of your options being popular, well-established food chains. As long as you’re not looking for exotic cuisine, however, this should be more than adequate. The close proximity to a beach attracts tourists, but the noise doesn’t spread to other parts of town.
Naperville, IL ranks third on our list as it sports the 6th lowest rate of violent crimes at 91 and the 5th lowest rate of property crimes at 1,159 per 100 thousand residents. It’s a very clean town to live in, and it offers many different types of housing to fit the needs of you or your family. The taxes are considered slightly steeper than average, but that contributes to the surprisingly high educational standard, as all that money goes to school funding. If you’re a shopaholic or you have some gourmet tendencies, Naperville has a lot of places you can visit.
The town has a lot of space for cycling or running, which should satisfy the more athletic readers out there – especially when you see how gorgeous the scenery is. The lack of heavy pollution contributes to the health standard in this town, and if you have sleeping problems, Naperville is a good place to overcome them.
Port St. Lucie, FL
Port St. Lucie, FL is an incredibly safe town to live in. It has the third lowest property crime rate at roughly 1,126 per 100 thousand residents. The rate of violent crimes is also in a good spot, ranking in at 9th safest at 98 per 100 thousand inhabitants. Not many cities can boast a higher level of safety than Port St. Lucie, and it has so much more to offer on top of that. If you’re not a fan of public transport (and let’s be honest, who is?), then this town can save you a lot of hassle. Everything you could need is close-by, with the possible exception of entertainment establishments.
On top of that, the town is very clean, with minimal car pollution. You can sleep easy in Port St. Lucie, knowing that you’re as safe from illness as you are from crime. Many of the common stress sources are either not present or much milder than average in towns like this. The suburban, peaceful feel of the town (and its community) also makes it more suitable for seniors and children.
Allen is not only very safe in terms of crime rates; it’s also a great place to invest in real-estate. With 98 violent crimes and 1,245 property crimes per 100 thousand residents, the risk of being a victim is very small. In fact, there is around a 1 in 1020 chance of being a victim of violent crime, which borders on nothing. If you’re looking to raise a family, Allen offers a high-standard school system with lots of opportunities for your child to compete in sports.
Because the city is frequently expanding, the real-estate and job markets are booming, so you can secure your future here. Allen has a lot of restaurant options for your eating pleasure, and the town’s expansion is only going to bring more variety when it comes to food and entertainment. The streets are very clean, so you never get angry at the amount of litter or pollution, and can pursue a healthy lifestyle with ease. Allen is a safe and cozy town, and it can make the perfect home.
New York, NY
Given how many crime flicks take place in New York, it’s easy to make the assumption that this city is full of crime, but this isn’t even remotely true. While the violent crime rate is not super small at 573 per 100k people, the property crime rate is very low, at roughly 1,462. The reason we value this city’s safety above a ton of other cities is the notably small burglary rate. There are only 141 per 100k residents, which means burglaries are basically a non-existent issue. Not having to make a massive investment in home security is a huge upside of moving to New York, since you have more starting capital to kickstart (or advance) your career.
It should come as no surprise that New York is teeming with opportunities to have amazing food from many cultures and nations, as well as a plethora of entertainment options. New York is one of the main destinations for popular bands touring the country, among other things. Crime has been on the decline in this city for the past decade and continues to drop thanks to the massive effort of local law enforcement. New York is definitely not just a tourist destination. If you have some method of dealing with potential traffic noise, it is a safe and prosperous place to live.
Nothing puts a stop to crime in a suburban town like a strong military and police presence. There is a mere 1 in 71 chance of being the victim of property crime. Violent crimes don’t thrive either – your chances of being a victim of one are around 1 in 1410. If you don’t mind slightly hotter than average summers, this town is a suburban paradise. The combination of excellent schools and helpful family support programs make this town one of the best in the country if you have or plan to have kids to raise.
If you somehow end up being unable to find a specific product or service, major cities like Los Angeles are just over an hour’s drive away. The ability to make a very quick trip to the beach is a massive selling point for any town, and Murrieta is no different. If you’re looking for a healthy, low-pollution environment to live in, this town delivers without fail. The scenery is beautiful – you can treat yourself to some running/cycling trips through all that nature. The only minor downside to living in Murrieta is that you don’t have a crazy amount of options when it comes to entertainment. But honestly, that is an acceptable trade-off if it means everyone can sleep easy and safe.
Thousand Oaks, CA
If you’re a fan of outdoors activity, especially hiking, this town is for you. It is super-safe from crime, having a violent crime rate of 133 and a property crime rating of 1305. A statistic like that means you can safely enjoy the proximity to nature that this town boasts. There are many hiking trails you can explore, and the cleanliness of this small town is a massive health benefit. It takes you less than an hour to reach the beach, and bigger cities such as LA are also relatively close-by. Thousand Oaks has a very strong, tight-knit community, as they demonstrated recently when their town went through a series of unfortunate events. It helps to further reduce crime, as the townspeople are all incredibly supportive of one another.
The quality of education is also top-notch, which is excellent for raising a new family. Your child can grow up in an environment closely tied to nature, and get lots of support at school. If you can deal with early store closing times and have a healthy budget, Thousand Oaks is as close to a perfect idyllic town as it gets.
Co-founder of Counting Sheep and Sleepaholic