The SafeWise Team is pleased to release the eighth annual Safest Cities report.
Massachusetts’s 20 Safest Cities of 2022
Here are the 10 Safest Cities in Massachusetts for 2022
See if your city made the full list.
Our 2022 State of Safety survey found that Massachusetts residents’ concern about their safety matches the national average. This is interesting since violent crime and property crime rates are far below national averages and have even dropped year over year.
In this report
2022 Massachusetts crime rates
Massachusetts' crime rates continued to drop year over year. Massachusetts also consistently sees lower violent crime and property crime rates compared to the rest of the country.
Massachusetts’ violent crime rate this reporting year is 3.1 per 1,000 people (US 4.0), with a property crime rate of 10.5 (US 19.6).
Level of concern and experience with crime in Massachusetts
Out of the Massachusetts residents we surveyed, 47% are highly concerned about safety every day, which is on par with the national average. Their biggest concern? Package theft.
As it turns out, 21% of Massachusetts respondents to our State of Safety survey had experience with package theft this reporting year—just above the national average of 20%.
Respondents reported very few experiences with violent crime, property crime, and gun violence—lower than both national averages and the rest of the New England region.
Massachusetts residents reported fewer experiences with gun violence, from 4% to 1% last year. Experiences with property crime fell from 13% to 11% year over year. Experiences with violent crime dropped from 8% to 5% year over year.
Image: SafeWise. Past 12 months=12 months prior to survey.
Crime concerns in Massachusetts
We asked Massachusetts residents which crimes they worry may happen to them. See if Massachusetts residents are concerned about the same crime issues as the rest of the country.
View the complete 2022 State of Safety report.
Violent crime in Massachusetts: Fear vs. reality
Most residents report feeling safe in The Bay State and had fewer personal experiences with violent crime and gun violence in the last year. Violent crime dropped 6% overall since last year.
- 65% of Massachusettsans report feeling safe in their state compared to 55% of Americans.
- There was a slight year-over-year decline in violent crime, from 3.3 incidents per 1,000 people to 3.1.
- Just 5% of survey respondents reported having personal experiences with violent crime in the last year—3 percentage points lower than the previous year.
- Massachusetts is 1 of just 14 states to see a drop in violent crime this reporting year.
- Not a single murder was reported among the 20 safest cities.
- Massachusetts has the highest number of violent crimes in the New England regional division (3.1 per 1,000), but its rate is still well below the US average (4.0).
- 19% of survey participants use some form of personal protection like pepper spray—well below the national average of 34%.
- 46% of Massachusetts residents say their personal safety has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic compared to 44% of Americans.
Attitudes about gun violence in Massachusetts
Overall, gun safety is a big concern for The Bay State, though mass shootings are down from the year before.
- 60% of those we surveyed named gun violence their top safety concern (US 53%).
- 32% are most worried about a gun violence incident happening to them (US 38%).
- This reporting year, Massachusetts mass shootings fell by 50% (from 8 to 4). Country-wide, there were 691 mass shootings.
Property crime in Massachusetts: Fear vs. reality
Massachusetts residents currently enjoy the lowest property crime rate in the New England region. The property crime rate dropped 11% from last year and came in at 10.5 property crimes per 1,000 residents.
- Property crime rates dropped from 11.8 per 1,000 to 10.5.
- 42% of survey respondents use some form of property protection—lower than most Americans (60%).
- All safest cities reported fewer than 4 property crimes per 1,000 residents, with the safest cities property crime average landing at a low 2.4.
- The top form of property protection among Massachusetts residents this year is a home security system with 24% of residents using them.
- 27% of Bay Staters say the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the security of their property, compared to 29% nationally.
A closer look at the safest cities in Massachusetts
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.
- Clinton, Holden, Hanover, and Charlton are new to our list this year. Wayland, our new number 1, is also new to the list.
- None of the safest cities reported murders, and 9 reported 0 robberies.
- Hanover jumped 27 spots to land at 8 this year.
- Wayland reported 0 property crimes, which is very unusual.
- 3 of the safest cities (Wayland, Clinton, and Hopkinton) reported 0 burglaries.
- Burglaries in the safest cities dropped from 198 the year before to 142 this year.
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. One of the best ways to stop a burglary before it happens is to add a home security system.
Find security and safety resources in your area
Didn't find your city in the top 20?
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 2020.
2022 VC per 1,000
2022 PC per 1,000
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
FBI: Crime Data Explorer, Accessed March 8, 2022.
US Census Bureau, "Data Explorer," Accessed January 24, 2022.
Best Places, “Find a Place Search Tool,” Accessed January 24, 2022.
SafeWise, “2021 State of Safety survey,” Accessed March 8, 2022.
Gun Violence Archive, “Past Summary Ledgers,” Accessed January 24, 2022.
Gun Violence Archive, “General Methodology,” Accessed March 8, 2022.
Melody Hicks, Ben Stickle, Joshua Harms, American Journal of Criminal Justice, “Assessing the Fear of Package Theft,” January 04, 2021. Accessed March 8, 2022.
For definitions and more on data sources, see our methodology page.