30 Safest Small Towns in America 2020

By CIC Staff
October 2019

Ask any person what they value most about the place they call home and we guarantee safety will be at the top of the list. Affecting everything from insurance rates to property values, a town’s safety record often becomes one of the things for which they are best known or associated.

For our list of the 30 safest small towns in America, we began by considering only those towns with populations between 10,000 and 20,000 people — in other words, large enough for crime to be a possibility, but small enough to still be considered a small town. Then, we referenced sites like Sperling’s Best Places and Area Vibes to access statistics about crime rates and the likeliness of any town resident falling victim to a crime. While we know there are many more safe places in the United States than what we have listed, the towns we have included are some of the safest of the safe, and offer their residents one of the most valuable things any resident can ask for: peace of mind.

1. Brooklyn, Wisconsin

Located about 18 miles from Madison, tiny Brooklyn, Wisconsin seems to know the trick to keeping the town one of the safest in America. There were no violent crimes reported in Brooklyn last year. In fact, there weren’t any reported property crimes either. Such low (nonexistent?) statistics mean Brooklyn residents are given the peace of mind to enjoy their town’s many hiking trails, a wildlife refuge, and fishing areas.

2. Broadview Heights, Ohio

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Broadview Heights is a small town of approximately 19,000 people located in the greater Cleveland area. The residents of Broadview Heights have a 1 in 874 chance of falling prey to a crime. Of the 22 total crimes reported in the past year, only one was a violent crime (an assault). The remaining crimes were instances of burglary, vehicle theft, and petty theft.

3. New Providence, New Jersey

This borough located in northwestern Union County is an appealing place for those looking to live in one of America’s safest towns. Indeed, New Providence is safer than 95% of cities in the United States. Fewer than 1.3 crimes occur each day in town of approximately 13,000. None were violent crimes according to last year’s reports. Residents of Cecil Township have a minuscule 1 in 223 chance of falling victim to a crime, and an even slighter chance of falling victim to a violent crime.

4. Franklin Park, Pennsylvania

Franklin Park, located 13 miles outside of Pittsburgh, is an affluent community of approximately 14,000 people. There were only two violent crimes reported in Franklin Park in 2018. Of the 53 total crimes reported, 41 were instances of petty theft. Such statistics make Franklin Park’s overall crime rate 87% lower than the national average, and give Franklin Park residents a 1 in 278 chance of falling victim to any crime.

5. Tenafly, New Jersey

Tenafly, New Jersey, which is located near New York City’s Upper West Side, is another of the United States’ safest towns. Only one violent crime, a robbery, was reported last year, along with 65 other property crimes. With such a low number of instances, the approximately 15,000 residents of Tenafly have a 1 in 227 chance of being a victim of a crime. That makes Tenafly’s overall crime rate 84% lower than the national average.

6. Brecksville, Ohio

This Cleveland suburb boasts some of the lowest crimes rates of any place in the country, giving Brecksville’s approximately 13,700 residents a minuscule 1 in 249 chance of becoming victim to any crime. Reported murders, rapes, and assaults are few and far between here. Only two violent crimes were reported last year and only 52 property crimes were reported in 2018.

7. Whitehall, Pennsylvania

In recent years, Whitehall, Pennsylvania has been included on a number of lists of the best places to live. Reasons given are the town’s excellent schools, great selection of amenities, and of course, its barely-there crime rate. Only four violent crimes were reported in Whitehall in 2018, all of which were cases of assault. Residents here have a 1 in 319 chance of falling victim to a crime, making Farmington’s crime rate 89% lower than the national average.

8. Madison, New Jersey

Safety and small town charm? No wonder New Jersey Monthly magazine declared Madison New Jersey’s #1 town and the best place in the state to live! Residents of Madison have a 1 in 232 chance of falling victim to any crime. In the last year, only 70 total incidents were reported, with no murders, no robberies, and only three instances of assault. Such a safe reputation must bring peace of mind to this family friendly community.

9. Big Lake, Minnesota

Big Lake, Minnesota most definitely belongs on our list of the safest small towns in America. Big Lake experienced only one violent crime this last year, while 59 property crimes were reported. With numbers like these, chances are a slim 1 in 179 that a Big Lake resident will fall victim to any crime.

10. Seven Hills, Ohio

Rounding out our top 10 is a third Ohio town, Seven Hills. Seven Hills reported only three violent crimes last year, two assaults and one robbery. Fifty property crimes were also reported, the vast majority of which were cases of theft. Seven Hills is ranked safer than 93% of cities in the United States, giving residents a mere 1 in 221 chance of becoming the victim of any crime.

11. Dumont, New Jersey

The second Bergen County, New Jersey town to make our list of the 30 safest small towns in America is Dumont, an affluent small town where the overall crime rate is a whopping 81% lower than the national average. While crime has increased only slightly in the last year, Dumont residents are still some of the safest in America, with only a 1 in 196 chance of becoming a victim of any crime. Last year, only four violent crimes were reported, three of which were deemed assaults.

12. River Edge, New Jersey

Yet another safe Bergen County, New Jersey town is River Edge. Here, locals have a 1 in 181 chance of experiencing a crime, and crime has even been decreasing in recent years. In 2018, only two violent crimes were reported (both robberies). That same year saw only 63 instances of property crime, 49 of which were petty theft.

13. Cedarburg, Wisconsin

Residents of beautiful Cedarburg, Wisconsin have a mere 1 in 161 chance of becoming victim to a crime — some of the best odds of any town in the country. No rapes, robberies, or murders were reported here in the last year. Just one assault and 71 instances of property crime occurred. That’s pretty impressive. With such a safe reputation, Cedarburg residents are better able to enjoy their fun town which is close to both Milwaukee and the beaches of Lake Michigan.

14. Sylvania, Ohio

Located right on the Ohio-Michigan border, Sylvania, Ohio is a friendly small town known for its cute downtown, myriad mom-and-pop shops, and great amenities like sports fields and public swimming areas. With such an involved community, it’s no wonder Sylvania is one of the safest places in America. Of the 92 total crimes reported last year, only six were violent, and 67 of them were incidents of minor theft. That means that the 19,000 residents of Sylvania have only a 1 in 206 chance of experiencing a crime.

15. Rye, New York

Rye, New York, a pretty and affluent town located along the Long Island Sound, is another of the United States’ safest towns. Only five violent crimes were reported in 2018, along with 73 other property crimes. With such a low number of instances, the 15,000 residents of Rye have a 1 in 206 chance of being a victim of a crime. That makes Rye’s overall crime rate 82% lower than the national average.

16. Port Washington, New York

This pretty small town located on the North Shore of Long Island claims one of the lowest crime rates of any place in the U.S. Only 104 crimes were reported in Port Washington last year, nearly all of which were non-violent instances of theft. There were no reports of murder or rape, but two and three reports of robbery and assault, respectively. Overall, Port Washington residents live in one of the safest towns in the nation, and have only a 1 in 187 chance of falling victim to a crime.

17. Beverly Hills, Michigan

Not to be confused with the more famous city in California, Beverly Hills, Michigan is another one of the 30 safest small towns in America. In 2018, only 70 total crimes were reported. Of these, only one was an instance of violent crime (a rape), while everything else was property crime like burglary (five reported cases) or theft (64 reported cases). The affluent residents of Beverly Hills, Michigan have a minuscule 1 in 151 chance of becoming a victim of any crime, and an even slimmer chance of falling victim to violence.

18. Trophy Club, Texas

Residents of Trophy Club, Texas pay a pretty penny to live here, but it’s worth it for the safety that comes with it. Those living in Trophy Club have only a 1 in 145 chance of falling victim to a crime, and the chances of that being a violent crime are even lower: 1 in 6,500. Furthermore, this small town has gone years without a single report of rape or murder.

19. Lemont, Illinois

In 2018, there were five reports of violent crimes in the Chicago suburb of Lemont, Illinois. The vast majority of Lemont’s 109 reported incidents were property related: 74 petty thefts, 25 burglaries, and five instances of vehicle theft. Side-by-side comparisons of crime rates for recent years suggests that crime in Lemont has decreased by 41! Pretty impressive! That’s especially good news for residents, who already have a slim 1 in 157 chance of becoming victim to a crime. With numbers like these, it’s no wonder Lemont, Illinois is one of the 30 safest small towns in America.

20. La Grange Park, Illinois

La Grange Park’s 13,600 residents are fortunate to be living in one of America’s safest small towns. La Grange Park, a suburb of Chicago, has a very low rate of violent crime, with only six assaults (and zero murders, zero rapes, and one robbery) being reported over the course of the last year. Even more impressive is La Grange Park’s low rate of property crime. Only 58 instances were reported last year, one of the lowest in the country and far below the averages for both the nation and Illinois.

21. Deerfield, Illinois

Deerfield, a north shore suburb of Chicago, is an affluent community of approximately 19,000 people. There were only five violent crimes reported in Deerfield in 2018, and of the 135 total crimes reported, 101 were instances of petty theft. Such statistics make Deerfield’s overall crime rate 74% lower than the national average, and give Deerfield residents a 1 in 142 chance of falling victim to any crime.

22. Imperial, California

imperial ca safest small towns

The next place in our collection of the 30 safest small towns in America is Imperial, California, a secluded desert town located in the southernmost part of the Golden State. With only 72 crimes reported in 2018, 61 of which were property related, Imperial residents have only a 1 in 245 chance of experiencing a crime first-hand. To help keep their town one of the safest in the country, the Imperial police department employs a unique “E-Policing” program that allows residents to sign up to receive alerts when emergencies occur in their area. Imperial residents do their part too, and have organized a very effective Neighborhood Watch program.

23. Glen Rock, New Jersey

Residents of the affluent community of Glen Rock, New Jersey can sleep well at night knowing they live in one of America’s safest small towns. Of the 95 total reported incidents last year, 84 were instances of theft, and none were cases of murder or assault. Indeed, Glen Rock has gone multiple years without any murders reported within their town limits. All together, these respectable crime rates mean that Glen Rock residents have only a 1 in 127 chance of experiencing a crime.

24. Hinsdale, Illinois

Not only does Hinsdale, Illinois offer its 17,500 residents great amenities, excellent schools, and plenty of well-paying jobs, it also offers the title of one of the safest places in America. Fewer than two crimes per 100,000 people are reported each day in Hinsdale, nearly all of which are instances of non-violent property crime. In 2018, only six violent crimes were reported, giving the town an overall crime rate 75% lower than the national average. And according to last year’s statistics, Hinsdale is getting safer! The 2018 crime rate was a whole 29% lower than the year previous.

25. St. John, Indiana

There is good reason why St. John, Indiana is so frequently billed as one of the best places in America to live. Perhaps most notably: it is safe! Only two violent crimes were reported to the St. John police department in all of 2018, one assault and one robbery. The other 143 reported crimes were all related to property damage and included 109 instances of petty theft and 21 of burglary. Such statistics add up to St. John residents having a 1 in 119 chance of becoming a victim of any crime, and a 1 in 8,564 chance of becoming the victim of a violent crime.

26. South Lyon, Michigan

There is no doubt that South Lyon, Michigan is one of the safest small towns in America. The town of approximately 12,000 experienced only seven violent crimes in 2018, while the number of property crime reports was slightly higher at 55. Either way, chances are slim that a South Lyon resident will fall victim to a crime.

27. Laguna Woods, California

The city of Laguna Woods is located in Orange County in Southern California. In 2018, only four violent crimes were reported, three of which were instances of assault. There were also 127 reported property crimes, the most common of which was theft. Still, residents of Laguna Woods have a mere 1 in 125 chance of becoming the victim of a crime, making the city far safer than the rest of the state and country. Of course, much of Laguna Woods’s low, low crime rate has to do with the fact that 90% of the town is made up of Laguna Woods Village, a private gated retirement community.

28. Vienna, Virginia

Located only 17 miles from Washington, D.C., Vienna is well-known for its family-friendly environment, great amenities, excellent school system, and low crime rate. Indeed, with only four violent crimes reported in 2018, Vienna is about as safe as they come. Only 136 crimes were reported last year total, 119 of which were property-related crimes of theft. Because fewer than 2.5 crimes per 100,000 people occur daily, Vienna residents have a mere 1 in 122 chance of being the target of a crime. With statistics like these, it’s no wonder Vienna was ranked by CNNMoney and Money magazine as the third best place to live in the U.S.A.

29. Moraga, California

The pretty small town of Moraga, located in the San Francisco Bay Area, claims one of the lowest crime rates of any place in the U.S. Only 134 crimes were reported in Moraga last year, nearly all of which were non-violent instances of theft. There were no reports of murder, but there was one rape, two assaults, and three robberies reported. Overall, Moraga residents live in one of the safest towns in the nation, and have only a 1 in 132 chance of falling victim to a crime.

30. Greenwich, Connecticut

It should come as no surprise that Greenwich, Connecticut is so frequently billed as one of the best places in America to raise a family. Not only does Greenwich offer world-class amenities, great schools, and a slew of well-paying jobs, it also boasts an extremely low crime rate. Twenty-one violent crimes were reported to the Greenwich police department in all of 2018, as were 471 instances of property crime. When compared to Greenwich’s population, these numbers mean that there are approximately 2.16 crimes per 100,000 people committed each day. It’s a safer rate than 71% of the United States. Such statistics add up to Greenwich residents having a 1 in 128 chance of becoming a victim of a crime.