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The Safest Cities in Massachusetts – 2017

Massachusetts’s twenty safest cities boast exceptionally low crime rates. In fact, according to the most recent FBI Crime Report, these cities are 86% safer than the nation as a whole. Specifically, in 2015, the cities on this list reported fewer than four crimes per 1,000 people, whereas nationally, nearly twenty-nine crimes were reported for every 1,000 people.

Additionally, none of the twenty safest cities in Massachusetts reported a murder, and four cities—Weston, Boxford, Hopkinton, and Sharon—reported no violent crime whatsoever. These statistics are particularly impressive considering that on a national level, violent crime increased nearly 4% 2014 to 2015, and reports of murder and non-negligent manslaughter increased more than 10%.

Three-quarters of this year’s safest cities also appeared on our list last year. This suggests that leaders, law enforcement officers, and citizens in these communities remain dedicated to keeping crime at bay. In an interview with SafeWise, Wayland’s chief of police Robert Irving attributed “an excellent working relationship between officers and citizens” as one of the primary reasons Wayland is the safest city in the state. To facilitate ongoing open communication and further build rapport, the Wayland Police Department hosts Coffee with a Cop, sponsors a Citizens Police Academy, and is actively involved in the schools. Chief Irving also uses social media to help ensure his department is “accessible and responsive to the community.”

Even in the safest cities, it’s important to be proactive about safety. Consult our Massachusetts Safety Directory for ways to enhance your personal safety and home security in the Bay State. 

How We Chose the Safest Cities in Massachusetts

To identify the safest cities in Massachusetts, we reviewed the most recent FBI Crime Report statistics from 2015, along with population data. We eliminated all cities with fewer than 8,000 residents as well as any cities that failed to submit a complete crime report to the FBI.

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From there, we evaluated the remaining cities. We narrowed it down based on the number of reported violent crimes (aggravated assault, murder, rape, and robbery) and property crimes (burglary, arson, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft) in each city. To further level the playing field, we calculated the likelihood of these crimes occurring out of 1,000 people in each city.

Learn more about how we rank our Safest Cities reports.

1. Wayland

Previous rank: 1

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.07
Property Crimes per 1,000: 0.37

2. Weston ↑

Previous rank: 7

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.00 
Property Crimes per 1,000: 2.47

3. Boxford

Previous rank: 3

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.00
Property Crimes per 1,000: 2.54

4. Norfolk 

Previous rank: 2

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.08
Property Crimes per 1,000: 2.85

5. Hopkinton 

Previous rank: 4

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.00 
Property Crimes per 1,000: 3.18

6. Clinton 

Previous rank: 8

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.22
Property Crimes per 1,000: 3.12

7. Franklin ↓

Previous rank: 6

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.12
Property Crimes per 1,000: 3.35

8. Sudbury

Previous rank: 5

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.10
Property Crimes per 1,000: 3.52

9. Norton 

Previous rank: 15

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.77
Property Crimes per 1,000: 2.98

10. Duxbury 

Previous rank: 20

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.91
Property Crimes per 1,000: 3.10

11. Georgetown 

Previous rank: 34

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.35
Property Crimes per 1,000: 3.71

12. Sharon 

Previous rank: 9

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.00
Property Crimes per 1,000: 4.16

13. Holliston 

Previous rank: 11

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.41
Property Crimes per 1,000: 3.90

14. Bedford

Previous rank: 14

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.55
Property Crimes per 1,000: 3.81

15. Grafton 

Previous rank: 21

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 1.40
Property Crimes per 1,000: 3.62

16. Lexington 

Previous rank: 24

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.57
Property Crimes per 1,000: 4.48

17. Holden 

Previous rank: 19

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.48
Property Crimes per 1,000: 4.63

18. Southborough 

Previous rank: 12

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.80
Property Crimes per 1,000: 4.50

19. Norwell 

Previous rank: 42

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.37 
Property Crimes per 1,000: 4.96

20. Hamilton 

Previous rank: 30

Violent Crimes per 1,000: 0.49 
Property Crimes per 1,000: 4.97

Didn’t see your city rank in the top 20?

Check the remaining cities below, and take a look at the most recent FBI crime data here.

21. Reading 22. Ipswich 23. Westford
24. Douglas 25. Marshfield 26. North Reading
27. Belmont 28. Dudley 29. Needham
30. Winchester 31. Concord 32. Billerica
33. Pembroke 34. Wellesley 35. Ashland
36. Tyngsboro 37. Longmeadow 38. Amherst
39. Hudson 40. Northborough 41. Lynnfield
42. Monson 43. Groton 44. Littleton
45. Sandwich 46. Andover 47. Charlton
48. Templeton 49. Maynard 50. Newton
51. Middleton 52. Plymouth 53. Blackstone
54. Wilmington 55. Marblehead 56. Cohasset
57. Easton 58. Milton 59. Wakefield
60. North Andover 61. Arlington 62. Gloucester
63. Westport 64. Carver 65. Lancaster
66. East Bridgewater 67. Westborough 68. Acton
69. Hanover 70. Beverly 71. Melrose
72. Sutton 73. Rehoboth 74. Westwood
75. Pepperell 76. Peabody 77. Hingham
78. Canton 79. Stoneham 80. Walpole
81. Townsend 82. Norwood 83. Newburyport
84. Acushnet 85. Rutland 86. Whitman
87. Brewster 88. Mansfield 89. Lakeville
90. Waltham 91. Chelmsford 92. Ludlow
93. Plainville 94. Amesbury 95. Kingston
96. Watertown 97. Woburn 98. Hull
99. Dracut 100. Spencer

How safe is your home?

Wherever you live, feeling safe in your home can bring greater peace of mind and happiness. Whether your city made our list or not, we recommend adding extra security to your home with monitored security services provided by the nation’s leading home security providers.

To learn more about the home security options available to you in your area, select the city nearest you in the drop down menu below.


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If you would like to contact a SafeWise Safest Cities Analyst, please email safestcities@safewise.com.

Alexia Chianis

Find out more about Alexia, here.

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