Home > Blog

NeighborhoodScout Releases its Top 100 Safest Cities in the U.S. for 2016

Feb 3, 2016 | by: Dr. Andrew Schiller | Media


Paul Gallagher
Director of Marketing
Location, Inc.

Worcester, Mass., February 3, 2016 — NeighborhoodScout, a nationwide neighborhood search engine and provider of location based analytics for real-estate investors, mortgage professionals and homebuyers, has just released its 5th annual top 100 safest U.S. cities list for 2016.

In NeighborhoodScout’s previous research report it announced its findings on the top 100 most dangerous cities, which tended to be a combination of medium to large sized cities with struggling economies, and industrial, often impoverished satellites of large cities. Many were found in the American heartland, a pattern that disrupts long held perceptions that the most dangerous places are the large coastal cities.

When ranking the country’s 100 safest cities a different type of urban satellite tends to appear on this list: the bedroom community just miles outside of the major city.

NeighborhoodScout was able to compile this top 100 list by comparing the safety of cities (of different sizes) across the country by factoring in population — giving a rate for individual types of crime per one thousand residents. Types of crimes taken into consideration for this list include violent and property crimes, including the seven major types of crimes tracked by the FBI: burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, murder, rape, armed robbery, and aggravated assault.

In order to account for as many crimes as possible, NeighborhoodScout factors in data from all 18,000 local law enforcement agencies across the U.S. Many cities are served by more than one agency (municipal police, county sheriff, transit police, etc.). By using this method, NeighborhoodScout is uniquely able to provide the only holistic representation of total crime known to occur within a city or town – not just those reported by a single agency.

NeighborhoodScout’s Top 100 Safest Cities – 2016

  1. Ridgefield, CT* (2015 Rank: N/A)
  2. Winona, MN* (2015 Rank: N/A)
  3. Rancho Santa Margarita, CA (2015 Rank: 6)
  4. Franklin, MA (2015 Rank: 7)
  5. Bergenfield, NJ (2015 Rank: 3)
  1. Lake in the Hills, IL (2015 Rank: 2)
  2. Shrewsbury, MA (2015 Rank: 14)
  3. Bartlett, IL (2015 Rank: 9)
  4. Zionsville, IN (2015 Rank: 1)
  5. Aliso Viejo, CA (2015 Rank: 8)
Complete List (11 – 100)

*Population under 25,000 according to 2013 American Community Survey

The reported results on the individual cities listed above reveal someone’s chance of becoming a victim of crime (violent or property). For example, in Ridgefield, CT (safest in the country), there is only a 1 in 382 chance of a resident becoming a victim of a crime in the community in one year. Whereas in East St. Louis, IL, the most dangerous city in the country, those odds shrink to a troubling 1 in 13. By ranking on the crime rate per 1,000 residents, NeighborhoodScout is able to level the playing field and accurately compare cities of vastly different population sizes.

“If you were to plot the top 100 safest cities on a map you would notice an interesting trend,” explains Andrew Schiller, CEO and founder of NeighborhoodScout. “Bedroom communities like the ones on this list exist somewhere in between big cities (which still have large crime counts), and the more-dangerous industrial satellites. There could be something to be said regarding the fact that the safest towns are overwhelmingly places where people live, but often do not work: the types of communities that are populated by the gainfully employed and their families, who can afford to relocate specifically for quality of life. Many of the safest cities also have the best school systems and high rates of college graduates. High paying jobs are not far away. What this illustrates is that access to opportunity (nearby high paying jobs), combined with amenities in the community (like good schools), can drive home values up and crime down.


“Another noteworthy thing about this report is how the safest cities, unlike the most dangerous, are more geographically dispersed across the country. While upscale commuter towns and bedroom communities are part of any metropolitan area, suburbs such as these manage to maintain the lowest overall crime rates even if there is an uptick in overall crime in their respective metropolitan areas. These places are often getting safer even as nearby places are getting more dangerous, reflecting greater disparity in American society,” says Schiller.

NeighborhoodScout provides over 300 must see statistics on crime, home values, appreciation rates, trends and forecasts, quality of schools, rental markets and much more. For more information on personal, business and data licensing, visit: www.NeighborhoodScout.com

Previous Top 100 Safest Cities Lists

About Location, Inc.

Location, Inc. is a geographic research and data mining company born of university research and one of the leading providers of location-based data and tools used by corporations for risk analysis. Location, Inc. specializes in location analysis, quantifying and mapping of crime and security risks, structure fire risk, demographic and school data information products, and location-based decision-making tools for businesses and consumers. More than 44 million people and businesses have used Location, Inc. data and services since the Company’s 2000 inception, including its famous NeighborhoodScout website for consumers.