Maine’s 10 Safest Cities of 2021

Safest Cities in Maine 2021 state badge

The SafeWise Team is pleased to release the seventh annual Safest Cities report.

Here are the 10 Safest Cities in Maine for 2021

1. Cumberland
2. Sabattus
3. Cape Elizabeth
4. Yarmouth
5. Hampden
6. South Berwick
7. Belfast
8. Kennebunk
9. Gorham
10. Bar Harbor

See if your city made the full list.

Maine residents aren’t as concerned about their overall safety compared to the rest of the nation. Of those who call The Pine Tree State home, only 34% say they feel a high daily concern for their safety. And with crime rates well below the national and regional average, it’s easy to see why.

Overall safety concern in Maine dropped 28% year over year, and the pandemic is the most worrisome safety issue.

2021 Maine crime rates

As far as biggest concerns go, Mainers came out with a three-way tie between violent crime, property crime, and package theft. Our data showed that 31% of those surveyed in Maine were concerned about these issues. Yet, despite the tie, it’s a lower percentage of concern than much of the country. 

We found that 77% of Maine residents feel safe in their state compared to 55% of the US.

However, we did see a rise in firsthand experience from Maine residents who experienced violent crime and gun violence in the last year.

Level of concern and experience with crime in Maine

Gun violence is the biggest concern among Maine residents we surveyed, but violent crime, property crime, and package theft had a three-way tie.

Crime concerns in Maine

We asked Maine residents which crimes they worry may happen to them. See if Mainers are concerned about the same crime issues as the rest of the country. 

Safest cities in Maine 2021 concern levels

View the complete 2021 State of Safety report.

Violent crime in Maine: Fear vs. reality

While violent crime is generally low in Maine, a majority of cases were aggravated assault. However, reports of rape in Maine were alarmingly high compared to other states. But overall, each of the safest cities have low rates of violent crime across the board.

  • Aggravated assault was the most common violent crime in Maine and the safest cities. It accounted for 55% of violent crime in the safest cities and 53% statewide (US 68%).
  • Rape came in a close second for most common violent crimes in Maine. It made up 42% of violent crime in the safest cities and 33% statewide—both much higher than the 8% national average.
  • Every one of the safest cities reported under 1 violent crime per 1,000 people.
  • South Berwick saw the biggest improvement in violent crime, dropping incidents from 0.9 to 0.5 per 1,000 people in the last year.
  • There were 0 murders in the safest cities in the last year. And the top city, Cumberland, saw no violent crime.
  • 40% of Mainers said they worry about gun violence and 28% worry it will happen to them.
  • 56% of Maine residents say they have confidence in law enforcement, matching the national average. The Pine Tree State saw a drop in officer-related shootings last year with 7 fewer incidents than in 2019.
  • In Maine, 22% of our survey respondents said they use some form of personal protection.
  • 34% said their personal safety was affected by the pandemic.

Property crime in Maine: Fear vs. reality

Property crime has dropped steadily since 2019 in Maine and across New England. And while property crime rates are higher than violent crime rates in Maine, each of the safest cities have less than the rest of the state, region, and national average.

  • An overwhelming majority of property crime was larceny-theft, making up 82% of property crime in Maine.
  • Belfast saw the biggest drop in property crime among the safest cities, dropping to 5.7 incidences per 1,000 people from 13.9 last year. The city also jumped 22 spots from last year, making it the most improved of the safest cities. 
  • Of those who we surveyed from Maine, 54% said they use some form of property protection. Guard dogs were the most popular method. 
  • 20% of Mainers said their property’s safety was affected by the pandemic.

A closer look at the safest cities in Maine

For the purposes of this report, the terms “dangerous” and “safest” refer explicitly to crime rates as calculated from FBI crime data—no other characterization of any community is implied or intended.

  • Cumberland remains Maine’s safest city for the second year in a row. The city saw zero violent crimes in the last year.
  • Cape Elizabeth and Sabattus switched places this year with Sabattus rising to the number 2 spot. 
  • While Belfast was the most improved, other cities saw big wins this year. Bar Harbor jumped 13 spots to number 10, and South Berwick jumped 10 spots to number 6. 
  • Kennebunk holds its spot from last year at number 8. 
  • Last year’s number 4, Eliot, dropped off the top 10 to number 11. 
  • The violent and property crime rates in the safest cities were far lower than the national average. The 10 safest cities had a 5.1 average property crime rate (US 21.1) and a 0.3 average violent crime rate (US 3.7). 
Safest cities in Maine 2021 state map

The 10 Safest Cities in Maine

#1
Cumberland
(
-0-
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    8,295
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $102,300
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    0.0, 0.2, 0.0
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    2.0, 2.1, 3.0
Sabattus, Maine
#2
Sabbatus
(
+1
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    5,064
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $50,146
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    0.2, 0.2, 1.0
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    2.8, 3.6, 6.9
Cape Elizabeth, Maine
#3
Cape Elizabeth
(
-1
Down
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    9,352
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $98,438
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    0.1, 0.1, 0.1
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    4.9, 4.6, 4.4
Yarmouth, Maine
#4
Yarmouth
(
+1
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    8,540
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $74,583
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    0.4, 0.4, 0.7
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    4.4, 3.8, 7.1
#5
Hampden
(
+2
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    7,352
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $87,750
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    0.1, 0.3, 0.0
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    7.1, 6.1, 7.3
South Berwick, Maine
#6
South Berwick
(
+10
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    7,564
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $75,341
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    0.5, 0.9, 0.4
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    4.9, 3.6, 4.0
Belfast, Maine
#7
Belfast
(
+22
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    6,720
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $60,993
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    0.4, 0.7, 0.5
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    5.7, 13.9, 14.6
Kennebunk, Maine
#8
Kennebunk
(
-0-
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    11,622
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $64,543
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    0.7, 0.5, 0.6
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    4.0, 4.4, 4.0
#9
Gorham
(
-3
Down
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    17,818
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $66,020
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    0.4, 0.2, 0.6
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    7.4, 5.3, 6.3
Bar Harbor, Maine
#10
Bar Harbor
(
+13
Up
)
  • Circle Population
    Population
    7,682
  • Circle Dollar
    Median Income
    $42,768
  • Circle Gun
    VC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    0.4, 0.7, 0.9
  • Circle Property
    PC Rate 2021, 2020, 2019
    8.1, 10.1, 14.6

How we determined the safest cities

Learn how we identified the safest cities on our methodology page.

How to make a safe home anywhere

Whether your city made our list or not, we encourage everyone to be proactive about home security. Learn more about your home security options—and find out which companies we recommend for every budget and lifestyle in our roundup of the Best Home Security Systems.

Didn't find your city in the top 10?

We calculated crime rates for every city in the state that met our population threshold, based on the state’s median population. See how the remaining cities ranked in the list below.

NOTE: If you don’t see your city on the list, it means that it was below the population threshold or didn’t submit a complete crime report to the FBI in 2019.

2021 Rank
City
Population
VC per 1000
PC per 1000
11Eliot6.82K1.03.4
12Freeport8.59K0.110.8
13Orono10.72K0.77.2
14Berwick7.86K0.67.6
15Falmouth12.38K0.211.0
16Gardiner5.65K0.77.4
17York13.23K0.86.5
18Waldoboro5.04K0.68.9
19Winthrop5.98K0.87.5
20Windham18.63K0.69.1
21Topsham8.86K0.610.0
22Lisbon8.98K1.16.1
23Wells10.67K1.34.8
24Kittery9.89K0.89.3
25Winslow7.60K0.98.9
26Buxton8.35K1.44.8
27Scarborough20.54K0.512.3
28Bridgton5.39K1.18.2
29Oakland6.30K1.19.5
30Old Town7.41K1.110.0
31Brunswick20.51K0.515.6
32Bath8.31K0.516.4
33Paris5.11K1.210.8
34Farmington7.60K1.111.8
35Rockland7.13K0.616.6
36Saco19.91K1.115.1
37Caribou7.55K1.116.7
38Ellsworth8.09K0.721.5
39Westbrook19.17K1.813.8
40Fairfield6.53K1.716.5
41Auburn23.21K1.522.0
42Old Orchard Beach8.95K2.812.0
43Brewer9.0K0.333.6
44South Portland25.69K1.921.9
45Sanford21.23K1.927.2
46Lewiston35.87K3.020.0
47Waterville16.77K2.226.4
48Portland66.46K2.425.8
49Bangor31.87K1.136.6
50Presque Isle8.92K2.625.2
51Skowhegan8.21K3.024.2
52Rumford5.67K3.226.5
53Augusta18.63K2.631.5
54Houlton5.72K3.528.0
55Biddeford21.55K4.326.8

Find the safest cities in each state

Click on the state image or dropdown menu below to check out the safest cities for each state.

Related articles on SafeWise


Sources

FBI: Uniform Crime Reporting Program, “2019 Crime in the United States,” Accessed March 15, 2021.

US Census Bureau, "Data Explorer," Accessed November 18, 2020.

Best Places, “Find a Place Search Tool,” Accessed January 6, 2021.

SafeWise, “2021 State of Safety survey,” Accessed March 15, 2021.

Gun Violence Archive, “Past Summary Ledgers,” Accessed January 6, 2021.

Gun Violence Archive, “General Methodology,” Accessed March 15, 2021.

Melody Hicks, Ben Stickle, Joshua Harms, American Journal of Criminal Justice, “Assessing the Fear of Package Theft,” January 04, 2021. Accessed March 15, 2021.

For definitions and more on data sources, see our methodology page.

Katie McEntire
Written by
Katie McEntire
As a renter, pet-owner, and woman living alone, Katie McEntire takes safety seriously. She’s tested devices like pet cameras, home security systems, and GPS trackers in her own home and devices in the name of safety. In addition to testing, writing, and reviewing for SafeWise, she also makes videos for the site’s YouTube channel. She’s been featured on publications like TechGuySmartBuy, Forbes, Healthy Moms, and Digital Care. Katie has a Bachelor’s degree in Technical Writing from Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee. She’s held previous writing positions at Overstock.com and Top Ten Reviews.

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